Another Random Section of My Book.
In my Porsche, it was a 4 minute, 47 second drive from my front door to the school parking lot. It was a 42 second walk from the parking lot to the doors of the school. It was another 55 second walk to the security offices. Then about a minute more to the office I was in. Consider it was Winter, double all of that time and factor in how much time it took my mom to get ready, and you get about 16 minutes plus 10 minutes to get ready. Almost half an hour. Which is what it took for her to get there. It seemed like hours upon hours. That whole time I sat there and stared at Officer Smith. We exchanged awkward glances over his flip-top rolodex that was way too big for his desk. No one bothered us, there were no knocks on the door. Neither Smith, nor I cleared our throats, tapped our shoes, or moved in any way that would even make our clothes rustle.
“Click-Clack” the door creaked open. “What’s going on here?” My mom said hurrying the door closed behind her, with a puzzled look taking up her entire face. Before anyone could say anything else, “I’d like my guidance counselor present.” Which, really, is all I had the right to say. I figured, at least he would have my back. He’d reassure everyone that I had fallen on hard-times, that I expressed myself as a normal teenager would, and that all of this was a huge misunderstanding. He didn’t do that. He didn’t do any of that. To the best of my recollection he said: “uh-huh” two or three times and then brought up my drinking problem.
“THIS FUCKING ASSHOLE!” I remember thinking. I trusted this man, this “friend”, this companion I had. For several months I had told everything to Mr. Soupon. And it all came back to bite me in the butt in two seconds. My mother, Officer Smith, Mr. Soupon, and myself were all sitting there, in an office barely built for two. I hated everything I had done, everything I had been up until this point. “One thing I feel needs to be addressed. The drinking.” Mr. Soupon said as he looked around trying to get a feeling for the atmosphere in the room. He may not have felt it, but I did. Tension, guilt, having all fingers pointed in your direction. I sat there and crossed my arms. I slumped back in my chair and felt nothing but shame and remorse.
My head was spinning, my entire future was uncertain, and all I could smell was carbon. It was very warm in that office; not warm as in comforting, but the kind of warm feeling you get when you’re drunk. Pleasant for a few moments, but it is ultimately unwelcoming, and vomit-inducing. I didn’t know where the smell or the warmth was coming from until the door swung open again, and a very large Police Officer was quietly creeping in, as if he were sneaking into the Bat Cave. He hands Officer Smith a manila folder and as he leans forward, I look back through the doorway and see “the Doc”. The school psychiatrist at a Xerox machine, and my journal was sitting there like a cherry on top of it. Even though it was that grainy kind of black and white, and very plain, it stuck out as the most vivid object in my line of sight. My eyes were glued to it, I was in shock as the office door closed. I continued to stare at the spot where my journal was on the other side, even after the door had fully closed. The Police Officer was now gone, and without even the shortest pause my mom says out loud: “What is it that you want? What is lacking in your life right now?” I had to choose my words carefully. I knew that every movement I made, every reaction I had, and every word I said was being analyzed and written down, only so it could be analyzed over and over again, later. Then when that was done, they’d pass it along to more people so they could break everything I said down into pieces and analyze it once more. I lingered on my moms question and let myself calm down. I was woozy, I felt weak, and my blood sugar was low, I could feel it. I held out my hands and made a large rectangle with my pointer fingers and thumbs. “One of those big Hershey’s candy bars would be kind of nice right now.” I said with a smile. I was trying to act as normal as possible so I could just go back to class and live my normal little life. “Seriously, Dale!” I could hear the sheer frustration in moms voice come to a peak. Combine that with the anger (that I confused with resentment) behind her eyes, and her emotions culminated into a bone-chilling shiver that crept up my spine like a city worker climbing a two-story ladder out of a sewer system; slowly. That feeling stretched from the top of my brain, to the base of my testicles; which were now in a Kung-Fu vice grip from the school board by order of Prince William County. “What do you want me to say, mom?” was the only thing I could think to say. And it was true! What did I do? What’s going on? And why in the hell am I here?!