Joe is easily the oldest person in the classroom, and he knows it. Olympic College in Poulsbo will probably be the last place you'd expect to see Joe. Joe arrives at least 45 min. early every day, not because he is so excited about the class to come, but because he simply has nowhere else to go. Even his name is boring, Joe. Joe, like average Joe, like your next door neighbor you never really talked to Joe, why can't he be like G.I. Joe?, That would be more interesting at least. But no, he is just Joe, average Joe.

Joe has tried everything to be interesting. He is dyed his hair bright red. Not Celtic warrior exciting Irish man red, no, joker red. It was a horrible fail. His hair looks more like Kool-Aid, than a natural hue. Joe is large, not big and muscular, just fat. His mother still calls it baby fat, but who are we kidding, Joe was 27 years old. Joe further tried to distinguish himself as interesting and unusual by wearing chains. Lots of chains, chains around his neck, some with dragons or crystals, some with hatchets or guns. Joe also carried a chain connected to his wallet and his jeans. The size 36 waist jeans on his 52 inch belly so they had to be attached underneath the blubber of his stomach. Joe always had a large shirt on to make sure no one could figure it out, again who are we kidding, we could all see his pants were nowhere in sight covered by large buldge of blubber.

His father signed up for these classes. Joe simply didn't have the strength of character to walk in and say he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do with his life. His father had decided he was going to be a para-educator. What is a para-educator anyway ? It didn't really matter Joe had no real intention of finishing anything. His grades were in the toilet, again. Just like stupid high school. Nothing ever changes. It's so depressing. Shouldn't it be average Joe, average life, average grades?


Joe wears the same heavy leather jacket year-round. The heavy leather jacket is supposed to hide everything it's like armor at this point. Armor for the slings and arrows of people's ugly stares, armor to protect him against the slight from girls chatting together walking towards him in the hallways, armor from teachers and their expectations, armor for life.

Pot is legal now, probably the only highlight in Joe's ugly day. Light up and forget everything for an hour or two. All kinds of dreams come back into focus when you're high as a kite. Joe remembers clearly wanting to be a rock star. Guitar hero made him want to buy an actual guitar and learn how to play. He had so much focus ripping cords on his guitar and making it sing. How come he couldn't have focus for anything else? Why couldn't he be a rock star? By the time the pot wears off he has to drive home. Another wasted two hours in the parking lot C in Poulsbo.

Back home dad looks up from his paper long enough to ask if he put gas in the car and mom saved a plate of dinner. Depressing as hell that this is the highlight of his day, eating dinner. Mom's cooking always tasted the same. He had clear memories of being five and six and eating the same meatloaf he was eating right now. Much simpler times when he first got Guitar Hero and he could close his eyes and pretend that he was the rock star that he was destined to be.