One can assume that a high-school is rife with germs. The building itself acts as fly-paper for everything from sneezing to whooping-cough, swine-flu to athletes' foot, and sometimes even cooties. It's a surprise that with such an increase in germatology (grown more so due to the mild winter) that we have yet another year with a reduction in staph.
Speaking as one with this reductive disease, I find that although it isn't officially recognizable, having it makes me feel like a paranoid asthmatic in a rumored roomful of tuberculosis. People look at me with a mournful half-smile accompanied with a sigh.
Is this how the sick are treated? People expect less of you, to be nice; people let you sit near them, to be nice; people treat you differently, like you've turned to glass, like you are hollowing, like you are disappearing, to be nice.
Meanwhile, I remain in full frontal, SCREAMING through my skin that I'm still here.
But I'm not. My efforts to look as though I'm full of strength and confidence sucks my marrow almost to the point of hollow. Getting up. Getting dressed. Looking professional. Walking through my door. Driving once my car is started. Turning the key to, "off" as I sit in the parking-lot to walk into the building. Walking into the building. Smiling. Saying, "good-morning," and exchanging pleasantries. Pretending I want to be there in front of the students. Holding my stomach in place. It’s all for farcical ostentation.
Being here makes me sea-sick with sadness, caught in a storm. I am out to sea. I am RIFed. What an ironic anagram.