Letter to a Classmate - Cloze

A story/letter by William Christison

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Madrid, Spain
10 November
Dear Mary,
You won! Congratulations! When I saw the name in the local elections, I knew it was you. In the 60’s, my family had the little brick place on Brocker and our school bus stopped at your every morning. Sometimes you boarded with a niece and on the side of your once hung a string of . Remember the fat kid across the aisle who from you, the one whose hair you till Mr Brown had to the bus and tell you to quit? Well, never too late for apologies. I often sat with his son, Lanny, who did Jack Kennedy imitations (better than Vaughn Meader--and dirtier). Later, you might recall, three-fingered Mr Jewell the route, followed by a Mr Welch whose through the mirror at the senior girls once sent us into a . Tammy Dean was the star. When the bus she’d her and the steps working a of Juicy Fruit like a all the way back to where the big kids kept. The barely pubescent of us found her rimmel and intimidating and, after a night of those lips and , we and her .
I’d almost forgotten Tammy’s little brother, Harold. Every day, he too would board, largely unnoticed, behind her. He appears now first at--then suddenly beneath, a table in the cafeteria. A little kid with a rather large braincase, he is not, save for today, the first to on the tuna noodle . Against all orders to the contrary, our classmates have their canned peaches and first. Now, like the good little soldiers they aren't, they've begun the final assault on the double of what looks like to some, and tastes like to most, on a bed of . is coming, however. Bright-colored turkey line the mint green . Their construction paper feathers are still and from this morning's activity, yet a has already been and lies dried and on the floor beneath. eaters. Nearby sits Rosemary Lutz. She's a tall and pretty redhead with long and a reputation for (the bitch). She is also the daughter of a prosperous doctor and never eats cafeteria food. As usual, today she's brought her lunch and, to our , has just an open steak sandwich on lettuce. Rosemary now smoothes the paper sack her name in front of her. Her middle finger is wrapped in a brown and, when she has folded the sack into a neat square, she the paper ring and pops it into her mouth, then, pinching the end, she slowly it out, savoring every inch before letting it drop discreetly onto the pile behind her. Dessert.
Across the room a draws the attention of the day's , snowy haired Mrs. Ivory. Ivory’s is the class whose students, when instructed to make flowers, usually draw her them . She’s a of a woman but hard as nails, and as Ivory down the aisle, pinching necks and ordering her troops to , dig in, because by-God-people- it's-good- for-you! she notices old Crampton with broom and in. Cafeteria detail. Worst part of the day. He is sprinkling sweet over Harold's meal when Danny Haber drops forward three seats down and with his own. Old Crampton lifts a hand and . At Haber's elbow, a pair of Scotch-taped glasses, an overturned three cent carton of milk, and Donnie Stern over the state of his shoes. Across from me, little Julie Stacey a onto her tray. "Clean your plates, now, people--or no ! Do you hear that, people? People!" Mrs Ivory is . She was forever calling us people. It was a defence mechanism born of fifty years' teaching kids. The mechanism isn't working too well today, though, as she bounces a of off Danny's shoulders and orders him to his mess. It is kindergarten teacher Mrs Pratt, on the way in from the parking lot and a Rambler, who spies her colleague's .
"For Heaven’s sake, give them air, Mildred, not noodles !" she cries, pulling off gloves and scarf. Crampton by now is on his second sack. His broom is getting and, lacking reinforcements, he is starting to . Beyond the , our two cooks , and arms folded. Neither is about to go to the for (where, to their eternal , they might have come across principal Smith’s , paddles and
). Chairs and trays fly as classmates and cover (Lanny would later call it a puke-ular attack) and goofy Glenn Van Horn the moment. In a flash, the little leaps onto our table and launches into the twist. He’s pretty good and his resemblance to Sammy Davis Jr. is frankly . In later times, Glenny would have been on medication and the rest of us denied a superb, if , performance. Now he is -- pant legged, rather, by Fat Roger, his cousin, and dragged off kicking and screaming..
But , Mary! How much if any of this really happened? Save for a lifelong aversion to tuna casserole, following orders, and , tobacco-breathed, disciplinarians like Miss Smith (was she ever ?), I can offer no clues as we’re led out, , green and , to the playground by the kindly Mrs Pratt.
Hope you are well. Please write soon.
Yours truly,
Bill C.