He didn’t walk in as much as he strutted in.
With his handsome features, five-foot-eleven athletic frame, tattooed arms and dark, spiky hair he looked like the punk-rock version of David Beckham and was the type of good-looking that even straight men would take notice of and say “Damn, I bet HE never hears the word ‘NO’ unless it’s No, don’t stop.”
He checked-in with Simone (who eye fucked him hard enough to knock him over) and then came over and sat with us because attractive people don’t need invites.
All the girls swooned and smiled at him and as he smiled back with his perfectly aligned teeth I sat on my hands so I wouldn’t knock them out and fracture his perfectly chiseled jawline.
Just minutes ago my self-esteem was soaring and I was feeling like the King of the World standing at the bow of an unsinkable ship ready to sail on an ocean of female adoration.
Turns out that ship was the Titanic and it’d just hit an iceberg and that iceberg’s name was:
What kind of Point Break*, bro-hug, frat-boy shit was this?
“Hiiiiiiiiiii Bodeeeeeeee.” all the girls cooed back at him.
I had long questioned the existence of God but now I knew God was real and had a sense of humor more sadistic than Hitler, Stalin and Kris Jenner combined.
It would’ve been one thing if this Bode guy was average looking like myself because at least then the playing field would’ve been leveled. But no, this pretty boy had to be Apollo the Sun God who’s superior genetics bitch-slapped my adjusted 8.5 rating all the way down to a 3 in comparison to him.
What an asshole.
The only way I saw things playing back in my favor was if Bode played for the other team and was as gay as a pride parade.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” asked the girl that looked like she’d had two kids before finishing high school because OF COURSE SHE WOULD.
“Nah, we broke up last month.” he said.
All the girls let out a collective “Awwwwww.” while I died a little more on the inside.
It was official, this year was gonna suck more dick than Courtney Love at a truck stop.
So I cast aside my dreams of being Tha Shit and went back to feeling like A Piece of Shit thanks to Bode being born and deciding that he should start hair school at the same place and time that I did.
My only hope now was that he would meet some early demise by way of an elephant stampede, spontaneous combustion or an allergic reaction to gluten.
“Good morning, everyone!” a tall, slender woman in a vintage 1950’s dress with tattoos and hair as yellow as Big Bird said while gliding towards us with grace and poise.
“I’m Charlie your Core Learning Leader and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be on this journey with you! So if you’ll follow me back to the room we can get started!”
We did as we were told and followed her single file back to the Core Room.
Upon entering the room we were blasted in the face with dubstep music that sounded like a chainsaw fucking a toaster while two classroom assistants gave out high-fives and threw confetti on us.
By the look on my fellow student’s faces they were thinking the same thing as me:
What the fuck?
This wasn’t the calm, tranquil, Zen-like atmosphere it had been when Anime Amy gave me a tour of the school a week ago. This was the exact opposite of that, this was like being at a clown orgy.
Charlie danced her way to the front of the room then stood behind a podium with the perfect posture of a mannequin.
On the left and right side of the room were rows of tables. Each table had 2 chairs to it and on top of each table were 2 big, black binders filled with papers.
“Take any seat you want.” Charlie said as the music died down and we wandered around the room covered in confetti as if a giant disco ball had detonated over our heads.
I looked around to check Bode’s locale. He’d taken a spot in the back of the room (which meant I’d be taking one up front) and was already flipping through his binder when I noticed both his hands were tattooed.
I’d been wanting my hands tattooed.
For fuck’s sake was this guy annoying.
I found a spot in front of Charlie’s podium and took a seat next to the pear-shaped girl with bad tattoos.
“Hi, I’m Stuke.”
“I’m Jimbo.” she said in a guttural voice. “And I’m gay so don’t think about coming on to me. The only reason I’m talking to you is because my probation officer says I should be more social.”
“O-K.” I tell her as I read the words I’M FINE that are tattooed across her knuckles which she catches me doing.
“FINE stands for Fucked-up Insecure Neurotic and Emotional.” she informs me.
“All at once?”
“And then some, plus, I like girls.”
“Yeah I got that. I do too.”
“You have a girlfriend?”
“No she left me a few weeks ago.”
