Words Too Secret To Explain. Boomer Episode 10 by the American author Dewey Edward Chester. Enjoy your day, Yareah magazine friends!
The college coach was busy writing football patterns on a chalkboard.
He looked worried, and when he heard Mildred’s last remark, he glanced at her, hesitated a moment, then said —– “Mildred, I want to finish Michael’s lesson. Would you think it rude if I asked you to go away?
The professor turned to smile at me. “Am I to go away, Mr. Stahr?” she asked.
“Please don’t, Professor Pierce,” I pleaded, “tell me more about oratory.”
“It is a tedious subject we must talk seriously about, Mr. Stahr, but certainly I shall not run away, now that you have asked me to stay. You don’t mind, Johnny, do you?”
The coach bit his lip. “If Michael wants it, of course you can stay. Sit down again, Mildred. And now, Michael, sit still until I finish writing your game plan. And don’t pay attention to what she says. She has a bad influence over her students.”
I returned to reading a book, but I was strangely attracted to this White woman. She was so unlike my coach.
After a moment I said to her —– “Is it true, Professor Pierce, that you’re a bad influence on your students? As bad as my coach says you are?”
“There is no good influence, Mr. Stahr. All influence is bad, from my point of view.
“Because, if I influenced you, I would give you my Soul! From then on, your thoughts would not be your own. Your dreams would be borrowed and you would become an echo, of me!
“Most of us fear ourselves; we have fear of nakedness! Courage has left us. Perhaps we never had it.
“And yet —–!
“I’m almost finished, Michael,” said my college coach, still writing on his chalkboard. But he was conscious of a look that appeared on my face; a look that had not been there before.
“—–And yet….,” continued Professor Pierce, in her soft musical voice. And with that graceful wave of her hand, so characteristic of her undergraduate days, she said —– “The bravest man among us is afraid of something, Michael. The greatest games of the world take place in the mind, where regret takes place. You have desires that fill you with dread; your crime is —-!”
“STOP!” I faltered. “Stop. I’m confused. I cannot answer you. Let me think…or rather let me try ‘not’ to think.”
I sat motionless, conscious that this White woman was speaking to me, and I could not catch my breath.
The dash and squeak of the coach’s chalk on the board made the only sound that broke the stillness…..except when now and then the coach stepped back to look from a distance.
In the slanting sunbeams that streamed through the doorway, dust danced and was bolden.
I was influenced beyond my control. A thought struck me. There was a place and time I would be wrinkled, my eyes dimmed, the grace of my body deformed.
This thought struck me like a knife. I quivered, visibly in pain. My eyes were filled with tears. My professor had touched a chord. Music stirred me like this. But words; mere words! How truthful they were. How clear and vivid…and cruel. I could never escape from them. And yet what magic they held. They gave form to formless things. Was there anything so real as words?
There were words too secret to explain —- for instance, that green meadow; the footpath that went across it. Within the hedges on the opposite side, boughs of Sycamores swayed.
A blond girl appeared…and within a single splendid moment, she tore off all of her clothes!
Her body was smooth cream, yet I admired her Spirit —-she had torn off all of her clothes! She could destroy a culture doing this; sweep the Rules into nothingness —– by that single gesture of nakedness. She became my Helen, of Troy!
Professor Pierce watched me, amazed at the impression her words had made. She’d simply shot an arrow toward the sky. Had it hit the mark?
Was I now an echo, of her?