I spend most of my school day staring out of the window across the school playing field. What’s beyond that field is what really interests me. Mister Reynolds, our Geography teacher, is the only one who makes school interesting (apart from footy practice of course!). Mister Reynolds tells us about people and places all over the world. And he’s so nice, that I can go and talk to him afterwards.. asking more questions about countries and people that he’s mentioned in the lesson. He’s dead happy to talk to me about it.
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Did you know that it’s rude to show the bottom of your feet in Thailand? How mad’s that! And if you stand on a coin, you’re disrespecting their king, because his head’s on it. There’s just so much out there.. and I’m stuck here in this cold, square, miserable school with Johno Rathbone who gobs on the back of your school jumper, and Jonesy who bangs his head against walls so he looks hard.
Penny Salerno came into school with a load of those National Geographics she got off her ma the other day. She put them in a plazzy bag so no one would see them. There was about ten of them! I was so made up. I couldn’t wait to read them – so I took the afternoon off and went and sat on the dock. If I’d have got them out at school, Terry Bennett would have flushed them down the toilet along with my head.
The Ice caps, the tribes of the Amazon, the cocaine villages of Colombia…. there’s just a whole world out there (all right, I’ll stay away from the coke heads in Colombia), why do people stay in the same place all their lives when they’re not happy? Why do they live on scanky streets, with cold damp houses, and schools where all you learn is how to throw a good punch so you don’t get your head kicked in so badly next time? If things aren’t good, then what have we got to lose by walking away and trying somewhere else?
It can’t be any worse, I reckon.
Me ma says I think too much. I say it’s better than not thinking at all. She says I annoy people with all my thinking. But she doesn’t think at all.. except to think where the next whiskey’s coming from.
It all starts next week when I go to Strangeways to speak to me dad. It only took an email and two phone calls.
That’s when I start thinking my way out of here….