The Teacher in Town by Olivia Olson
walked late into the night, collecting images. When he got home, he would lay the images out
on his desk like stones and sort them. Every night he did this, and every night, he felt as if the
man who searched for images was different than the man who sorted them like stones. The
man hunched over sorting resented the man who walked freely, and the walking man resented
the greed of the man waiting at home, hungry for stones. Both men grew hatred inside of them.
The walking man began to bring home stranger and stranger images, challenging the man at
home to find a useful way to sort them. The man at home set them in great ugly forms that the
walking man felt were a waste of time. One night, the walking man blinded himself to all the
images he saw and brought nothing to the man at home. They spoke little after that, and just let
the fire in the hearth light his face in unexpected bursts until it was time to sleep.
OLIVIA OLSON is a librarian working in metro Detroit. A full list of publications and a wordy blog can be found at oeolsonblog.wordpress.com.