Mine was an 8th grade English lit teacher. Who was yours?
Mr. Gambino was a frustrated English teacher and failed Shakespearean actor. If you who missed the first installment of The Stage Struck English Teacher, please click here to catch up. The second installment written by Ms. Bettina Levy is Gambino: The Stage Struck English Teacher Rides Again, or please click here.
Gambino: The Stage Struck English Teacher in the Boys’ Bathroom?
Mr. Gambino was our pock-marked 8th grade frustrated English teacher whose theatrics, we learned, was not limited simply to the classroom by any means.
His soliloquies carried over to the most personal of literary and literal moments.
Right before lunch time we would all rush to the boys’ bathroom to take that wondrous break, the relieving ourselves from all of the morning’s toxic lessons. On this one particular pre-lunch break, I could not believe what I was hearing from the stall next to my urinal.
No, it couldn’t be.
It was. It was Mac Beth; and it was Gambino’s baritone. And it was Gambino’s stream playing like background music all at the same time.
Then the worst happened, he flushed!
And I panicked.
I needed so badly to finish my business, zip up and get out of there before I saw him, or worse yet, before he saw me seeing him. The worst moment in my life I could ever imagine was to be buttonholed by William Shakespeare Gambino alone in that bathroom.
I heard him cry as he turned and flung open the stall’s door,
“Hark! She speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.”
I then feared him turning sideways towards me, furrowing those bushy eyebrows and staring straight into my eyes, while waving the hand that had just released the toilet’s plunger, and booming his best Lady Macbeth’s, “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!.”
Then shoving that hand under a faucet pretending to scrub the blood from it – or in this case, the urine that might have splattered on it as he absent-mindedly did his business while reciting his business…
You know I ran out of there without washing my own hands, leaping through the door, zipper still undone, trying to pull it up hoping everything was inside it correctly, and shirttails flying I don’t know where, nor did I even give a shit.