by Cleve Sylcox
My 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Horn gave us an open-ended assignment at the end of the school year. She told us to write a three-page story about what we would like to do most over the summer. It had to be Fiction…you know like fly to moon, play centerfield for the Cardinals…that type of stuff. Well…being the little devil I WAS back then, and having a crush on Mrs. Horn, the Blond Bomb, I wrote three pages of porn detailing her and I making love on a beach on some far off planet. It was not very graphic compared to many forms of porn…I call it porn because I used the word F** a lot and screw, and I stuck it to her and crap like that. I described it the best I could because back then in seventh grade I was still a virgin. I did not know what it was like to make love but I sure read enough of my big brothers porn stash to use the words properly…I think so anyway.
I turned it in unceremoniously and sat down at my desk.
Over the weekend, she read my little porn script, with her and I as the stars. That Monday at the start of her class, she called me out to the hall and escorted me to see Mr. Swan, our disciplinarian principle. I sat outside his door listening to the muffled voices behind the oak obstruction. I was surprised to hear him laughing. The laughing became louder as Mrs. Horn joined in…then the secretary ran in and she began laughing. This went on for a while.
I was looking around and saw my mother enter the outer office where I sat. She was not happy. The secretary asked her to step into Mr. Swan’s office, and she did. A few minutes later I heard her laughing, then again they were all laughing. She stepped out of the office wiping away tears of laughter and holding the story I wrote…She was trying to look very motherly behind her smirks and failed attempts of controlling her laughter.
Mr. Swan stood next to her, and smiled. He asked me to step into his office. I stood in front of his desk like a prisoner ready for exile to the island of Crete. He commended me on my paper, and said it was well written except for a few minor spelling errors, and word usages (I would grow accustom to hearing those critiques). He went on to say that the paper broke some sort of school rule…blah, blah, blah. He gave me a choice of swats or suspension…I choose the swats, five of them with a paddle the size of Texas. My mother watched him deliver the punishment, one hard swat after the other.
Ordered back to class, I left the office with tear-filled eyes.
That night I was lying on our living room floor watching Batman or something similar, I heard my dad laughing. I turned around to see him reading the paper I wrote. He looked at me and said, “Horrible…you shouldn’t write things like this son,” he turned away and started laughing again. I never found out what was so funny…My mother tore the story in pieces, tossed it in the trash and dumped greasy leftovers over it.
That summer, I saw Mrs. Horn and her husband at a local park. I said hello and she introduced me to her husband as the boy who, “wrote that story.” He looked at me, and as if recalling the story and that funny, whatever it was, he began to laugh. I walked away humiliated.