MY FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL (2010)

My First Day of Preschool

Sean Joseph Patrick Carney, 2010


Originally read as a monologue at the House Arrest exhibition, curated by MK Guth at Worksound Gallery in Portland, OR, May 2010. Images of the performance are available here


If at any point in your life you ask someone what exactly it is that they do for a living and they respond that they are a “preschool teacher,” that person is a liar, an exaggerator and quite possibly a Communist.  Not once in the history of education has there been a more preposterously outrageous hyperbole applied to a position of employment.  Preschool teachers are, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than shittily compensated babysitters.  It is of interest to note in 2010 that while the standard fourteen year-old girl can demand up to $12/hr to watch your cable and eat your food while your children sleep, a college-educated preschool teacher makes something in the neighborhood of $9/hr… and they get taxed.  How am I privy to such enlightening information?  How, adoring audience, do I know these cogent factoids?  Because I, your humble raconteur, taught preschool.  And if you don’t already think that I’m a complete piece of shit, you will soon.

In December of 2004, I graduated from Arizona State with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree, focusing in printmaking and secondary art education.  While the 9-11 hangover was still in full effect, we had yet to experience the magnitude of the Bush regime’s unsolicited penetration of our economic asshole.  What I’m getting at here is that the job market, although not fantastic, still functioned in some capacity.  I posted a resume to Monster.com or some other stupid ass employer/employee connection website and within two days’ time had received an offer for, uh, a teaching position.

Bright Horizons Preschools are the Popeye’s to Montessori Schools’ Kentucky Fried Chicken – culturally less progressive, more garish in its interpretation of the color spectrum, and in possession of a shitload less to lose.  They are a chain of preschools and kindergartens that exist in the Southwestern United States (and quite possibly other places, but I don’t give enough of a fuck to actually Google this).  Unlike Montessori schools, which are traditionally populated with Bela Fleck fans-in-training, Bright Horizons caters to a considerably less hip, more Office Space influenced breed of spawn.  The one in particular that contacted me was located in Gilbert, a suburb of the blatant middle finger to urban planning that is Phoenix, AZ.  At the time I was living in Tempe, which is sort of like the wallet chain of Phoenix’s pants – ostensibly rebellious and fashionable at first glance, until you remember that… it’s a wallet chain.  Driving an automobile forty-odd miles in one day on a regular basis is nothing foreign to Phoenicians, so when I realized that it was only a fifteen mile round-trip to the school and back, I figured that I might as well bite.

At this point I feel obligated to mention that during this time, I was dating a girl who had a slight cocaine habit.  She did not know that I knew that she had a cocaine habit, nor did she know that I was developing one of my own by stealing it from her each morning as I left her house.  I’d take the cellophane bottom from my pack of cigarettes into her bathroom and shake out a few lines’ worth from her stash inside of her jewelry box.  Folding it neatly and quietly as to not alert her ears that I was consistently stealing from my very own girlfriend, I’d slip it into the fifth pocket of my jeans and casually say goodbye.  Before obtaining the job at the preschool, I was waiting tables at night in a local Mexican restaurant called… wait for it… Restaurant Mexico.  Yes, they were up all night figuring that one out.  Nonetheless, the combination of waiting tables and snorting cocaine is quite an invigorating one.  If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend that you do.

My interview at the preschool went swimmingly.  I had managed to smoke a considerable amount of pot beforehand, and the boldly colored carpets and paper cutout ducks lining the walls of the institution fascinated me.  The manager or principal or whatever the fuck she was spoke with me for about twenty minutes in her office about the requirements for the job.  As I was able to lift fifty pounds and wasn’t legally retarded, I was completely qualified.  When I inquired about salary and what kind of health coverage the company would provide, without blinking she replied, “$8.75 an hour to start, and you can purchase a health plan if you’d like from us.” 

