I had to wear a school uniform along with all the other kids in all the grades leading up to high school. High school didn’t have a uniform dress code. The other boys all wore clean and hip clothes that looked like they were from the same place, and mostly talked about girls. That was like, their code. The girls wore bell-bottom jeans mostly or tiny shorts or tiny skirts. In the last grade, some of the girls starting taking to hiking up their uniform skirts, but that was against dress code because shorts or skirts weren’t allowed to go higher than 3 inches above the knee. They’d pull them back down when they got scolded, only to hike them back up when the scolder left. That was their code. There wasn’t any of that kind of silliness in the rules to stop them here. Then there were the weird kids that dressed differently because they wanted to be the only person in the world to dress the way they did. They splintered off into different factions of kids that all thought they were the only ones that dressed the way they did while saying bad things about anyone else not like them. That was their code, too. I didn’t know where they sold the hip clothes; I didn’t ask, but I was sure my mom didn’t either. I didn’t want to be the only person in the world that was like me either. But no one could find out because no one talked to me because I wore my school uniform. My school uniform from last year, I mean. There was a faction of us that wore our uniforms, but we were spread out like were were one-man armies. I couldn’t ask if they felt like one-man armies like I did, they probably did, but we didn’t talk to each other like the other factions. Nor did any of the other factions talk to us. I think the radio silence was supposed to be our code.
My uniform polo shirt had gotten tighter around my belly. I sucked in my stomach whenever anyone else was around. Especially girls. I even had to start slouching so my chest would look less like the some of the junior or senior girls’ chests. I ate when I wasn’t hanging out with anyone because I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t hanging out with anyone, a lot of the time. My growing belly resulted from my boredom. It wouldn’t bulge in front of me as bad though if it wasn’t for my pants. The seat of the pants were to small for my seat this year. I had to lie down in order to hook the two ends together. I wished I could look like I was lying down whenever I put my pants on. They were tougher to put on after P.E. because there wasn’t a safe place to lie down inside the bathroom stall. But once they were on, it made my lower part look smaller. I thought that was good because I was glad a part of me looked smaller. My polo shirt, now no longer white, stretched, but my blue uniform pants had my back, my backside too.