I Don’t Know Who You Are, But I Promise I’m Not a Jerk

Sujin and Gyeongmin

And today in stretched correlations: look! A photograph with names in it.

Two high schoolers hovered outside of the staff room, angling around the door. They understood the sacredness of the threshold before them, the taboo they would shatter if they breached the barrier. Sirens, alarm, the ire of several dozen teachers who would certainly unleash the tentacles and claws housed within their carapaces and shred these kids limb from limb. Entering the teachers’ lounge without prior blessing was like summoning an Elder God. Still, worry showed across their sprightly features. I asked if they needed help with something.

“We need to talk to Mrs. Santos,” they murmured. One bit at his nails. “We think she’s in there, but we don’t want to disturb her.” They clearly wanted to disturb her, but were terrified of what might befall them if they tried. They seemed to think I might be sizing them up for ritualistic blood sacrifice for even getting this close to the door. (It had crossed my mind.)

“Okay,” I muttered, scrolling through my internal rolodex. There were hundreds of teachers at the school, dozens of which I had never seen before, as they worked in the far reaches, the terrifying hellscape that formed the high school. They may as well have worked in Mongolia. I came up blank. “Do you know her first name?”

The first name didn’t ring any bells either. Still I wandered into the staffroom prepared to be helpful, but utterly unable to help in any way.

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The Airport V-Card and the Supreme Gravity

Absolutely nothing terrifying or important is going to happen.

A woman beside me nervously looked around the line. We were boarding for Guanajuato, and she checked her ticket again and again. She asked the passengers ahead of us for their boarding group, and then turned to me and asked the same question in English.

We were both in group 3. “But I don’t think they’ve called group three yet.” Her fists clenched and she let out an anxious grimace. She seemed sure that when we approached the boarding agent, our disharmony in the line would cause a major malfunction in airport progress. We would be castigated, double-checked by the TSA, thrown out of George Bush International, or sent directly to Guantanamo for any possible deviation from accepted airport etiquette. Every few seconds she looked around, as though plainclothes feds were milling about in the crowd, just waiting for unwily travellers to step on the wrong side of the queue.

I assured her that we would be all right. This was her first time flying.

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