At the time, I was young, dumb and hung (or maybe two out of the three) and figured that in no time, my ability with children would convince them to really amp up my pay and maybe even throw in some free dental.  As one might suspect, I was incorrect.  But I was stoned, the place was carpeted, and I figured that this position might in some capacity make me more attractive to women, allowing me to possibly upgrade my girlfriend.  As I was about to exit she mentioned something about a fingerprint clearance card and a drug test during day one.  Most individuals with my particular recreational enjoyment of drugs would, at this point, reconsider showing up for their first day.  But I am not one to focus on the negatives.

A former roommate of mine had been working for a large home-improvement chain, and over the course of several years had managed to pass countless urine tests by employing various techniques such as elaborate cleansing drinks and synthetic urine pouches sold at the local head shop.  His success was my motivation, and I managed to consistently abuse drugs in the weeks leading up to my first day of work.  Forty-eight hours before I was scheduled to enter my first classroom, I bought a fantastic little setup for duping a urine test.  It included a bag of neutral urine (which passed for male or female), a small heating pad guaranteed to reach a perfect 98.6 degrees, and a thin tube featuring a series of small clips that was to be held under the penis during “urination.” 

With confidence, I awoke the morning of my first big day.  Anticipating the importance of this, I’d opted to stay the preceding night at my own house.  Of course, the morning before I’d stolen a double-dose of cocaine as to not be sleepy in my first real classroom experience.  Spreading a nice caterpillar-sized rail across the counter in my bathroom, I snorted it enthusiastically and at the end found myself staring into the eyes of a genius in the mirror.  I’d figured out a way to fuck the system, and I realized at that moment that I was a terribly attractive male.  The subsequent shower was inspiring, as I sang Danzig’s “Mother” at top volume and finger-tapped an insane air guitar solo while pissing all over the bottom of the tub with a wild, uncontrolled member.  This felt right; I had found my calling.  Sean Carney was meant to work with the children. 

Stepping out of the shower, I looked at the synthetic urine kit lying next to my neatly folded clothes on the counter.  As I dried off, I realized that I ought to give it a quick test run to ensure a smooth operation at the lab in case the employees were that breed of twisted fucks who might like to watch.  The plastic baggie of faux piss itself featured a removable strip under which was housed adhesive that secured it to your pelvis.  Beneath this was a snapping mechanism where the user was to affix the heating device.  Figuring that I’d better get used to the feel of this crotch oddity, I attached the entire kit to my person and stood over my toilet.  The tube protruding from the bag involved one clip at the base and one at the tip; when the user undid the top clip near the baggie, urine would fill the tube and then would be released upon the removal of the second clip.

“A quick spurt, and I’ll have a handle on the method,” I thought to myself jovially.  Removing the first clip, I gently pressed my forearm against the bag to coax the urine into the tube while carefully aiming it towards the toilet bowl.  With stubby Irish fingers, I undid the second clip and the synthetic urine shot out at an alarming rate.  Panicking, I futilely attempted to snap the end shut again, only succeeding in spraying warm fake piss all over the back of the toilet, the waste paper basket and my own legs.  A moment of perplexity and devastation gave me pause, but within a few seconds I realized the severity of what had just occurred.  My mind raced, searching for legitimate sounding excuses for why I might be able to opt out of my urine test scheduled that day at 2pm.  “I’ve just actually used the restroom,” I’d insist.  Or, perhaps I could blame my recent indulgences of opium on a rogue poppy seed scone.  But the levels of marijuana, vicodin, residual alcohol and considerably fresh cocaine would likely prove challenging to bullshit.

It was, to say the least, a little late for plan hatching as I was expected at the preschool in less than an hour.  The day’s schedule dictated that I would participate in a morning training session with a current teacher, Mr. Vince, and then drive to the laboratory during my 1:00pm lunch break to urinate into a cup and be socially judged for desiring to open my doors of perception.  The knowledge that it would take several days for the school to receive my failed test results from the lab did not give me any comfort – I was relatively sure that my participation in a preschool classroom setting while high on cocaine might actually be considered, in some capacity, illegal.  And a man of my stature would fare poorly in prison.  As beating up the toughest guy in the yard on my first day would be virtually impossible, I was quite convinced that I would become the bitch of a salty Puerto Rican known only as, “El Feo.” 

