“Morrissey!” Johnny Marr just about screamed as he leaped on top of the older student the moment he stepped off of the yellow school bus, effectively knocking him to the ground. “Where have you been??”
“Let me up, Johnny,” Morrissey laughed in his drawling northern accent, pushing the Sophomore off of him as he struggled to stand, “I’ve only just arrived.”
“Sorry, Mozzer, but I haven’t seen you in months! Have you gotten any taller, or did your quiff just grow again?” The two had been separated by a school break, communicating only through small letters and postcards, filled with doodles and their own odd brand of humor. Johnny helped Morrissey with his bags as the Senior told him first-hand of his isolated, book-filled vacation back in his own house.
They walked through the campus towards the dormitory they shared a room in, passing a large wooden sign. “Rock 'n' Roll High School,” the sign declared, had been founded in 1958 by Buddy Holly. It was a boarding school like none other, taking in the outcasts of the world and turning them loose four years later with enough knowledge to take on the world. The school offered a variety of courses: art classes such as AP Sleeve Art and Hair-Styling 101, or English classes where they studied great poets and protest singers and the impacts they had on the world. PE was learning to dance, to move, to captivate. This school took the shunned and made them the worshiped.
As they made their way to their room to unload Morrissey’s luggage, they were greeted by a number of familiar faces, followed by a few. Morrissey flopped back on one of the bare mattresses in the room when they arrived, Johnny sitting next to him with the others on the floor or the opposite bed.
“So did you hear about the new boy, Steve?” asked Ian, another of their friends, knowing that Morrissey hated to be called by his first name- especially the shortened version.
“It’s a new year, McColloch, there’s tons of new boys.” Morrissey rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, but this one’s already a Punk.” He waited for the revelation to sink in. The Punks didn’t let just anybody join their clique. They had tons of followers, trailing after and trying to get an invite to their wild parties and weekend escapades. They revolved around the Ramone brothers and their best friends John, Sid, and Iggy. The Punks mingled with the rest of the school, but were proud to be their own crowd. They were friendly enough to Morrissey and his friends, the Indies, but some looked on them with disdain. They also rarely invited anyone into their group as quickly as they seemed to have this new boy.
“Heard he was kicked out of his old school. Some hippy place where they let the students teach the teachers or some shit. Apparently he found a way to break the rules in a place that didn’t have any.” Ian grinned.
“What’s he look like?” Morrissey asked, sitting up.
“What, you got the hots for him?” Johnny smirked.
“No, don’t be ridiculous. I was just curious.”
“Well, you won’t be for long,” Robert said, pushing his wild black hair aside as he pointed out the second-story window at the path below. Morrissey looked out and saw a boy sauntering across the quad, followed by a group of what looked like fledglings. The boy had bleached blond hair and sported a worn leather jacket and denim pants covered in safety pins. He walked with confidence, a permanent sneer on his face.
“Well, he certainly looks the part,” Jim commented, breaking the silence as Morrissey realized he had been staring.
“Yes, definitely one of them,” Morrissey said, clearing his throat and ignoring the looks Johnny was sending his way.
“Okay, well we’ll let you get set up, right lads?” Ian led the others outside, leaving Johnny and Morrissey alone.
“So, do you?” Johnny said, started to unpack one of Morrissey’s bags for him, feigning nonchalance.
“Do I what?” He asked, pulling out a fitted sheet for his bed.
“You know, have the hots for him...” Johnny continued to fidget with the bag in his hands. Morrissey sighed, grabbing it from him and setting it aside.
“Help me make the bed, will you?” He continued as he unfolded the bedding, “Why would you ask? I’ve never met him, and I don’t see how we would be very compatible.”
“Plus, he is a Punk,” Johnny added.
“I don’t think that really has to play any part,” Morrissey argued, “I don’t understand why there's any sort of division. We’re all here to learn together- they’re outcasts just like us.”
“Sure, but they don’t have to act how they do. Always spitting and drinking and being so vulgar.”
“Sure, because none of that describes you,” Morrissey snorted.
“Hey, I don’t spit!” Johnny declared as Morrissey reached over to ruffle his black hair.