It was 8:15 am, and Urie was standing in the hallway in front of his classroom. Unconsciously, he reached his index finger into his enormous nose. There was a certain comfort in the nasal cavity for Urie that could not be replicated in any other area on his life. It was as if all his problems melted away as he slipped his wrinkled finger into the abyss of his nostril. His finger was fully emerged in nostril heaven at the very moment that Harry turned a corner with his mop. Harry stood next to Urie and stared at him until Urie turned as red as a radish, removed his finger from his nose and said:
A Taste of Wool Part 9
“Haii, har, haiiree.” Or something of the sort; this was reaction number three. Harry patted Urie on the back and said softly:
The two began to whistle “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” By The Platters. Then something miraculous happened, Harry spoke to Urie.
“How did you know I was going to whistle that song?” Harry asked.
“What?” Urie was startled, not by Harry’s question itself, but by the fact that Harry was able to utter a full sentence.
“You knew, didn’t you?” Harry asked looking deep into Urie’s eyes with stare of a child, or perhaps it was more like the stare of Susie’s beady rat eyes.
“Knew what?” Urie asked still in shock.
“That I was going to whistle that song.” Harry repeated slowly. Urie furrowed his brow.
“Well Harry,” he said clearing his throat, “I honestly hadn’t given it much thought. I guess it just kind of happened.”
Harry scoffed at Urie.
“Nothing just happens! Okay?! Do you think it’s a coincidence that we only have three possible interactions with one another?” Harry was getting riled up. He was losing control, of what he wanted to reveal to Urie.
“Harry, I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Why was he lying? Thought Harry. Urie knew very well what Harry was referring to. I mean, after all, these interactions were so commonplace between Harry and Urie, they might have been saying to one another “Hey, how ya’ doing? How are the wife and kids?”
But Urie was terrified. He didn’t like where this conversation was leading. A part of him was beginning to think that Harry was, in fact, crazy.
“Come on Urie! Don’t do this! You have an opportunity…” Harry began, but Urie quickly cut him off.
“I think I’d better straighten up before the kids get here.” Urie blurted out and with that, he disappeared into his classroom and slammed the door in Harry’s face. Urie’s heart was running a marathon in his chest. Damn it James Urie! Why can’t you keep you finger out of your nose?
He banged his fist against the coat closet, and slumped into his a desk that was way too small for his adult body. And without warning, tears began to flow from his eyes. He was so engrossed in his sadness, that he didn’t even hear the door creak open.
This is part 9 of my short story, A Taste of Wool. A new part will be posted every Wednesday, as a part of Wool Wednesdays. This is a bonus part for all you pandas reading out there, posted on a Saturday. To read part 8 click here.