It’s after school, the last bell has rung. The eruption of students from classrooms to exit down the hall has finally subsided. But instead of silence my room is filled with the white noise of the A/C unit spewing tepid air into my already stuffy class. I ignore the eau de middle school boy aroma that lingers after the final eighth grader has vanished and, after a few minutes at the computer, I forget about the perpetual background noise as I concentrate on my writing.
The keyboard is smooth, slightly finger oily, and molded to my touch. The heels of my palms rest easily on the black plastic extension. The whole apparatus is clean and shiny except for the dust covering the function keys, a forbidden zone where my tentative digits never venture. I kick off my shoes and rub my socked feet on the off-brown, utilitarian carpet that covers my classroom floor. Leaning back in my cushy but sludge-colored chair I sigh.
A bowl of M&M’s vie for my attention and for every ten words or so that appear on my screen three or four multi-colored candy-coated chocolate marvels disappear from the dish. I twist about in my seat and reach behind me to open the half-sized frig; I pull out a Coke. Popping the can open and hearing that sweet sizzle of sugar and calories, I celebrate. The bowl is empty and my page is full. Another writing exercise completed.