Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Story a Day #4

I put a lot of thought into this one, I hope you guys like it. It's not really like my other stuff, which I think is a good thing, personally.

On the TV a group of poorly drawn cartoon animals were riding bikes and skateboards down a roller coaster ramp. I guess the ad guys were trying to make them cool and "extreme" to appeal to our age demographic, but nobody I knew wore fucking shoulder pads and helmets. The poorly drawn cartoon monkey flew off a ramp and landed in front of a poorly drawn elephant who squeezed a packet of yogurt onto his face, which the monkey then licked off. The hidden implications of this action were not lost on me, I assure you. Then the news switched back on, hosted by some Asian lady and a black guy who was trying way too hard to be white. Everyday we have to watch this junk, a few past relevant news items sandwiched between loud commercials for candy and soda. It's called Channel Uno. I call it Channel Bullshit. Sometimes we even have to write papers about it, which pisses me off to no end.
I looked around the room. Everyone was staring at the screen, eyes transfixed with almost frightening intensity at this obvious and insulting marketing ploy. It made me feel a little sick so I went back to sketching in my notebook.
I drew a picture of the monkey from the ad, but instead of a yogurt squirting elephant's trunk, I drew a penis shooting splooge. Then I started drawing monsters and deformed babies, my two favorite subjects. I got a pretty good creature started, with huge teeth dripping with slime and segmented bug's eyes when my notebook was pulled out from under my hands, leaving a large pencil gash across the page. I looked up into the face of Mrs. Friedman, our homeroom slave-master. I made a pissed off face, which I hoped meant "You better give me back my notebook before I get mad" but I guess she didn't get the signal. She pointed towards the TV.
"No drawing. Watch Channel Uno."
Then she walked up to the board and put another mark next to my name. I had three already, two more and I'd get a detention. Detention at our school is actually pretty strict. You sit in a room and stare straight ahead and you're barley allowed to move at all. I skipped out on my last two though with no consequences. I don't think they even take attendance.
I watched as she walked back to her desk with my notebook and threw it next to a stack of papers.
"I said watch the TV!" She yelled at me. "Don't make me put another mark next to your name!" Then she sat down and opened a romance novel.
I leaned back in my chair and daydreamed that I had a baseball bat and was smashing the TV to little pieces...

Rob was waiting for me by my locker, like usual. Rob was weird as shit and I didn't trust him all that much but I didn't really have any other friends at that point, and I don't think he did either, so we were kind of pity friends I guess.
"The fuck's the matter with you?" Was his greeting. Rob liked to swear a lot, even around teachers. He really didn't give a shit.
"What?" I grabbed my Sociology book and notepad and rooted around for a pen in the junk at the bottom of my locker.
"What do you mean what? You're fucking scowling, thats what."
"Don't I always scowl?"
"Yeah, but this is a deeper scowl. Plus you look like you want to kill small furry woodland animals."
"That bitch took my notebook. Fucking stuck up whore." I stood up and slammed my locker shut.
Rob laughed that annoying high pitched laugh of his.
"Friedman? You shouldn't be mad about that. You can just go in and get it back yourself. She doesn't lock the door when she goes to lunch, everyone knows that."
"I didn't."
"That's because you're a fucking moron."
"Yeah well your mom's a whore."
"Well your dad's a whore and he likes it sideways!"
That made me laugh, like it always did. At least Rob was good for something. The bell was about to ring.
"I tell you what." Rob said, "I'll skip PE Class and go with you at lunch to get your notebook back, sound good?"
Knowing Rob, it wasn't going to be good at all, but I nodded.
Rob smiled. "Kewl, see ya around, clown!" And took off for whatever class he had. I wasn't even really sure Rob went to class at all. I swore one time I saw him walking down the street one day at four in the afternoon on a Tuesday...

I met Rob in the lunchroom. He already had a tray of food which was miraculous since lunch had just started about five minuets ago and the line was already long.
"Where the Hell'd you get that?" I said, pointing at his tray.
"Blew the lunchlady." He said and popped a handful of tater-tots into his mouth.
"Waff fiss!" He said through a mouthful fried potato and hucked a tater-tot over my head. I turned quick and watched as it sailed through the air and hit a nerdy freshman sitting at the far table on the top of the head. He gave a rather loud yelp and dropped his grilled cheese into his soup. I shouldn't have laughed since it was so damn mean, but the kid's reaction was priceless. Rob was in hysterics, laughing his head off and spitting chunks of chewed potato all over his plate.
"How the Hell can you do that man? The principal is standing right by the door."
"Simple my dear Watson!" He said in a mock serious voice. "I just don't give a fuck!" Then he laughed and then proceeded to stuff the rest of his food into his soup.
"Let's get the fuck out of this rat hole" Rob said and stood up. The principal was eyeing us we walked out. His bald head gleamed and I had a vision of stuffing it into a toilet and flushing. It made me smile...

