aug 31, 2011
“Sargent who alone had lingered came forward slowly, showing an open copybook. His
thick hair and scraggy neck gave witness of unreadiness and through his misty glasses
weak eyes looked up pleading. On his cheek, dull and bloodless, a soft stain of ink lay,
dateshaped, recent and damp as a snail’s bed.
He held out his copybook. The word Sums was written on the headline. Beneath were
sloping figures and at the foot a crooked signature with blind loops and a blot. Cyril
Sargent: his name and seal.”
A boy stays after class, and Joyce toys with both authority and identity.