“you finally brought it!” i said, as joseph pulled out a case from his backpack. earlier in the week, he challenged me to a game of mario tennis.

he put the case on my desk and began unzipping it as two others walked over to see what was going on.

i reached over and grabbed my backpack. i pulled my nintendo switch out and handed it to marcos.

“let’s play!” joseph shouted.

“can’t,” i said, turning my chair towards my computer screen. my computer science class had just finished its first exam, and i had grades to input. i didn’t see the harm in letting the students play a couple video games since it was club day, and i’m co-advisor of the gaming club. and since one of our first projects is a video game, i thought it was actually sort of appropriate.

at least they weren’t playing fortnite.

after a few games of mario tennis and a cup or two in mario kart, the students put the systems away. marcos walked to the door where he pushed the button on the hand sanitizer machine. 

for weeks, i had fielded questions about the hand sanitizer, not really paying attention to what students were saying. they kept asking me, is this hand sanitizer?

“of course it is.”  

i didn’t realize until today why they were asking. 

apparently, marcos was a little overzealous with the sanitizer, pumping out more than he should have. 

“is this soap?” he shouted, helplessly. he rubbed his hands furiously, the foam increasing. 

“what are you doing?”

i looked over my monitor, watching as he struggled to get rid of the liquid.

“keep rubbing,” i told him, “it should eventually go away.”

“it’s getting worse!” he rubbed his hands three times then stared at them before rubbing them three times again. this continued for about half a minute. 

whoosh-whoosh-whoosh. pause. whoosh-whoosh-whoosh.  

“it’s not going away! it’s getting worse!”

his hands began to dry causing the foam to turn into a slimy mess.

“someone must have put soap into the sanitizer,” i said, wondering why.

marcos looked at me with an expression that shouted victim.

“can i go to the bathroom to wash my hands?” he said, holding up his slick hands.

“do what you gotta do.”