Mature But Not So student

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about someone going back to school as a mature student.... view prompt



I am back after thousands of years. Actually not really that much, but after a long period in time. That is important. I was here during the reign of the Presidents Roosevelt Theodore or Franklin. I am not sure. Let me think of it for a while. I was at my prime in those days, when President Teddy led America to greatness and I was in my classroom in those days, when President Franklin had to revive his country after the Great Depression. I was only juvenile, but I remember everything and when I forgot there are always some books to remind me and you, as well.

Some years have passed by and instead of children around, there were kids in uniforms. They were very young, innocent, not knowing what awaits them and with big words flying around the classroom from the mouth of their teachers and guides: freedom, homeland, Japs, Pearl Harbor, Arizona… Instead of notebooks, they had weapons, instead of pencils ammunition, instead of lessons survivor techniques for the jungle. In other aspects, they were as previous tenants of my classroom: drawing upon us, particularly me, or I just imagined that, taking pieces of us and doing all natural things here in the classroom, when the teacher or colonel is not aware or pretending not to see anything. Kids will always be kids, and soldiers until first gunfight will be kids in uniforms. We wished them safe journey, not nothing where the hell they are going, neither did they, in real human existence sense, although it wouldn’t be impossible for all of them to be safe, in wars, cruel fact, people, young, old, in uniforms, civilians, dressed sharply or in rugs, die.

Nevertheless my classroom soon enough looked totally different. I must say the savor was excellent, really something. There was even single lady in stockings. I would like to say near me, but she was back in the third row. The wars changed things, as men were on the frontlines, the females of the species had to produce necessary things, corns, textile (although they were doing it for decades, some things never change), plains and other stuff. As you might guess, I am only a desk in my classroom and I try to learn with kids words, I sometimes make a mistake, I am not sure if plain is an aircraft or it is written differently. With young females around it was fun since many of us got nail polish, much needed, if you want your wooden surface to stay fresh and smooth. The children and the boys tormented us, especially me, for quite a long time. Lovely aroma, the thing I was craving for.

All good things came to a halt and war was over, so our classroom once again filled with a new generation of hungry children for knowledge, for good times, few scrabbles in the notebooks and many more over our, once fine wooden surface. I was contemplating that war was good, it was awful, so much death and distraction, I, thick as wood, meant how sorry we all were when fine young ladies left our vicinity and our school for good. I know much about losing as I was part of something greater, something grand, part of magnificent, mighty and huge forest somewhere in the North during the term of President Theodor Roosevelt. Destruction came to my neighborhood as I and my relatives were cut down, transferred along the river in the sawmills and sold away. Some would say it was war against us, remarkable natural phenomenon, others would use one word – progress and closed the discussion, if there was any.

Things went slow during the 50s and got interesting in the 60s as we all, children and me, were learning new terms: space rockets, The Cold War, The Beatles, fast cars etc. Every year more diverse and dynamic youngsters came along and even teachers dressed and acted differently. Each year had 10 times more changes than the previous one. Not all changes are good, as my classroom’ desks, including myself, were declared obsolete one rainy November evening. I somehow realized because it had to be the gloomiest month of them all, so far from summer hot nights and not so close to celebrations of Christmas and New Eve. Our destiny, from now on, was very bleak. We were put in the basement, on the other side, a lonely side of a school building, where only rats and ghosts dared. Some of us, not fit for our original purpose, and any purpose if you catch my drift, were sent away, probably to the graveyard for used stuff, recycle center, where one or two molecules of once proud forest creatures would be utilized once again, the rest …hm… I don’t want to think of it. We are all here to serve masters of the universe, human civilization or what it is, in these modern times - few huge corporations. The basement was cold, dark and moist, not just during November, but all year around, the rats were worse than children, who would think there is anything worse than a small child armed with a colored pen, oil color or screwdriver. However the ghosts were gentle and elegant not disturbing the peace and quiet, except when the Moon was full or I have imagined that.

Suddenly, 20, 30 or even 50 years later, several black men turn lights on surprising the lot of us, not expecting to ever again venture from the black darkness. Not just that, they start cleaning, not just us, but the entire basement or I should better say – my classroom. Once again we are going to be put in use, no children this time, at least not as students, only sleepy and hungry babies in the arms of newest recruits – various people from all corners of the universe, I mean Earth, since this is still only planet safe for humans and others carbon based creatures including me, I think, in my original posture. I am back, together with my fellow inmates, as if I was gone, although I was down here locked up like some bad porn star or politician and I am returning now to help those poor people, who wants to name America their new homeland, to learn proper conduct here in our beautiful continent and possibly ensure nice living, if not for themselves, maybe it is too late, for their offspring’s, for sure.

August 12, 2020 00:10

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