Mr. M.

Leaving the bank, I’m half-heartedly holding the door open for my past. This (now) salt and pepper haired English teacher from twenty years ago, his last name beginning with the letter M, thanks me. Neither his voice nor his expression betrays the merest trace of recognition. But then, neither does my brief nod nor modest smile at his thanks.

From his class, I recall only two things: that my lousiness as a student could not’ve been in dispute, and that he once lectured never to write down a sentence without first thinking through to its end. Oh, also, my at-the-time best friend, Mike, believed Mr. M. to be the funniest teacher alive. I recall a dry, mild wit—but nothing exceptional.

That instruction, of writing out a sentence in one’s head first, often comes to mind. But is rarely ever followed.

My father frequently opined to my face, “You require supervision.”
And also said, “Think before you speak.”
Because I rarely ever did.
And I rarely ever do.

He also liked, “Still waters run deep.” Which helps not at all when you’re trying to carve out a career in showbiz, or, if nothing else, pick up women.

Unfortunately, the wrong bit of “advice” struck.

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