B Ferreal.

I remember working at the duplicating office at college and talking to one of my co-workers about how I was so gullible that I believed nearly anything anyone told me and how this prevented me from being cool.

“In my little high school crew I was like Vern from ‘Stand By Me’—my big round face was always lit up with awe at whatever nutso shit my homegirls said.”

“You’re lucky,” he said, in his slow, Louisiana drawl. He was a tall, gothy redhead, with black fingernail polish and thick black eyeliner. He was one of the few poets in my year who i could stand.

“When I was in high school there was this girl who sat in front of me in homeroom. She had a crush on me and wrote me a note telling me so. At the end of the note she said, If you don’t go out with me I’ll kill myself.”

He paused for a moment. We were outside smoking and I remember that it started to rain. I could hear it high up in the gigantic elms that hemmed in the office services area of the college. It was a sad, yet exciting sound.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I told her, no, 'hell no! I wouldn’t go out with her and she'd better kill her ugly ass'. She went home that very night and did exactly that.”

“Wow,” I said. “Fuck.”

"Yeah," he said, leaning over and spitting a bubbling wad on the still smoking butt that was on the ground. "So you see, it's much better to be real simple like you and believe what people tell you. Don't read in to things and always be for real right back."

I tried to look in his eyes to see if he was lying, but his head was hanging down and his long bangs covered his eyes like a bright red blindfold.

"Ok," I said, nodding like the monkey that I am.

"From now on I'll always be for real."

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