Been There, Done That Stories from Perry’s Life Essay

Been There, Done That: Stories from Perry’s Life Essay


This project was prompted by the concept of ‘sustenance’. The project focuses on how people at various stages of life adopt behaviors and mannerisms that highlight their plight for sustenance. The project consists of three fictional short stories and they all bear the theme of sustenance. All the stories are focus on a character named Perry.

Perry and the Bully by the Fifth Period

When Perry began his education at the elementary school level, he thought his world was just beginning to become interesting. After years and months of being left alone at home by his siblings, Perry was now in the big league. Now, every morning he would wake up, eat breakfast at the dining table, and follow he follow his elder brother and sister to school. When the opening day of school came, Perry was quite excited to roll out his newly acquired schedule.

He woke up at seven in the morning, took a shower, dressed up for school, ate breakfast, took a ride to school, met new kids, and then came face to face with Henry Patrick III. Henry was the boy who threatened to diminish Perry’s good appetite for school.

The first day Perry set foot in Riverside Elementary School, he had dreams of making it big there. However, as soon as his elder brother had waved him goodbye, he turned around only to be tripped by Henry Patrick III. Perry was greatly perplexed by this turn of events. How could he fall so hard and so fast? Perry picked himself up ready to apologize for not watching where he was going. After all, that was what his mother had taught him to do in a scenario like this one. However, when Perry came face to face with Henry, he realized that this was not an accident.

The evil Henry just stood there looking big and laughing off Perry’s misfortunes. As soon as Perry rose up, Henry pushed him back down. At this point, Perry started to wonder how he was going to survive the six periods of the day. Perry knew how to deal with various situations but he did not know how to deal with someone who was being mean to him for no reason. Nevertheless, Perry thought he would come up with a solution during the second period. When the second period’s break came, Perry sought to broker a peace deal with his tormentor. However, Henry had already put another kid in a headlock and he was ruffling the unfortunate kid’s hair.

Perry decided to do the smart thing and retreat. In the third period, Perry did not give up and he decided to ‘properly introduce’ himself to Henry. Nevertheless, Perry could not get Henry’s attention because he was busy throwing rocks at the kids who were sitting in the front row. During the fourth period, Perry sat down and thought that it was possible that he was just a random pick for Henry. His first thought was to go to the fifth grade’s class and report Henry to his elder brother. However, Henry remembered that he had a weapon in his bag and he decided that when the fifth period came he would use it.

The fifth period came after lunch and Perry had a lot of time to plan for his retaliation. He hid his weapon under his sweater and when the teacher was about to enter the classroom, he moved quickly and placed it in Henry’s chair. When the teacher ordered everyone to sit down, Henry sat on Perry’s ‘fart-machine’ and embarrassment was upon him for a change. By the time school was closing, Henry was ready to attack but Perry was standing by his elder brother’s side asking him to return his fart machine. The reputation Perry got in the fifth period of his first day of a formal school sustained him until he joined junior high. Perry faced and defeated his first bully in the fifth period and the eventual stand-up comic never lost to another one.

Bonjour Perry: Perry Learns French

When Perry joined high school, he could not wait for the ‘party to begin’. However, Perry’s dream never materialized. Consequently, Perry watched as the classmates he envied wore cool jackets, played sports, and walked with a slight limp. Around the end of the first semester, something happened and it changed Perry’s perspective. One of Perry’s unpopular friends suddenly burst into the limelight courtesy of a beautiful girl that he was dating.

Consequently, by the second semester, Perry’s friend Dwight was being invited to the cool parties, had a wardrobe change, and he even walked with a limp courtesy of his new girlfriend, Mercy Johnson. Mercy was arguably one of the most beautiful girls at Riverside High and her unusual and suspicious decision to date Dwight (whose only claim to fame was his freakishly good math skills) came as a surprise to most people. Nevertheless, the whole scenario gave Perry an idea, by the end of the second semester he too would be dating a pretty girl, and then the party would begin in earnest.

