Sneak peak

Here is a sneak peak at a book I have been working on:

I imagine that at some point in the future I will forget all about her. I doubt it though.  Until that point I will be stuck day-dreaming about touching her hands. Her hands were small but plump.  Her hands and feet were the only items that were plump on her.  When she smiled I would drown in her happiness.  I would lose myself in a sensationalized version of our lives together. In my mind we were Bonnie and Clyde. I wanted her to love me. I wanted to feel like her smile was designed specifically for me.  I doubt it though.

My day normally begins at 0645; I am stating military time because I find it more convenient than writing out PM or AM. In my opinion both AM and PM usage should be disregarded.  My alarm carries a soothing but firm tone, one in which I feel welcomes me to a new day without any kind of judgment.  What I mean by that is that my alarm clock signifies the life that I want to live not the life I currently live.

My first name is Bert. It is not short for Robert or Roberto. I was literally named Bert. I hate it.  Bert is not a name for a distinguished gentleman. No one ever introduces the Duke of Earl and then says “oh, yes that is Duke Bert.”

While my first name represents a Greek tragedy my last name leaves just as much to be desired.  My last name is Henson. Yes, my name is Bert Henson. You might be saying to yourself “how is the name Bert Henson such a bad name?” While initially the name seems reasonable the character of Bert on Sesame Street was created by Frank Oz and Jim Henson. When people marry those two ideals they come up with an amazing assortment of jokes. It is not that I mind jokes. What really bothers me is repetition.

I have been introduced to people at parties in the following way “this is Bert, like the guy on Sesame Street.” Do you know how upsetting it can be to be associated with children’s programming your entire life? It unpleasant to say the least.

Despite my name I still moved forward in my life and attended a middling University right after High School. My college of choice was Washington State University; a University that is known for its partying. I was never invited to those parties.  I spent four years in a dorm room. One year with Calvin, who pealed skin off of his feet and then would eat the skin. That was interesting.  Two years with Joshua, who chained smoked and had an extremely respectable arsenal of male sexual partners that visited seemingly every day. In my senior year I had a split living situation for half of the year I lived with my girlfriend named April who was extremely attractive and subsequently left me for Joshua who miraculously turned bi-sexual for her. The second half of my senior year I lived with a friend named Shawn. Shawn was a sixth year senior who on the day of graduation had received three completely different Bachelor’s degrees.  Shawn went to medical school after undergraduate. He now performs rhinoplasty on celebrities and enjoys karate. You might have seen him on tv.

After I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English I was not sure what to do with myself.  I attempted to speak to my Father about it but he was a third shift Boeing worker who had not slept regularly in six years. Needless to say he was a walking zombie. His eyes were always blood shot and he seemed to always have a complete disconnection from people he spoke with. During one summer I asked him how he was and he answered “green.”

I finally realized that people who graduate college with a degree in English are either going to be extremely well-written while filling out their unemployment application or need to achieve a Master’s degree. I took the GRE and applied to University of Washington in Seattle.  My parents wanted me to be closer to them and since my family home is located in Auburn it seemed like a logical choice. For the next two years of my life I lived in a studio apartment in Seattle. My studio apartment nearly cost as much as the full amount of financial aid I was receiving. Subsequently I had to work a part-time job for the campus as an academic advisor. It was a struggle but after two years I owed the government nearly one-hundred thousand dollars but had a piece of paper that stated Master’s degree.

While I was in graduate school I met a young lady named Sandy who broke my heart in two. I wore a lot of black after we broke up. I also wrote a ton of poetry that seemed as though a young thirteen year old girl wrote it.

After graduate school I applied to the school board and ended out teaching 8th grade English in a Junior High School in Federal Way. On my teacher’s salary, if I lived at the poverty level, I should be able to pay off my college loans in twenty-six and a half years.  That is if I stay single and decide to never have children. I have never been truly happy.

***

Teaching 8th grade English is a lot like being a zoo keeper. I corral the herd to sit at their seats while I take attendance. I put some vocabulary words on the board and I give them a test every Friday.  More specifically, on Monday we discuss twenty words. On Tuesday we take a quiz on the words. On Wednesday we have a word find/ puzzle with the words. On Thursday we write short stories with the words and on Friday we test. I have now been performing these same tasks for five years. Meanwhile, I find myself chipping away literally dollars at a time at my student loans. I still feel as though I am suffocating under a mountain of debt. I once had a dream about the debt chasing me as I was running after an attractive woman. I am sure that the dream was a direct reflection of my life. I am chasing some kind of happiness but I can’t find it without being out from under the debt of my past.

I take special interest in some students; that is if the student shows talent in writing or is some kind of sports hero for the school.  It is not exactly special interest it is more of an actual conversation. I am sure, in a way, I am turning into my father which is extremely disappointing. On the surface I should be pleased with what life has dealt me. On the surface I should be happy with the new girl that I met online but I carry a dark cloud with me.

The dark cloud usually rears its head when I think that happiness might be around the corner. How does the dark cloud manifest itself? I will give you an example, I found twenty dollars in my dress pants one day, I was extremely happy about having what I considered a free twenty in my life. Three hours later my cat died. I had that cat for ten years. I loved that cat.

“Mr. Henson?” April Smelling asked while attempting to hand me a piece of paper.

“Yes, April?”

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