Do elementary school classrooms still have dulled metal pencil sharpeners secured to a wall? Waiting for the next child to crank its handle so it can gnarl on the yellow chewed up wood until it reaches a sharp point; and then feast on the number #2 shavings in its oblong belly? And when fully consumed, does the school custodial engineer/janitor collect and save the grinded remains, so it can be used to absorb the days lunch the next time a second grader violently hurls their mac n’ cheese and strawberry jello down the long winding staircase leading directly to the bathroom on the first floor?
I hunkered down in a small waiting room chair in an older doctor’s office. I gazed at another chair just like the one I was sitting in across the room. The chairs were non descript…….making no statement, just doing their job day in and day out. They were tan with leather across the seat. The arms and legs were made of a soft light colored wood that had gotten darker over the years. The arms had a tired look as though many nervous hands had fingered, scratched, and rubbed them over the years. I imagined one person’s finger prints seeping into the soft wood. When the next patient came and put their hand in the exact same spot, what would seep up through the wood? Could the next person feel the worry, sadness, and fear of the hand that had clutched that rounded corner a day before or an hour before?