The Teachers’ Lounge: Stories
An original translation of new Hebrew fiction from Bernstein Prize-winner Dror Burstein, author of ‘Kin’
The Math Teacher
The Math teacher came into class and said: This morning I forgot everything. The four basic operations. Long division. Addition, subtraction. I forgot the multiplication table. The numbers even. I remember only the number 5. But I am unable to write it or calculate with it. Five. Five. Five. Very strange. I know that I was once the Math teacher. That on the board, with chalk, I solved equations and exercises. All that ended this morning. I thought about not coming at all. I thought about not getting up, staying in bed a bit longer. I thought about death. I’m 40 years old. A few more moments, I said to my wife, a few more moments this will pass. I’ll lie and wait. Five minutes and that’s it, I said to her. But I had no idea how much five minutes is. Tell me, he said to the stunned class, tell me please, how many are you, children, and how much is the Math teacher.
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