israel sells drugs.

today, a sub took over for kathryn, who was at a court trial to gain custody over her nephew. i guess her sister is a flake and always disappears. kathryn is like kirsten on the o.c. so anyway, this sub was a little older, pudgy, and he wore a pink shirt. he was also cross-eyed.
He liked that i was an english major and said, "Here, take a look at what I'm reading." He pointed to a Penguin Classics copy of Jane Eyre.
"Oh, yeah. That's a good one. I read that my senior year." It was actually my junior year, but you know, I wanted to keep things interesting.
So we took both first and third periods to the career center so they could work on their resumes. But, as it turns out, it's rather difficult to write a resume when you haven't had any experience. A lot of them listed "playing soccer, also, video games" as their extracirricular activities. I helped Rocio and Veronica with their scholarship essays. They're due tomorrow. Veronica wants to go to college to get a good career like a dental hygienist. Then transfer for CSUS or CSUMB to "keep her options open." Rocio overcame obstacles in high school.

"What kind of obstacles?" I asked her.

"You know, like bad things."

"Well, an obstacle can be anything. I could have a foot infection, and I can't walk. That could be an obstacle."

She laughs. "Oh yeah. Well, I was getting into drugs. And I'd cut class just to sleep in."

"Oh, okay."

When third period rolls around, I get the impulse to ask people what they're going to do after high school. I start with Israel.

"Are you going to Cabrillo?" I ask.

"No."

"Just gonna get a job, then, huh?"

"Uhh, yeah. Something like that." He looks embarassed.

"Well, what are you gonna do?"

"Sell drugs."

"What?" I ask.

"I'm gonna sell drugs."

"Why would you want to do that?"

"I don't know. There's a lot of money in it."

I pause and think, maybe he's right. If money is his only goal, then selling drugs really would help him achieve it. Because it's early, because I'm underpaid and can't think straight, I can't think of any counter-points. Then, it hits me. "But not if you get busted, right?" He shrugs, and I walk away to help other students. I keep thinking about what he said, and why the sub, or the woman who works in the career center who is fixing the printer's paper jam, don't say anything. They obviously heard him. Then I start to think I'm losing my grip on reality. Is selling drugs a viable career option these days? Did I miss something? That's illegal, right?

I walk back to Israel, and ask, "Don't you want to work with kids?"
He shakes his head. "You don't want to travel?" Shakes head. "Don't you want to get out of Watsonville?" Shakes head. And that's when I realize that Israel, the pudgy little Mexican boy who always wears black and finishes his work when's told to, really wants to just sell drugs so that he can buy basketball jersies, a rare pair of Air Jordans, maybe even a car. I have nothing else to say, and I don't offer to help him anymore with his resume. What's a future drug dealer need a resume for? You need references to sell coke? A smarter, more compassionate person would've pushed him further, but I think that sometimes people need to just figure shit out for themselves.

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