For me, school has been over for almost a month, yet here I am, sitting in a school cafeteria. This is the stuff of nightmares.
Not exactly. Today’s the last day of summer school, the final hurdle I must surpass before I can receive the elusive Health credit I’ve been putting off for years (apparently, my graduation is conditional upon my ability to watch documentaries and draw golden lion tamarin monkeys, as that is basically the extent of what I’ve done in this class).
I’m a little less eager than I’d expected about this being the final day. Not because of anything I listed above (although, if I do say so myself, I draw a pretty monkey. A pretty creepy monkey), but because of the guy who sits across me in the cafeteria.
Because if there’s one thing that almost makes up for the shortness of our snack break (fifteen minutes doesn’t even include the time we spend walking to the cafeteria!), it’s this guy. He’s hilarious. An absolute riot.
Except, you know, unintentionally.
The first day
A gaggle of freshmen crowds the cafeteria entrance, no doubt waiting around for their friends before they choose seats. My precious break time whittling away by the second, I choose to prioritize my hunger and precious minutes of break over the chance of socializing and make a beeline for the first empty table I see.
I am nose-deep into a peanut butter sandwich when a boy and girl slide into the chairs across from me. “What do you mean?” Girl is asking.
I debate whether to look up and shoot them a hey-I’m-friendly-let’s-be-casual-acquaintances smile as Guy explains (too loudly for me to tune out) whatever he’d said earlier. “I think the study of history is good but it’s so butchered now we might as well not even try. Like, the people in charge purposely f up so everything we learn is ignorance and lies but you wouldn’t know unless you f looked it up.”
My eyebrows have vanished into my hairline. The swear-to-substance ratio is impossibly high (I’ve taken out most of them for an easier read, so just trust me here), and they’re not even creative swears. I wonder if that’s his filler word—instead of “um”s and “like”s, does he just swear? How does he give presentations? Or talk to teachers in general?
Maybe that’s why he’s in summer school. After all, this program’s also for people who fail a core class, not just for overeager incoming freshmen and the occasional procrastinating senior.
“I f hate my English teacher. She failed me because she hated me.” He says something else that I don’t catch. “And Frederick Douglass is f stupid, if you ask me.”
The girl laughs. “The book, you mean? Or the person?”
He considers this for a long minute. “Both,” he nods sagely.
Suddenly, my snack breaks have become a thousand times more interesting.
To his credit, the guy is consistent. He’s continued with his tirades against society throughout every single break, nonstop.
“I’m not into what society conforms,” he proclaims to the girl, who appears to be hanging onto his every word. He wipes a finger on his mustache—hold on, he has a mustache? “It’s just the machine channelating the pilgrims to ride.”
I nearly asphyxiate on my own spit.
I think maybe the reason why he failed English has less to do with a societal vendetta and everything to do with the fact that he thinks “channelating” is a word, but maybe that’s just me.
Yes, it’s a Wednesday. I’m alive on weekdays, too! The weekly Sunday schedule still stands, of course—these weekday posts are just some extras.