Chapter 6: Routine

Southwest Michigan. Some small crappy town. 6:40 am. Snowing and pitch black except for the orange glow of street lights. The air was cold enough to freeze the snot running down my nose. My greatest motivation to wake up and walk to school in this shitstorm was the thought of packaged blueberry muffins, cafeteria sausages and orange juice. It was a welcome change from the routine sticky rice, dried carp and steamed vegetables we ate all week. The only problem, I was broke and needed to steal some money for the damned muffins. Three unlocked cars later I had a pocket full of coins. Mostly change from people’s ashtrays.

I had a routine going. Things were going good.

After a hearty breakfast I would go outside to have my customary cigarette and smoke a joint if I had one. Now I was ready to learn something. The weed always broadened my perspective and allowed me to contemplate the complexities of Jr. High but for the life of me I could not remember my locker number.

I had a routine going. Things were going good.

Under the drizzle of cold snow I would give my girlfriend a warm kiss for the day and then walk to ISS, In-School-Suspension. Located on the far side of the campus it was an indoor unloading dock converted to house the rejects too rowdy for a normal classroom. The desks looked so small and out of place in such a huge room more appropriately setup for a fight club. We had to enter and exit through a garage door guarded by a large lady with a mean frown. This is where I spent most of my days.

I had a routine going. Things were going good.

In fact, I would spend a total of 45 days going to school consistently – the longest stretch of education in one place since the 5th grade. Between moving from state to state and ditching classes I practically never went. My time in ISS was a welcomed breather from the streets. The vice principal had a long list of grievances against me and I didn’t care that they kept stacking up;

– Tobias was sagging his pants down the hallway – 2 days in ISS

-…said, “What the #@&%!?” in class – 2 days…

-…threw a spitball – 3 days…

– …threatened another student – 4 days…

-…drew gang graffiti – 3 days…

-…inappropriately kissing a girl – 2 days…

I had a routine going. Things were going good.

Thether Routine was good, even if it was forced, because in this life nothing ever stayed the same. My motivation to stay straight didn’t come from the warm breakfast, the Asian girl or the vice principal. It came from the electronic monitoring device tethered to my ankle. I was on probation for possession of marijuana and larceny. As part of my stipulations I had to wear the electronic bracelet, do community service and attend school or I would go to jail. I spent 45 days doing what I was supposed to do…and then the bracelet came off.

Now that my routine was gone, things were about to get very bad.

 

2 thoughts on “Chapter 6: Routine

  1. Pingback: Chapter 5: Friend or Foe | The Asian Rough Rider

  2. Pingback: Chapter 7: Typical Day | The Asian Rough Rider

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