Driving to the school, on the 101 South, I sweated heavily and chain-smoked in anticipation of assured doom.  Normally, I am a huge advocate and fan of doom.  But when it involves a chain of events that could eventually lead to my asshole bleeding out on the hot, concrete floor of an Arizona penitentiary, I tend to be more Maroon 5 than Witchfinder General.  In my state of delirium while leaving my house, I had forgotten to remove the empty urination device, and it now clung grotesquely to my sweating inner thighs and pubic hair inside of my pants.

Parking, I saw a line of toddlers and small children being led by the hand into the colorful Bright Horizons building by their poindexter parents who would all soon depart in their Honda minivans, leaving their offspring in my care as they drove to their pointless positions at Intel, GoDaddy, or whatever other soulless tech-related facility cut their checks.  It took both of my cocaine-shriveled balls, which by this point had officially ascended into my abdomen, to remove myself from my own automobile and approach the building. 

But being a pussy at this point was not an option.  The children of Gilbert, AZ needed to learn colors, shapes and letters.  Who the fuck was I to deny them that?  Through the front door I went, greeted by an employee named Ms. Pat who walked me to the time-clock computer where I was to log in for my first shift as a real preschool teacher. 

“Mr. Sean, are you sweating?”

I ground my teeth in anger.  Could this bitch not see that I was on drugs?  The last thing that I needed at this moment was some middle-aged bag harshing my mellow.  I’d figured that the staff members would have all been on the level and might refrain from fucking with me.  It seems impossible to me that any of them had arrived to hang out with children sober, so I didn’t appreciate or understand the third degree.

“We live in Arizona,” I replied.  “It’s 115 goddamned degrees outside and my car doesn’t have air conditioning.”

Ms. Pat seemed a little taken aback at first, but ultimately decided that my response was satisfactory.  Asking someone in Arizona if they’re sweating is like asking someone from New Jersey if they’re an asshole.  The answer is always yes.  After I’d officially clocked in, Ms. Pat led me down a hall and out into a courtyard.  The school itself was shaped like a giant square with a chunk cut out of the middle to provide a play area for the children.  This seemed incredibly fucked up to me given the aforementioned temperature.  How a four year-old is expected to enjoy a ride down a slide that is literally cauterizing his asshole shut is beyond me.  If you’ve ever wondered why Arizona’s politicians and police continue repeatedly to fucking blow minds with their complete detachment from all that is holy and real, you needn’t think too hard.  Their brains were fried decades before they even finished college.  Well, except for the police because people who become police are the type of people that don’t actually get into college.  Needless to say, it’s a vicious cycle of idiocy that will never end.  It is an entire state of fuck, regardless of how you define that word.

Anyway, we walked down a covered sidewalk to a classroom called “Giraffe,” which was sandwiched between two others called “Hippo” and “Fox,” which sounded suspiciously sexual to me.  The calm quiet of the outdoors was immediately shattered as Ms. Pat opened the gates of Hell and we entered a frenzy of screaming, snot-faced shit heads smashing Matchbox cars and blocks atop one another’s heads while Mr. Vince chased a boy covered in his own feces between miniature plastic tables which I later learned were called “stations.”  Words could not accurately describe the reckless abandon with which these children were bent on destroying this classroom and the lives of their teachers.

