I heard you tell story about not being a high-school grad, I am not one either. I was too embarrassed to come talk with you after the show. I am in my second year of GED stuff and this crap is hard, man. How do I get through it? I want this, but I don’t know if I got what it takes.
The scene is a community college parking lot, years ago. It’s nighttime. I’m sitting in my truck, doing math homework for a high-school equivalency class.
I hate math. Math is bad. Math was invented by Satan. I do not understand Math and I do not want to.
Professionally, I began my life as a “grunt.” On a construction jobsite, that’s what workers called young men like me.
“Get my tape measure, and make is snappy,” a Grade-A dipstick might say to a young grunt.
Or he might say:
“Sand this drywall joint!”
Or: “Go to McDonalds and get me
an Egg McMuffin with extra cheese and a Doctor Pepper.”
Survival. That’s REAL life. It is about having money to make rent. Survival is real. Math is not.
Be as it may, a drop-out like me had to take high-school equivalency math courses out the kazoo before I could take college courses.
I loved literature. And art. And music. I had a love affair with English.
I almost quit school. But then I met him. On my way into class. I will never forget. We were going to the same classroom.
He had silver in his hair. He was smoking a cigarette in the breezeway. He wore filthy clothes. His work boots were covered in stucco mud. He had books beneath his arm. He was all smiles.
He said in a heavy accent, “How. You. Are. Doing.…