New job, new job, new, job. My excitement props up my fatigue like dewy tent poles. I've been a counselor in a group home for teens for the last two years, working until midnight or later five nights a week. We're all about extremes, leave your moderation at the door, please. Wait, we don't say please. We say, "Look Bitch! Give me my fucking sweet snack, or I will fucking kick your ass! Fuck you! I am being respectful!" Or in a happy moment, "Fuck, Dog! This is best fucking porkchop I've had in my whole fucking life! You fucking rock! This is tight!"
Fucking, fucking, fuckity, fuck fuck. A quiet one passed through recently, and carefully whispered to me, "I never knew there were so many ways to use "fuck" in a sentence. I think I'm ready to go home now." She was one of the small handful of non-abused/non-abusive kids, who are sent to us for a reality check. Suddenly their parents are not so unreasonable, and they are desperate to return home to normal rules and boundaries.
Things I've lost track of: How many holes have been punched in walls, though I could estimate the number next to my face. How many times I've been called a bitch. The number of police visits, abuse stories, chairs thrown, and incident reports all blend together. However, the number of actual contacted hits in the last two years? Two. One between 2 kids that ended in less than 10 seconds, and one in my face. I hurt myself far more playing basketball.
Positive things I've lost track of: The number of ridiculous, laughing basketball games I've played. The number of children's stories I've read that the kids have never heard of. How many times I've watched a teenager draw for the first time, write a poem, play a song, and realize that they are actually good at it. Even, finally, the number of successful home placements and jobs has become blurry.
Now, it's time to get some sleep, to slow down a bit. I'll be working with a lot of the same kids, but in the daytime, and in fewer numbers. I'm afraid I'll get bored and antsy, but I'm sure I'll find something interesting to channel my energy. Something that involves less swearing. A pair of sparkly Mary Janes skipped by me on a four year old last week, and I said aloud, and luckily just out of earshot, "Damn, those are some nice fucking shoes!"