Week #2: Opted for a new monologue in the “First-year Teacher project”
Character: Jose is a fourteen-year-old student in the seventh grade. This is his second time in seventh grade, so he’s a year older than his peers, but is much smaller in stature than many kids in the class. He is skinny. He has a tear duct problem of some kind, and so his eyes are always filled with water, which will slide down his face steadily, giving the appearance of tears from crying. In the class he is what you call a “tipper”. Not inherently aggressive, but any sign of disorder or discontent, and Jose can’t help but take it to the next level. After a string of incidents—ending in pretty severe abuse of a student named Kaleema, Jose is reclassified, and sent to the class for students with emotional disturbance. He will be way out of his league is that class. The students are bigger and more intimidating on every level. He tells his story to a kid in the hall while awaiting the conversation with the principal.
“Nah, because she always defends the girls, man. I’m telling you, I’m telling you. She didn’t have to go so fucking hard… But to change me class? MY WHOLE class? Not even… the whole program. No more Witness Protection, ya heard? Oh, you don’t know what’s witness protection? It’s like all the kids who are a little fucked up, you know they don’t speak English, or they dyslexic, can’t hold the pencil right, shit like that. I wasn’t supposed to be in that class anyway but my attendance hold me back. Not for nothing, but I can’t get to school on time, man. Why? I be straight chiefin’ ya heard. Everyday. This morning… Who was it?… It was me, Pops, Freaky, Marquis… you know Marquis… Not Cooke, Wiggins. We had two L’s in rotation. I was over, B. Finished. And then I walk into class, and fucking Kaleema is at my desk. I do not like her. Not at all…. Because she’s disgustin’. She like to act all quiet in school, so teachers don’t know she a nasty ass bitch. Feel me? It’s one thing to have a man, and y’all do your thing whatever. But yo, word to everything I love she been slobbin the knob on the school bus since last year, My nigga. She was in the SIXTH grade! Who was it? Oh, you already know. Jeffrey from College. Is he in College? You a STOOPS, College Avenue dummy. She madd nasty. So I walk in, and she’s sitting at my desk and when I tell her “Move,” she say “What? You never here.” And I can’t lie, I spaz out. The veins in my neck come out, and I just scream on her like I’m her father. I said “You nasty ass bitch, that’s why Damali and all them 6-Wild motherfuckers from 63rd run train on you, puneta” And then the teacher say “Oh my God, Jose you so disrespectful, how could you?” And she kick me out. So that’s why I’m out here…. Huh? ….The meeting’s in ten minutes. They think I don’t know, but I been through this already. That’s how I got in Special Ed in the first place. I was late, late, late, not paying attention, when I tell you 83 lates in one semester… [sighs] and then I really started to fall back. Mr. P took me into the office, and he said “Jose you got so much potential, but you with your behavior, and the fact that you not here to learn the content, we gotta leave you back, AND put you in Special Ed. I could handle it, but to keep it a-hundred with you, I hate being in the little class with all those retarded ass kids. That’s not me, man….. I’m there cuz I’m hard-headed, not cuz I’m stupid.
….Bridget, where you going ma? Why you walking so fast? Don’t worry about me, I asked you where you was going. Oh it’s like that? Alright then, get to class you fucking derelict. Shuttup, with your flat ass. That’s why your butt looks like the last slice of bread, Maricon.
I’m playing, I’m playing. You know I got madd love for you…
[To friend] Damn, she a cutie. She don’t talk to Eds. Special Eds. But you watch, by next week I’mma have that number. How? Natural born charisma, my dude.
…Am I scared? Scared of what, them kids in the basement class? Nah, I know all them from Webster. They be wilding down there, though. You heard, last week they took Tasha’s hand and burnt her with the glue gun right in front of the cheecher. What the cheecher did? Nothing, man. They shook. They be at the desk, poppin Percocets hoping they car don’t get keyed. I’mma be alright though. My moms love me. Makes me come to school right every day. New Airforce ones, or Jordan 5s, breakfast in my stomach, bacon egg and cheese, word to everything I love she take care of me. Yeah, sometimes that’s why I’m late. She work nights and sleep late. She’s a phlebotomist at Mount Sinai. You don’t know what’s a phlebotomist? You hopeless. They take blood in the hospital. Yeah, that’s what she does. She gonna kill me, B. You know the voice, “Jose, the next time you in trouble, I’m not coming.” But she always come anyway.
… What? Mr. P’s ready to see me? Aight. I’ll be right there.”