Posted On May 28, 2014 By In Miscellaneous

Born on the 5th of July: Part 3



Record 3: Scottsdale, Friday, July 5th, 2013. Day.

I’m sitting on the leather in my family’s center room, which is made for living, as some say. My father, who wears his mustache thin and wire-like, is staring out of our smudged window, contemplating something that is now, I’m afraid, causing him to shake his head to and fro in a ‘this-will-just-not-do’ manner that makes me anxious. I ask him a question with words about his unusual new physicality. He rambles and putters with letters and such, and I think, perhaps his mind is hampered with the weight of one of my many and never-ending escapades outside the law. I’ll have you know, person, that I’ve only been arrested once (for stealing amoxicillin from a very understaffed pharmacy, [LOL!]) and for selling it to my peers who like to be healthy. I don’t think there’s much wrong with that. Do you, person?

Now back to my father. He turns to me and his mouth moves and I understand from the way his eyebrow furrows that he is, in fact, not upset with me, his child, but instead pleased with something, and unsure of how to broach this newly pleasing something. How interesting. Maybe it’s something I’ve done or caused? I wish for this silently. As I do so, my father holds before him a piece of off-white cardstock, folded aptly into sharp-edged thirds. He points to the off-white cardstock and, now coherent, tells me that I am to attend some sort of grand schooling oasis in the desert not far from here. I ask him: “Just how is that possible?” And I go on to cite my offenses to the very good law, at which point he shushes me, as if to say ‘let’s brush those discrepancies under the mat and leave them there for all of time.’ “That’s fine. Okay, then.” I say with my eyes locked on the cardstock as it glimmers in the refracted window sunlight. “What am I to do at this schooling oasis?” I ask my father. He lets out an elongated sigh that has an odd tempo and sits on the burgundy table for coffee, directly across from where I am sitting, so that our eyes line up in a perfect sort of way.

My father discloses to me that he is satisfied and enthusiastic, now. Why? I wonder out loud, and I’m informed that, not only will I be frequenting this schooling oasis, but my father will not have to relinquish currency to anyone in order for me to do so! [LOL!]. Can you believe that, person? This is because, I’m told, I’m quite an intelligent person, and despite my [(omitted)], the schooling oasis board-of-people-that-can-allow-you-in-or-not has yelled the phrase “Fuck it!” into some vast emptiness somewhere and invited me along, for free, to learn things.

I jump up in an excited way and shake my fists about. My father does the same and I watch his mustache and quietly wish to have one for myself someday that’s not today. Now, now. I must settle, person. And so I do. And once I’ve worked a comfortable groove into the leather in my family’s center room, my father moves his lips around and I understand that it is important, and, yes, necessary for me, at my number of 17 years, to achieve very high academic points at the schooling oasis. It is important because my father does not have a lot of wealth, and if I am to perform awfully, I will be discharged from the schooling oasis. This would make my father’s eyes water up, and the water would likely drip onto his mustache [LOL!].

Stop laughing, person.

All jesting aside, I move my head in a nod-way that communicates my comprehension of the seriousness of doing good at academics, and propose this, inquiring-like: “Why am I to attend this schooling oasis? Perhaps, since your salary is nearly non-existent, I should secure some type of occupation instead.”

This agitates my father, but he elucidates nonetheless, informing me that I will go to seminars for 4 years. During these 4 years I will learn to analyze this realm I live in, and then after 4 years, I will get another piece of paper (cardstock, I’m hoping) that signifies that I am good at scrutinizing my world. “And what then?” And so my father elucidates further, informing me that after my 4 years at the schooling oasis, I will use my new piece of paper (cardstock, right?) to attain an occupation.

I then express, again, that I cannot quite understand why it is that I do not find an occupation immediately, as in now, or if not now, then tomorrow, perhaps. And my father, wrinkling his mustache in a now-more-frustrated manner, expresses to me that I must go to seminars for 4 years inside some red-bricked-schoolhouses because that is what people do.

I keep the agenda of opinions and queries scrolling through my smart brain to myself, so as not to offend my father and his mustache, but, dearest person, I feel a very necessary urge to articulate my inability to fathom a world wherein the most intelligent of men and women, who have earned their cardstock, gather about in deteriorating cafes and places where caffeine is served aplenty, and discuss their analyses of the world. Intellectually invigorating though it may be, I will surely require a salary, if only, perhaps, something very minimal, otherwise I will not maintain the means to exist as a person, person.

My father gauges the crinkled expression on my face and asserts this: “Your time spent at the schooling oasis, child, will not be in vain. Your learnedness will, in fact, keep you quite savvy and ‘on your toes’, as they say. You will exit the schooling oasis a person who has a license to think. And you can think forever.” My father purses his lips and his mustache crooks left. He has made a point that has contented him, so I move my mouth into what you, person, may deduce as a smile. It seems my lot in this blossoming century is to investigate things, and, in doing so, to be satisfied with my investigation of these things.

And so I shall ask for no more, and no less, person.

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Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of Taken Films. He holds an MFA in Film Production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He wrote a book that you haven't read. It's called 'My Blood Feet.'