I sat down in the staff room. Lounged back to give the impression of being comfortable, at ease. I never find being in close proximity to people an easy thing. Especially when there's nothing to read. Sometimes I fiddle with my phone. It's a legitimate thing to do. Getting out a novel or book of poetry seems to provoke a strange reaction: as if I'd decided to blow my nose on my sleeve. I suppose it's a statement. People don't like the fact that you've entered another world that's closed off to them. Maybe. Any way, the lady on my left starts up a conversation. I can't for the life of me remember how it happened, but somehow we got on to the subject of a primary school down the road in the next town. This road, now a dual-carriageway, was once the route that John Cowper Powys wandered with his walking stick that absorbed all of the mysteries of The First Cause. I digress. It turned out that we had both attended this primary school, forty years ago. Names, faces, bottled up inside me finally found an outlet. It was like sharing a dream. We both agreed that Mr Hunsley was a wonderful man. And we both had the same feeling: at the time, because he was so strict, we'd been scared of him. But as the years rolled by, what he stood for, what he'd taught us, had seeped into our very being.
Shaped us forever.