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“You Look Like H3LL!”

That’s what the lady said to me at Wal-Mart. I was standing in the back of one of those impossibly long lines cluthing Mucinex and toilet tissue to my chest. The store seemed unbearably hot. I was sweating, my knees were trembling and the back of my mouth was experiencing that saliva pooling sensation that preceeds heaving.

“Come with me,” she said. And she pulled me to an empty cash register and rang up my purchases. I don’t remember her name, but I know I love her.

I went into my classroom this morning. I had some stuff I thought positively needed to be done. I was there for two and a half hours basically moving paper around on my desk and hoping it would sort itself into sense. It didn’t. The only thing I accomplished was assigning seating for my reading groups. A task that should have taken all of twenty minutes.

Then I went to Wal-Mart. Then I came home and rested for two hours. The nausea passed soon after I stepped into my blessedly cool house. I just had a bite to eat. I’m starting to feel human again.

I have to make it through tomorrow. I am not leaving my first day with a new reading class to a sub! Nope. I’m going to school in the morning. I’m standing at my door and I am hugging and kissing every kid — a.k.a. germ factory — that walks by.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. haha…..well what goes around comes around…as they say……who gave what to who first, my bet the kids gave it to you….but if you give it back, well I guess it is only fair…..this could go on for the first month of school, yikes.

  2. Hi. Sorry I’ve been absent from these pages. It was flying halfway across the world that did it. Checked in today to find you were feeling poorly.

    Poor baby.

    And on your first week of school too.

    I really hope you feel much much better. And your kitties and your readers and your kids…all love you.

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