Chapter 18: Tito wants Revenge
Wulf had enjoyed the Fine Arts class at school, which was taught be an attractive young light-skinned black woman, Trina Gilbert. She had actually smiled at him in a friendly manner as he entered, and even announced a welcome to the “new pupil” at the start of class. This was in stark contrast to those other teachers, such as Mr. Powers in English, who was a surly black teacher who sat lazily behind his classroom desk, and seemed to exist to do as little as possible.
A grossly fat, actually slovenly kind of man, he stood briefly from behind his desk, leaning on it like he’d fall over without it, and stared with open hostility at the youth. Wulf expected this from the students, more or less, but not from a teacher. But there it was- Mr. Powers resented his very presence in the class. And he pretty much figured it out over the course of the day, just from the content of the classroom teaching: it was so rudimentary as to be astonishing for senior year in high school!
Mr. Martinson in Arithmetic had appeared to be doing his nervous best, but he was teaching simple addition and subtraction! Almost no one in the class even appeared to be listening, and when they did make a half-hearted attempt to answer a simple question, they were inevitably wrong! And to top it off, they seemed to take pride in failing to master the problem, and would laugh amongst themselves when they made a mistake.
Mr. Powers had been far worse, and handed out some mimeographed sheets of paper, with words on them for the students to study. Once again, these were words that, if you didn’t know them by 4th grade, it was horrendous. And they did not know them! Wulf knew them all, but Mr. Powers would not call on him, no matter what. Not that Wulf really cared, but if this was what was being taught in this place, no wonder ignorance was so ubiquitous in this school and area among the blacks. This teacher’s goal, as over the course of the day the youth was to discover, appeared to be indeed to do as little as possible, period.
But Ms. Gilbert really was an excellent, inspired teacher! She was obviously trying her best to engage the students here, to show them an alternative to their bleak existence in this crime-ridden environment they had been trapped in. She was animated, smiling and talkative, positively radiating encouragement as she showed slides of really classic works of visual art.
Wulf was entranced; while not a real aficionado of art, preferring instead to feast his eyes on the works of Nature in its wilder forms, still he could appreciate a really well done piece. Today, “Miss Trina” as she asked to be called, was showing classical sculpture from ancient Greece. Wulf knew instinctively, and also from prior viewing of plates of this artwork that such depictions of the human form were among the highest works of art ever achieved. This was art from the early part of a very innovative, vital civilization; a civilization that had barely passed out of its own barbarism. It was primal and pure, very unlike the decadence that passes for much of “art” today- trash that is so conscious of its own past that it becomes a parody of itself. And the so-called artists that produce such works are actually proud of their lack of technique and ability, since in their own eyes, and the eyes of decadent “critics” of such things, poorly fashioned monstrosities such as flinging buckets of paint randomly onto a canvas are so “original” and “freed from conventions.”
But this: Phidias, Praxiteles, and Polyclitus’s realistic depictions of heroic human forms was a true flowering of art! Ms. Trina would talk eloquently about each piece, her enthusiasm seeming to brighten the dingy classroom as she showed the bronze and marble statues onto a screen via a powerpoint presentation.
Looking about him as she talked, the powerful white youth was astonished- fully half the class was either sleeping, talking amongst themselves, or looking at their cell phones! In fact, the teacher was in danger of being drowned out by the noise in the room.
A flare of rage passed through the youth. While normally a calm young man, living in the moment like a creature of the wild; when something enraged him, also like a wild creature he would act instantly! It was both a strength, and a weakness in his makeup, but one which he was powerless to alter.
He stood, and slammed his open hand down on his desk top! “WHAMM!” The sound was like a cannon shot, and everyone in the classroom instantly froze, shocked and startled.
“Shut up and listen to this!” shouted the youth, his blue eyes blazing. He dominated the room as a lion would, towering over the gibbering, sleeping, lesser animals that could not even meet his gaze. He turned, glaring at everyone in the room in turn, and they all looked towards the ground submissively.
Except for Ms. Trina. “Thank you, Wulf,” she said. And, with an effort, she began again, trying to act as if nothing unusual had happened. But it certainly had! ’What manner of being is this strong white youth, so out of sync with everything in this environment?’ she thought to herself. She should have been angered, she supposed, but instead she was immensely comforted and reassured by his presence here- there was something vital about him.
