Thursday, 22 March 2012

Possible But Not Likely

Today when Buster and I were getting ready to go for our walk, we looked out and saw that it was snowing. I have been in Calgary long enough to know that I just can’t count on the weather. Well, you can count on it to surprise you. Not usually a good surprise, but a surprise just the same. Buster on the other hand seemed to be a little disappointed. It is hard to tell with him because his fur covers his eyes and he rarely smiles or frowns. He did let out a little bark, but I can’t be sure whether it was a disappointed bark or a “Let’s get this show on the road, dipshit!” kind of bark. It was probably the latter.

Our walk took us by the high school and I saw a minivan pull up and the door open. Out stepped this kid that probably had a foot on me and fifty pounds. He didn’t step out so much as he slowly oozed onto the sidewalk. He slowly shut the door and started the walk to the entrance to the school. He was a big boy, but my goodness he was a slow walker. His backpack was dragging and it looked as if he just didn’t have the energy to lift it to his shoulders.

I came up even with the car and looked in and saw this tiny woman with a scowl on her face, just staring at the boy, willing him to keep moving. In the battle of wills, she was winning.

He stopped and turned around and looked back at the car to see if she had driven off yet. No such luck. I knew this kid was hoping she had left so that he could do the same. He walked a few more feet, turned and sure enough she was still sitting in the minivan watching and willing him onwards. Five more steps and the kid turns around again. Mom is still there. He reaches the door and one final look to see if she had left, only to find she is still there. He opens the door and walks in.

The minivan signals and pulls into traffic. I kept watching for a minute or so, but the kid didn’t come out, at least he didn’t come out that door.

I was that kid at one time. I can remember dragging my self to school when it was the last place that I wanted to go to. Those were the times when I had a test that I wasn’t prepared for at all. To say that I hadn’t prepared for it would be incorrect, I had prepared for it, and I just didn’t understand the material at all. I knew that I was going to fail this test, I just wasn’t sure if it would be a common failure or one of those that the teacher takes to the break room and all of the other teachers pass it around and have a good laugh at my expense. I generally like to make people laugh, and more than likely that was the reason I didn’t understand the material at all.

I could deal with the failure; I have had my fair share of it after all. It was the anticipation of failure that made you drag your ass into the school like you were a French nobleman approaching the guillotine during the revolution. The test was like watching your head drop into the basket. The only thing worse was after the test in the hallway when your classmates went over the test and their answers. I would find that the few answers I was sure of, not only were they wrong, but were laughably wrong. Even to me.

Like I said, I could take the failure, but not the anticipation. By now, that kid is talking to his buddies and laughing about whatever it is that he laughs at and the test is just a minor speed bump on the road to the rest of his life. There will be other chances to redeem himself before the year is out, and it’s possible that he might even ace the next test.

Possible but not likely.

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