“How did they do last night?” A hunched, elderly gentleman shuffled diagonally across the empty parking lot, wearing a black jacket and matching hat emblazoned in orange with San Francisco and SF respectively, popular attire this week. Two steps from our paths crossing, “Oh! They thumped ’em!” said he, straightening up a bit, “eleven to seven”. “Allright!” I replied, clapping my hands together loudly in the early morning quiet.
I love the word “thump”, it reminds me of bunny rabbits , anyone remember Thumper?
The dictionary describes “thump” as a sound beating, and a beating with a blunt object, and the muffled sound created by such a beating. Blunt object being a baseball bat? Is baseball the only sport where thumping is possible?
I parked my car, hoping it wouldn’t get broken into while I was inside. Kids: “are you a witch?”, me: “yes, the kind that turns little children into frogs”. Unsmiling adult enters. “Can I help you?”. “I’m so and so, here to volunteer for the afternoon.” “Go upstairs”. Nice to meet you, too.
“We’ve got a special student for you to work with”, a gleam in her eye. Sit and observe. Five dark-skinned students. Second-graders. One white-skinned teacher, 60-ish, anorexic, bleached-blonde, designer jeans, high-heeled shoes, little black bows dangling from her ears. Mean. “This one”, she grumbles, exasperated, gathering a mountain of phonics papers and workbooks, nodding at Nico, “no initiative”.
Nico and I spend the afternoon alone in the director’s office doing his homework. “Don’t come out ’til you’re done” she tells him. We sneak out anyway and take a break in the tiny outdoor play yard, where Nico runs laps along the erratic fence line, leaping across the concrete spillway that divides the yard in two. It took three hours of steadily plugging away for him to finish his homework. I read to him the book he is supposed to read himself. He was in school all day and then from 3 to 6 he does homework. In second grade? Hmmm…
That is all. Plenty of room for comments, aye?