Kittyface — a serial short, part 1

Day Fourteen of Thirty Days of Writing

Deep in the heart of central Florida, between spring fed swamps that feed rivers and sprawling farmland, sits a large high school. This particular high school supports communities from all over the Northern edge of the county. For most students, the social hub of the school is the cafeteria, which also serves as an auditorium, with rows of massive tables that fold like tee pees. The school’s student population requires lunch to be delivered in three shifts, within two separate dining areas. It is shift two, in the East cafeteria, students from ninth to the twelfth grade sit stuffing their faces with pizza, sandwiches, soda and candy from the vending machines, or free lunch. Sitting by himself at the only empty table set in the front of the stage is Geoh Zuluaga, his position places him opposite of the kitchen and buffet line.

Today, like most days, Geoh is the object of taunting from another table, a few rows down. They tease him for his dread-locked hair, his pubescent mustache, his racial ambiguity. When it begins, Geoh puts his head phones on and tries to ignore the taunts. He used to pull out homework or a book, but he got tired of food projectiles staining his work. He didn’t mind the idea of being taunted, it was more the racial epitaphs — Terrorist, Wet Back, Redbone.

There comes a breaking point in any young man’s life, when the taunting of his peer’s has rubbed his young constitution raw. A typical American teenager would lash out in violence. Perhaps this is a pessimistic estimate, but that is to be debated for another time. Geoh is the outlier in this instance. Raised in household in which non-violence was the first commandment, the young man found an outlet for any of life’s frustrations in music. An avid guitarist, he was skilled in most rock band instruments including the drums, bass guitar, and he could even play the keyboard.

Whatever brought the young man to this point of anger, was a mute point, for he was about to cross a line to which he would never be able to return. Gathering the remaining contents of his sack-lunch consisting of PB&J, two banana peels, a handful of pretzels and a bottle of grapefruit juice, in his arms and in one motion — he heaves the contents in the air above him. The debris rains down upon his head, as he slowly rises to ascend the table, he begins to sing, projecting to the furthest reaches of the school, “Inflammable material is planted in my head / It’s a suspect device that’s left 2000 dead / Their solutions are our problems / They put up the wall.” Geoh stands on the table amid the ruins of his lunch, with one fist raised in the air, students fill in the East side lunch room.

At first, the adjacent table, who had been accosting him all lunch, chuckles nervously amongst themselves. A collective sweat begins to appear on the belligerent brows, as their faces swell with blood rushing to their collective heads. They sit in their pastel colored Bahamian fishing shirts, khaki pleated shorts, visor hats with polarized sunglasses resting on the bill, Crocs, and attempt to divert their attention from the singing individual now serenading a hushed second shift lunch. The crowed surges toward the table, curious, but excited at the commotion.