crazy as a career
(originally posted 8/24/2018)
“I have a lot of things going up here” Tracy said pointing to her head, “And here” she said pointing to her heart.
The students at P.S. DuPont Middle School all took note, even her daughter in the back row. Their eyes dutifully followed Tracy’s finger to her head and then south her heart.
It was a simpler time. Last week.
“I guess I sort of stole that introduction from the movie Mr. Right but as I’ve watched it about a dozen times it only seems fair” she continued.
Nobody had seen the film. Pity, it is some of Anna Kendrick’s finest work. Mention Twilight or Pitch Perfect and eyes would have lit up but no love for Mr. Right. Kids today.
“It started in the park the other day. I thought I saw a dragonfly but it turned out to be a butterfly.”
As this was Career Day at P.S. DuPont Middle School and the assembled children had been digesting a steady diet of office machine salesmen and chartered accountancy they did not know exactly what to make of Tracy. Some fidgeted while others chose not to.
Some would argue that children that age can’t decide to fidget or not fidget. “It’s in the DNA” they would say.
“You see kids, there is something going on in my life where dragonflies are playing a major part so when I saw one, only to find out soon after that it wasn’t a dragonfly, it got me to thinking.”
A hand shot up. Apparently Jamie had a question.
The teacher asked Jamie to put her hand down until Tracy was done with her story but Tracy laughed and said she didn’t mind. “What is your question?” Tracy asked.
“Why did you want to see a dragonfly?” inquired Jamie, sweet as pie.
“It’s not important” snapped Tracy, unwarrantedly as cake.
The kids who had earlier decided to fidget or had been fidgeting through no desire of their own decided to stop. The room grew about 18% more quiet.
“The point I am trying to make” continued Tracy “is that I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out which was more important in confusing a dragonfly for a butterfly; the psychological aspects or the physical mechanics.”
The teacher looked up at the big Career Day banner to confirm that this was in fact Career Day.
“You see kids, the human mind is a fascinating organ. We see what we want to see sometimes. The mind plays tricks on us. What we hear, what we smell, it all runs through this little glob of grey matter between our ears. Given the circumstances…” Tracy shot a preemptive glance at Jamie to keep remind her that what exactly these circumstances might be remained unimportant then continued, “I wanted to see a dragonfly so I did.”
Some of the children seemed to miss the cold comfort provided by Mr. William’s talk on chartered accountancy.
“The only other explanation would be that the dragonfly had suddenly transformed mid-flight into a butterfly.”
“Like a Transformer!” added young Sam helpfully.
“Exactly. Like a Transformer. Thank you.”
Tracy paused and walked back and forth to collect herself.
“Do you have any idea what would have to happen, mechanically speaking, for a dragonfly to change into a butterfly? All the things that would have to take place in-flight for this to happen?”
Clearly none of the kids were prepared for this question. They had a “Will this be on the quiz?” panic splashed across their collective faces and most of those faces turned as one to the teacher. Except for Tina’s face. She was Tracy’s daughter. Her face had made its way down into her hands.
“That’s what I did for the rest of that day” continued Tracy, “I thought about how strange the brain is and if dragonflies could theoretically morph into butterflies. All day… that’s what I did.”
A point seemed to be coming and even the kids, as limited as their expose to crazy had been up until this point, knew something was amiss.
“You see kiddos… since Tina went to school THIS is my career. Going batshit crazy in a park.”
Buoyed by his recent success, Sam again belted out “Like a Transformer!”
The kids, as limited as their exposure to metaphors had been up until this comment, knew Sam was dead on.
“Exactly. Like a Transformer. Thank you.” Said Tracy. Then she turned and exited the classroom.