To this day, I recall the smell of methane, the vicious blue flame and the ice cold feel of brass. Even when the Bunsen Burners weren’t being used, I’d sense their presence, positioned strategically in the centre of the high wooden tables like soldiers ready to attack.
I hated chemistry. The Mr Bean-type teacher, Mr Tansley wore a melange of browns and purples under his lab coat; this was the 80s after all, yet he somehow always looked dour; miserable and afraid of the world he intended us to discover through various experiments and calculations. Yet despite my aversion both to him and the subject, I pitied him for he was hated by teachers and pupils alike, bullied and tormented by both. I often wondered why he’d chosen such a job.
It was a sad, old lesson for me, a big black hole in my middle school timetable; the misery reinforced only by one hastily scribbled comment in my school report. ‘You don’t like chemistry and chemistry doesn’t like you.‘
This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction