As the others settle into the end-of-term
going-through-the-motions of set exercises,
I’m marked as different. The maths teacher
tells me at length about the character Emma Peel,
although I’m too young to have seen the TV series.
My relief at recognising words in the foreign-to-me
language he speaks seems to encourage his view
he has an audience of one. What middle-aged male
wouldn’t want the attention of a teenaged girl,
even if she is shifting and inching away from
the enthusiastic descriptions of a female actor
in a leather catsuit? The rest of the class,
happy not to have the teacher’s focus, aren’t
about to rescue a girl too conscious of her own lack
of weight and her uncertainty of speech,
waiting for chance to divert his monologue’s flow.