Friday, May 23, 2008

Iron Men

"If they really did have guns like that, there would me no more wars," said Dekores. He'd brought in a bootleg copy of "Iron Man" and I let them watch it during lunchtime. He said his cousin sold bootlegs, and they weren't bad bootlegs, either. You couldn't see the audience at all. He could get any movie I wanted.

They have guns like that and there's still wars, I commented from my desk. People will always kill people. Didn't you learn anything from our Holocaust unit?

"I didn't read that book," said Dekores. "English is boring." Dekores has the other English teacher, but we're all reading the same book, Night.  He likes to brag about how he doesn't do any of her work while I try to convince him that's not the best route to his future.   Right now, we're at an impasse.

"I did," said Lester. He probably didn't, but Lester's in my class and knows better than to admit any wrongdoing in front of me. His mother and I have an understanding. They stood around the tv watching the movie almost solemnly.

Byron shook his head. "You think they really have weapons like that?" 

"They've got everything," said Lester. "They could kill everybody if they wanted, but they don't."

"I don't know why they don't just kill all those people over in Iraq," said Dekores. "If they've got the guns, they could take them out and then they wouldn't be any more problems."

"You can't do that," said Byron. "You can't kill all them kids." 

"What do I care about them kids?" said Dekores. "We should end it right now so I don't have to go over there. They're killing us, aren't they?"

"Not them kids," said Lester. 

"I done tole you I don't care about no kids. It's me I care about. They kill kids here, all the time. Those kids didn't ask for it neither. And they send us over there with no protection. You know those soldiers don't have no vests. And they could make 'em, too. They just don't, because they don't care.  They don't care cause they're not fighting that war.  They gonna make us fight that war.  You watch.  And I'm not going to go over there with no damn armor."

"What they should do," said Byron, "Is send over more guns. George Bush has got a whole basement full of guns. Like ten thousand. He could end this war and then none of us would have to go. But he doesn't. He likes this war."

"I ain't going over there," said Lester. "I don't want to shoot nobody." At this I grinned, because Lester's favorite activity is stealth paper bombs.  Unsuspecting classmates are always finding themselves pelted in the head.  He's good, too.  It took me a while to figure out who was doing it.  Now I'm always making him stay after to clean up the classroom floor.

They all watched the movie for a while longer.  Something exploded.

"Shit," said Dekores. "Like I said, if they had weapons like that, there'd be no wars.  Everybody would be too scared."


Carrie Berry said...

I love this - and Cougar. Thanks. Sometimes I envy the job you have. Most of the time I am quite happy to appreciate it vicariously.

Cecilia Baader said...

It's the best job in the world. Seriously.