Silently, he cleared his junk aside to make room for the new one in the classroom. Alexander was always alone and he wanted it so. His table, which he had on his own, was always overcrowded. Not with schoolbooks or notebooks, but with sketches, for his passion was for small plaster figures. In the morning, at school, he made these sketches, after which he made his figures in the afternoon.
At first he had secretly made them, partly for fear of his classmates, that they could make fun of them, but they were not interested in what he was doing, in the last row, as they did not interested in him. He was simply there, did not seek contact, and he was not wanted. He was afraid of the teachers, but they noticed quite soon that between his sketches, he seemed to conjure a clean note. He was also able to follow the lessons. So the teachers were satisfied and left him as alone as his classmates. But with the emergence of the new, everything changed.
Philip eyed Alexander from top to bottom, and his gaze turned to disgraceful disapproval when he saw the tattered jeans, the faded shirt, and the sneakers, which were probably not the right brand name. Actually no one was on them.
“Where did you get the clothes from?” he said loudly enough that the whole class could hear, despite the fact that Mrs. Prof. Pfhiel was just trying to get this horde of twenty-five-seven-year-olds, at least, to bring the lower secrets of algebra nearer, which for many would always remain. Accordingly, his classmates were pleased with the highly welcome diversion. Of course, Mrs. Pfhiel tried to intervene immediately, but all had turned around and expected Alexander’s answer with great curiosity. He was as surprised as anyone else, though for other reasons. He had never thought about his clothes, and pulled what was there.
“Yes, in part, when they are sold in the Caritas shop, the things are all right and in part hardly worn,” answered Alexander truthfully.
“Do you really want me to sit next to a garbage man? That offended my eyes and my nose,” Philip announced, then, with a loud laughter.
In a few minutes, Philip had reached two things which were directly connected. On the one hand, he had made an outsider from the calm, self-sufficient fellow-traveler Alexander, and on the other hand he had clearly and unambiguously expressed his claim to the alpha male in the class.
Alexander was still so distracted that he did not know what to say. Instead he stacked his sketches wordlessly, thinking how this might be, that Philip did not even know him yet, and yet condemned simply for what he was wearing. But even worse, the others were immediately ready to stand by his side, immediately ready as the little dogs lick his saliva. From top to bottom in designer clothes and the latest mobile phone always ready to hand. From the very first day, everyone was staring at him. Everyone wanted to be friends with him, and the girls began to clatter with their eyelids and pointed their lips as he passed. The more he ignored them, the more they struggled to get his attention. A single sentence was enough, and a crack went through a community that could be described as good until then. A single sentence sufficed to let people move away from another because of an insignificant externality that had nothing to do with his person.