Went to Dave and Buster’s tonight. Saw three of my old students. Was already buzzed on a complex pink rum drink so of course, was psyched at first. Said hey, introduced Kevin, asked how they were. Cortez, Adrian, Taniqua: I remember where you sat, the way you cocked your head to say are-you-serious?, the bubbly curves of your handwriting, the way your homework looked like it’d been through the washing machine, how you passed around hand lotion every ten minutes, how you kept a comb in your hair all the time, how your uniform shirt was always inside-out, how you never had a pencil. None of you ever had a pencil.
On the el ride home, panic set in — I hadn’t done enough, I couldn’t remember their names at first, I was supposed to have a lesson ready for tomorrow. Back at home, writing this down, I am trying to re-grasp reality, that they are not my job anymore, even though they said the school is worse. Walk away, Ms. Muscato, walk away.