Shackles

Sunday 30 March, 2014:

I’ve been thinking about Tau a lot (especially since I’m getting my strategies sorted for absenting myself from school on his behalf) and every now and then I wonder about those two people who are really helping him: Sheree’s social worker (Vailea Poe) and the counsellor.

I met Vailea one time, briefly – it was round at Rutherford Ave. Sheree introduced me as “Tau’s teacher,” well how else could she put it, I guess, to someone who didn’t know the whole story.

But I haven’t been Tau’s teacher for a long time. His last year at school was almost five years ago now. And yet… I understand how it’d be hard to explain.

We spoke inconsequentially for a few moments. And the whole time – not that that it was anyone’s fault – I felt like the unwilling representative of my profession, race and gender. Afterwards, I wondered what Vailea thought of me, if indeed he thought anything at all. Did he just see a do-gooder; a nice, well-meaning, mild woman teacher. Because that’s what I imagined him to see.

 

Then I think about Maxwell Rosdolsky, the counsellor (Tau’s started just calling him ‘Max’ now). Not that I’ve ever met the guy – but Tau says he’s mentioned me; told him I’ve been helping him out with Winz stuff.

And so I also wonder what impression Max Rosdolsky might have of me, even in passing. Probably much the same thing: a ‘nice’ teacher helping Tau out with his paperwork. Max even said to Tau that if things didn’t get sorted quickly on that front, to let him know. Well course he did – because if I was on the outside looking in, I’d have reservations about the capacity of someone like me as well.

Just a minor player, I’d think. A person who doesn’t even begin to comprehend the reality of the situation.

At the same time, all this pointless speculation irritates me; it just makes me think of myself as meek, quiet and feeble, like a bleaty and imploring sheep: “Baaaaa… what about me? Baaaaa, me too, me too.”

 

If those two know one another (which I’m betting they probably do, seeing as Poe hooked Tau up with Rosdolsky), they’d also know – right off the bat – that they’re both in the loop.

Which obviously, I’m not. But  I, I, I  want to be seen – and for certain things to be understood. And I don’t know how that works, or I don’t know yet.

And I guess there’s only one thing to do about it, which is just to keep trying patiently to remove the shackles which appear to tie me to a particular set of representations and expectations.

 

Later, I think of it all over again. Because after the gym, I go to the ATM machine to get some cash out. I walk around the corner to the Warehouse, and there’s a table with three girls, around 14 or 15 years old, selling girl guide cookies.

I don’t want to buy cookies, so I just go past to the money machine, and then, on my way back, one of the girls says to me, in a polite way: “Hello.” Just trying to draw some potential customers, no big deal.

And I glance at her, and I don’t know why but I feel so awkward. I say, “No thanks,” and then, I kind of mumble “Thanks…” and keep on walking. As I take a couple steps more, I almost trip over some shit on the ground, and I regain my footing and mutter, “Fuck,” to myself. My cheeks burn, because I hear them giggling. It’s no big deal, I know. They’re just three little girls selling cookies, probably a bit bored, having a laugh – and yet I feel so shamed. I actually feel like crying, all the way back to the car.

Right now, I think everyone else is a million times more likely. And I? Sometimes I think I don’t know shit.

 

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