The Stares

July 22, 2008
By Laura Fixman, Toronto, ZZ

I hate how they always stare at me. Is there something on my face? I always think they don’t like me, because they always look at me angrily. Am I that disgusting to look at? I’m kind of round. Maybe that’s why. Maybe they don’t like how my hands always move around my face the same way. I would stop, but I can’t help it.

All my life I’ve been in the same room. I’ve seen the same two windows, same desks, and same chalkboard. The children in the desks constantly change, but they always hate me. I think it’s the noises I make from time to time. I do it every time my hands reach a certain point, but I can’t stop. I don’t know how to do anything else.

When the children aren’t staring at me hatefully, it gets boring. Sometimes I count the tiles on the ceiling to occupy myself. There are 256. I wish I could see something different sometimes. Maybe there are other rooms where people will like me. In those rooms they won’t be looking at me all the time. It makes me feel self conscious.

I wish I could yell at them to stop looking at me, and tell them I don’t like it. They wouldn’t listen anyways. I think they’re supposed to be writing something, but they always look up and stare at me. Years ago I wanted to change my face, thinking it might please them. It wouldn’t make a difference, because nobody ever liked me.

One day a big man came up to me carrying a ladder. The children hadn’t stared at me for a while. He was coming up next to me, and lifting me from the wall where I had always been. ‘Where was he taking me? Put me down!’ were my first thoughts. Then I realized he was taking me to another room like I always wanted. The kids in the new room might hate me and stare at me. At least I would have new things to stare at.

One boy said, “Where’s he taking the clock?”

Finally, they appreciate me.

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