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Sunday, December 29, 2013

All the Nuts aren’t with The Pancake’s Part 2

I rarely see George for the first few weeks that I am living in his basement. He leaves the house very early in the morning just before I am getting home from the graveyard shift at Denny’s. 

My shift at Denny’s is 11pm -7am but I am required to be there an hour early.

After the end of my shift at 7am, I would stop at the house, run in, shower, grab up my books and head to my first class of the day at Sage College.

My first class three times a week, is a 3-hour English Lit class taught by a tiny little gnome like woman named Helen Staley.

Helen, who is in her mid to late 70s stands roughly at four foot nothing, wears her hair piled up on top of her head “Heidi style” and keeps her eye glasses on a chain around her neck. At her age, she wears the most stylish clothing I have ever seen.

After we take our seats Helen would enter a good five minutes late every class.  Standing at the front of the class she would spend the next 3 hours rambling on in a high-pitched voice pretty much about anything, except English Lit.

“I remember when I was in India and my husband was riding an elephant.” “One day he came across a dead body wearing a pith helmet.”

Then she would pause look at the ceiling as we collectively silently counted to ten in our heads. She would pause again, her jaw would become slack and then she would return to the present time dazed and confused.

“Did I say India?” she would screech in her high-pitched voice.

“I think it might have been Africa.” “Or was it when we ran away with the circus?” Then pausing to look at the ceiling. “Why was there a dead body at the circus?”

Helen would pause again, go far away in her head, we would silently count to ten again and then she would return, placing her glasses on the bridge of her nose as if there hadn’t been a serious lapse in time.

Helen teetered on her heel, spun to the blackboard and grabbed up a piece of chalk. “So when Samuel Taylor Colerige wrote the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” pause, remove her glasses and look lovingly towards the window. Then in a booming voice recite: 

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Here a smile would cross her face as she re-heard the poem being spoke by her in her own head. Turning to the class she gasped.

“I remember, it wasn’t India, it was Egypt where he discovered the dead body in a pith helmet!” Helen would smile broadly but briefly before a frown would flicker across her face.

“Now why would I be riding an elephant in Egypt?” she would address the class.

I am constantly nodding off in her class because I am exhausted. Every time my head would drop forward I would wake myself up. Then I would stretch my neck as if I meant to do it.

“I love dancers!” Helen would exclaim looking at me. “Always stretching.”

Quickly my part time schedule at the college started to turn into a full time schedule. I mean what with all the reading, acting classes and meeting with other students I had to do, I had little time to sleep. I race home after school, grab a couple hours of sleep and then head off to my graveyard shift. If it were slow, I would do my homework sitting at the front counter.

By the time I would leave the house at 10pm for work, George was driving home slightly bombed from The Waterworks Pub, his favorite hangout.

Today after class, I skip out on my acting class. I plan on running home early to get a couple extra hours of sleep. I throw the car into park out in front of the house, run up the walk and open the front door.

Once inside the house, six Boston terrier puppies that I have never seen before run down the hallway at me in full speed. They jump and bark at me to greet me. One of the puppies grabs my pant leg as two more grab my bag and drag it down the hall. Several of the puppies begin to bark and fight over the bag.

 A minute later Bill wearing a bathrobe steps into the hallway. He pauses, throws his hands out to his sides.

“Isn’t this the craziest thing you have ever see?” he asks as the puppies fall over each other to get to him.


To be continued……


Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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