Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do You Know This Man?........by Joyce Oroz

Does anyone know who wrote this snippet of life after 40? Please give me your best guess.     

I turned sixty-nine-years-old today. I’m waiting in my car at Monterey Bay Junior College to take the CBEST test which starts at 9 am. The test should take four hours. Sitting in my car at eight-thirty looking at young students/prospective teachers walking to the test location. I feel slightly foolish sitting here, retired with grey beard, taking a test so I can teach at a Community Adult School. Need to have my head examined—how can I pass a test when I haven’t taken one in over thirty-five years and I’m getting senile. It’s hard to remember my daughter’s names so I call them one, two, three and four in order of birth. Well, at least I can remember numbers. It’s time for the test.

      It’s cold walking to the test site. There must be hundreds of students out here. I saw several old geezers, but none as old as I. More waiting. The tan colored desk/chair combo is too small for my large stomach which is bulging slightly over the desk. Unfortunately, I’m in the front row. We were assigned seats by number and all these slim young people must be enjoying my stationary position: I can’t turn my body; it’s hard to breath with the desk cutting into my belly; and I feel out of place and old. The tall girl next to me turned her entire body in the chair, probably to make me feel bad.
      Christ, if we wait any longer, I’m going to have to go pee again—it’s hell being an old veteran with an enlarged prostate in a classroom with teenyboppers. Papers were distributed for completion. I was bored and anxious so I did it wrong. The instructions were to complete some lines, then pull the stick-um paper apart and paste to another form. I stuck the paper to the wrong form, then tore it trying to unstick it. It was humiliating! I felt like I did when I was ten-years-old in class and peed in my pants because the teacher said we couldn't go to the bathroom until we finished our paper.
      Finally, we took the three-part test and when I finished, I went home to sulk and berate myself for trying to compete with young people.
      Five weeks later I got my score. I passed all three sections. I guess I hadn’t lost all my brain cells due to age and my misspent youth drinking alcohol and wenching in the service. Oh well, we must serve bravely when called.

 Maybe Gina knows his name......

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