Ms. Pat wished me the best and departed from the room.  I snorted the snot in my nostrils violently back into my throat, begging my skull to drip a bit more residual cocaine into my throat to momentarily numb me from the literal manifestation of The Lord of the Flies that I beheld before my eyes.  Mr. Vince came running by me, dressed in purple sweatpants and an exceptionally large yellow shirt.  He spoke with great urgency and an even greater lisp, insisting that I assist him in remedying this situation.  He passed off the young Indian boy who’d been streaking the room wearing only poop to me and I screamed.  His shit-stained leg touched my motherfucking pants and I nearly vomited into his maniacal, anarchist little eyes.  I grabbed the boy and Mr. Vince yelled at the two of us, “Amogh!  Mr. Sean is going to take you to the bathroom and clean you off!”

Mr. Vince was being presumptuous, as I had absolutely no intention of assisting this boy in removing the fecal crust present all over his person.  Instantly, I nicknamed him “Amogh-Amogh the Dirty Dog” and threw him into the bathroom that had no doors, but connected the Giraffe room to the Hippo room. 

“Wash that off of your body, Amogh, or I’ll tell your parents you ran away and they’ll never come back to get you,” I shouted at him.

Tears welled up in Amogh’s eyes, but I knew better than to allow myself to feel for this creature.  He was pure evil incarnate, an E. coli breeding ground masquerading as a small boy.  “Fuck him,” I thought to myself and strolled back into the center of the classroom.  I watched with great interest as Mr. Vince failed over and over again to restore whatever order may have once existed in this room.  After what seemed like at least an hour of me refusing to help, Mr. Vince managed to get all twenty of these little fucks into tiny chairs surrounding several tiny tables.  It was juice time, and these junkies wanted their fix.

Mr. Vince then asked me in front of all of the students, which I might add I thought to be terribly unprofessional, where exactly Amogh was.  It had not occurred to me until this point that a four year-old cannot be relied upon to complete his bathroom routine and return to the general population on his own.  With great hesitation, I wandered back to the bathroom.  What I saw in that bathroom is forever burned into the back of my eyelids, a sight I wouldn’t wish upon the greatest of my enemies.  Amogh-Amogh the Dirty Dog was slouched upon a miniature toilet, leaning back in an epic recline, still covered in shit.  The sight of his little body caked with his own feces though paled in comparison to what he was doing now.  This little boy was, with an air of cocky casualness, stirring the tiny little pointer finger of his left hand around the tip of his own penis, enwrapped in his filthy little foreskin.  He smiled wretchedly at me and popped his little finger out from under the foreskin, which he promptly pointed towards me in some kind of vulgar offering.  I was mortified.  And I then demanded that Mr. Vince come and remedy the situation as I had not been appropriately trained to deal with masturbation, poop-covered Indian boys, or the smegma that it involved.

After cleaning off Amogh, Mr. Vince’s irritation with me was unquestionable.  As the children chugged their grape juice and wolfed down graham crackers, he came up to me and looked ready to settle the score.  “You know, Mr. Sean,” Vince began, “Next week is our dinosaur unit.  And I think that as a new member of the team here at Bright Horizons, you should really do the lesson plan.”

“Wow,” I thought.  “Sick burn, Mr. Vince.”

“That sounds fine with me, Mr. Vince,” I replied.  “Is it that you don’t really understand dinosaurs or something?”

Mr. Vince looked at me with an air of self-righteousness and confidence I’d never seen before and have not seen since.  “Mr. Sean, I think that you should complete the lesson plan on dinosaurs because I don’t believe in dinosaurs.”  Mr. Vince, it became evident, was a Mormon.

After a few more awkward hours in the classroom, the speaker on the in-room telephone crackled with the director’s voice.  “Mr. Sean,” it hissed.  “Ms. Joan is coming to relieve you for your lunch hour.”