Our school is small, just two floors and no one is supposed to be on the second floor between classes, so we had to be quiet. Mrs. Friedman's classroom is at the end of the hallway, so we didn't have to pass any other rooms. Right across from it is a supply closet. Just like Rob said, the door was unlocked.
With the light off and the blinds closed, the room was dim, but we could still see fine. I always like how the light filters through the cheap cloth blinds on all the classroom windows. In fact, I like it better than the cold soul killing fluorescent lights the teacher's usually insist stay on all the time.
I found my notebook in the garbage. The bitch had dumped her coffee on it and there was a wad of gum stuck to the back. I riffled through it. It might have been a cheap notebook, but the cover had saved most of my drawings from ruin.
Rob was standing over by Mrs. Friedman's desk.
"Lets see what we got in here!" Said Rob, a bit too loudly.
"I got my notebook, lets get out of here!" I whispered.
Rob answered by opening a drawer and riffling through it. He tried the one under it but it was locked. I walked over to where he was standing.
"Watch this shit, I learned this off the Internet!"
He opened up the drawer directly beneath Mrs. Friedman's chair and pulled out a paper-clip. He unbent it, stuck it in the lock, and started wiggling it up and down.
"Are you fucking crazy? Do you know how much trouble we could get in, lets get out of here!" I whispered.
"Shhhh!" Was his reply, with his finger on his mouth like I was a little kid.
I didn't think he could do it, but sure enough, he got it open. We stared in disbelief at the drawers contents.
Rob laughed and smiled so wide I thought his face was going to split open.
"Holy friggin' shit!" He said and pulled the huge package of tampons out of the drawer.
"Extra wide for extra heavy flow..." Rob read and muffled a laugh by putting his hand over his mouth.
I laughed a bit too. "Alright, put it back and lets get..."
"Lets see what else is in here..." Rob knelt down and started rummaging though the papers at the bottom of the drawer."
"Rob," I said agitated and genuinely nervous, "She's going to come back any time now..."
"Holy jumping banana Christ on a corndog, look what I found!" He stood up and held the object in front of his face. In the dim light I couldn't quite make out what it was. At first I thought it was a dildo, which didn't make a whole lot of sense, but then Rob flipped a switch and a blade flicked out of the handle. My jaw just about hit the floor.
"Why the Hell would Mrs. Friedman have that?" I asked and took the switchblade to inspect it.
Rob shrugged his shoulders. "Heck if I know, she probably took it from some kid."
"Yeah, but wouldn't she have called the police?"
Rob shrugged his shoulders again and grabbed it back. "Before we go, there's one more thing I want to do..."
He walked back over to the desk and before I even heard his zipper open I knew what he was going to do. My stomach flew up into my throat.
"Rob you fucking idiot, you stupid fucking..." I whispered, rage filling up my head till I couldn't see straight.
Rob smiled and laughed a quiet lunatics laugh. When he was done pissing in the drawer he stuffed the tampons back and locked it back up with the paperclip. Then we got the Hell out, not even looking to see if any teacher's were coming down the hall. Stupid, so fucking stupid. I was scared and angry though, and Rob just really didn't care....

I met Rob out on the football field bleachers after school. I sat and stared at the ground while Rob laughed like a loon.
"You fucking idiot.." Was all I could get out.
"Would an idiot have gotten this?" He laughed and pulled the switchblade out of his pocket.
"You fucking moron," I yelled "Put that damn thing away before you get us both expelled!"
Rob laughed again and I struggled with my urge to punch him out. "You're too uptight man, you've got to learn to relax. High school's a fucking joke, It's just that no one seems to realize it but me."
"You're a real Einstein Rob."
Fall was just starting and it was still a little warm out, but just starting to get cold. The wind was icy and it blew right though my thin jacket. I shivered and pulled my hands into my sleeves.

They never did find out who pissed in Mrs. Friedman's desk, even with all the threats the principal gave over the schools speaker system and Tiffany, the head cheerleader's pleas for whoever did it to come forward at various assemblies. Homeroom moved into the library till they got the room sanitized and Mrs. Friedman's new desk came in. I'm not a huge fan of the school library, but it was better than sitting in a classroom. For one thing, there was no TV to stare at. For another, I could sit at one of the back tables and draw and generally no one bothered me. Then we moved back in and it was brain-washing time all over again.
Rob moved away that summer but before he did he came over to my house and we had Mario Kart battles in the basement. It was strange since he came out of the blue and we hadn't been seeing much of each other since Christmas break.
After we got tired of Nintendo we sat and made fun of the stupid junk on MTV. After awhile our riffs got fewer and fewer and an awkward silence settled. Rob broke it, but he didn't sound like his usual crazy self. I could be wrong, trying to look back on it and all, but to me he sounded scared. I had never heard him like that and it unnerved me.
"I wanna give you somethin' man. Here."
He pulled the switchblade out of his pocket and handed it to me across the couch. I looked at it, a dark black handle with grips on one side. It was heavier than I remembered.
"The switch is on the bottom, keep the blade side away from your hand."
I hit the switch and the blade swung out.
"Look at the blade man. Look at it real close." Rob said in that strange half strangled voice.
"Jesus Rob, did you cut yourself with this?"
"No, that ain't my blood man. When I got home that day, and I could really look at the thing, that's when I noticed it."
There was quite a bit of darkish dried blood stuck to the edge of the knife, I wondered why neither of us had noticed it before. It was down in the knife dock too. And something else...
I pulled out a long blonde hair that was stuck at the bottom. Rob didn't seem to notice. He just sat and stared at the TV. I swear he looked pale, but that might just be my imagination distorting things. After awhile neither of us said anything and he just got up and left with a half-hearted "See ya around man." I listened to him walk up the steps and heard the door close. I've never felt so alone as I did at that moment. It was a feeling like everyone in the world had suddenly vanished and I was the only one left. I turned off the TV and the lights and walked up stairs to make a sandwich and wait for Mom to come home. I put the knife in the trash, stuffed it way down at the bottom and sat at the table, looking out the window into the backyard. The sun was just starting to go down and the crickets chirped their songs to the coming night.
I never saw Rob again.


Erica said...

Enjoyed reading this Derek! I had to laugh at the Channel Uno...I hated it in high school too. Can't wait to read more!

John-Michael Morgan said...

(sigh) The story of my life.

Kurdt said...

Well thanks Erica! I'll see what I can do...