They say that as you lie on your deathbed, your stale breaths filling the room, a cloaked figure will appear in your room.
The grim reaper, they call him.
(more) I had never considered myself superstitious until it became apparent that I’d be receiving a visit from him. Cancer had become the monster under my bed, the closet that caged my feeble skeleton. Puppet wires string my limbs together, dangling them at the edge precariously. I was nothing but shell, a glass marionette commanded by phantoms.
The room was a sterilized white, dulled only by my waxy skin, pale from months inside. I stare longingly at the tightly shut window. I hadn’t breathed the fresh morning air in so long I could barely remember the way it smelt. I took in a breath subconsciously, freezing as I felt ice spreading through my lungs.
Fear flooded my body as my lungs struggled, my chest aching. I felt the fight drain forcibly from me, the sheets previously clutched in tight fights released in a wrinkled heap. Shadows seeped into the corners of the room, darkening the pristine walls. I squeezed my eyes shut, feeling a cold hand brush against my cheek,
“Open your eyes.”
Deep, gravelly, the voice sounded cold and detached, causing trembles through my body. But it was commanding, overwhelmingly so, and my eyes cracked open.
A silhouette stood right by my bed, draped in coarse, black fabric. My heart pounded in my ears in a miscellany of fear and disbelief.
“I am here to make a deal.”
“Your soul, I want it. And I’m willing to let you live, illness-free, in order to get it. Do we have a deal?”
I stare up at the shadow beneath his obsidian hood, and took a deep breath.
Hoods down, hoods down, drive with your hood down, don't walk down the hallways with your hood up, don't wear a hoodie at all don't become another black kid was it a wallet was it a gun was it a candy bar bar another kind of bars not stripes,(more) not WWII, but we're in brooklyn, and its that kind of school, so it could happen. the path you start today will follow you for the rest of your life. what happens when someone else started that path for you, when the first choices you made weren't yours at all, but a reaction to circumstances.
still, i believe and i teach that each individual has choices to make, and that acting right in school is the first step. there's a family shelter down the block. i don't know which students are homeless, which students have gang ties already, i just know that in my room, there is order, structure, kindness. and the kids need it.
i say it again and again "i care about you" because kids are concrete thinkers, and they may think that the things that i do in class are because i don't like them, because i have a personal problem with one of them. the truth is simpler when it is spoken, when i am at their level and when my voice is even, controlled.
my job is to be stable, constant, unaffected by the moods and tones of the budding teenagers in the room. i will let them know what i notice. i will let them know what is or is not acceptable, but i will try my hardest not to react to them. that is how they will know that i care. the boundaries are firm, but communicated with kindness. the hoodies are down. (less)
He was over six feet tall not an ounce of fat. He stood tall
and spoke to the crowd about keeping the neighborhood safe.
He spoke about his father who had pulled himself up by his boot straps . How he had made sure his family was protected
against people(more) that were not supposed to be there .He urged the crowd to do the same, even if it meant using force. After all he said force is the only thing they understood. The crowd roared as the hooded man lit the wooden cross.(less)