I WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD, growing up in Florida, and my fifth grade teacher was the toad-like and perpetually pissy Mrs N.
Once, on a field trip to Tallahassee, I was perched alone on a bus seat when Mrs N came scowling down the aisle. The bus jerked, and Mrs N stumbled and fell onto the empty space next to me… right on my hand. She didn’t seem to notice, and ground her warm, blubbery cheeks onto my fingers. I began to sweat, beyond repulsed. Finally – like a wolf in a trap gnawing its caught leg – I yanked my paw free from her ass. Mrs N snapped her head around to face me, her eyes giant with scorn. She got up. She sat in a different seat. I never looked her in the eye again. And I never forgot the atrocity of that moment: her old ass, my innocent hand.