4.27.2022 – yesterday, I saw

yesterday, I saw
man who wasn’t me – there I
was again today

Inspired by the poem, Antigonish”.

Which is, according to wikipedia, an 1899 poem by the American educator and poet, William Hughes Mearns. It is also known as “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There” and was adapted as a hit song under the latter title.

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away!

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

I was flipping through facebook today, checking on the posts that the folks at work have made to the company facebook page where I work and I saw a photo of two co workers who had taken part in last weeks dolphin count.

I looked at the photo and thought it was interesting as the young lady looked familiar but not the guy in the photo.

I looked again and thought that the hat the guy was wearing looked real familiar.

I looked again and thought that the binoculars the guy was holding looked real familiar.

Then I realized.

I was the guy!

When I was in third grade, as readers of this blog will know, I had an ‘interesting’ relationship with my third grade teacher.

Suffice it to say I don’t know that if an angel were sitting on my shoulder, she would have believed anything I told her.

When I started complaining I couldn’t see the chalkboard in front of my face she felt I was being me and fought back.

First she moved my desk up to a row in front of the first row so I sat by myself about 5 feet from the chalkboard.

That worked for a bit but I soon started telling I couldn’t see that ol’ chalkboard anymore.

She countered by handing me the lessons for the day from her notebook where she had her sentences and spelling words and such written out long hand.

She literally tore the pages out and slammed them on my desk in front of me.

I looked at the pages for a second then said, “I can’t read cursive.”

And it was off to the office and my reserved chair.

She also called my Mom to say I was at it again.

By again, she meant, for example, I had watched the Davy Crockett series on the Walt Disney show.

And Davy, well, he said he never was in a problem that he couldn’t grin his way out of it.

The show opened when Davy was off in the brush trying to ‘grin’ a ‘baaaare’ down a tree.

Taking the words of this great American hero to heart, I tried to grin at my teacher when I got in trouble.

She called my Mom and told her whenever I got a talking too, I just made faces at her.

I also once asked to have my desk moved so I could sit with my back to the wall.

When she asked why, I said so no one could shoot me in the back.

When she asked where in the world did I come up with that idea, I said from the “Life of Wild Bill Hickok” in the school library.

When we talked, she often just sat at her desk staring down for some reason.

So she calls my Mom and says my latest thing was to claim I couldn’t see the chalkboard.

That BIG GREEN BOARD that ran the length of the room.

I don’t know what my Mom said to her but she made an appointment of her own and two weeks later, I walked into class wearing my first pair of glasses.

Hey, I said, I can see the the chalkboard!

My teacher looked and me and burst into tears.

Since that time I don’t know that I have seen more than a hand full of photos of myself without my glasses.

Since the only time I do see myself is in the mirror, that feller who is a mirror reverse of that image of what I look like in my mind is not someone I recognize.

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…

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