I was fucked, and he was angry. You could see it in his neck veins. My face turned purple. I dropped my cane.
I can’t breathe. I’m sorry!
Laughter was the only audio playing. Different colors appeared, hundreds of tears flowed down my face. I can’t breath. I can breath. I see Security. I was dropped. I was inhaling air so fast and furiously. Air tasted so good on my gums. Better than oranges at halftime of youth soccer games on hot summer days. I lay feebly on my knees emotionally shaken. And catching my breath I finally caught my breath. Anger rallied me back on my Sky Blue Adidas. I quickly felt for the small butterfly knife I tucked inside the belt of my baggy jeans earlier for situations just like this. My first thought was to run up and put two-thirds of that blade in the back of his neck. Then I would feel better. What to do?
I carry a “doink” to school because I’m an aspiring rap star.
My friend Tick, the nature lover, when he saw that knife was baffled. I never thought he’d try to kill himself with it two months later.
But on that first day of high school I felt safe with my hand on a knife after being strangled within an inch of my life. It’s terror having your air supply shut off.
As I watched the senior I hated high five his dimwitted running mates a newly instated parking lot security guard stood behind me. She blocked the sun and suddenly I could see everything. Jesus Christ get me out of here
“What the hells the problem here kid?” I couldn’t believe that toy boy / women was actually asking belligerently what had happened with me when the true felons were just seconds away! I love that line.
“step off cracker.”
I love callen white people crackers
It made me feel better. I wiped the last tear from my eye, heard the bell ring, regrouped and thought, “dam.” Also I thought if my mother had ever just witnessed that, dam. What if the Big Guy, the head basketball coach had seen that? I'd be done early, out of the gates nice work sport.
I promised ma on my grave this morning that I would be good this year, a whole new Carl I’d moderately breached. An older girl walked by I was familiar with, I shouted, “yo, yo, yo!” She stopped, thankfully responded, “yes Carl?”
“Where do I go?" I'd ask innocently like a lost dog from heaven after what just happened.
I wonder what that snotty little face would look like with the massager.
I straightened my shirt, which was dope, picked up my cane, pulled down my jeans, and headed towards homeroom. My head was down and shaking from side to side in unison with my strut.
It may look funny, I don’t give a fuck. I can dance.
Sagging myself into homeroom personal proclivities dictated I was the very last student to arrive. After what I went through in Junior High, I figured I had a reputation to grow.
The teacher looked up from her clipboard, “Well well, well" I loved it. She knew my name! It was a great feeling. Carl Easton, nice of you to join us. Please take a seat. I needed the last words. The class cracked up loudly. I always got a kick out of the spontaneity in which I could produce confusing, laughable responses. The classroom was a stage next to only basketball I could perform to an audience.
“Don’t make this a habit.” She says forcefully
“Get off my dick.”
The class laughs. “What did you say?” Her reading glasses slip
“What?” I played confused.
“What did you say?”
“I didn’t say anything, I said what?”
"What's with the cane?"
“I hurt my ankle.” Sitting down I'd completed my pimp walk. The laughter grows with each passing step high fiving my man Max along the way. I point to a fan from Hayden. I imaged a camera flashing. I took the seat right behind my buddy Max. I could tell he was trying not to be the zilla I knew. He laughed. Max and I went way back played football together.
And it was Max whom we gave Reggie, my old cocker spaniel from the Junior High point system on that fateful day. We lost Reggie that night. I whisper something to Max.
“Take a seat.”
I sit. There’s a knock on the door. I see a man. I know him without sight or introduction. I'd been warned by my sister and mother all summer long about this guy.
Apparently he did not fuck around, Mr. Robinson. The rumor was his beeper, (a then relatively new and certainly sleek state of the art device) was really a direct line to the police station. I’d heard he had no qualms prosecuting kids and crimes that occurred on school grounds. My mother told me to watch out for him and so did Porsche and so did Brooke. My mother added he loved Brooke and if I played my cards right he might be an ally.
