Episode 3 – The Plot Thickens

I walk into Mr. Erickson’s History class and it’s obvious they’re expecting me…the minute I show, everyone breaks into hysterics, and Max, Scott and Ben are huddled in the back looking pleased with themselves. It’s so fucking typical. Erickson’s the lacrosse coach, not much older than the team, and doesn’t know the difference between students and teachers. He pulls the same shit as the Nutt-Job, hangs with his players, has them over for shits and giggles.

Fortunately, my friends Benny and Chip are there, so I take refuge with them. They tell me that, before I showed, Max was giving Erickson a blow by blow on my outfit and they were yucking it up.

I’m royally pissed, but do my usual…pretend it doesn’t bother me in the least…wave and clown around. I hate myself for doing it, but I’m not about to give them the satisfaction of knowing it got to me. I finish my routine, bow and sit down…hoping we can get on with our lives.

But no, the reaction’s pretty derogatory and Chip’s pissed that I degraded myself. “Don’t do that, dude,” he whispers. “You’re playing right into their hands,” and he’s right. Erickson immediately asks me to stand up again, so I get up defiantly with my chin out. Fuck ’em!

“Mr. Hooker,” he says, “is it true you came to school dressed in a powder blue outfit, or is that just a rumor?”

“It’s pretty factual, sir, but my sweater was red and green plaid.”

“O, I see,” he says smugly. “Thanks for the clarification.” Everyone giggles.

“My pleasure,” I say sitting down.

His face hardens. “Did I excuse you, Mr. Hooker? Please stand while I’m speaking.” He glares at me, brushes back his blond hair. He’s lean and angular…dresses like an English schoolboy…gray trousers, school tie, blue blazer. It’s obvious I’m an alien to him, and he treats me like shit. I get A’s in everything except History. I try hard, but he knit picks everything and gives me B’s…for really vague reasons. Writes comments like “poorly researched,” “idea not developed,” “questionable conclusion,” and I know he doesn’t do that shit to Benny and Chip, just me. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but it’s pointless.

“Why do you always feel compelled to draw attention to yourself, Mr. Hooker?” He asks.

Of course, the right move is to give him a straight answer like “I don’t mean to sir,” but I’m not about to give him the satisfaction, so the following escapes from my lips: “I think conformity is bullshit, sir.”

Except for a few nervous titters, the class is stunned, and Erickson turns beet red. “Mr. Hooker, march yourself immediately to Mr. Perkins’ office and tell him verbatim what you told me.”

“Yes sir, immediately, sir,” I say and hustle out, knowing I’m in for beaucoup shit, but relieved to be out of that fucking classroom.

To be continued… Read next episode!