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The First Day of the Rest of My Life, Part Two

July 17, 2012

My teacher, Mrs. Lazaro, raced over to Lori, at whom I stared dumbfounded.  Why was she screaming?  No woman ever screamed at Humphrey Bogart.

Mrs. Lazaro asked Lori what could possibly be wrong.  Lori raised an accusatory finger at me and shouted “HE KISSED ME! ON THE LIPS!”

Mrs. Lazaro turned to me, horrified.  The girls in the class all let out a collective gasp, and wrinkled their faces.  Some actually looked away, unable to gaze upon the episode of human tragedy unfolding before them.  The boys, though, just shook their heads in disappointment.  You kissed a girl?  Girls are horrible, disgusting, filled with cooties.  You’re not supposed to even talk to them, much less kiss them.  In fact, the only excuse for ever interacting with a girl was to torment her with the  small animal corpse you found in the street.   I’m afraid, Kevin, you have left us no choice but to make your life a living hell this year.

I looked around the room, holding my hands out in confusion. You have to understand!  I thought she wanted me to kiss her!   My silent plea was to no avail.  Mrs. Lazaro guided a now sobbing Lori away, and narrowed her eyes at me as if to say “you’ll get yours, young man.  Just you wait.”

I didn’t have to wait long.   A dark shadow appeared in the doorway, blocking all of the fluorescent lighting from the hallway.  I looked over to see a giant of a man–basically a wall with a head.   His face was smothered by a massive gray beard, so much so that a Hasidic or Amish man might look upon him and remark “That’s a little much, don’t you think?”  His voice thundered so loudly everyone, including Mrs. Lazaro, jumped.

“KEVIN BRODIE?  COME WITH ME!”

I gulped, and glanced over at Lori again.  Her face was hidden in Mrs. Lazaro’s skirt.  Mrs. Lazaro nodded in satisfaction, confident that I was going to receive the justice I deserved.  All of the other students turned away.  Happily, none of them saw fit to shout “Dead Man Walking!”  I put my head down, and wandered over to the my executioner.

He slammed shut the classroom door and lowered his head down to mine. I can still recall the stench of Old Spice and Folgers that radiated from his face.  “I am your principal.  My name is Dr. Six!”  (Note:  this name is not a pseudonym.)   Really, Dr. Six?  My principal has a bad super villain name?  Is he the arch nemesis of Prime Number Man?  Or, are school principalships passed down through heredity?  He’ll be principal for life and then when he dies his son, Doctor Seven, becomes principal?

Of course, I wasn’t actually thinking that at the time. I was far too terrified.  I followed Dr. Six to his office at the end of the hall.  He yanked open the door, nearlly ripping off its hinges, then pointed at a lime green plastic chair in the corner.

“Sit here!”  He then disappeared behind a frosted glass that had the word PRINCIPAL engraved upon it.  I looked around the room.  No other students awaited Dr. Six’s wrath.  The only other person in there was a woman about the age of my grandmother perched behind a desk and a 1950s Royal typewriter.  Her grey eyes peered down at me while her mouth “tsked, tsked”  a few times, as if to say “They start so young these days.”

After what felt like several days, Dr. Six swung the door open, and shouted my name.  I entered, half expecting to find instruments of torture attached to the walls, perhaps even a collection of trophy body parts on the desk.  Instead, what I saw was a ping-pong paddle.  I looked around the room.  There was no table, and Dr. Six didn’t seem like the type to play ping-pong, much less engage in any activities that one could construe as “fun.”

He showed me the paddle, and asked  if I knew what spanking was.  Oh god!  Is that what was going to happen?  If he tries to spank me with those arms of his, he’s going to send me torpedo-like through the wall.  I nodded, and he outlined how this was the sort of punishment worthy of misguided boys who make the sorts of decisions I do.  At that time, it was no longer legal for school officials to mete out corporal punishment–but it was still legal to threaten students with it.  Being largely unaware of the nuances of California child protection law, I trembled in fear.

It was then that my mother entered the office and sat down.  I tried a few times to make eye contact with her, but she wouldn’t even look at me.  Instead, she and Dr. Six were engaged in the gravest conversation I had ever in my young life overheard.  Was I going off to war?   I don’t really recall most of what was said, and likely there was much I didn’t understand, but I do remember the general tone of the conversation was that I was on an irrevocable road to perversion and sexual deviance, and it had to be stopped now.

Finally, my mother turned to me, her face etched with repulsion, and asked “Why did you do that to that poor girl?”

My entire body quivered in frustration, as tears began to pour from my eyes.  I struggled for words as my mother sighed with impatience.  Dr. Six stared at me without blinking, licking his lips like a hunter who had just discovered a new species of woodland creature he’d like to kill.  Finally, I stammered out a sentence:

“I….I….I….j-j-j-just th-th-thought s-s-she w-w-was…p-p-pretty…!”

My mother, Mrs. Lazaro, and Dr. Six all got their wish.  I never spoke to Lori again–in fact, I don’t think I spoke to another girl until the tenth grade.  The boys would make kissing sounds at me, if they weren’t heaving rocks in my general direction.  The girls just screamed and ran from me like an escaped carnival freak.  My mother became obsessed with the notion that I was up to perpetual no good in my room, and would frequently summon me to sit with her in the living room, where no doubt my deviant behavior could be more closely monitored.

Years later, I asked my father if  he remembered the episode.  He told me that my mother waited up for him until 2am to return from work so she could tell him the entire sordid tale.  My father’s response?

“Well, at least we know he’s not gay!”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2013 12:08 pm

    Whats up are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started
    and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to
    make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. June 5, 2013 3:33 am

    Word Press I find to be very user friendly, and requires no coding knowledge whatsoever. If you ever have a question, Word Press is usually good about helping. I do reccomend it. Good luck!

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