Okay, see ya later, kid
It made my evening, anyway

Who the Cap Fit

At the beginning of Chemistry class one day toward the end of my sophomore school year, I tripped over someone’s bag on the floor, and tipped my desk over. Mr. Bobbitt, that exemplification of sound mental health, had one hard and fast rule; tipping over your desk means going to the principal. I expect he turned on his pink elephant playing the drums toy as I left. So I trudged back to the other building, told the secretary what happened, and she didn’t quite believe me, but sent me into the vice-principal. He told me he knew all about that rule, and also that he knew I wasn’t a troublemaker, mumbling something about “retiring soon,” and sent me to the library.

No one was in the library, not even the librarian. So I sat down to look at a book and she came in a minute later all red-faced. She saw me and cried out (honest,) “Did you hear? Bob Marley’s dead!” And she sobbed a little. I said some vague too bad things, I suppose, and the dam was broken open. She told me what she knew about it, brain cancer, and also told me a lot of things about how bad it is to shoot syringes into your temples? As I recall. (Actually, he died of a rare type of melanoma which spread to his brain.) And about how the world couldn’t be the same without him. So I was shocked along with her, and we talked about a lot of things, possibly the assassination attempt on the president a few weeks earlier, which is linked to this in my head, and about Mr. Bobbitt. And then I went to my next class and went home, and heard no one else talking about Bob Marley, except for a brief mention on the news.

Looking back, I quite like knowing there was a school librarian in Lee’s Summit in 1981 who revered and mourned Bob Marley.

And the moral of this tale is that you simply never know, about people. It’s a good idea not to assume you do.