Paul Chambers is a charismatic, quick-witted 15-year-old who has had trouble finding his way in the small Missouri town of Cuba. Until recently, he was a sophomore at Cuba High School, but after the police were called over a remark made to a friend in jest, he decided to drop out. Paul’s educational history is marred by suspensions, alternative schools and Homebound Instruction. His mother, Crystal Mallison-Schwert, 37, plans to homeschool Paul until he can take the test for his GED diploma.
During the day Paul hangs out with his friend and roommate, Erica Crider, 19. In their room they smoke cigarettes, play video games, surf Facebook, and text-message. Waiting for school to let out, they search for rides into town; for something to happen. Once in Cuba they meet up with their friends, grab a bite to eat, and use free wi-fi at local restaurants. The next day they’ll do the same thing: hurry up and wait.