“Mr. Robinson, nice to see you, you need someone already?” Mr. Robinson leaning in the doorway looked like quite a challenge. That was my first impression. Also, to further his intrigue he wore brown leather cowboy boots complimenting booty tight wrangler jeans! Jesus Christ this was a guy, this was a cowboy educator, I quickly think to myself, unlike any I’ve ever seen up to this point in my career. He wore the aforementioned then state of the art PageNet beeper on the side of his belt and carried a clipboard which made me think of the Wonder Years.
Of course the Sky pager made him new jack and this paradox tipped my toes from jump. The man’s booty tight jeans made it hard to keep a straight face for me at first. “Mr. Easton!" You are number #1 on my list today.”
“You talking to me?” I reply pointing at myself but really just pointing at the gold chain I stole from my sister earlier.
“I’d like a word please.” He commanded.
As I fluttered towards the door I high fived Max who was loving the house masters attention.
“What up?” Frozen without warning he reveals a very small but very presumptuous Jedi like lip curl. I was intrigued.
“Good morning Mr. Easton. I'd like to welcome you to our fine institution. A couple of things, I've been reviewing your file this morning, I must say pretty good file you've managed to amass.”
"Thank you." I replied smug
"I'm reading and I quote, he's the worst student I've had in thirty years of teaching. This is a kid that will make you re-evaluate your profession."
He flips a couple yellow pages ahead on his pad, “This is my favorite, last year Carl caused the class nutrition to plummet. And of course Carl is prone to violent outbursts when his needs are not met. You gotta have that, right?" His loaf of lettuce flocked to his left.
"yeah yo yeah"
Settling down he finishes chuckling while holding his stomach for obviously he was experiencing pain in his abdominal region. Continuing his light chuckle, “I bet you must have been the pride of the 8th eighth grade class.” I was angry, he was beating me at my own game already, I angrily replied under the radar “I’ve never been convicted of a felony.”
“Carl I don’t want to see you hurt yourself anymore than you’ve already managed. I’ve spent the morning reading shall we say your “file” and (blurts out laughing) I must say that you have managed to upset a lot of good people sir. I simply have dropped by this morning to ask you one question, (laughing pause) what’s your secret?” I snap back “pink milk, it’s always been the pink milk.”
Mr. Robinson began laughing so loud that I could see precipitation forming in his eyes.
What’s so funny? What’s with everyone?
“A few things Mr. Easton, one, pink milk” again he explodes in laughter as I look around and ponder
why are there never any witnesses when this weird shit happens to me?
Finally Mr. Robinson continued. “Carl, C Cafeteria is the only cafeteria on campus that sells the milk pink. Now I’m going to inform Camile that you are not allowed to purchase any Pink milk and if we catch you drinking pink milk on school grounds you’ll be suspended. Wait, I know you want to speak but there’s more.” I thought of Star Wars. OK, Mr. Easton in addition Florence Kennedy is our school nurse and any day that I hear from her that you haven’t reported in to take your medication you’ll receive five long detentions.” Placing five fully extended fingers in front of my face he resumes his leveraged stance, “count em Carl, five detentions” he’s twisting his open palm front to back. “Five every time so think. Take your medication too. Anyway, I want to wish you all the luck in the world at the start of your high school career” again his head viciously directs itself in a tilting downward fashion as he pivots back off balance like vertigo. Uncontrollably laughing away he walked away to the next victim on his list.
Why can’t there be the same set of rules for everyone? Jesus Christ, how can I win? No pink milk? But I just told him that was my secret, what the fuck?
As Mr. Robinson was walking away and still within striking distance I said quietly under my breath “nice jeans homo." I think his laughter overrides any inconspicuous slanderous chatter that it was his job to detect. Mr. Robinson was a greater, savvier and professional challenge. That was absolutely my very first impression. I need that pink milk was my next thought.
Homeroom soon ended and my freshman year was underway and already I was off to a horrendous start. If this whole thing was being filmed on the reality tip and my mother was watching there’d be no Xanex left to steal. I needed basketball to start.