Monday, April 11, 2016

TROPHY



I don't remember if I had mentioned that Zack had picked up a shop truck.
 It's a rusty white 1973 GMC Custom.
All this truck needs is a gun rack and Tennessee license plates in order for us to achieve full blown redneck status.
 One of the very first modifications done to this piece of Americana, was that Zack had chopped the muffler off so that you can hear us coming from 6 to 8 blocks away.
 The other day while driving in ol' Whitey, we're driving down 18th Street in Pilsen, and as we're rolling down the street, we notice this man yelling and flailing his arms at us. Our first thought was "oh shit, the truck is on fire", so we pull over.
 I hop out of the truck expecting to see flames shooting up the side of the truck, and the flailing arm man makes his way over and asks "are you guys scrappers?"
 "well, no...we're not scrappers, but...what cha' got?".
The man explained that he was a building engineer for the Chicago Public Schools and he had a bunch of old school desks that he had to get rid of.
 Fucking SCORE.
We went and took a look and he showed us a room full of desks, some of them dating back as far as 1957.
 We came back the next morning and loaded 2 trucks with the treasure.
Of course it started raining/snowing when we got back to the shop, and as the desks got wet, they became slimey from 50 plus years of children s snot and boogers. It was probably the most disgusting thing that I had ever felt.
 Once the desks were all loaded in, me and Zack must have looked like we were about to perform surgery by the way we were washing our hands, ya know how they do on those doctor tv shows, where they're scrubbing vigorously up past their elbows.
 I couldn't wait to mess with one of these desks.
I made a new top, and proceeded to scrub and scrape the base. Removing a lifetime of boogers, and gum, and crayon marks, and stickers.
 The entire time I was scrubbing, I was mentally transported back to Mrs. Pam's second grade class room.
I fucking hated school.
 I fucking hated the nuns, the smell, the cold steel, the programming, the molding, the shaping, the brown paper bag with some bullshit sandwich and a partially rotted banana. Even as far back as second grade I knew I didn't belong. I knew I would mold and shape my goddamn self.
 I spent my elementary school years flying under the radar and perfecting my drawing skills by drawing heavy metal band logos on my book covers that I had taken mental note  from my brothers record collection.
 So, for a brief moment...I hated our new acquisition.
They took me to a bad place for a minute there, but then they became something else.
 They became a trophy.
They became a trophy that would have a placard that would read...
"Fuck you Mrs. Pam, Mrs. Beck, Mr. Hammond, and you too Sister Mary whatever the fuck your name was. You all tried to convince me that I would never be shit. Guess what? I've done more and seen more then your pathetic career of screaming at small children ever allowed you to see or do.
 You don't get to take credit for any of my success's because contrary to your beliefs, I am self taught and self made. I learned what the fuck I wanted to learn. I sought knowledge in subjects that pertained to MY life, MY dreams. I made my own fucking curriculum.
 You fuckers know why I sucked at your program? It was boring. You all...were boring. I never allowed you or your system to steal MY fucking shine. I cultivated my shine on my own.
 Follow the rules, follow the program, get in line...get fucked.
I won't be called on alphabetically, cause I'm the only one in MY class. My last name will never dictate my position.
 By making that stand at that early age, I get to pass MY knowledge down to my son, not yours.
All my mistakes and failures that you attempted to make me terrified of, have made me who I am. I embrace my mistakes and failures and wear them all like a badge of honor. Your words and direction taught me nothing. My mistakes and failures and the mistakes and failures of others taught me everything.

Well, I guess I can cancel my appointment with my therapist this week.

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