grade doesn't actually sound that important until it's staring you
in the face'.
a kid, I was never a smart enough to figure out early that my classmates
and teachers were all manipulative, unrelenting monsters. I just
skipped along in rain boots, shrugging off a bad day with the knowledge
that tomorrow would definitely be a lot better. That sort of ignorance
would be really nice to have at this point. When you realize there's
no way in hell that things are going to improve. You start counting
down the days until it, and I'm referring to school, will be over.
Even though there's still several hundred of the bastards to go.
Gabe and Friend
getting ahead of myself. Mom tells me I do that all the time. Make up
my mind before anything's even happened. After all, it's only the first
day, and school hasn't even started yet. Still have another three hours,
since I made it a point to get up at four in the morning. I haven't
been sleeping very well over the last week anyway. Nervous I guess.
Ninth grade doesn't actually sound that important until it's staring
you in the face. Schoolwork has no part in the worrying. It's just thrown
in front of me. I do it only to avoid the stamp saying I'm one of those
kids that puts their head down and goes to sleep. What bothers me, is
that I won't be able to handle the other students. I'm almost a hundred
percent sure. Only fifteen and I'm completely destroyed. A hefty database
of past indiscretions convinces me there's truth in my assumption. I
have compiled such a list, as a matter of fact, but it's only in my
While I couldn't hope to give a description about the rock cycle, I
could easily list off every single time someone threw food at me in
the cafeteria. Or, when a complete stranger would approach me in the
hallway to ask if I was gay. I remember the time someone stole my notebook
when I went to the bathroom. Whoever did it, they were kind enough to
rip it to pieces and put it back in my locker. A personal favorite was
the long-standing agreement between everyone not to use the same urinal
as me. It's all in there, molded into one fresh memory.
Of course, Mom tells me I focus too much on that stuff. So does the
shrink she made me visit twice in July. It took me about a half-hour
to figure out their opinions were exactly the same and that I was wasting
my time trying this. Actually, that's not entirely true. This guy did
tell me something new. He said I brought a lot of these things on myself.
I should become more self-aware of the way I act and the words coming
out of my mouth.
I tried making a comment about this to Mom. She waved me off, remarking
that I was still being too dismissive. Muttering "It's rude to
laugh at other people's suggestions." Since I actually agree with
this, I tried my best not to laugh at her moment of hypocrisy.
I didn't expect this therapy thing to change the quality of life. Mom's
vague attempts at parenting are so infrequent and dull.
All the crap with that shrink did make me wish I actually had a friend.
I've heard before that you should consider yourself lucky if you make
even a few really good friends. Well, I'd like to make one. Nothing
too selfish right? Just one. That doesn't exactly live in the realm
of possibility, so no heavy worries about it.
When I was really little, and rather stupid, I thought that maybe everything
was related to where I live. Like California just happened to have more
than the average number of jerks and I'd be happy if I moved somewhere
else. I used to bring up living somewhere else to Mom. Surprise, surprise,
it didn't get me anywhere. My little theory changed with vacation I
took with my Mom to see her sister in Oregon. Big, ignorant, ugly people
are going to be prevalent no matter what town you're in. Deciding I
was the one who had to change, a great idea came to me. While not terribly
original, it's definitely worth pursuing with the right know-how.
I had no idea California is such a hot bed for school shootings. The
last decade alone, there have been four major incidents. Only eight
people have been killed total but dozens were wounded. I've been researching
the topic and Santana is the personal favorite, the easiest to gather
information on. I figure if you want to go about an act as complicated
as this, you need to know what's what.
I was pretty set on doing the so called "unthinkable." I mean,
anyone would in my position. I tried to tough it out. Tried to laugh
when snowballs bearing sharp chunks of gravel were hurled in my direction.
I tried not caring when I found my gym clothes spread out in the teachers'
parking lot, each article of clothing placed on a single car. And believe
me when I say that I tried shrugging off the notes that were occasionally
passed to me in the fifth and sixth grade. Clever little slabs of paper
that summed up my entire being in one insulting sentence. Or better
yet, a drawing meant to show how ugly I was. In some artwork they paired
me up with another school outcast. Those kids never last. They either
move away, or manage to find themselves forgotten. In the end, it doesn't
do anything.. The more I think about anything, the more it occurs to
me that I'm going to fail at it.
But I am a slave to habit. I drink tea every morning and stir it for
exactly thirty seconds. Sleeping on my right side is a necessity for
a good night's rest. And I constantly feel like trying again with a
continuous problem. Hence the frequent attempts at getting through to
So, due to stubbornness, I'm not going to give up just yet. There's
going to be one last shot at fitting in. I'll even go all out, make
the strongest effort I ever have. First thing, I'm going to dress with
strict adherence to whatever's popular. Guy's fashion doesn't change
too much around here, so I went ahead and bought some clothes.
Second, I'm going to make serious changes in the way I talk. I've often
been accused of "talking too smart." To change that, I'll
talk exactly like everyone else. Pick up on the latest slang words,
use an accent that matches someone who apparently believes they're from
the dirtiest ghettos in the country. It's not that hard really. I watch
a lot of movies so I have a pretty decent grasp of pretending.
I'll ask out the first girl I talk to as well. Get all those idiots
to start whispering through the hallways about me. I almost did this
last year but the reasons were completely different. Carley Feathers,
the girl in question, is my hopeful. It makes sense to try for someone
you actually like. As I said though, first girl I strike up a conversation
with. I would like it to be her.
The last thing I'll do is take up smoking. I've noticed that the kids
at my school are always bumming cigarettes off each other. Everyone
goes to a place outside the building where it's safe to smoke during
lunch. All I have to do is make it known I'm a smoke and they'll walk
up to me, and start talking.
I can't really say if all of this will work for me. I'm hardly an optimist,
especially where I'm personally concerned. I'll give it my best shot
and go from there.
In a small way, I don't want to succeed. I'd rather make a little history,
causing the first massacre in the history of my school. That would really
make a lasting impression. It probably works a hell of a lot faster
than what I'm attempting instead. I'm nowhere near being scared to kill
either. I just I recognize how big a step that is. There's no way you
can go back after you start.
So today, it's the first real day of the rest of my life. Here goes
nothing and all the like.
Just in case though, I already borrowed a couple shotguns from my grandfather's
house during the latest weekend visit.
I don't know anything at all about guns. The only aspect didn't undertaken
research for. I just have to pull those weapons out of their hiding
place and look at them to know they're absolutely perfect.
If I don't change my life for the better, they will.
© Gabriel Ricard October 2003
Note: This piece is a work of fiction.
does not condone this sort of thing in real life.I'm not one of those
people, who always wish to be seven years old again. Why bother? For
one thing, it's totally redundant to wish for something that's already
passed you by, with no chance of returning. I've never resembled those
kinds of people but still, I'd like to be totally ignorant of the future
like most children are.
More Fiction in DREAMSCAPES
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