I heard the muffled giggling of the two girls behind me in my eighth grade English class. Our glorious teacher had unburdened herself of the chore of grading by having each student pass his spelling paper to the person behind to duly score. Apparently, the girl grading my paper was so amused by my alleged idiocy she was sharing it with her friend. Life is like that.
I heard the whispers. "Look how he spelled it. Deb-ris! Hey, Debby, how do you spell your name?"
"Must be D-E-B-B-R-I-S!"
Laughter ensued. Didn't help that Debby was a hot cheerleader to boot. Worst part of it was I knew I had no way of defending myself. Since I was helpless in my desire for their soft, smooth bodies I resorted to the least feasible defense of all: The truth.
"It's from France," I nervously explained. "That's how they spell it over there."
"Does this look like France to you? What a dork!"
"We spell it the same way here!"
"Everyone in France is fucking gay! You gay too, bitchboy?"
"I'm telling you the truth!"
"We're telling you the truth too, bitchboy!"
Laughter ensued from one end of the classroom to the other. Stupid ass teacher stepped out and left me at the mercy of the animals.
"This is like a fucking nightmare, man! No one listens to a goddam word I say!"
"Who gives a shit what you think?" retorted a defensive Debby.
Then the boys joined in, hoping to gain female approval by mocking me further. Many who were already insecure of having any smarts jumped on my supposed inferior ability to spell by repeating the same lectures they heard at home for poor grades. Other boys who were envied friends of the girls openly wondered how a retard like me would ever be able to reproduce. Farmboy in the back even wanted to fight me after school he was in such a need of a victory over somebody.
By becoming the lowest of the low, it was as if I had suddenly become a mirror. Convinced I could not possibly know the truth, each person in turn revealed his or her self to me as open season was declared upon my intelligence. I saw their fears, their ugliness, their tortured thoughts and even their strengths around the edges. But dare I say anything of what I see? Do I tell them it's obvious to me now what keeps them from accepting love?
As perpetual prisoners of the ruling nooky, the boys naturally took it too far as a pair of them stood on top of either desk beside me and started urinating on my head. They asked me if I enjoyed the rain. I told them yes and that made the girls giggle - I too am bound to please them even to my own detriment. The Lord of the flies has no eyes.
But most in the room were actually silent - the silent majority so to speak. They either knew outright or rightfully feared I was correct in my spelling but did not want to subject themselves to the same treatment I got. As I sat there dripping in piss I couldn't blame them and I severely doubted I would have the nerve to stand up to the vocal crowd either. Popularity trumps truth.
A few of the moderates - those pretending conviction - were easily shouted down and my case was sealed: the girls were correct in mocking me and the boys' piss duly justified. A sort of celebration followed as my accusers found relief in the sight of a lesser being in whom they could treat as they wish and the silent ones congratulated themselves on wisely sparing themselves my fate. And I wondered: what's the goddam fucking point of anything?
Maybe these fuckers were right after all: the truth is what you make it. We're all competing for love and approval in the end. What does the actual truth matter without it? If I had to choose between Debby's luscious legs and the correct spelling of 'debris' which would I choose? Why cling to a truth that doesn't get you laid? Goddam God doesn't care what's true - why should I?
Mired in such thoughts it was at this point the teacher returned to the room and gathered the papers. Her craggy face became more and more vexed as she perused the papers, singling one out from all the others: mine. She held it up announcing to the class I was the only one to spell the word 'debris' correctly. She also stated she was disturbed by the fact many had marked out the correct spelling and replaced it with 'debree' instead. She asked me to come up to the front to pick up the only passing paper.
Out of a sense of self-preservation I refused. My previous tormenters were now exposed as losers unjustified and unwarranted in their deeds. Dreams of endless sex and rising popularity imploded behind eyes of hate boring directly into my head. I heard murderous mutterings of: "Look what he did to us, that motherfucker!" and "He thinks he's better than the rest of us!" As for me, I was calculating the different ways of committing suicide since life is not an option.
Then a loud bang burst from the back, scaring the shit of the entire room as the smell of burnt gunpowder invaded our nostrils. Farmboy had been packing heat and took the teacher out with a single deadly shot. My loserdom was his only possible salvation to achieving a status worthy of love but as long as the teacher lived farmboy had no hope. The truth must die. Only problem was he shot the teacher after the truth had been revealed, detroying their illusion of victory.
I could see the question marks forming over my classmates' heads. "Does this mean we don't have to honor the truth now after all?" While failing to realize they could not "unknow" what they knew, they decided instead to think themselves clever and live by only what they would admit to be true. I, however, was still a threat as I clearly knew of their fraudulent path. That's when I heard the sharp razor voice of Debby speak out to me in her prosecutor's contempt.
"Hey, bitchboy, how do you spell 'debree'?"
"Good! Now bend over and take it up the ass, dummy, 'cause that's all your good for!"
CODA: Farmboy grew up to be revered as a dauntless hero by the Tea Party as he assassinated one "liberal liar" after another ("Suck my dick, Gandhi!" a popular bumper sticker). Masters of mob rule, the two assholes who pissed on me ended up as CEOs of the largest investment houses in the country. After their bailouts they blamed their problems on the poor who don't pay enough taxes ("They need to give us more, the useless fucks!"). Cheerleader Debby started a wildly popular religious organization: Buttfuckers for Jesus. "God wants you to fuck me in the ass!"
As for me, I'm still living at the mercy of the lords of the flies, blackmailed for food, sex and shelter or anything else that might me of use or desire. I thought it was my job - everyone's job - to speak the truth as much as possible. But I'm not rich or famous or popular so what can I ever know, right? "This is like a fucking nightmare, man! No one listens to a goddam word I say!"