By Simon Lelic
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Additional info for A Thousand Cuts
She entered the room and listened for the sound of the door closing behind her. When it did not come, she turned and thanked the doctor and waited for him to retreat. She thought at first that she was the only person in the room. There were four beds and all were empty. But the fourth bed, the one in the corner furthest from her, had been slept in. The curtain was halfway drawn and there was a glass and a jug of water on the side table. The glass was empty and the jug was full. ’ Lucia tried to step softly but the soles of her shoes slapped against the vinyl-clad floor.
And do you speak it? No, not really. Not really. I know words. Some useful, most less so. I can’t spell any of them. You see what I mean? He was making a joke of his inadequacy. At an interview, for pity’s sake. I did not laugh and we carried on. Why teaching, Mr Szajkowski? What has motivated you to become a teacher? Szajkowski nods and for a moment appears to contemplate. I can think of nothing more worthwhile, Mr Travis. My father practised medicine and my mother worked in a bank. Neither profession made them happy.
He said I teach Latin. And Travis looks at me like I’m some kind of retard, like I’m that kid with special needs in class C. I try to explain and I say to Szajkowski, you know what you meant by it, you know exactly what you meant by it, don’t try and act all innocent. Everyone’s watching by now of course. Not that I’m worried, I mean they know me these people, they know the kind of person I am. They know exactly what’s going on, I’m certain of it. Except for Maggie. She’s looking at me like I’m a pubic hair in her cornflakes.
A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic