What is up with all the Xanga defectors lately? First CapnSmirky walks out, and now Raywrites has abandoned us. Was it something we said? Too much fussing and fighting? I don’t know.
Today I thought I would tell you about someone I used to know.
My first year teaching, I had a small class of high school students, all of whom had severe mental retardation. Danny was a red-haired senior with Down Syndrome. He was a man of few words, preferring action. Specifically, Danny liked to move furniture.
I don’t mean he stole furniture, exactly. It’s not like he was stashing it in a warehouse to fence later on. He just liked to, um, relocate it.
For example: one day the audiologist who worked down the hall rang my classroom phone.
“My couch is missing,” he said.
“Yes. It’s not here.”
I hung up the phone. “DANNY! Did you take Jerry’s couch?”
“Yeah.” Danny readily admitted that he had.
“Well where is it?”
With a ferocious scowl, Danny led me to a little-used storage closet. Inside was the missing couch, standing on end.
“You take that back to the audiology lab RIGHT NOW.”
Still scowling, he complied. Perhaps he thought the couch was tacky and dated, and looked better in the closet.
I was not surprised later in the school year when my phone rang again.
“Jodi,” another teacher said, “is Danny supposed to be dragging a bed down the hall?”
I hung up and stomped out of the room. Danny was supposed to be in the recycling room, crushing soda cans, but no. He was laboriously hauling the cot from the nurse’s office to god knows where.
I had a stopwatch, given to me by my grandfather. It was a beautiful device, the old fashioned kind, with a dial and a glass face. Nothing like the ugly plastic digital gizmos they make now. I left it on my desk, and it went missing.
“Danny, did you take my stopwatch?”
“Yeah,” he admitted.
“Where is it?”
But no amount of asking, demanding, or cajoling caused Danny to produce the watch. I never saw it again. In fact, I don’t think Danny took it. It was too small for him to bother moving. He was just accustomed to confessing to whatever crime he was being accused of.
Danny graduated that year, and I never saw him again either. I don’t have a profound point to make. Just an introduction to someone I knew a long time ago.