“Mine too.” Jimbo sighed, unleashing a torrent of coffee and cigarette breath. “She broke up with me cuz I wanted to drink her urine.”
“The closed-mindedness of people these days.” I tell her, wondering if she’d requested that urine in a cup or straight from the source.
“That’s what I kept telling her right up until she called the cops.”
Based on my 10-second interaction with Jimbo it’s apparent that Paul Mitchell does not have any sort of pre-screening processes in place to keep people of questionable character from enrolling in their school.
“Alright, alright!” Charlie shouts as everyone settles into their seats. “Again, welcome to Core! I like to think of Core as the 31 flavors of hair school because over the next six weeks you’re gonna get a taste of everything.”
“I’d like to taste you.” Jimbo says in the faintest of whispers, leading me to question just how many active restraining orders she has against her.
“We’re gonna cut, color and perm. We’re gonna straighten, curl and updo. We’ll be doing highlights, lowlights and blowdrys but most of all we’ll be having fun!” Charlie says to a roomful of blank faces.
“Ok, I can see we’re a little shy so to break the ice let’s play a game.”
“I’m down for a game!” Bode shouts because he’s a dickmunch.
“I love your enthusiasm!” Charlie shouts back. “We’re gonna play the Pointing Game and it goes like this: When someone points to you you say your name and one thing you love then you point to someone else. I’ll start. I’m Charlie and I love coloring hair!”
Charlie then points to the sad giraffe.
“I’m Tracie and I love Maroon 5.”
“I’m Marie and I love my kids.”
“I’m Rachel and I love my dog.”
“I’m Dusti and I love ice skating.”
“I’m Bode and I love surfing.”
“I’m Jimbo and I love pussy.”
Suddenly all the air is sucked out of the room.
“Uh…Pussy Riot, they’re an underground band.” Jimbo follows up with a nice save. She then points to Denise, the adorable girl next door type.
“I’m Denise and I love…” she says looking over towards me. “Short guys with tattoos who wear women’s jeans.”
Seriously? What were the fucking odds of her knowing I was in women’s jeans?
I wasn’t sure if this was a back-handed compliment or not but I appreciated at least ONE girl being on team Stuke. Then Denise smiles and points at me.
“I’m Stuke and I love…”
What did I love?
Too Brittany Murphy.
“Hey, shitbird, what do you love?” Jimbo said in a low growl.
“I love doing what I love…”
“Nice!” Charlie says, making me feel like I’m off the hook. “And what’s that?”
Jesus tap dancing Christ.
“I love doing hair, and I’m so glad to be hair with you all today.” I say, punning my answer to the nth degree and sending Charles to the fucking moon with it.
“Oh my god that’s the best answer ever!” she says, commending me on bullshitting my way to the top.
“Thank you all for playing! I feel like this is a special group and I look forward to spending the next 6 weeks with you. Now before we do anything else I want you to write your name on the black binder in front of you and then open it up so we can go over all the official stuff.”
“All the Official Stuff” took two hours of our lives and covered such things as the school’s code of conduct, sick day policy and a litany of rules and regulations no one would ever remember.
Once we were finished Charlie had us break for a 30min lunch and I ran to the bathroom before my alcohol-filled bladder burst.
While in the middle of one of the most gratifying pees of my life Bode strolled in and saddled up to the urinal next to me confirming once and for all that there wasn’t anything I could enjoy that he couldn’t ruin.
I stood there and imagined myself drowning him in one of the toilets, keeping his head under water until the bubbles stopped and his flailing arms fell limp.
Then from out of nowhere my daydream was interrupted by a HUGE, RACCOUS fart that exploded like a grenade, shook the bathroom and no doubt registered on the Richter scale.
“Whoa did you hear that beast come outta my ass?” he said.
“I’d have to be deaf not to.” I told him as I buttoned up and went to wash my hands.
“Sorry man, I have a gluten allergy and made the mistake of eating pizza last night and now I’m-“
Another ginormous fart blew out of him almost knocking me over.
“Paying for it.” he said, hunching over as if in labor pains as one more colossal flatulence flew out.
“Don’t worry.” he gasped in between bated breaths. “They don’t stink…just hurt.”
Once his agony subsided he hobbled over to the sink.
