Hump Day Crush: Hot for Teacher

It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of my classic personal crush stories. Some of you may have heard this one before–I know I love telling it. So, without further ado…

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful: for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing…

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone’s had a crush on a teach at one point or another. Especially in high school where those first year teachers are just a few years older. Or in college where they can be exactly the same age.

I’ve had my share of teacher crushes.

But that’s really not what this is all about. At least not at the beginning.

There have only been three women I have ever known that have struck me motionless and speechless. The first was Mandi, and that was before I knew any better. The last was Paula, and it was only when she came through the lounge that one time in that red dress–as opposed to all the times she’d walk by wearing just a towel and only those visiting would take notice.

This is about that one between those two.

It was about halfway through my senior year in high school when I “met” her. One morning, I came around a corner, not paying any attention. Halfway down the hallway, while I was still not paying attention, the door from the guidance office opened. I had to stop short to avoid running her down. Stopping wasn’t the problem. Doing anything else was.

Her arms were full of books and she was in a hurry. I had just narrowly avoided walking full-force into her and scattering the pile of books and papers across the hallway. Standing there, we were just inches apart, closer than I had ever been to most people I actually knew in high school. Her frame was slight, her jaw sharp and well defined and her hair a nice, long blond. The pale blue of her outfit complimented the bright blue of her eyes, still wide with surprise at my sudden appearance. We exchanged no words other than a mumbled “Sorry.” That was all I could manage after our eyes met.

As she quickly walked away, I came to my senses and realized I had just seen the most lovely creature ever created by any divinity.

And I hoped to all the gods throughout time that she was a new student and not just someone visiting.

I stumbled through my day, still drunk on that momentary meeting, that fleeting near-collision that had brought me face to face with an angel sent down to earth. I tried to explain it to my buddy Justin in the senior lounge, just feet and minutes away from where it had happened. He just looked at me like I was crazy.

Oh, but I was crazy! Crazy in love with this new girl that I had never seen before. Had the force of her beauty alone supplanted the laws of physics and kept us from physically bowling one another over? Had I been cursed to only see her that one brief instant? Was she nothing but a hallucination? After all, I was more than halfway through my day and I had not seen her again…

Then came my AP Chemistry class. It was a small class, six people (counting the teacher) on a good day, one person (not necessarily the teacher) on a bad one. This was looking to be one of the latter with me being the only one to show up. So, with plenty of time to spare, I decided to pop in on people I knew in the physics class next door.

No sooner had I set foot into that classroom when I stopped cold. Paralyzed by what I saw.

There she was! The beauty I had been searching for all day was there, in that class room! And I had an excuse to be there! And… and…

And she was standing right were the normal teacher would be.

Without a second to spare, I turned tail and ran back to my classroom before she could look up and see me.

She was a substitute teacher.

I would find out later that her name was Miss Slick and she had graduated from that very same high school just five years earlier, right before I entered as a freshman. She had gotten her degree in teaching and was working as a substitute in the area until a better job came along.

I was devastated. I knew there would be no romantic chance meetings and no chance of anything else.

I spent the rest of that school year making sure she never saw me again.

Luckily, she never subbed in one of my classes. I would have just up and died.

Graduation came and went, spring gave way to summer and, in my town, summer means a certain outdoor music festival has it’s anniversary celebrated in various and sundry ways with multitudes of people. Having nothing better to do (and needing to be out of the house for fear of catching cabin fever), I made it a point to go out to at least one of these events.

The one I picked was an amazingly lucky choice.

There was a stage with music and tents… lots of tents. People from all over had come on their annual “pilgrimage” to pay homage to the gods of Rock and Roll that once graced the hills of Yasgur’s Farm. It was one of the last illegal Woodstock reunions held on the actual plot of land where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin had once entertained a half million souls caught in the rain and covered in mud. There was, and still is, a certain magick to that land.

It was working overtime that night in August.

