It’s ten a.m. and I’m nearly a hundred percent certain that I am in the wrong class room, but I have no plans of leaving. The teacher, a young woman who is probably a few years older than me with rather large breasts, passes out the syllabus to the class. A two to three page document detailing everything we are supposed to go over in the course of the semester. Fucking gag me, the syllabus is more or less an excuse to mow down a few more acres of trees in South America. Considering our teachers will flood our emails with the same shit anyway. I’m sitting in the far corner of the room, far away from everyone else. The teacher goes into a speech about showing up late, her breasts bouncing with each word. Is she even wearing a bra? I find myself more entertained with her bust line than trying to figure out where I even am. Her words bleed together and I can’t tell if it is me or her who is not making sense of the words. It takes a moment but I finally look down at the syllabus to figure where I am. The paper says that I am in public speaking and I can start to feel the blood drain from my face. Things only get worse when I start to realize that each student is standing up and telling everyone in the class their name and a little bit about themselves and why they are in college. Most of the students here are going for degrees in criminal justice or something as stupid as that. I can feel my heart rate go up and I begin to wonder if anyone else can hear the pounding of my heart like I can. It sounds like an Edgar Allen Poe story in here. Am I fucking dying or am I losing my mind? I hate speaking in front of a single person and speaking in front of all thirty people in the class is making me feel like I am having a heart attack. I can feel the sweat bead up at the top of my head and drip down my face. I was not prepared for this nor would I ever sign up for this. I calm my shaking hand long enough to grab my backpack and slowly make my way to the exit in a near crawl. How this isn’t any worse than just standing up and saying my name is beyond me. The latest victim stops speaking as the teacher asks me where I am going. I stand up from my crouched position and give her a blank stare before running out of the room.
My heart is racing a mile a minute as I wander the halls for what seems like days. Everything feels as though it is in slow motion but I keep trekking on. Wandering the halls isn’t an unusual thing for me. I do it a lot. Despite the fact that I hate this school I just can’t seem to leave. I’m never in class, but I’m never not at the school on school days. As confusing as that sounds I think it is because I feel guilty for not attending classes and it also has to do with the fact that I can’t afford to put more gas in my car. So, I might as well stay here and make the best of it. It doesn’t hurt that my drug dealer takes a lot of classes here as well. He says it helps him expand his mind. “Always got to be smart for the streets man, always.” When really he is just going to the school to expand his business, which has worked out pretty well for him in my opinion. It is here in a class for retards that I first met him. The class in question was a basic English course that all students have to take if they didn’t score a certain amount of points on the assessment test to get into this prestigious college. It can’t be over stated that I never wanted to go here so, the idea of even trying wasn’t an option when I took the test. I just breezed through the test selecting any answer without reading the question. I was hoping that maybe they would deny me, but nope they accepted me with cash symbols in their eyes since my whole first term wasn’t worth a single credit. I decided today that I will walk around the campus. No use going through another embarrassing first day. The first day doesn’t count anyway. I stop by the bathroom on the first floor before heading outside in the cold. The ground looks much more interesting when I’m high on drugs. The school uses a special kind of salt that is blue-green in color and it does a really good job of clearing off the sidewalks. In the center of campus there is a pond that has long been frozen over. I walk across the wooden bridge that goes across the narrow part of the pond connecting one side of the campus to the other side. In the summer this is where I like to stand, but in the winter the wind comes across the pond and hits me like a cold hard slap to the face. I’m starting to really feel the trip as I walk past the library and head for the main building. I’m making my way to the cafeteria to purchase the overly priced food I really can’t afford and steal one of the overly priced energy drinks. I usually don’t steal things, but I’m not paying three fucking dollars for something I could get for a lot less someplace else. Plus, what’s the worst they could do to me? Kick me out of school?
I walk into the cafeteria from the side door of the building. This door is on the opposite side of the student union, a place I try to avoid at all costs. I can’t stand this school and I can’t stand the students that go here even more. Most of them are so pretentious it makes me sick. Half the time I get trapped in some stupid conversation with one of them, and all I want to do is scream, “Look the fuck around.” They all like to live in some fantasy world that they are learning or attending some place that is giving them a higher education and we are not. I get nauseous thinking of the conversations I could get trapped into, but it is probably only the lack of food. The cafeteria is nearly empty, there must still be classes going on. I walk up to the cooler and pretend to get a drink, but really I just slip one of the energy drinks on the lower shelf into my jacket pocket. No idea what I grabbed but it is that simple, and free and simple is the name of the game. Today’s menu is beef stroganoff prepared by the master chefs the school hires. The smell from the food is close to that of a bowel movement. I never get the prepared meal so, I decide on a cheeseburger that I am pretty sure is made of ten percent rubber. This is more of an impulse buy than a decision after the glorified lunch lady asks me if I was going to get anything or just sit there staring at the food. Don’t get me wrong I like being high but it has its negative effects too, such as time and how much of it is not perceived by my mind. After dropping three dollars and fifty cents on a cheese burger even the shittiest fast food place would sell, I head back outside and walk to the Art and Science building to eat.
