Faces, kodachrome faded, once recognisable, had become nameless.
I scrutinise the rows of uniform.
Who was the boy on the left?
Who was the boy on the right?
They do not speak.
Sitting and thinking, I furrow my brow.
I make a list.
Of the few faces that I retain:
- an inspiring English teacher
- the art teacher,
- the violently abusive headmaster,
- the housemaster,
- a chain-smoking French teacher.
- a paedophile science teacher
- a sadistic German teacher
- a history teacher or two
- a geography teacher.
Hour upon hour of study... how many moments remain?
Hour upon hour of study... how many marks did I receive?
Two vivid bruises.
A dumb chorus.
Two or three people marked me for life.
Others left no apparent mark.
The Chorus (1876) by Edgar Degas, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay