So...Art Class.

Bri and I had it together, so you can IMAGINE the trouble we got into, I suppose...we kind A lot. And always find a way to sit together. New assigned seats? Sneak into a couple of empty ones when the teacher's not looking. New project, where you aren't allowed to sit at the same table as anyone you have already sat next to? Get technical, and sit at the sinks.

Our teacher...kind of hated us. We weren't disruptive (excepting 'The Floor is Lava!' every once in a while...) You see, Bri's older sister had the same art teacher...let's call her Ms. Stoker. (Bram Stoker)... and she got into tons of trouble, so the teacher kind of...expected, maybe wanted Bri to mess up. And, since Bri and I were ALWAYS together, me too. As an example, in our school, we're allowed to wear shorts that reach to our thumbs. I had a pair of pants that I ripped up, a lot, as a sort statement? And she yelled at me for them, though I made sure no holes were too far up my thigh. I even had a skirt on over them. And some of the larger holes were laced up with ribbons. (Wow, I'm realizing how much I miss those pants...)

Another time, we were working with paints, and Bri, Steve'N' and I decided that Bri needed highlights. Yeah, there was definite yellage there...

Ms. Stoker was always evil-at least, she seemed that way. In retrospect, she was very right about a lot of things that I gave her hell for. She appreciated most of what we did, giving helpful criticism (Evil rants) and things when she felt them necessary. And I'm sorry. But that's neither here, nor there, so on with the story.

One day, when Bri and I were feeling extremely mischievious, and I went to my seat when the bell rang, there was a new kid. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Not especially bad-looking. Turns out, though, that he was a TA (A teachers' assistant; a college kid that wanted to teach, so sort of shadowed a teacher, making some assignments and learning to control a class.)

Well, Ms. Stoker introduced him, I forgot his name. Simple as that. So, when Bri and I (sitting together again) needed his help, I just said, "Um, Art Guy?" So stuck the name. Also, his last name was common, and kind of bland, and we weren't allowed to call him Vinnie.

We took to teasing him a bit, and talking to him a lot. He was cool, (But didn't like Green Day! Le gasp!) We weren't fliting, or anything, honestly. Just, mainly, he was cooler than Ms. Stoker. I don't remember how, exactly, it started, but I saluted him every day. y'know, military-salute. Eventually, he would do it back. And, you know the poor guy felt dum saluting someone across the room, but our entire lunch table would glare (Oh, the power of the glare...) until he did.

I'm not going to tell everything that happened, because he was there half of the year, so a lot of stuff did.

One thing, though, he plays a mean yardstick. He can play guitar on it, flute, cello, drums... he's like a prodigy.

Once at lunch, he walked over and started talking to us all, and I noticed he was holding a bunch of pictures, and I recognized them, so I said, "Hey, we've drawn those before."

"Yeah?" He said, not especially interested.

"Yeah, but we drew them upside-down."

He gets this look of horror on his face, and asks if I'm serious. Turns out, that's the lesson he had planned. I saved the day. Art Guy SO still owes me a CD.

There was an assignment that seriously had Bri and I separated. We were at total opposite ends of the school for a week. Every student was sort of isolated, and we had to draw wall perspectives. So, Art Guy, who patrolled, was a messenger between Bri and I. It was neat.

Okay. A teacher, at this time, had recently been convicted of sexually assualting a minor student at that school. So, noticing that Bri and I were talking to Art Guy a lot, Ms. Stoker decides to talk to me about leaving him alone. I guess she assumed something was going on. But really, it wasn't. He was a friend, a decent teacher. It gives me the wiggins thinking of this...

Oh, there's this sort of... alcove? A place where the wall is sort of... cut out, above the door. So there's like a sheltered platform about...ten feet above the ground. I asked Art Guy what he thought that was, (Bri and I speculated daily; it was in shadow. Kinda creepy, cave-like, honestly.) Art Guy responds, with all seriousness,

"What? That's my crib. That's where I stay." (He's whiter than me. Seriously.)

So we speculated how, exactly, he got up there and back down.

Ms. Stoker retired last year, and Uber-Artist, the art teacher from the middle school, took her place, and Art Guy took Uber-artist's place. Bri still sees him sometimes, but, since I'm not even in the state anymore, I don't. I have his e-mail, though; he gave it to us at the end of the year. Then Bri and I started talking of spam and chain-mail, and he asked, jokingly, if he'd made a mistake.

(We don't spam the poor guy; I've only sent him one e-mail, a picture of a cartoon-salute.)