The 65th Text
I signed off yesterday by saying how my final text to Rochester had been a pithy,
Christ, you're a shit.
It wasn't the most witty or lyrical of messages, I confess.
I sent it after Rochester had failed, for the 3rd time in a week, to call when he said he would. I am not sure if I actually believed that he would phone. I did prepare for the call by slipping into something more comfortable: namely a gin-soaked stupor and my Thora Hird designed flannelette bedding. By 9pm I was dead to the world. I awoke at midnight and checked my phone. Nothing. It wasn't a surprise.
What I haven't shared with you is Rochester's response to my text. Yes, he did indeed respond. His petulant reply (deleted from my phone now) was along the lines of
Fine. Lets just stop all contact. Seriously.
Hmmmm. Can you see what he's done there? Darn it. He has used my 'you're a shit' insult as a 'get out of jail free' card. It has given him permission to take the moral high-ground and he now is freed from the irritation of having to explain himself in an uncomfortable phone call. It is actually a work of passive aggressive GENIUS. And of course, in doing this, he places the blame for everything squarely at my £9 Tesco ballet-pumps.
I must confess. I have been out-played here.
I have spent the day planning tomorrow's lessons: haiku poetry and Tudor crime and punishment. I have had a pleasant time imagining Rochester on a UPVC rack. And, thrillingly, I have practiced my haiku skills on a Rochester poem. I am rather proud of it. What do you think?
Double glazing cad.
Flakier than sausage roll
For all my tough talk about the rogue, I did simply adore him. I was utterly besotted. No one could read this blog and not be aware of that fact. I loved his sardonic wit, his dour melancholic charm, his dark, funereal overcoat (Rochester did for the overcoat what Mr Darcy did for the billowing white shirt).
This is going to be agony. Readers, I may warn you now, you may have to put up with some self-indulgent wallowing. I promise you, I will try to keep it to a minimum. Please, just humor me.
I thought my relationship with Doreen had reached rock-bottom. On Friday things got even worse. Do you recall Doreen's golden frames of vomtrociousness, the frames gaudier than Elton John at a Mardi Gras party? The gargantuan, tat-bedecked frames that, as they were placed ON the window, blocked out the feeble winter sun and caused my class to develop rickets? Well, word of the frames' monstrousness had reached our deputy head, Bambi. She popped in on Friday morning to have a look. The frames have an element of the 'car crash' about them, you find yourself staring, queasily hypnotised by their horror.
'Oh my God! They look like something one of the special needs children has made. They'll have to come down. They are hideous. I'll speak to her. Where is she?'
'I don't know. The last time I saw her she was heading down the corridor with a packet of chocolate digestives I'd bought for the children. That was two hours ago.'
I got on with my day and, to be quite honest, I forgot that Bambi was going to speak to Doreen. I was, as usual, rushed off my feet.
At hometime I waved the children off and went back to tidy the classroom. Doreen was in the cupboard. That, in itself, was not unusual. I could hear furious, manic ranting from behind the door, and the deafening sounds of banging and clashing. Oh shit. I tentatively approached,
'Doreen, are you in there? Are you OK?'
The cupboard door flew open. Doreen, red-faced and tearful, came rushing past me. I couldn't make out much of what she was saying, she was frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog, but I did hear the words,
'I had to take them down.'
It was then that I realised my classroom was bathed in watery afternoon sunlight. The picture frames had indeed been taken down from the window. I followed Doreen's glance towards the bin, there they lay, angrily smashed to smithereens.
Doreen was now struggling into her coat. She was grasping a bulging Costcutters carrier bag. I could see it was stuffed with all of her belongings (mostly pastry products but also her beloved Lynx body spray). I noted with interest that despite being in the midst of a severe emotional breakdown, she'd had the foresight to stock up on school toilet roll, boxes of tissues, notebooks and several bags of sweets from my treat jar. Oh dear. It looked like Doreen was going for good. I pretended to not notice this.
'Ah well, have a nice weekend Doreen. See you on Monday.'
Doreen pushed past me, grunting and growling like a feral, Lynx-scented, pastry-scoffing bear. The classroom door slammed behind her.
Later, when I was leaving, I bumped into one of her fellow teaching assistants.
'She says she's leaving. Not coming back.'
I did my best to arrange my face into an expression of heartfelt disappointment and buried my hands deep into my coat pockets, so as not to reveal my tightly crossed fingers.