Baboons in Credit Recovery – a short story by John Ian Bush

I want to point out that I’m writing this while I’m sitting in a classroom full of a bunch of thuggish baboons who think I’m a chubby fool who blabs about music and my guitar all the time. I’m in credit recovery. If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably not a lazy ass like me. Actually, I’m not all that lazy, I just can’t hardly focus on anything. I’ll pay for it later in life, I know that, but I can’t do a damn thing to change it, and that’s what’s sad about me. Actually, I’m paying for it right now. Some of the baboons are looking back at me and laughing as I write this.

Anyways, credit recovery is for the kids that sit around all day in class and don’t do shit. We’re supposed to make up the work we didn’t do last year, but I’ve never turned in a damn thing. Partly because I lost my binder and a lot of my papers were in there, partly because the damn eye doctor hasn’t called my mom to pick up my glasses and I can’t see shit and partly because from time to time I get the idea to write down what I’m thinking about and when I get like that, I can’t stop or be bothered with anything else, which is what I’m doing now. I can’t explain why I do this. I can’t hardly explain any of the shit I do.

Anyways, nobody does any work in here. The others all just sit around and whisper and pass notes about bitches and weed and who has the best shoes in the class. I should point out that I don’t hate the baboons and they don’t hate me. We’re just different and I can’t respect them as people because they get all their opinions from rap lyrics. The only one I can respect is Darren. Darren’s alright.

Darren got me high yesterday after school and we hung out. He showed me these naked pictures he had on his phone of this girl we go to school with, he got with her the weekend before and she let him take the pictures.

I wish he hadn’t shown me. She was a good looking girl and I always thought she was respectable and nice, but now I saw her nipples and I can’t unseen them. She’s a pair of tits to me now and I wish she wasn’t.

I didn’t look at the pictures too good, though, because I started to think that the damn phone might steal my soul or something if I did and I might become a baboon too. I don’t know why I thought this, but I did. I was high, you have to remember.

I don’t want you to think Darren’s a bad guy or anything. Darren wasn’t showing me the pictures to be mean to her or anything, he just wanted to impress me is all. I could tell that’s what he wanted, but I don’t know why.

We ended up running around down town that afternoon, we were both high and I laughed at everything I saw until it hurt. It was good weed, I guess. I hadn’t smoked but once or twice before yesterday. My brother says pot makes you stupid, but he’s a puss about a lot of things. He won’t even take aspirin.

Anyways, Darren took me up to the top of this rusted fire escape near this big bank. He told me, and I quote, “The town looks real pretty up here. Like Paris or some shit.” He tried to sound all manly and tough, but you can’t sound tough when you say words like “Pretty” and “Paris”. He was always trying to sound tough and manly. That makes me sad for some reason. I don’t know why.

I told Darren about how my amp blew a tube and about how I had to replace it and all because it makes all my songs sound like shit. I knew he didn’t know what a tube was or what the hell I was even talking about, but he still nodded politely and said, “Damn, that’s some shit.”

I told him that I tried hard to start up talks with him and the other guys in credit recovery, but I knew that I didn’t fit in and I knew they knew I didn’t.

He told me I ought to be proud that I don’t fit in with them and I ought to keep it that way. Then he said, “I ought to delete those pictures. That’s sort of fucked up how I showed you them.”

“Yeah,” I said. “It does look nice up here. It looks real pretty. You were right.”


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Modernist writer and poet.