I dream a lot about beginnings, these days.
I was back in 8th grade, first period band. Some funny-looking kid with a blond bowl-cut and a bag in his hand comes in behind the junior high guidance counselor. Mr. T, who was a really weird old man, looks up from his sax solo. The guidance counselor introduced him, said he was from our rival school. We all laughed when Mr. T asked the kid if the bag was his flute case. The new kid was quick to correct him, looking a little annoyed. He wasn't a flute player, and it was his drumstick bag.
Our back row was now paying attention. Prior to hearing the word "drum," we were all attempting to see how far we could stuff a bass mallet handle up a stuffed monkey's ass seam. The Holy Drum Monkey now lay abandoned in a sousaphone bell as we crowded the new kid, some making sexual comments, warnings, etc: "Hi, I'm Kenny. I'm gay."
"You'd better watch out. Not only does Gerald look creepy, but he'll do weird things to you behind your back. Like right now."
"Are you any good? Rival school sucks, so we'll probably kick your ass."
The new kid just sat on a stool behind us, observing for the day, in a too-large brown sweatshirt and broken glasses.
He ended up having the locker next to mine. He was useful, 'cause he had all the classes with books earlier than I did and could tell me whether I needed to bring them that day. But he was kinda weird. Too quiet, always wearing the same type of baggy clothes. I didn't pay him much attention.