Note: For whatever I reason, I wrote like… ten versions of this introduction. I can’t really find them, though.
Ten minutes before the first period bell, I pinched the tip off my cigarette and flicked it at an ash-filled coffee can. I wasn’t supposed to smoke within 25 feet of the building, but I’m not supposed to shove my dick into my students, and I’m going to do that in a few pages, so fuck the rules I guess.
The door back in was one of those metal security doors with chicken wire between the panes of window. I ran a hand through my hair and blinked at my reflection.
I was kind of a mess with my red eyes and stubble, the kind of asshole you’d cross the street to avoid, and my shirtsleeves were rolled up so you could see my tattoos.
That’s against the rules too, by the way, not that I gave a shit.
I have One Of Those Faces, you know. Scruffy but hot. Thick dark hair, sharp blue eyes. A jaw you could as a protractor.
You know. Hot.
Add to that the chubby, uncut snake I stuff down a pant leg every morning and I’ve never had to care much about policy or procedure.
You’d be amazed what a fat, middle-aged spinster is willing to overlook if you bend them over their own desk and shake a few of their teeth loose once or twice a month.
So when I tell you I got to my class twenty minutes late, obviously hung over, and started my day by quietly telling the little shits to “shut the fuck up please,” it’s not because my school is a bad one.
It’s because my boss will never—fucking never—get it better than me. And because I’m willing to trade an hour or so a month of sheet-ripping, headboard-chewing, neighbor-scaring sex for a little forgiveness.
We all have our sins, I guess.
So I leaned on the edge of my desk, crossed my arms, and waited for attention. I mean, fuck it, I get paid whether we do shit or not.
But it didn’t take long for quiet to spread and books to open. I’m a popular teacher, and most of my class is female.
“Are we done fucking around?” I asked. “Can we get this shit over with?”
There was a ripple of nervous laughter.
“Sorry, Mr. D,” someone said. Katie, a B+ girl living a B+ life. Dorky sweater, huge tits. Boring.
“No,” said a skinny tomboy with a cute face and a stick for a body. Her name was Jen, and she spent most of her class time scribbling illegibly in a notebook. Her joke scored her some laughter.
I gave Jen the finger and she gave it right back. I liked her.
“Okay, Seniors,” I began, “today is a lecture…discussion…thing. Whatever, you know what I mean. I’m going to talk, and then you’re going to talk to each other. Those of you who prefer to avoid social interaction can write me an essay, one page single spaced, informing me of your dumbass opinions. If I can’t read your essay I will throw it out, and please bear in mind that I’m pretty hung over. That means clear, simple sentences and no cursive. And remember that I deduct points if you dot your ‘i’s with anything other than a fucking dot.”
More laughter. What can I say? I’m charming.
By the end of the period, I had unlit cigarette in my mouth and a notebook full of idiotic student opinions. I was the first one out the door when the bell rang.
It’s depressing how predictable it is, being a teacher. You know what grade everyone’s getting pretty much the first day. You know who’s going to do their homework, who’s going to pass your tests. You know who has a shitty home life and who’s going to offer you a blowjob right before midterms.
That kind of stuff.
You’re almost never wrong.
It was fucking soul-crushing.
I sat on the steps outside the security door and smoked my way through two filterless Camels, the kind my grandfather smoked on a gunboat during World War II, the kind my dad shoved under his helmet as he cut through the jungles of Vietnam.
Unlike my brother, who went into the family business of shooting people for money, medals, and meaning, I had decided to waste my life educating the masses.
I don’t regret that decision—I mean, summers off and jailbait, come on—but when I had a headache and my next class was going to be exactly like the one before it, and I’d skipped breakfast and all the bouncy little seniors gave me a wistful erection under my desk, it kind of felt like I did.
I resisted the temptation to get drunk before going back to class.
Not that it would have been a problem?—I mean, I’m a fuckboy, not a fuck up—but by afternoon I would have felt pathetic and mean, and I’d take it out on my classes.
And I didn’t want that.
I just wanted a reason to give a shit about my day.
Fortunately for me, my reason was running down the South Gym hallway, clutching a backpack to her chest like she was holding in her heart.
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