Steady does it. The kids are watching with these really specific looks on their faces. Half of them are clearly praying and hoping that this jigsaw demonstration is going to conclude quickly and successfully without an incident of any kind. These kids will likely grow up to be mothers, fathers, dependable friends and co-workers. They’ll water your plants when you’re out of town without complaining and do the dirty dishes you left in the sink, even the one with crusted on catfood. Then there are the kids who are watching with a mix of suppressed excitement and cautious optimism. They’re hoping that everything turns out fine, for my sake, but a small section of their being also wants to be able to tell their friends that they were there when Mr. Shanks cut his hand off in period 3. It will lend them status, a certain cache amongst the others. They will grow up to recreationally rock climb, sky dive and scuba dive, but they’ll also make sensible household budgets, cook a majority of their meals at home and pay their taxes (mostly) accurately and on time. You would trust them to watch your child after school if you were stuck in rush hour traffic and missed the end of daycare pick up. Then there are the kids who are making no effort to pretend that they want any outcome other than absolute and total destruction of my person. They’re leaning forward, mouths hanging open, eyes slightly glazed as their pulses rises and pupils dilate, massive surges of adrenaline coursing through them as they wait for what they consider to be the inevitable: either me somehow falling onto the saw and cutting my chest open or the wood spinning off and killing a student, or a number of other outcomes I’m sure I can’t even fathom. These children will grow up to be race car drivers, fathers of 7 children by different mothers, film directors, investment bankers, neurosurgeons, amusement park workers, loan sharks, drug users, people users extraordinaire. They’re the ones who signed up in droves after the finger accident, who couldn’t have cared less about learning a trade until blood was spilled and someone was irrevocably damaged. I should be offended on behalf of my lost finger, but it’s their rabid hope for my destruction that’s helping to steady my hand, convince myself that it was just one time and keep the saw sliding smoothly through the wood, and just the wood, until the demo is done.
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- The Huntington Ladies’ Book Club – February Meeting
- Pickle the Cheetah
- Karen the Personal Trainer
- Morton the Worm at the Usury Office
- My 5 Favorite Musicals and Why, By Carla Cioca:
- Mumu the Irrelevant Mime
- Tiny Tim – Post Revisted
- Ten Prior Moments that led Jenna to this Point:
- The O. Henry Affair
- Ben’s Night Out