Oh, teacher friends, and I have so many, can I ask you something? Granted, yes, every year we have two or three or four if we are lucky, students who make us realize that we care so hard and so immediately, and so thoroughly, or maybe it is slightly less than that but still we do it, the caring, because we are what we do and we do it so thoroughly.
But, am I the only one who has had a student that almost makes you almost stop caring? Not actually stop caring, but someone who is enough to make you tell yourself that you’ve stopped caring, as though convincing yourself of your antipathy would make it so? Have you ever carried on the narrative of uncaring up into your brain? And if so, did it work? I have given so much of my time and heart to a former student lately, and today he told me to “fuck off” and also that he would “never talk to me ever again”, and to be trueblue honest, I felt relief. I got involved with this student by typing an innocent message that read, “hey, maybe you should try NA…” and he went on to manipulate me by telling me that if he killed himself it would be my fault, and that all his pill taking was my fault, and it just descended into crazytown. I guess I am guilty for letting that communication go on for too long, but, hey, I’m guilty of caring too hard. Sue me.
Today, though, as I was getting cursed out via text message, I felt like giving up my heart, like throwing my hands in the air and saying, “I’m done”. What that is though, is delusion. It never stops hurting, the ones we can’t save, and I’ll never be done caring. That sucks. It’s okay, though, because I have so much backup in the form of truly beautiful, insightful, caring nearly-adults, I have love twelve times over, and if every five years I have one that causes despair, I have twenty who inspire me and urge me to action. Love them. Love you, if you are reading.
Here are some of the words that come spurting out without though, just gurgling up to the lips and pouring out, words of your own, you, screeching at your teacher for help, here’s what she can give, not salvation, but hearing, accept that, child. Now, right now, you are the faithless running high, dressed in flowers and darkness, young and old at once and drunken and pill-struck. This clear distance here will wait in sadness, and challenging gray and duller shades of challenging and accusatory unhappiness. Suddenly, quite suddenly, my syntax will grow quiet, and this deadweight of your addiction will disappear, suddenly and with great uplift. I AM NO MILLSTONE, spectral and deaf, I am no unending quantity of care, nor am I heartless, just the most squishy-hearted of the helpers in the ever. Sometimes what I have to say gets gurgled up in my care.
Yeah. So it does. Happy &&&#&@&# Monday, my friends of poems.