Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Out of class and into the hall
Pat sat in the lecture hall staring at the off-white, or diseased white, ceiling tiles. The professor, yacking at the class, sallowed in the sickly glow of the florescent lighting. Class was seconds from over and the professor’s pant legs flopped everywhere unnaturally. If the professor had any sense or knowledge he would have had them tapered to 15”. Or at least 16”. 15” perhaps was a tad aggressive for a man of his girth. The man’s imperfection irritated Pat and Pat had the desire to never do a single problem that the professor assigned out of the textbook. Grades did not matter if your social knowledge was better than everyone else’s. Class dismissed and everyone filed out of the lecture hall except for Pat. The professor collected his things and scurried out the door to indulge in his fascination with tying fishing flies. Pat sat alone, lost in his ruminations of tapered legs, as he had the class after this in the same room.
Students slipped into the classroom, unaware that others were there, and began taking out their books. Comfortable in his chair, Pat slouched back and observed his sartorial superiority to the other boys in the class. In their defense, they didn’t have the knack; the know. The professor of this class was in the know. Tailored sportcoats and trousers abounded in his wardrobe. The man walked as though he had never known a tie from Sears. The professor strolled to the front of the class and set down his old leather briefcase, full of papers, which happened to be full of knowledge and full of nobility. Today, the professor had a button missing from the collar of his button down. Normally, this would be non-chalant, as if by accident. Y’know, natural. But something was wrong, something felt off with what the professor was wearing today. Acid rose in Pat’s throat. The lost button wasn’t natural at all. The whole thing was a sham. It was a huge horrible lie and Pat had fallen for it. He got up quickly and moved quickly towards the door of the lecture hall, using the desks to balance himself. Students looked surprised, as Pat usually carried himself without a care. With both hands, Pat pushed out of the door without the professor even noticing. He stumbled to the grey oversized trashcan in the hallway and retched over it. The coffee and Doritos he had eaten for breakfast came from his throat, around his teeth, and out his mouth. Pat heaved twice to get the remnants from sticking to his tongue and then breathed heavily as sweat collected on his brow. He heaved again trying to vomit out his own elitism but the beer he had drank before he went to bed was the only thing to come out. Perhaps the second professor was not natural at all. Maybe it was the first professor, with the wide pant legs and fly fishing fetish, that was the true natural person. Pat probably wouldn’t ever be able to find out. He still had the sickness, deep inside his gut.