Time Stands Still


When I was a teenager, I could count on a few things. One, my life was boring and relentlessly so. Two, there was absolutely nothing of any entertainment value happening in my old home town. And three, time had a way of taking so long to pass that it seemed virtually to stand still.

I disliked high school very much. Okay, that’s four. Along with the going to school (already remarked upon at length), there was the reality of the school day itself. Whether the subject was biology or algebra, Spanish or civics, I’d look at the clock in my classroom – 10:20. A half hour later, I’d look again – 10:23. And again when I was sure the bell had to sound any second – 10:23. Even my disturbingly handsome trigonometry teacher, Mr. S___, couldn’t persuade me to keep my eyes off the clock. You know the old saying about the pot that never boils? Watching that clock like I did, dragged out a perfectly standard school day into a universe of time.

And so it is for my character Glory in PERSEPHONE IN HELL. In this scene, she’s in history class, watching a spider up on the ceiling when she should have been listening to the teacher.

“Miss M____, are you still with us?” sneered Mrs. Hansen. “Can you tell me which monarch, which king was next in succession?” A trick question for sure.

Glory looked squarely at the teacher with her piercing violet eyes and replied in her straightforward way, as though she had been listening all along. “The great queen, Elizabeth the First, of course.” The class burst out laughing – Glory was so good at showing up the teacher. Mrs. Hansen turned red, furiously scribbled out a pink detention note, and slapped it on Gloria’s desk.

Glory looked up and saw the daddy long legs gone, escaped from the classroom. The spider at least, is free. She hoped with all the fierceness of her spirit that it was female.”

Now you might be thinking by this now that Glory is really me in disguise. But the truth is, I never got detention. Maybe once. Spiders freak me out. And I always paid attention in class. That’s the truth, for the most part.

One thought on “Time Stands Still

  1. I will be thinking about the oxymoron of a handsome trigonometry teacher all day! I like the way you give us these snippets of your motivations for aspects of Glory’s character. Very well done!


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