laura ferrario

Getting Off on the Right Foot

laura ferrario
 

It’s September and I’m sitting in the registrar’s office hearing I need three more credits to be full time and what the hell, why not sign up for Creative Writing cause I always did good in English and teachers take my work and put it on the overhead for others to look at as an example and maybe they’ll do the same for my poetry and stories because I know I have a good imagination especially for a guy, at least that’s what everyone tells me. Of course that’s just conversation, but just wait until they see my writing cause I know that’s real different, and at least it should be easier than essays because you don’t have to know all that grammar and punctuation stuff that’s so boring and puts everyone to sleep, but with my great ideas it’ll wake them up for sure.

So I get to class and first off I look over the others and can tell right away that I’m way ahead of them because I dress cool and walk cool and don’t wear glasses and come in at just the right time like when the teacher is telling us about the work and how we have to sign a contract to write a certain number of stories and poems and what the hell is a sonnet anyway, but I guess I can copy one from the book and no one will know the difference, because they’re gonna be getting it off with each other while I take a little nap in the back of the room until it’s my turn to turn them on with my stories about getting beat up in the alley and seniors messing up the teachers desk after she’s left the class although watching it wouldn’t be cool, unless you’re some sort of pervert who has a housekeeping or a cleaning fixation.

The babe at the end of my row is giving me the eye so I look her up and down and see she looks pretty good but I’m wondering what kind of chick would settle for a small tattoo on the left shoulder when there is a whole world of art out there waiting but I show her I can wiggle my ears and eyebrows at the same time and she looks away fast so I know I got her attention but she might be a senior or something and kind of snooty cause this is an elective and anyone can take the course even a freshman like me, but writing is the great leveler and in a democracy anyone can be creative no matter how old. Still, she looks about the same age as my kid sister which makes her well-preserved as far as college goes and for all I know she’s a grind who won the Chicago Tribune Spelling Bee and had to sit out in the hall to help the dumb kids learn to read.

The teacher is taking off on the first assignment and I’m wondering what this internal monologue business is all about and Christ I wish she’d speak English but when I raise my hand she just gives me that teacher look and keeps talking like there’s no tomorrow so I slide back down and look at the others from under my hat and they must be weird because everyone is watching her and writing things down for Christ’s sake and you’d think they’d be able to remember without going home to study the stuff, I mean what’s the use of imagination if you have to take notes, but then what do I know, cause I’m just the one whose stuff is on the overhead, a shining example, but that’s okay cause once they’ve seen me at work, it’ll blow them away.

It’s now fifty past the hour but there are no bells in college and I’m waiting polite-like for the teacher to dismiss us and not just cut and run the way kids do because I’m on my good behavior this being a new beginning and no one knows me from Adam, but I snap to attention so they know I’m watching the clock in case they don’t notice, which is what leadership is all about and I stack up all my handouts and then go around and pick up all the extra copies from the empty seats because the teacher doesn’t seem to get the hint and she keeps on talking and no one else seems to mind how she keeps going on so maybe they don’t have another class which I don’t either but you’ve got to keep things on track because you never know how people will take advantage and beginnings are really important.

The girl at the end of the row moves out of the way as I come by and I give her a big smile because she really is kind of cute and she’s got some pretty nice knockers and I think for a split second that I could drop her a note real quick but she grabs onto her books as I reach down and won’t give me a chance to say anything so I think to hell with her, cause like a bus, there’ll be another one along in ten minutes and she’ll be sorry she missed her chance especially when she sees me up there on the overhead so Say La-Vie.

I’m the first one out the door, leading the pack though they’re slow in coming, and so I make sure to hit the john before going to my car just in case, you know, but I feel warm and confident after my first day in college because I know I made an impression without any effort at all, a slam dunk for someone whose horoscope gave the day a seven along with the class being open which lifted my spirits because like I said, I always did good in English.

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