As the hatchback reached the opening of the parking lot, Fish thought suddenly of changing his name. He had gone as Philip, his middle name, in grades five through six, tired of feeling like an accidental celebrity constantly making rounds on local morning talk shows, always having to deal with the same questions and reactions to his unusual first name. Now it occurred to Fish that he not only had to deal with that shit but also now the acute self-consciousness of the heavy-handed aptness of his situation. Fish in a new school. Wink wink. Hardy har har.
Fuck it. Even as Philip the other kids soon got to calling him Flipper. Not really much better on the scale of things. The car slowed to the curb; Fish pecked his mom, drew in his breath, arched his eyebrows, blew out his cheeks in a “here-goes” parachute-jumping mugging, and dragged his backpack out of the car. Most kids seemed to be crowding into the front door. No one was smoking out on the steps or playing hacky-sack on the lawn. Fish set his jaw and joined the crush.
Well, at least students were talking in the halls. Fish drew out his schedule from his pocket when a silver-haired figure in a short dress shirt and high pants planted himself in front of Fish and gave him a once over.
Fish nodded. Math teacher. Or the headmaster. Had to be.
The silver-haired gentleman practically narrowed his eyes. He was tall, six and four inches maybe, and he took a step back to take Fish in. Fish was, technically, in dress code.
“Your first class is Calculus. With me. Room 232.”