My son graduated from primary school, but I didn’t cry. I couldn’t cry because I was dehydrated. The ceremony was held in
an oven the gymnasium. It was 100 degrees inside that gym. The more I thought about how hot it was the more I perspired. I looked like I had just run a marathon, but was actually sitting ‘criss cross apple sauce’ on the gymnasium floor. (We’ve been over this. It has been decided by the decision makers that it is offensive to sit ‘Indian Style’) In my head, everyone was pointing and laughing at the sweaty pig in the front row. “Hurry up! Just call his f**cking name, just call his f**cking name,” I cursed the teacher under my breath. If she would just give my son the damn certificate I could step outside and get some air. I was suffocating and the woman next to me with a Tweety Bird tattoo apparently bathed in urine and smoked a pack of cigarettes moments before arriving. What makes one decide to have a bird who can’t say the letter “S” drawn in permanent ink on his/her body? Tweety Bird made such a difference in your life that you want it on your calf forever? You couldn’t come up with anything else?
I don’t have many good memories in this school’s gym. I was humiliated here on a regular basis in elementary school. I couldn’t do a summersault. I got my ass kicked in dodge ball and I only made it up a few notches on the rope. In the 1980’s getting hit in the face with a ball and climbing to your death was considered exercise. Did that paper thin mat ever break anyone’s fall?
I also saw a testicle for the first time in that school gym. The gym teacher was going commando and wearing a pair of extremely short shorts. He crossed his legs and his wrinkled sack popped out. I thought it was gross. I was wise beyond my years. Maybe his testicle needed some air, too.