Final Exam, Chonnam National University, Level Six, Spring 2011
Eleven cell phones, two buzzing, lined up, waiting for this
last class, last final, last chance to completely silence
one rogue professor, out of his league, out of water, out
of here thanks to the concerted effort of three spies, one
instructor and one massive tumor growing two meters
away. He loves them for different reasons, but this is not
the opportunity he once envisioned: he’s been unable to play
ball, unwilling to give up more than he already has, unable
to squelch his own personality enough to fit in. Wouldn’t
it be nice to know how much fun the wood-strip sprayers
had when they applied the six layers of texture to the five
by two foot concrete blocks that make up this first-term
building? And wouldn’t it be a grand time for Mother if
she could see him dressed up to lecture, only to find out
the class had mutinied, he was unable to get them to speak?
She’d be proud of the way he just stood in silence, aware
of the irony: their silence trumped his verbosity. Some skipped
half their classes, others, like deer in an arctic winter, blasted
by sixteen weeks of Halogen headlights, brave enough to
stand tall. But he is not so brave, just an abused, isolated pawn.
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