Once inside I pound the energy drink down as fast as I can, hoping that the shit tasting cocktail and the drugs will keep me awake long enough to get through the next class. If I decide to even go to that one. My eyes feel like anvils as I eat the only food I will probably have today. A nasty side effect of the drugs is that I don’t eat and in the last couple of months I have lost over twenty pounds. I have always been a little bit heavy set so losing twenty or more pounds really isn’t as drastic as it sounds. Since I can’t afford new clothes no one has really noticed either way, but for once in my life I’m starting to think that I look better than ever. Maybe I will get my own commercial on TV from all the weight I’m losing like that fat fuck did from that restaurant chain or those fat bitches from the eighties. Then again I will probably die and everyone will forget about me. Good lunch, now I’m all set for more drugs. It is best to not have a full stomach or an empty one, this rule stands more tested before bed as the odds of dying in your sleep on your own vomit increase with such activity. I randomly use nearly every bathroom on campus on any given day, I even used the women’s room in the main building once because the men’s was to full. I use the bathroom on the second floor before checking to see what my next class is. Despite my best efforts I am ten minutes late for class, but it is the first day so no one notices. I take my usual place in the back of the room. The teacher, this time a man, passes out the same piece of paper I’m pretty sure I already have detailing what we will be doing in class this semester. It takes me a minute to actually realize that I have in fact seen this paper because I have already taken this class. Maybe it will be easier the second time around, who gives a fuck. I’m starting to feel even more tired now that I know it doesn’t matter.
My drug abuse doesn’t allow me to sleep as often as I would like. My depression and my drugs have very different ideas on the topic, but when I do sleep I dream of many things. I dream that I am a woman in a minivan and I’m emptying a shopping bag onto the passenger seat so, I can place it over the head of one of the crying children behind me. I scream things as I hold it there. The words don’t make sense but given the context what would it really matter any way. I dream that I am chasing a school bus in a place that I once lived. The sky is blood red and all I can hear, all I can see are the children laughing before vomiting gallons of blood out the window of the moving bus. The blood washes over me as I run with everything I have. I never reach the bus and it never stops. Wave after wave until finally I give up. I dream of her, touching her, feeling her, fucking her. I roll over after coming and fall off the bed into nothing. I can’t move as I fall and I try to reach for the bed that has long since disappeared in to the darkness. I just keep falling and falling with no end. Farther and farther, and I never stop falling, never stop feeling confused until I wake up. I dream in blood and I dream in liquids. I dream so many things that sometimes it is hard to figure out what has been a dream and what has been reality. I often wake up confused to where I am or if I am even alive anymore. I imagine myself standing in the middle of Times Square with a gun to my head screaming, begging for someone to help, but no one stops to help me. I imagine that I pull the trigger and I can feel the bullet digging into my skull in slow motion so, I can feel every bit of pain as it rips through my head and exits the other side. I snap out of my state and realize that I am now sitting in an empty class room. I wonder if I am awake or am I still dreaming. There is a note that sits in front of me. It is from my teacher, “Maybe next time you can try to make it more than ten minutes before falling asleep.”
I stop by the bathroom one more time before going outside to smoke. I decide to blow the rest of the day off and return to my tomb. I get into my car and I sit there. I can still feel the bullet hole in my head. It is twenty degrees outside, but I don’t turn on the car. I don’t do anything. I just sit there. I sit in my car until I can no longer feel my toes from the cold. I sit there and I feel nothing. I sit here and think of nothing. I take another hit and begin my trip back home.
Walking my way down memory lane… Classes Start is one of many stories found in… A Lie… A rather tame story from A Lie… but a story none the less… If you’d like to read more… It is available on Kindle and Paperback format…
A Lie is pretty different from anything that you will find on the website… Less broken then?… unsure… not sure I was ever fixed… A Lie is interesting in that it is a fiction story filled with a lot of truth… I have been thinking a lot about it as I work on my next novel… Mostly all the things that I have learned over the years… reminiscing on the struggle to get it done… to not give up… I guess things don’t ever really change… Well… I should probably just get back to it… Check out A Lie… if you want to learn more about young Ambrose…