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I remember hearing hallway chatter, recounting big decisions.  Little high school freshman, yesterday, unsure whether to wear an over-the-shoulder bag, canvas, or a traditional backpack, fox racing logo on the strap.  No more 8th grade.  That day, it was my first day, too.

I wore gladiator shoes, white, the day after Labor Day. White pants and a sheer, navy blouse, knotted at the neck, designer, from a shop in Soho, New York City. Through the fabric, my tattoo showed. The students saw it that first day. The ink that broke the rules. The new teacher, here and gone.

Whisper, whisper.