Let's go back to the basics. Remember those elementary school journal entries you used to have to write?
"Alright, class," your teacher with the red scrunchie begins.
You're nine years old, so you've already stopped paying attention when she said "Al." Now you're making a building out of pencil shavings, until you realize why thin slices of wood are not commonly used for construction. Your building is flat, but you don't care. You're already focused on a new project.
Now you're drawing a picture of two clouds. They're in love. You know they're in love because you've drawn them with a pink gel pen, and pink means romance. You call your masterpiece "Puffy Love," and then you remember your teacher was saying something.
"First, next, then, last," she finishes.
"Boggles," you think, because you're nine and haven't been introduced to the wonders of profanity yet.
"Alright, class, begin writing."
"Eggo," you mutter around your breath as a substitute for the profound aforementioned "boggles," because you're a kid, and kids make up shit.
"First...next...then...last...okay, I got this," you think to yourself.
In honor of childhood, this is the construction of writing I am going to use for my following story of how my writing class went tonight.
First, everyone thought I was a lesbian.
"Did you all participate in the 'Coming Out' affair last week?" my teacher asks us as we shuffle into the room in a punctual fashion.
"What?" I ask, setting down my bag and pushing my buttocks into my fucking awesome swivel-chair.
"It was a Gay Pride festival. Supporters were supposed to wear purple."
"UGH, why don't I ever know about this stuff?" I whine, swiveling around like the windshield wiper-blades of a car. (In college, this is acceptable when seated in a swivel-chair. However, a full 360-degree-turn would be seen as childish and distracting. Stick to my method. Remember these words. If you must swivel, then swivel you must. But do it like wiper-blades in a rain shower. Not like donuts in an abandoned parking lot.)
"Why, did you want to come out?" asks a fellow peer of mine, one whom I have never spoken to this entire semester.
"Yeah, I strongly support that. I would have been there had I known."
"Wait...I mean I wanted to "come out," not come...out..."
"It's okay, no one is judging you here," he says, throwing his hands in the air like he's about to surrender.
"This is ridiculous. Defending my sexuality in the middle of class," I retort, slinking into my seat and crossing my arms.
"It's fine, I support gays," he says reassuringly.
My teacher clears her throat and switches the topic. Before I can even retaliate. And I wasn't even going to, BECAUSE WHY IS THIS EVEN A DISCUSSION RIGHT NOW? "I am straight" is not something I planned to alert my class of when I began this semester. Can you imagine? Someone in class shouting,
"I am a heterosexual!"
Wow! Good for you! While we're on the topic of useless information, I have a vagina! Did you need to know that? Are you planning to do anything with it? Do you realize that you are paying to be here, which means you basically just paid a college university to know what lies beyond Natasha Ferrier's zipper? I see no reason for this unless it's Vagina Awareness Month. Which by the way, DOESN'T EXIST.
So then I just sat there, wondering if everyone now believed me to be a lesbian. There's a plus side to that; boys would leave me alone, but there's also that downside of any female I spoke to would probably think I was hitting on her. And I couldn't really bring it up later, because that would seem obsessive. I thought of dropping subtle hints reeking of stereotypes, like maybe I could shout:
"I hate Xena."
"Bruce Willis and Jodie Foster would make a great couple don't you think?"
But besides the fact that Xena the Warrior Princess is butch and Jodie Foster is actually a lesbian, I couldn't think of anything else to prove that I like men. Except maybe:
"Anyone around here got a penis? I really need one."
But after the whole gay-mix-up, they'd probably think I was referring to strap-ons, and not actual danglies. See? The whole thing was just one, big predicament. Pre-DICK-ament. Damn, I'm clever.
Next, some guy passed out on my desk.
The one who now thought I liked V-to-V friction based on his earlier inquiry suddenly swiveled over to my desk and paused beside me. Then he looked over. And began to stare.
I don't like to give in to "the stare." Usually, if I think someone is staring at me, I try my hardest to act like I have no idea what is going on, while also pretending that I have seen something truly remarkable lying on the floor below. Do you know why I do this? Because I always get caught staring. I zone out, don't even realize I've begun staring at someone, and then they look at me like I'm a weirdo, and it hits me that I've been gazing at them and possibly drooling due to the "zoning out" bit. OR - I'll look over at someone for one fucking glance, and they happen to look over one millisecond after my glance, and then they assume I've been looking at them this whole time. Fucking. Bullshit.
"I can smell it from here."
"What?!" I finally look over at him.
"Your Red Bull. I love that smell."
"OHHH...my Red Bull, yes, yes..."
You might wanna mention what the hell you're talking about the next time you turn to a girl and say, "I can smell it from here." Good god man.
"Bill, shush," my teacher says to him, since he has taken the liberty to literally shout this in class.
"Yep, you caught me. I'm getting drunk in class," I say, dryly.
Alright, I know I can be funny at times, but I'm gonna have to be the first to admit here that making a joke that I'm getting drunk is NOT worth a full-fledged fit of gigglies. Or whatever it is men do. Chuckle? Who cares. Moving on.
He then takes out his pack of cigarettes and puts one in his mouth. He sits there. Cig-in-mouth. But does not light it. Suddenly, his eyelids seem to become very heavy, and his head starts to bob up and down. This guy. Is dozing off. Just like that. One minute he's laughing way too loud, and then BAM! Snoozing. His entire body begins to sway with his head, and not to the left - toward the board - but to the right, toward me. Bobbing...bobbing...leaning....leaning...
