Brutes and T-ShirtsA Story by Scarlet
My attempts to make something interesting out of my Physics class.
Sometimes I find myself in situations that give me a strange sense of detachment. It’s amazing how something so ordinary can seem so surreal; so surreal, in fact, that I lose all sense of connection to the surroundings and become nothing more than an observer. Real life becomes a story of the most disturbingly life-like variety, and I begin to analyze. Sure, for most of these people, sitting in a high school Physics class, listening to two clean-cut, upper-middle-class teenage guys in overpriced jeans educate a sloppily thrown-together (both aesthetically, with a “fashion” sense that would be horrible were it existent, and genetically, with a bulbous seven-foot frame and eyebrows as unruly as his sense of propriety,) former football player of limited intelligence (as many football players are) on the oh-so-integral topics of prescription pills, v-necks, and dubstep is nothing out of the ordinary.
Still, it’s these situations that shatter any disillusion I may have gained that might imply I am not all that unusual. It’s these situations that remind me that I am a Pariah in this school. I AM the very bottom of this social food chain; the very, meme-obsessed, anime-watching, Tekken-playing, lesbian-ish rock f*****g bottom. Sitting among these, the elites (and the other one…) I have come to realize that there are three different worlds merging together here on the sacred holy ground that is the Physics lab table. Rather, they give the impression of merging, though, really, we all know they never will. The social division here is so thick you can taste it. At least, I can. I know the Tall One can. The elites, I wonder if they can too. I wonder if they even notice. They sit, at the top of this food chain, content, not at all affected by our lesser statuses. It’s not a bad thing. If anything, they’re better because of their indifference to this truth which seems all too blaringly apparent to the Tall One and me.
Whether consciously or not, everyone here is acutely aware of everyone else’s position in relation to their own. The Expensive T-shirts know that the Tall One is their inferior. You can see it in the way they look at him, the things they say to him. Without trying, probably without realizing, they talk down to him. They talk to him like he is some poor, lost child, alone in the wilderness that is the upper portion of the social ladder, and they must ensure that no harm comes to him in this no doubt overwhelming terrain. The Tall One sees it too. He is the most interesting character in this novel. He is more aware of his position than anyone else here.
He knows he’s being coddled. Secretly, he hates it. Secretly, everything he says is a desperate attempt to validate himself. Every word is planned " specifically designed to instill in the minds of the Expensive T-shirts the idea that he is their equal, even though he knows he never will be. Every word is a desperate attempt, resulting in utter failure, met with more coddling. He f*****g hates this. His most fervent wish is that they sold those t-shirts in his size.
He hates his size. He blames it for the fact that he doesn’t wear the name brand sweatshirts designed for the rich, beautiful and thin. He hates it, but it gives him an excuse. He blames it for the fact that he stands out (in the awkward way, not the exceptional way.) He blames it for the fact that all he’ll ever be expected to do in life is exert brute force, but truthfully, that’s all he’ll ever be smart enough to do. Truthfully, his overgrown, Neanderthal-esque eyebrows would stand out even if he were of normal height. He hates his size, but it gives him an excuse for everything he doesn’t like about himself. He hates it because he’s convinced himself that it’s the reason he isn’t one of the elite, but what he either doesn’t realize or refuses to acknowledge is that without his height, he still wouldn’t be who he wants to be, but then he would have no justification. Then, his reason would be the same as mine: it’s just not who you are. He hates his size, but it keeps him from having to face things he never wants to face. To someone so devastatingly committed to becoming just another Expensive T-shirt, “I will never fit into that hoodie,” is much less painful to admit than, “I will never belong with them.”
The Expensive T-shirts, being the elite, are of course content with their positions. I am the lowest life form here, but I am happy with where I am, and find the glorious life of the elite not necessarily enviable. I know who I am, and have no desire to change it. I am the lowest life form here, but the Tall One is in the least desirable position. He is plagued by his perceived inferiority, and it has left him with an air of forced indifference and an inflamed sense of superiority to me. He does not look at me, even when he speaks to me, which is only long enough to communicate that he wants to copy my worksheet. I don’t mind. I am not offended by the pissing contest he thinks he’s winning every time he sits down and immediately positions himself away from me, clearly establishing that he is far too engrossed in his ipod to spare so much as a glance at me. It doesn’t get to me that he flaunts his superior standing in my face, because I am comfortable with who I am. He isn’t. He hates himself for not being what he wants to be, and I cannot imagine what that’s like. So I let it slide. He needs to feel like his dick is bigger than mine. It isn’t. But if that’s what he needs to believe to feel better, so be it.
© 2012 Scarlet