“Ugh, never again, I don’t care how much I like pizza, it’s not worth it.” he said, washing his hands and looking at my arms. “That’s some really nice ink ya got there.”
Dude, did you not get the memo we were mortal enemies? Still though, a compliment is a compliment.
“Thanks. I like your hand tats.”
“I got ’em done right before I went on tour but since I was playing bass every night they never got a chance to heal so I’ve had to get ’em re-touched. Did you do music? Cuz you look like you did.”
“Yeah, used to play drums.”
“Same. Some things happened and I had to give up that whole gypsy lifestyle. You feel like grabbin’ some lunch?”
“Lunch?” I asked dumbfounded, wondering if he had his own plans to do me in once he talked me into going to a secondary location.
“Yeah I figured since we’re the only guys in class we prolly have more in common with each other than we would with all the ladies.”
He had a point.
“Sure, man. I could go for a beer.”
We walked to some random restaurant and over the course of our lunch Bode talked about the band he’d been in, all the touring they’d done and how they almost clenched a record deal but in the end it fell apart.
Then his dad was diagnosed with cancer so he quit the band to take care of him but unfortunately the cancer was too aggressive and he passed away. A few weeks later Bode found out his father had taken out a life insurance policy for him so he used the money to move to L.A. and go to Paul Mitchell.
“I would always cut and color my bandmates hair so I thought I’d learn to do it professionally, plus it was a good way to put the money my dad left me to good use.”
I told him about my past life and everything that had led up to why I was in school.
“I’ve gotta be honest with you…” he said as he finished up his gluten-free salad. “When I walked in and saw you I thought to myself ‘Look at this tattooed douchebag, he’s prolly gonna end up banging every girl here, who does this guy think he is?’”
This sounded familiar.
“Then I saw your neck tattoos and was like ‘And he’s got neck tattoos, I want neck tattoos! What an asshole’.”
It was like someone was playing back my inner-monologue from earlier this morning.
“In fact, I was so put off by you that when we went into the Core Room I made sure to sit as far away from you as possible.”
It was at this point that I realized we weren’t mortal enemies, we were soulmates.
We’d both been traveling down unpaved roads that ran parallel to one another. Both lost the same dream and both were brought to school by way of heartache. We’d even had the same ridiculous first impression of the other.
And then I felt bad.
Bad for making assumptions about him. Bad for projecting my insecurities on him due to how he looked on the outside and bad for not considering the personal battles he might have been fighting on the inside.
“To be honest, dude, everything you said, and I mean everything, is exactly what I thought about you.” I confessed as I finished my second beer. ” And I also made sure to sit as far away from you as possible when we went into the Core Room.”
“No way!!!” he said laughing. “Here we are, two grown men acting more catty towards one another than a roomful of girls.”
“I’ll say.” he said as we got up to leave. “But I’m glad we’re cool now. It’s good to know we’re gonna go through this next year together.”
And it was, because things worked out better for people when they decided to take on the world instead of taking on each other.
We went back to school and upon turning the corner that led to the Core Room we were smacked in the face with the smell of vanilla perfume and meat which could mean only one thing.
We entered the Core Room and were the last to return from lunch. Charlie sat off to the side with a worried look on her face while Rene was front and center behind the podium, eating a hamburger and scooping a handful of fries from a fast-food bag.
“And just where the hell have you two been?” she asked as her voice thundered across the room.
*Point Break is a 1991 action movie starring Keanu Reeves before he was Jon Wick, Gary Busey before he was insane and Patrick Swayze long before he was dead.
Swayze played the film’s villain, Bode, who was a sky-diving, bank robbing, surfboarding adrenaline junkie. Reeves played the FBI agent in charge of apprehending Bode and Busey played Reeves’ partner who spent most of his time apprehending meatball sandwiches.
The film also had a guest appearance from Red Hot Chili Peppers front man Anthony Kiedis in which he got a gnarly gun-shot hole blown into his foot which was retribution to millions of people who had to endure the song “Under the Bridge”.
The movie received positive reception and has gained a cult following.
But don’t try to show it to a group of Millennials or Gen-Zer’s because they’d rather watch some shitbrick playing video games on YouTube than watch guys robbing banks in dead president masks, jumping out of airplanes with no parachutes and telling hot surfer girls their parents were dead just so they could get laid.