The point is youíre a school superintendent, not a god, and you have to understand that. I know how it is. I had your job before you did. Iíve seen the awe, the fear even, in the eyes of those second graders as they pass the office door. The kids drop their heads when you pass them in the hall. The rare child who dares to talk to you struggles for the correct title of address. Mister? Doctor? Super? The Home Ec teachers bring you the spoils of their classrooms; they want tenure. The kindergarten teachers invite you to steakhouses with their husbands; they want raises. The fifth grade teachers donít even talk to each other anymore, because one of them received a personal Christmas card from your wife, and one didnít. This is power. This should be enough.
Now you think youíre a god? This doesnít make much sense to me. I know: you filled out the application for godhood and you got the job. But, look - youíve already got an entire community dependent on your whim. So now you go and ascend the material plane? I donít even want to ask how you pulled this one off Ė I just hope you got top dollar for your soul. Isnít this a bit extreme? What are you anyway? The guardian of education? The patron saint of schools, public and private? A minor deity, at best. And a hokey one at that. I bet you get harassed by the real gods on a daily basis. Youíre no better than that Thomas Phillips, coming crying to you about getting his lunch money stolen every day. And what good is extra-worldly existence if you canít even shoot lightning bolts out of your hands?
This is one job you donít retire from early. Hell, my retirement was the worst day of my life. They threw me a party. A party because I was 65, and district policy said it was time to put me to pasture. And look at you Ė resigning your post now. Youíre 57 years old, for Godís sake. And the new regulations say they canít kick you out until youíre 72. Thatís seven extra years of complete power over the young and malleable minds of this union free school district. But youíre throwing it all away for this divinity gig. Youíre stepping down voluntarily, for Christís sake.
When I came in that last day, my stomach turned with every tick of the clock. I dreaded those hands hitting three p.m. When they did, my door swung open, and my office filled with my now former sycophants and assorted hangers-on, singing goddamned ďFor Heís a Jolly Good Fellow.Ē It was my surprise party. The surprise party I heard my secretary planning for weeks on the phone. That was Angie. The blonde. She was the worst one to sit outside my door in all my years. There were a few brave enough to resist my advances, but they just scolded me and threatened lawsuits. But this bitch was a born-again. She said she ďmourned my soul,Ē and she was going to save me with Jesus-f-ing-Christ. (Now, youíre a lucky man, on the other hand, and you donít even realize it. That brunette sitting in front of your office never minds putting in some overtime in your office, and all she expects in return is a little black box from the Karat Shoppe now and again. She doesnít even lose phone messages from your wife or threaten blackmail when youíre neglecting her.) Thank God the other folks in the office ignored my Holy Roller secretary and brought booze to the party, because Johnnie Walker is the only thing that got me through that bullshit. The principals slapping me on the back, congratulating me on what a job I did, practically salivating, each hoping he was the next in line. The former students - all apparently working in personal banking or insurance - each with a handshake and a pitch for the best way to spend my generous pension. It was a teachersí lounge full of obese grade school teachers, and their pansy husbands, banging on the piano, trying to sing popular hits from the sixties. And everyone in that room couldnít wait for me to leave, and not show up the next Monday. No one even said goodbye at the end of the night; I didnít matter anymore. You still matter. Youíre the superintendent. Trust me: becoming a god will be a letdown.
Now stop being foolish. Reclaim your mortal aspect.
Put on your suit and a new tie. Shine your shoes. Come to work tomorrow,
and do your job. Pass a mandate requiring sex education for first graders.
Make suggestive remarks to the teacherís aide in the music room. Hell,
tell Thomas Phillips to take the skirt off and stop his bitching. I donít
care. Just realize youíre a school superintendent; godhood is one rung
down the ladder.
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