The rest of the class went smoothly, and Trina even noticed that a number of students were even showing some real interest in the subject. She knew if the ringleaders of the school could be gotten rid of, many of the remainder would benefit greatly in their education here, but government policy had intervened wrongly. It was now almost impossible to suspend, or expel a student, even when he had performed violent crimes within the school!
This had been enforced first by local ordinances, and then by federal governmental decree, and it had vastly emboldened the worst of the school to do whatever they wanted. She was thankful for Wulf’s assistance today, but she feared for him. By standing up for what was right and good, he had also stood up against the bad system and laws, and she knew that many would come up against him, both student and corrupt police and faculty.
“Excellent presentation,” said Wulf, looking down on her, after the class was over. He smiled briefly, then turned and left, disappearing down the hallway. She noted how his massive shoulders scarcely fit through the doorway, and felt an unteacher-like glow come over her as she gazed at his retreating figure. Blushing, she turned to prepare for the next class, wishing her “enforcer” would remain for the rest of the day.
“Tibo- he gunning’ for you man,” said Jafiro. Jafiro was a diminutive black youngster, with thick glasses and a wiry build. He looked seriously at Wulf, and mimicked pulling an imaginary gun from his pocket, and pointing it. “He bad,” said Jafiro, “just giv’n yo a head’s up is all.” He went on, telling Wulf his name, and that some of the kids there appreciated what he was doing.
“We ain’t all wanna stay here, ya know? I want to get a job someday, and be somebody.”
Wulf clapped him on the shoulder. “Then I think you need to get out of this place,” he said grimly. “I’m realizing that this is a corrupt place, in an evil city, in a decadent land. I intend to leave soon- I can’t help here, against so many. I’m back for the wild, after I tie up some strings.”
“Mebbe… mebbe I could come?” asked Jafiro hopefully. “I got no real folks, not really…” he trailed off.
The big youth thought briefly, his blue eyes on Jafiro’s black ones. “We will see,” he said, walking away.
“Stop there,” said a loud, guttural voice. Wulf stopped, and looked back. There stood Mr. Powers, the slovenly, fat teacher from the earlier “English” class; the teacher who appeared to want to do as little as possible.
“I need yo to accompany me now!” he barked, and grabbed the youth’s arm roughly. He was startled by the tense steel that made up that arm.
Wulf looked down at him balefully, eyes slits of blue fire, and Mr. Powers immediately withdrew his hand as if from a fire. He followed along, as Wulf walked by himself purposefully towards the principal’s office, from where he knew the order had come.
Ms. Jackson glared at him from behind her desk. She did not stand, or smile- she glared with open hostility at the tall, reddish maned giant who stood before her with his arms folded across his broad breast. Mr. Powers stood to the side, looking angry, but he appeared a little scared as well.
After an uncomfortable silence, she finally spoke. “Yo have come here, and interrupted our classes! Mr. Powers has told me about it, you interrupting and insulting your fellow students, and I will not have it- we will call in the po-lice if yo keep on dissin’ us with yo white privilege!” Her face was a livid mask of hate.
Wulf looked back impassively, unmoved seemingly by any emotion whatsoever, but there was no hiding the growing brightness in his blazing blue eyes. He realized that here was the real discrimination: this teacher and principal were resentful of him for his very whiteness- his race inflamed them. And it was race alone that sparked their hatred, that and nothing else. They were the true racists; Wulf had had no conception of race before coming here, having never seen any other than his own, and the Native American Indians that had come to adopt him. For this innocent, primitive creature of Nature, really, a man was a total of his strengths and weaknesses, nothing else.
Finally, he spoke. “I have decided to leave this evil, decadent place, where the vicious and savage are allowed to prey on others with no repercussions, and where even places of learning have become bastions of corruption. I will live in the wilds of the North again, far from this corrupt state of Illinois and the travesty that is now the city of Chicago. The laws are corrupt that sent me here against my will, and now I say Damn the law!”
He turned to leave, and she shrieked, picking up a telephone from her desk, “Ah ain’t done wit yo, white boy!” She punched in numbers rapidly as he left the office, and went down the front steps of the building. As he headed down the street back towards Nora’s, Tibo and five other black youths emerged from the building, following along behind. They started running towards his broad back, glints of steel in their fists. “I’m gonna get that mofo,” grunted Tibo, clutching the cheap handgun in his hand. The others laughed in glee- they hated whites in general.