I can still remember when it hit me like a train. It was at school in a science lesson. One of manymanymany…
It was dear Old Isaac, bless him, who starrted in one of those cameo roles, going through his laws of motion- yet againion, that every action has an equal and an opposite reaction. Now I’m sure I’m not alone in having had to learn rnt to to develop a coping apparatus for processingcope a lot of equal and opposite the gump like thoseat particular old facts, dumped onto me at regular intervals. For some reason his laws seemed to keep coming back under different file names, again and again during the long years when I was first incarcerated at school…
It was something that we all sure as Hell had to get used to right from day uno, obeying the orders dumped from on high; however contradictory and confusing they seemed to our unformed, naïve minds, it was important to folley and abey without question.
Nemo, just do it son! Paint it, black. White. Black. What I say when I say. Just do it! And quick!
It’s a favourite phrase, one of several that haunt my nights sometimes. I hear them uttered generations later and I must admit I wonder if they’re having a similar effect. Hopefully not. From our earliest days at school, therefore, we just did just what we were told and learnt what we were told to learn. No more, no less. After that, what we did with their facts and the information, after we had passed ourthe tests, was entirely up to us entirely. It was as if the stuff itself was “value free” and of no intrinsic worth, in itself, after it except for gettlearnting us good grades and marks. I Unfortunately, one day I heardused to listen as someonethey used to jokingly call out throw at us thonse of these time- honoured phrase words, as Iwe dawdlheaded on my way tofor mythe next feedcramming lessonsession at the troughs of knowledge:,
“Iinwardly digest you little bastard! Who said that??
“Some of this stuff has been swimming around in my mouth since then for a long time and I’m fed up. What’s more my jaw’s sore…
Don’t bolt your food, Laddie.
No I chewed it and chewed it very carefully and diligently and I’ve come to with this bolus in my mouth.
Spit it out laddie. Don’t be shy. Come in and sit down. We won’t bite. Well not all of us, haha…only Miss Blenkinsop and she’s outside- looking for you I hear! Hahaha, only joking. Like to see you jump. Not really. Have some rooibos tea.
So. There I satlike a good boy amidamong many groups of others, I sat there raptly gazing with adoration n up at them, the the present masters and mistresses of my newestmy universe, resembling closely previous ones in my past… I’dve broughtgot along some certificates and diplomas with me to prove that I had been taugh leant a lot while I was previously following ordersin their charge, when I was in effect havgetting my batteries charged up to scratch. God, that takes me back to years ago, when I wastandard and was gettingbeing prepared forr this these current leg of this lifelong journey ahead I embarked on at birth… or sometime aahfterwds…
I’d like to get on with it but it seems that my timetable says otherwise asWell it seems like right at this beginning, I’m breaking my journeystopping here for a moment forcedwhile to stretch my legs and to get some air into my throatlungs. Starting with a free period! what luck!
I recognise this, at this the latest way station as their old staff room ofn that samanye years’ long standing usejourney. It’s ironic that here, where I’m; and as I pulling in for a pause, at thissome tiny halt, this waiting room perched just outbesidee an obscure town on the outskirts of our glorious civilisation, could be the exact same school I was sentenced to spend so many wasted years of my youth. Well that’s what I was thinking then I admit. Auspicious or what? I walk to the balcony and draw in some murky air; it’s almost such a but not quite with relief at being outside againnconfined for awhile that I am nearly tempted to jump the fences and to pourburst forth into song! Now that wouldn’t do on my first day. I’ve got this monster debt to repay to society that’s why.
BloodSorry Hell! I nearly got carried away there, nearly lost it. Bloody. better Wono’t happen again. It’s thoseat little tastes of freedom though, now and then, that can sets me off. You Never can never get enough of ithem once you’ve ever been inside for a long while. Funny that. The wanting to sing I mean. And I volunteered to come back in for a special offer trial term! Am I mad? However much they pay me! Howls of derision I hear from you more like! Take the money in advance and disappear. I made them pay me a finder’s fee too. I’m hooked up.
I took my cup of murky tea and perched on a stool with my name on it. Funny that. But in keeping.
Thinking back I can’t say that I don’t remember a lot NOW of what I did and occupied myself messing about with, during my first stretch heremy time at school, but I do know that almost all of my time there I waswas spent wearing short trousers. I was probably sitting idly there listening one sunny day before the war, listening then on this particular day, or pretending to at least fairly professionally; in other words that if I were challenged I could repackage the last few wordsentences even if they made no sense:. More like regurge actually: DDepended a biting on Sir’s mood, as normally if he was suffereding a whims tof having to scourge those apparently staringfacing back cheekily at him down;, but if you took the right tack downwind, a cunning plan might deflect the divine floodwind of his wrath-; but ninepence to a pound some another poor bugger’d wouldonly get itthe asteroid in histhe ear. Someone had to instead. It seemed that every day someone had to suffer slow torturer for the good of the mass in that some dirty stinky science lab, always smelling of chemicals, and where schoolboys weare- even when they’re doing A levels- usually quite rightly thinking hard about something completely different.
– Bloody Hell! I ejaculatesaid quietly under my breath- instantly transported hundreds of thousands of light years from the farthest reaches of deep space. Hundreds of thousands of light years I swear. What if Isaac’s ideas about motion referred to people as much as they did to atoms and molecules? People remained at rest or were transported in straight lines until stopped- the first. If acted on by a force people changed direction in response to that force- the second. This action produced an equal and opposite reaction- the third. I had to have time to think this out.
– Something you’d care to share with us, young man? His tone laced across my cheek almost drawing blood. He’d been trying to nail me for a while, on and off, unsuccessfully so far. This time perhaps?
-Only me stomach, sorry Sir I think someone’s been at the phenolphthalein in the Dorms. It’s only a rumour, mind…
His face darkened, hehim being the one responsible for the chemicals in stock and parents always writing to the Head to complain about their sons’ run of runs at the vagumerest whimisper. He grimaced at me. Was he parodying my alleged complaint? How to respondo…?? I paused …
Permission to skive then. Here’s a pass. Go seeto Matron. Find out if it’s true and if it is, I may’ll let you off your detention… only MAY mind you!
But Sir, I did all my work. Every bit and the diagrams. Took me hours.
-Cents you mean.
– So you say. I think you paicopied some from Fraser. I recognise his colours. I’m a scientist. Point taken? And you don’t stay in the Dorms anymore … now voetsak before I changeroo my mindo!
Had I heard aright? Wassat all about then? I scarpered with a farewell nod at Fraseroo I went.