Some days all my metaphors are expressed through exhaustion. I feel like a fallen rider hanging on to my horse’s tail, being dragged up a hill and tumbling down over the other side. Or like the girl in the red shoes (the story I listened to as a child) – who has to dance forever.
Thursday 12 November, 2009:
All day long, all day long: Tau, Tau, and more Tau. Teachers emailing me, teachers coming into the office and into my room to tell me:
“Tau’s outside again.”
“Taurangi is out with the water bottles again…”
He and Leroi, drenching anyone and everyone they encounter. I get them to Math for the last 20 minutes before interval. Somehow we perambulate our way there (and they’re both in different classes) – and they go in.
Oh, and I forgot to mention Tau’s been stoned all morning. During break he sits in my room, eyes rolling up and down and all over the place. Tired, restless, but staying put temporarily – which is kind of incredible.
After interval I take them to their next class. No luck; they’re out of there within five minutes, prancing past the office window, looking in, spotting me, and scraping at the door:
“Miss, it’s boring in class, we’re thiiirrrsty… we’re thirsty as.”
Tau tells me, “Fuck, I’m tired, I wanna sleep… and I’ve got the dry horrors.”
“Class… go to class!”
I take them back, they go in, then I see them roaming free again. They’ve got their water bottles, and are squirting people from the bridge. They see me and run off and then… come back.
“Miss, we need something to drink…”
“Miss, have you got jobs we can do?”
“Miss, can we come into the office?”
I say, “Drink some water.”
“No-oo, the water here’s all kaka, it’s all that recycled shit.”
“We need Coke… or Sprite,” says Tau, hopefully, cos he knows I’ve got drinks for the 11 Social shared lunch, this afternoon. “We could do a job for you, and you could give us a drink.”
I say, “Look, go to class – then come see me later and you can have a drink, ok?”
They attempt to go back to class, but sit out on the seats outside, saying “Honest to who, Miss it’s so boring in there, and there’s no-one to hang with.” As they talk, they’re up, down, up, down, trying to squirt anything that moves.
And I don’t think they’re gonna go back in now; I can’t see it happening – and I have got work to do. I try and concentrate, up in the office, but they keep coming past: looking in; getting stopped by teachers; running off; roaming past again and again and again.
Another flurry of emails arrives, titled:
‘Tau and Leroi’
‘Water fights in the grounds’
‘Continual behavior concerns’
And every time a teacher comes by, it’s, “Tau is out there again…”
“I know… I know,” I say, weary of all this, all the time.
Tau has had so much freedom he can hardly cope with even me pulling him in. But he does come, reluctantly.
“Where are we going?”
“You’re gonna come help me carry the books up and the drinks down, and the cups – and then you can have a drink.”
“Yeah! Shot, Miss!” they say, coming along at once.
They bring the books up to the office, and I hand them the 2.5 litre bottles of Coke and Sprite to carry. When we get to my room (it’s just lunchtime by then), I give them paper cups of coke, and moro bars. They sit, momentarily stilled for ten minutes. Then they say, “We’ll be back.”
At lunch emails fly back and forth. Leroi’s mugshot beams out of an email from Marjorie Tunbridge. There’s been an incident with Tau and Leroi, and Jamal from 11 Social. I can’t work it out exactly – but they squirted him and he threw a punch. Leroi’s gonna be sent home; Tau is still roaming free, as the bell rings, and my 11 Social class come in.