Connor, Authority and Snow

I may have to write another post about the Hall Ball.

Someone reminded me today that I had called the Warden a Buttercup at the Ball. And that was relatively early in the night. I had completely forgotten. I also have a vague recollection of calling him a “delicate little blossom”. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHY.

I did an inventory of my memories of the night on Monday, and decided that I hadn’t declared undying love for anyone. I’m now worried that maybe I did and I just don’t remember. I have been getting knowing looks from a number of students ever since the Ball. And I do remember kissing one boy on the cheek when he called me his friend. That’s not too bad. I think. I don’t know. Here’s hoping no other memories come floating to the surface.

I’ve never been good with authority figures. It’s not just the Warden. I say the wrong thing to all my bosses.

Last night, I was in the school I teach at, and we were talking about somebody who’d given up on their dreams, and I said, “We all know what it’s like to give up our career dreams, we work in TEFL”. No one laughed. Both of the people who I was talking to are in senior positions at the top of one of the best English-language schools in the country and have made a conscious career choice to stick with teaching English. And even if they hadn’t, who tells their boss that their job must be a big disappointment to them? Well, Connor does.

And I get tongue-tied around my mother too, the most permanent authority figure there is in my life.

It’s Easter and I’m going home for a few days. Last Easter, I drove home and told my parents I was gay. It’s still not something we can talk about at home, and I’m sure prayers are regularly said in Cork that I not succumb to temptation and do the nasty with another man. And those prayers appear to be working their magic.

This Easter, I’m going to tell my parents that I’m not submitting my PhD this September and that I’m going to spend another year in college. I’ve been terrified to say anything so far. And any time she asks me about my PhD, which she does regularly, I keep saying that it’s going fine. I tell her that I’ve finished things that I haven’t even started. I do so little work for my PhD that one of my colleagues in college has told me that he finds my presence a comfort, and that if I can get a PhD, then anyone can.

I don’t know why I’m so worried about telling my mother. I haven’t committed a crime. I haven’t even failed an exam. And I’m a thirty-fucking-two-year-old, but I’m absolutely sick at the thought. I know that I’ll probably cause her sleepless nights. I know that she’ll probably spend hours on the phone discussing with my brothers what can be done about me.

There’s nothing as all-consuming, as wonderful, and as heartbreaking as a mother’s unconditional and boundless love.

It’s snowing outside right now, and I can see snowflakes falling against the light of a streetlight, and the magic of the snow does do a lot to soothe an anxious soul like mine.

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