The Bartlett School – Part 3 of 3 – 1/29/2019


As he started to mount the 32 steps to that intimidating front door, he began thinking about his first days. AH! Now it’s “first” days, he shook his head. Those doors, those steps, loomed ahead of him like the Cliffs of Dover. His feet suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. If God had given him wings, he’d still feel the weight of that moment. Any other thoughts on this? He chuckled. It’s a door! Actually, two doors. Both as heavy as… a door. Damn heavy if truth be told! He’d climbed those steps and opened those doors for 20 years!  He sighed.

Youth had scared him into submission and now fear was creeping into his thoughts. OK! Jump back buddy! What’s the deal? He muttered. There are first days and there’s last days. If I were me, I tell me to get real, no big deal! Damn steps, he mumbled, as he mounted the cliff.

Once inside reality started to bite. OK! He thought let’s do her!

He didn’t know what he expected to change just walking through the doors. Geezz this place looks bigger today. Fine looking place. “Hey Sir!” cried a little freckled faced kid. Hay’s for horses kiddo!, I quipped as he scurried off. Gonna be a fine young man, one day, far off! He surmised. Could have been one of George’s brood, got the freckles to prove it.  “There’s my handsome man.” Joan fleetingly, said as she scrambled away.  Well! Should be more “Last” days like this! He admitted as he felt an embarrassing blush come over him. Specializing in Art History has given her a distinct appreciation of the perfect human physique! He pumped. Now! Now! He quietly mumbled. Trouble’s my name! But it ain’t my game!

“My Man! There you are!” came a command from my rear. Mind your flank! Was my immediate thought. Who goes there?“Yes Jerry, I’m standing close enough did you have to scream?” He protested. Almost jumped out of my bejesus jeans! “Most apologetically sorry” he quietly sniffled. Now who’s feeling like a worm looking for a hole. “No problem! “ he said as he sheepishly smiled. “What’s up Jer?” “Thought you might like a good cuppa, he grinned.” Now there’s an idea! Lead on!

As we approached the “Coffee” room aka the sloughing off place, it appeared to me that everyone must have been in class.

Not the usual “lounging around” feel, he chuckled. Ah well! Reasonable coffee, apple fritters! And empty couches. Perfect!

Aren’t you having one Jer, he offered. “Oh! Um no! Gotta run, you know how it is! Work! Work! Work!” he grinned, as he rushed out the door.  Fine, just fine, he mumbled as he made himself a cup, grabbed a fritter and sunk into a comfy chair.

 Nothing like the sweet sound of silence, he mused.

The thought occurred to him that no one ever called him by name. It was SIR! Hey Mr.! or HEY YOU! Or anything but “Hi George, lovely day.” George, he thought, was a simple and common name. In fact, it meant farmer in Greek. Common like Joe or Hank or Tim or whatever! Grandma called me Gigg, because she loved Babe Ruth so much. I did get Georgy of course, in grade school. Hated it! GEORGIE PORGIE PUDDIN AND PIE……. Well “Did not! I’d cry!” and run home. I guess that’s why they never stopped. Kid’s can be so cruel, he sighed.

I think I need another cup and maybe half a fritter, maybe.

“Hello George! What the aces are you sitting around here for all your lonesome?” Damn, he thought, it’s Carl. Just my luck! All decked out in his black, immaculately, pressed, suit. Bow tie, just a tad crooked. He had a dying urge to straighten it.  Not now George, Not Now! He held back, picking up the first piece of reading material he could find. Sadly, it was Lady’s Home Journal. “Something interesting in there?” prattled Carl.  “News about the latest hemlines got you curious?”. Um Yah, I said quickly, making it look serious. Luckily Carl sort of turned his head away, glanced upwards to The Almighty and walked away. Oh Man! He’ll be on to old lady Craig sooner than a bee to honey. Fine day, he thought. Somebody called me by name.

©J.E.Goldie 1/29/2019







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Jen Goldie

"Life is made up of small comings and goings and for everything we take with us, we leave a part of ourselves behind" - Summer of 42

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