Fast forward three weeks later where Perry’s attempts to date a beautiful girl had achieved zero progress. In the process of trying to garner greatness, Perry had been insulted, ridiculed, jeered, and threatened with restraining orders. Perry was about to give up his attempt to date a beautiful girl when an opportunity presented itself in the next semester. During that semester, Perry was required to pick a language to major in and he picked French.

A few days later, as Perry sat in the abnormally boring French class, the teacher introduced Monique to the class. Monique was an exchange student from France and yes, she was, without doubt, the most beautiful girl Perry had ever seen. Perry recognized his chances of dating Monique was comically low given his lack of success with the local breed. However, his interest in this venture was revived when the teacher notified the class that Monique did not speak a word of English. It was the responsibility, of the whole class and particularly Monique’s study partner, Perry, to help her feel welcome and enable her to learn English as fast as possible.

Over the next few days, Perry spent hours every day learning French. On the other hand, Monique’s social interactions were greatly centered on Perry who was fast learning French and helping her to learn English. Perry’s social stock rose quickly after his constant association with Monique and for a brief moment, he sniffed around popularity. The football players greeted him by his name, the beautiful girls around school sought to know what the nature of his relationship with the French beauty was, and he did get to enjoy some good parties in the company of Monique. However, one day Monique approached Perry and spoke a correct English sentence when she said that ‘I am now dating Josh’. Poor Perry, what was he supposed to do with the near-fluent French-speaking skills that he had just acquired?

Perry in the Big Apple

Several stories have been told about how the city of New York used to be like during the 1980s and 1990s. Some of these stories are downright scary, while others are likely to make someone laugh. New York used to be a city where the phrase ‘survival for the fittest’ meant something. Perry once told me about an incident that happened to him when he first moved to New York to pursue a career as a comedian.

According to Perry, while everyone was sympathetic with his move to New York, he was not afraid or anxious about his new venture. Perry’s mother tried her best to convince him to move somewhere else and the name ‘Los Angeles’ kept coming up. Therefore, when Perry was finally departing for New York, and his family had gathered to pray for him, his mother did not neglect to mention to God that he keeps Perry away from the path of bullets.

When Perry finally settled in a downtown studio apartment, he realized that bullets were going to be the least of his problems. According to Perry, his first consternation came when he tried to use the laundry room at the corner of his building and realized that it had been turned into a chicken-fighting arena. Perry also found out that he could buy items in an ‘economy store’ where milk was sold in glasses and sugar was measured in spoonfuls. Nevertheless, Perry found the whole scenario to be inspiring to him as a comedian and took it all in a stride.

Perry’s first encounter with a truly shocking event happened after he had stayed in New York for six months. One of Perry’s next-door neighbors was a couple whom Perry had always assumed were married. The husband was usually the one who was present during the day, as Perry would see him out and about at different times. The wife lived in the same house but she worked during the night. Consequently, Perry always assumed she worked as a bartender as she was always dolled up when reporting to work. Perry never spoke to the wife but they would just wave whenever they met around the hallway.

Everything appeared to be okay with Perry’s neighbors until one day when the police knocked on his door with questions about the man who lived next to him. According to the police, the man had been murdered the previous night on his way to the apartment. Consequently, the police were tracking the man’s friends and family. Perry was shocked by this turn of events, but he was still able to ask the police to try to contact the man’s wife as she was probably around. The two policemen looked at each other and then informed Perry that the man lived alone. Perry said he was sure that there was a woman who lived in that apartment and she usually went to work at night.

After several moments of confusion, one policeman produced photos of the victim and showed Perry the man who lived next door. Perry went through the photos and pointed out to the policeman both the man and the woman who lived next door were in the pictures. It turned out that Perry’s neighbor worked as a Drag Queen in a popular entertainment spot, and every evening the man Perry saw during the day would dress as a woman and head out to work.

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