After wandering around alone for a few minutes, I ran into some people I knew. One of them was a girl who had graduated the year before me. I had spoken with her more than a few times in the previous four years and she’d never outright ignored me, so I felt confident enough to go an strike up a conversation.

As a ambled over, stepping around some beer cans and over some of the field’s infamous mud (there’s always rain on Woodstock Weekend), I noticed she was talking with a small group of people. All of them were women.

There was a group of girls and I actually had an “in”–I had a reason to start talking to them! I knew one of them!

I know it sounds pretty simple, but at that point in my life, that hadn’t really ever happened.

And then I saw who one of those girls was.

Miss Slick was there. Talking with my friend.

My pace slowed. My head swam. But I persevered.

“Hey, how’s it going?” I managed to say to my friend.

There were no introductions, but the conversation began to flow. Within minutes there were only three of us. Then my friend had to go check on something by her tent, leaving just me and Miss Slick.

Amazingly, the conversation didn’t stop. There was eye contact. And smiling. And laughing (the good kind). We had hit a good groove and it seemed the gods of peace and love were smiling upon me for the first time in my home town.

And then it happened.

A group of very drunk young teems tore past us, laughing and stumbling and slobbering. They interrupted out conversation with their ruckus but were soon gone.

“That’s disgusting,” she said as they slogged off to another part of the field, tripping over tents as they went.

“I know,” I said, “there’s no excuse for being that wasted.”

“I’ve taught some of these kids in the high school,” she said. “And some of them aren’t any better in class.”

“I know,” I said again. “I saw you there.”

“What were you doing at the high school?”

Now… there are any number of answers I could have given to this question had I taken a second–even a millisecond–to think about it.

“Oh, I was just dropping something off for my sister. She’s a freshmen,” I could have said.

“I was just there visiting old teachers,” I could have said.

“I was trying to get a hold of some info about people I went to school with, ” I could have said.

There were dozens of things I could have said.

There was only one thing I did say:

“Oh, I just graduated.”

Immediately I heard all the warning sirens go off. The change in her body language from open to closed. The quick drop in the pace of the conversation. The darting eye movements as she looked for an exit, a way to vanish into the open field without me noticing.

Even then, though, I could have saved it. Just by adding a few more words in the infinite silence that followed those first four I could have changed it to:

“Oh, I just graduated… a couple of years ago and wanted to visit some teachers.”

Or “Oh, I just graduated… from college and was there to share the good news with my favorite high school teachers.”

But no. I stopped right there.

And so did any chance I ever had with Miss Slick.

She was gone in less than two minutes after that, finding someone else she knew to wave to and excused herself. I left, soon after that, alone… as usual.

Yeah, I’ve had my fair share of crushes on my teachers. But that’s the only one I ever had a crush on before I even knew she was a teacher. “A day late and a dollar short” doesn’t even begin to describe my luck that night, especially when compared to the wonders that had been experienced down in New Orleans just weeks earlier.

I’ve never seen her again.

  • fiferjanis

    So… you could have lied, which would have been against your nature (which is why you didn’t), and maybe have started something based on a lie. 🙂 *tsk tsk*

    • The key would have been to not mention at all that I had just graduated until later… as much later as would have been possible… preferably after the point where it would really be an issue.

      Of course, that assumes there would have been such a point. 🙂

      I just clearly remember the sharp change in the look on her face. It was like flipping a switch. In retrospect, kinda funny. At the time, tragic!

  • fiferjanis

    So… you could have lied, which would have been against your nature (which is why you didn’t), and maybe have started something based on a lie. 🙂 *tsk tsk*

    • The key would have been to not mention at all that I had just graduated until later… as much later as would have been possible… preferably after the point where it would really be an issue.

      Of course, that assumes there would have been such a point. 🙂

      I just clearly remember the sharp change in the look on her face. It was like flipping a switch. In retrospect, kinda funny. At the time, tragic!

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