Dear boys – my dear, dear boys,
I’m not sure how to begin this letter. I still feel that there’s so much I don’t know about you. For starters, I don’t really even know what your faces look like. For the first eight or so weeks of class, I had two of you mixed up. In my defense, those two of you are both of medium height, medium build, and have medium brown hair. More than that, though, it’s the fucking hats. They cover at least 60% of your face when you wear them like that, you know?
I’m sure you do know, actually. I’m sure that’s why you wear them that way. You don’t want to be here and the pain and torture of having to even look in the general direction of me or your fellow students is too much to bear. And eye contact — the thought of that must send shudders to the deepest places in your souls, if in fact you have souls.
It would normally be enough to make me feel deeply sad. You’re all (well, most of you) clever boys and you could do really interesting things in this class. You’re perceptive and witty — I notice all this, see, when I hear you talking about your weekend plans, your moms, or any number of other off-topic things.
But you seem not to care what you could accomplish here, with my help and your own commitment to the class, so you shield yourselves with the hats, carefully coordinating the camouflage prints on them with those on your hunting jackets and the mud on your boots, and, in a move that belies your countrified senses of fashion, you pull out your cell phones subtly (not subtly enough) under the desk and txt away furiously during class.
You know you’re not supposed to — hence, I’m sure, the covert behavior and sneaky, slump-shouldered posture — so why look so shocked and appalled when I ask you to put the phone away? Why — when at this moment you finally deign to look toward the front of the room — fix me with such a murderous glare?
Like I said, we really don’t know each other that well, so I have to ask. I only know the few facts I have managed to gather via my awesome powers of detection (and the fact that I once overheard a relatively lengthy portion of the conversation one of you had with your mother when she called during our workshop and you actually answered the phone and proceeded to speak to her during class, during fucking class). Are you a bunch of violent criminals, embittered by your years spent “on the inside” who view your liberal arts classes as a further extension of the long arm of The Man? Is it just that your parents forcing you to go to college, threatening you with taking away your huge trucks?
I’d just like to know, see, so that next time one of you sends those daggers of ill will out of your otherwise hidden eyes, I will know whether to run and hide or just nail you to the wall with my words. Because I am done trying.
Love and kisses,
The Name’s Not Ms.