DONE. Head hits my desk. He lays there for a good three minutes, than WAHOO! He springs up. If this was a horror movie, I'd title it, Attack of the Human Slinky! Except this wasn't a horror movie. This was night class.
Slinky has now began smacking himself in the face. And no, not once.
...I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only one seeing this...
...I'm beginning to wonder if I could just smack him, myself...
"Bill! Please. Control yourself," my teacher strains, remaining much calmer than I could have in that situation.
Slinky immediately turns to me ad starts talking again, loudly.
"Do I need to separate you two?" my teacher asks, interrupting her own lecture.
WHAT - THE FUCK. I'm not even doing anything. First, I'm a lesbian, and now I'm being accused of flirting with unconscious-pain-lover. "Separate us?" Am I in middle school? Did he yank my ponytail and start snickering as I whined, "Stawwwwwwwwpppppp!" No. But luckily, this made him swivel yonder, back to his own seat on the opposite side of the classroom. So really, I have my teacher to thank.
Then, Slinky takes me to a graveyard.
"Alright, class, let's take a ten-minute break."
FINALLY. I've had enough of this guy.
"Hey, you going outside for break?"
Shit. NEVERMIND THEN.
Slinky follows me outside and then plops right next to me as I take a seat on a bench. He strikes up a casual conversation about some girl he had hit on earlier (alright, so maybe that isn't "casual," but it's far more normal than taking a nap on my keyboard), and as I turn to respond and then glance away, he interrupts me.
"Look at me again."
"Uhhh..." I cautiously turn my head back toward him.
"You have. The most gorgeous eyes. I have ever seen."
"They're green with little flecks of blue..."
"Yes. They are. That color."
I'm really bad with compliments from people WHO I DON'T FUCKING KNOW.
"And I can tell, you're not wearing any make-up."
"Nope. I don't usually wear make-up to class."
"Wow. Whoever your boyfriend is - and I assume you have a boyfriend - he is one lucky guy."
Alright, dude. You think I'm stupid. You think I don't know that "declaration" of yours was really a question in disguise? I'm not playing these games. We will sit. In silence. Until you cut. The bullshit.
"You are naturally gorgeous...and so smart...the things you say in class..."
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. The things I say in class? You mean when I just unintentionally convinced everyone I'm a homosexual? Yeah, that was realllll smart of me.
Thankfully, he stops and starts staring into space. I immediately decide that this guy is on something. Really. This is was not a sober encounter on his part.
"Come here, I want to show you something," he suddenly leaps up and begins walking. Away from the building that our class is in. Away from campus. And toward a graveyard.
I do not get up. I'm unnaturally paranoid, and this realization makes itself evident when I find that I have subconsciously slid my hand into my pocket and wrapped my fingers around the pepper spray that I keep on my keys.
And then I get up. Because I'm retarded.
"It's just over here, I promise. We'll only be a few minutes late back to class..."
I begin to follow. Because I'm retarded.
"Wow, I can't believe you're actually following me."
Uh, way to make this ten times creepier, man.
"It's okay. If you attack me, I'm prepared to defend myself."
See? Unnaturally paranoid. And yes, I did actually say this. Without thinking about it first. Which is probably something I should work on. They tell you to "speak your mind" but they left out the part that sometimes when you do, you get attacked by a hoodlum.
"What?!" he laughs, obviously not taking me seriously. Thankfully, we stop just outside the graveyard and he shows me a sign. Then we head back to class.
Last, we all figure out he's wasted.
I just gave the ending away there, didn't I?
"I can't believe our professor told us to separate," Slinky reminds me, "We don't even know each other and it's like we're already great friends."
Keep in mind - I've been in class for over three months now, and this guy has never spoken a word to me. So why today? BECAUSE HE'S FUCKED UP ON SOMETHING. I'm telling you, he's wasted. Shit. I already told you that, didn't I? Just pretend like you don't know.
Slinky leaves class once, and finally someone says something.
"IS HE HIGH?"
He had been yelling out random things all night. When we were talking about how to write a newspaper column for our next assignment, this is what he said:
"When I was a newspaper boy, I used to throw the papers to bust out the street lights. One time, I got one!"
This man is thirty years old. By the way.
"I don't know," my teacher sighs. "I just don't know. I'm going to have to talk to him later."
He returns, and I did my best not to make eye contact with him, then immediately regretted it when I heard my teacher say,
"BILL. Button up your shirt."
What? It took me everything to not turn around. What had he been doing in the bathroom? Was his shirt all the way unbuttoned? It definitely wasn't just a couple, or my teacher would not have commanded him to fix it.
Ten minutes later, and he gets up and leaves again.
"You can smell it from here."
"Yeah, it reeks."
I turn around to find the two girls that sit beside him pointing to his gigantic, red water jug.
"He's definitely drinking. His breath is pure alcohol after he takes a sip from that thing."
Aha. So I was right. And that's it. That mere conclusion sums up my entire two-and-a-half-hour class this evening. Here lies the problem with the "first, then, next, last" method. There's something lacking. Is that really the last of it? Let's add something. Let's add...and yet.
And yet...they all still think I'm a lesbian.