I momentarily snapped back into reality, remembering that my lunch hour meant that I would be driving to the lab to pee in a cup and be fired within a week’s time.  Ms. Joan entered through the door and I walked slowly towards the front office in a considerable daze.  The cocaine had worn off entirely by this point, and the hangover that I no doubt deserved was beginning to rear its ugly head.  Arriving at the door to the director’s office, she handed me the necessary paperwork that I was to have the lab sign to prove that they’d reviewed my driver’s license and contract to confirm my identity at the drop.  I walked out of Bright Horizons and sat in my car, which had been baking steadily since about 8am in the sun.  Out of my pocket I pulled my cigarette cellophane and dipped my key into the whiter powder therein.  Snorting deeply, I felt my body reinvigorated and my motivation to beat this fucking piss test rise based entirely on principle.  Fuck this school, I thought.  These fuckers are going to have to have me around to deal with one way or another.

My mind raced as I tried to think of one goddamned male that I knew who did not take drugs.  I scrolled through the contacts in my phone six or seven times before finally remembering that my friend Matt, from whom I’d actually grown somewhat distant in the last few months, had stopped smoking pot because he thought he was hearing “death thoughts” when he was high.  Whether or not my and Matt’s growing apart over the last several months was directly related to the fact that he’d not been taking drugs for the last several months is up for debate.  It may have also been that I was dating his ex-girlfriend. 

I called him once and he didn’t answer.  I called him a second time – still no answer.  On the third time I called, he answered the phone angrily.  “What the fuck?”

“Matt,” I coughed out, “I need your help, dude.  Seriously.  In a major way.”

“I’m in the fucking shower.  Can’t you hear that?” he asked.

“You’re home!” I squealed.  “I’m coming over now!”

I hung up and peeled out backwards from my parking spot.  Tearing out of the parking lot and turning left onto Ray Road, I nimbly dodged traffic left and right while I sped to the freeway.  My urine test was scheduled at 2pm sharp, and it was now nearly 1:20pm according to the clock of my 1988 Honda Accord.  As I turned onto the 101 North to return to Tempe, I screamed in anger as I rounded the entrance ramp.  Traffic was completely dead-stopped and I’d already committed to the highway.  There was no turning back at this point.

It took me a solid ten minutes to merge to the far left lane, which I’d like to point out was a carpool lane, but I entered it anyway.  The Accord roared past several miles of bumper to bumper automobiles and I prayed to the God I don’t believe in the entire time that no police would see me blatantly breaking at least four laws at once.  I was rapidly approaching the exit for Apache Boulevard, the street off of which Matt lived which was also one of the greatest strips to score a prostitute in all of East Phoenix.  After some evasive maneuvers, I managed to get across the four lanes of angry drivers and depart the freeway. 

As I ripped around the turn and caught the last seconds of a yellow light, I glanced at the clock and bemoaned the fact that it was now 1:34pm.  But within a minute’s time, I’d managed to turn off of Apache and screeched to a halt in front of Matt’s house.  I jumped out of the Accord, sweating an uncontrollable amount, and barged in through his front door.

“Matt!” I screamed.  “Where the fuck are you?”

His roommate John came out of his bedroom looking appropriately confused.  “Carney,” he said.  “What’s up?  Long time no see.”  I didn’t have time to be cordial and pushed John aside as I bounded down the hallway toward Matt’s room.  Busting through the door, I found Matt naked applying deodorant to his underarms. 

“What the fuck?” he yelled.  But I didn’t have time for formalities.  I dropped my own pants immediately and then wriggled out of my sweat-drenched underpants.  Matt stared in disbelief at the elaborate device strapped inches above my cock.  The empty bag that had once housed the synthetic urine, my golden ticket to Bright Horizons, was still affixed to my body courtesy of the adhesive strip.  I tore it off of my person, howling in pain as it took with it a considerable amount of pubic hair. 

“Matt, I don’t have time to explain,” I yelled at him as I grabbed an X-acto knife from his desk and shredded a crude opening into the bag.  “You need to piss into this, and you need to do it now!”

He stared at me for a moment in disgust, but he could see the desperation in my eyes. 

