It was 1998 and the air was thick with the scent of crayons, posters, and children, and the suchlike. I sat in primary school Science class as an eight year old, full of intellectual promise, and also the shabby hamburger which I had consumed at lunchtime. The walls of the classroom were thick with green paint; an indescribable green, neither lime nor mossy- a kind of dull interim between its otherwise bawdy neighbours who flopped about in the grass outside, and coated the inside of children’s noses. I sat at my desk flicking my pencil between my fingers. Richard had been asked to draw a heart on the chalkboard and had instead drawn a big love heart, and everyone was laughing. His knees trembled abit and his face blew up with gloriously shameful embarrassment. It had been a good day so far.
During the raucous my pencil accidentally slid from my fingers- mid flick, it had launched itself into the air and had landed at an impressive distance on the windowsill at the other side of the room. At once I felt conflicted. As was custom, I would usually raise my hand and ask if I could move, but this was a difficult situation… the teacher was too busy trying to prevent Richard from weeing all over the floor, and the pencil I’d launched at the window, I’d got at the zoo. It was precious. The topper was neither a giraffe nor a lion, but instead some kind of confusing combination of the two; like if you’d shoved them in a washing machine together and turned the dial up to 1200 spins. Plus, Ursula had always wanted my pencil and she was sat far too close to it. If I didn’t get their first, it would be lost forever.
Ursula could suck my dick. I’d made my decision.
Creeping very quietly around the back of the classroom, I steadily made my way between cupboards and tables. Richard was still at the front of the class, weeping slightly, and I was very grateful. His anguish was keeping the classroom distracted and this memory would provide material for later in my life, for if I ever decided to set up a blog, and share his tragic, and hilarious, story.
Suddenly I was at the windowsill and I could see my pencil. It had landed in one of the containers we’d placed on the windowsill for the school’s conservation project. We were watching tadpoles grow and would release them into the school pond in a few week’s time… it was all very exciting. But then as I pulled my pencil from the murky depths of container #4, this excitement turned into pure nausea. I had managed, with all my unconscious athletic pencil-flicking ability, to stab a tadpole in its face. Mouth slightly open I gazed out of the window and stood, contemplating the deeper ironies of life, with a dead tadpole on the end of my pencil. The tree outside wafted very slightly in the wind, and I took this as some sort of sign from nature that I was alright to scrape my pencil on the side of the container and let the tadpole remains float on the top. I needed to make sure however that I had not been seen; I did a little dance and did not turn a single head. I breathed a sigh of relief as I cleared my pencil of tadpole carcass and sauntered quietly back to my desk.
Years later I wonder how I ever made it back to my chair without being seen. Until that moment, the thing that distinguished me from the rest of the children in the classroom was that, amongst other things, I hadn’t killed anything. Perhaps I was just too good, perhaps the idea of me preceded me, and all anyone could ever see was a little girl sat at her desk, flicking her pen and innocently mocking one of her classmates. Then perhaps I didn’t move from my desk at all, perhaps this recollection of memory was entirely a dream? Of course this is all entirely probable. The tadpole ghost which follows me around everywhere tends to disagree, however.