I had a teacher once-
Actually, I had him for four years straight-
Who wasn’t quite like the others.
I hated testing with him.
He insisted it had to be individual,
So he could really know everything he had to know about us.
It’s only a few times every couple months
But still, it’s a nightmare no one is ready to endure
He’d take you into a teeny, tiny room
Lock the door. Lock the windows.
Pull all the shades down.
It’s very important you be alone, in a cocoon of privacy.
And you have to make music for him;
You never know what he’ll ask for
But once he asks you always have to do it,
Exactly how he likes it.
Even if how he likes it really isn’t right.
He calls you “darling”, “honey”, “dear”
But you know he doesn’t love you like he pretends to
Because it gives you chills, and not in a good way,
When he strokes your back or touches your shoulder or arm
He always has to be making eye contact with your chest
But that isn’t why none of the boys ever have to test.
All the girls get it though, have to wait in line for it
He stretches the process out so it takes weeks to burn through all the girls
I think he likes that none of them have a way of escaping;
I didn’t escape until right before I reached high school.
But I still call myself one of the luckier ones
Because most of his girls still haven’t escaped testing.
The tests will be extra long today. “We’re halfway to goodbye”, he’ll say.
“A lot to do today,” he’ll tell them. “You can’t escape this, line on up.”
He controls what you wear and how you stand,
He guides your arms, so they only go where he wants them to.
That tiny room is a prison, and I’m so lucky I escaped.
But the story will not end as long as I’m alive.
It was a few months after I set myself free.
I was walking down the street, feeling much happier than my 14 years.
And it felt like the world was pretty and fine.
Until I walked past a group of boys who thought I was pretty and fine.
They swooped in, catcalls aplenty;
I ignored them. Outrage.
They grabbed me.
And by time I was alone again, boys nowhere to be seen,
It felt like nothing was fine,
And everyone was a predator
And it forced me to dwell on the facts
That I don’t feel brave or strong anymore and…
That I don’t know where the old me ran off to and…
That I’m not fine anymore.