“I have to pass a piss test, you cocksucker!  Now piss in this fucking bag!”

With glaring eyes he snatched the bag from my hand, taking special care to avoid contact between his fingers and the dangling public hairs I’d inadvertently left on the back of the bag.  “You’re such a piece of shit, Carney,” Matt said.  “Seriously, fuck you.  You owe me.  Jesus fucking Christ, fuck you.”

I was still pantless as Matt retreated into his bathroom.  I bent down though and pulled my cocaine from my pants, foregoing a key bump and just sticking in my nose and snorting hard.  He reappeared a moment later pinching the bag between his fingers.  “Alright,” he said to me.  “It’s full of my piss.  Now what the fuck are you planning to do?”  I scanned the room quickly, and like a combination of Pablo Escobar and McGuyver, I immediately figured out the solution.  An unused Zumiez skateboard shop sticker laid upon his desk not far from where I’d snagged the X-acto. 

“Hold it steady!” I screamed.  I ripped the slick paper backing off of the sticker and tore it in two pieces with my teeth.  I scrambled, my pants around my ankles threatening to drop my body to the carpeted floor any second, and slapped the two pieces of the sticker onto the piss bag.  It successfully sealed the apparatus and before Matt could inquire further, I slapped it back onto my crotch, pulled up my pants and ran like a gazelle from his house.

The incredible heat in my car and my loins gave me the confidence that the temperature of the urine would not be an issue when I arrived at the lab.  It was now 1:43pm and the Accord flipped a dangerous U-turn and sped off towards the lab.  I had exactly 17 minutes to get approximately 3 miles, which in a normal city would be entirely plausible.  But I was in the suburbs of Phoenix, and I knew damn well that a million shitheads were currently driving to Quizno’s for their own lunch hours.  I whipped in and out of neighborhoods, intentionally avoiding the freeways and major thoroughfares with their pesky stoplights and masses of commuters. 

I arrived at the lab with exactly one minute to spare and ran, as well as one can with a bag of their friend’s urine precariously taped inches from his own scrotum, into the waiting room.  Panting and soaked with sweat (and undoubtedly at least a few squirts of Matt’s urine), I slammed my body into the desk of the receptionist.

“Sean Carney!” I announced between gasps.  “I’m here for my urine and test for the preschool!”

The degenerates populating the waiting room, all of whom were no doubt there as a result of obligatory probation statutes, collectively glared at me with irritation and hate.  But their opinion of my character was the least of my concerns; I’d arrived on time and was about to subvert what I considered to be a complete and total violation of my personal liberty and right to privacy.

“Have a seat, Mr. Carney,” the receptionist insisted.  “We’ll call you when we’re ready.”

I picked up a People magazine and flipped through the pages absent-mindedly.  The celebrity gossip contained within was presently irrelevant.  I was here to conquer something, and these fucks who lived in Malibu and traveled to shop on Rodeo Boulevard would never in their lives understand the plight of the working man.  It only took a few minutes before they called my name.  My ascension to a standing position was done with the utmost carefulness.  This was not the time to break this bag of Matt’s piss all over my junk.  I could feel its warmth as it shifted positions within the plastic bag and settled, draped over the spot where my penis met my body.  “Things could be worse,” I thought.  I could be Mr. Vince.

The receptionist led me down a narrow, brightly-lit hallway to a bathroom.  “Here you are,” she gestured towards the bathroom.

“Are you coming in with me?” I asked.  She looked like I’d asked her something crass and then shook her head with her eyes staring directly at the floor.  She handed me the cup and spun a 180 and clopped down the hall in her wooden clogs.

