We Thought We Found A Dead Hooker In The Woods, But It Turned Out To Be Something Much Worse

Flickr / Joel Bedford
Flickr / Joel Bedford

[I mentioned in my previous story that I lived with my grandfather as a kid and how during that time “almost nothing even remotely scary happened to me.” And this is the internet, where authors straight up dare their readers to contact them (go ahead, WATCH what happens. I hope you like thoughtful responses!) So of course, I received a number of emails and DMs asking what that “almost” in the above sentence was referring to. The answer is, “Two things.”

The first one I’ve talked about before in my book (the fucking nerve of this guy.) The second story, I’m saving for a special occasion because it takes place on Halloween night and you can’t just tell something like that whenever you feel like it.

Wait, no way. It IS?! Well that’s convenient…]

The crux of the American education system is divided into three sections: elementary school, middle school, and high school. Now, it’s not uncommon for an elementary school to also house an accompanying middle school, as was the case with the one I attended growing up. It had been a Catholic school (which are still really popular in New Orleans, mostly do to our less-than-stellar public education system) called Saint Louis King of France Elementary. And yes, someone actually named a school all of that.

Most of the boys from my class had wanted to attend stand-alone middle schools after 6th grade but I’d decided to stick it out at S.L.K.F. because it was close enough for me to ride my bike and plus, like most socially awkward 12 year-olds, I had been more than a little apprehensive about the idea of starting over at an entirely new school.

Unfortunately, 12 year-old Joel also sucked at foresight. It wasn’t until I showed up on the first day of 7th grade and discovered I was one of only three remaining boys in the entire class that it finally dawned on me: Since all of my friends had been male and almost none of them were returning this year, my old school might as well have been a new one.

And those other two male classmates I mentioned? They were both awful. I mean just the worst. Dwayne and Richie were their names and they were best friends. To paint you a picture, Richie was that one kid your teacher would never leave the class pet alone with and at 12, he was already an expert-level creeper who’d had a habit of dropping his fork under the lunch table so he could secretly look up girls’ skirts.

And if Richie was a fucked up kid, then Dwayne was the poster child for vasectomy. For some reason, he perpetually smelled like vegetable soup, and was two years older than the rest of us because he had been held back twice. I found out a few years later that the second time had been the result of an incident in which he pinned down another student at recess and used a red paint-marker to inscribe a racial slur on the kid’s forehead. It was of course no coincidence Dwayne’s victim was our school’s one-and-only black student.

“But Joel, how is that possible? You live in one of the country’s most racially diverse cities.”

Related

More From Thought Catalog

blog comments powered by Disqus