I have to go to the bathroom.  I wish the bell would ring.

It finally does.

I really don’t have to go, but I know I’d better try because I’ve only got one shot to go during the day…my mother always made me try “just in case.”

That and teaching made me paranoid.

Most people can’t imagine a life with no bathroom–only teachers, factory workers, and special forces.

The bell has rung but students don’t leave.  Apparently, I’ve taught a good class–they stay discussing the lesson.

This is the holy grail of teaching–the lesson kids take with them and don’t want to stop discussing.

Not today.  Today, there has to be an end.

I want to go to the bathroom.

Then, I want to eat lunch.

Lunch is fifteen minutes.  Ten if I get to the bathroom, a few less because half the class lingers.

I’ve learned to pick up my keys and head toward the door–body language is everything.  I always say I want to talk more about this tomorrow, because I really do.

Just now, I want to pee and eat.

A few kids walk in to say hi.  Another holy grail moment.  Kids passing by to show me their math assignment.  They are proud and working hard.

“I’ll talk to you in a bit, have to go to the bathroom.”

No one argues with that.  They let me go.

I go to the bathroom. I wait in line. Only one stall is working today, and I never cut the line.

I rush back.  I have to eat.  I have minutes left.  I come back and pick up my fork.  More kids pass by.  That means I have to get up a few times to answer the door.

I sit down.  The phone rings.  I answer.  Wrong number.  Sit down. Pick up fork.  Rings again.  A call that should’ve been an email.  Hang up.  Sit down. Try to eat.

I correct two papers and shove down a bite of lunch.  I’ve microwaved food while in the bathroom, hoping I didn’t overdo it on the time.  Sometimes I come back and it’s cold, other times, I’ve exploded it all over the nuker.

Today, it’s just right.

I eat two bites.

The bell rings.

They are knocking at the door before the sound stops.

“Why do you always have weird food on your desk,” some kid asks.

“Ewww, that smells,”  says another.

The food sits, cold, unfinished.

But at least I got to pee.


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