It was at this moment that I felt soothed.  No one from the lab would be watching me try to adeptly get Matt’s piss into the cup.  I wasn’t a criminal; this was just a matter of state-sanctioned protocol.  A light appeared at the end of the tunnel as I closed the door behind me and locked it.  With great glee, I unbuckled my belt and let my pants drop to the floor.  Once again, I peeled the plastic bag from my groin, which brought with it another tuft of my pubic hair.  The pain, which would have on any other day been absolutely unbearable, felt invigorating.  Smiling with the confidence of OJ Simpson during the verdict, I peeled off the Zumiez sticker and emptied the piss into the small cup.  I then put upon it the cap that the receptionist had given me and set it on the back of the toilet.  Until this moment, I hadn’t realized how badly I myself had to piss.  With my head tossed back, I unleashed a violent stream of urine into the bowl of the potty.  When I was finished, I flushed three times in case some nosy fuck might try to play the hero and extract my own tainted piss out of the toilet.

Once I’d handed off the cup of piss to the lab tech on my way out, which might have been closer to 105 degrees than 98.6, I felt a considerable weight lifted off of my shoulders.  When I returned to my automobile, I sat in it for a moment smiling at myself in the rearview mirror.  To reward myself for such hard work, I did two more bumps of cocaine before driving back to the preschool.

The rest of my day, while not incredible by any means, was considerably more pleasant.  A young lad named Michael asked me at naptime, “Mr. Sean, why did God give you whiskers?” which nearly melted my heart.  Mr. Vince remained a shithead and didn’t warm up to me once for the rest of the afternoon, but I didn’t care.  I knew that I’d fought the law and I’d won.

A week later, the director called me into the office via the in-class squawk box.  I knew that she was about inform me that they’d received the results from my lab test.  The sense of confidence that I’d felt only seven days prior now completely vacated my mind.  On the short walk to her office, I panicked, assuming that Matt had been taking steroids to put on muscle mass, that he’d broken his vow and smoked weed while drunk the night before, or that my general behavior at the clinic had led them to render my test results inaccurate, meaning that I’d have to drop again that day.  As I entered the office, I broke into an incredible sweat.

“Take a seat, Mr. Sean,” she instructed.  “We’ve received the results from your test at the lab…

 And I’m happy to inform you that you were cleared for all nine drug tests it encompasses.”

HO.

LY.

FUCK.

“Are you OK, Mr. Sean?”  She asked.

“Never better.  Tip-top!”  I said excitedly.  I turned around and walked out of her office on air, clutching the paper on which my test results had been faxed.  Cleared of opiates, cleared of cocaine, cleared of amphetamines, cleared of marijuana, cleared of alcohol and many others.  To this woman, I was a shining example of a sober and productive twenty-two year old, devoted to this job and to the children.  It felt amazing, it felt real, it felt right.

Six weeks later, a three year-old named Shonali would fall flat upon her face on the playground and let out an impressive howl.  I ran full speed to her side, pulled her up and hugged her as blood pured out of her tiny nostrils.  “Are you OK, honey?”  I asked with the utmost sincerity.

Shonali gulped for air between sobs.  Then she looked me straight in the face, squinted her eyes, cocked her little head back and then violently pitched it forward with an incredible sneeze.  That little bitch shot an unholy mixture of snot, blood and who knows what the fuck else into my open mouth.  Her classmates roared with laughter and a collective cheer of squeaky preschool voices announced their approval of the fiasco that had just occurred.

I stood up without speaking and walked away, leaving twenty-some three and four year-olds unattended on the playground.  I walked into the director’s office and dropped my nametag upon her desk.

“I’m leaving,” I announced to her.

“For lunch?  That’s fine, Mr. Sean.  Mr. Vince is going after you.  What time will you be back?”

“No,” I replied.  “You don’t understand.  I’m leaving and not ever coming back.  This job is destroying my will to live.”

 She stared at me with confusion as I turned and walked out the door.  As I reached my car, I pulled out the cigarette cellophane of cocaine in my fifth pocket.  I dipped my key into it and snorted a huge bump.  As it trickled down my throat, I winced at the taste as I noticed that it was accompanied quite strongly by the blood and snot of a three year-old girl.