Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Johnny

When Christine died Charlotte put all her clothes in my closet and told me I had a brand new wardrobe. I wanted new clothes, but I hated wearing the rags of my dead sister. I could smell her. No matter how many times I hand washed those garments, Christine was still there. She was there in stench: sweaters reeking of hairspray, cherry chap-stick and dollar store rose perfume. That year was my entrance to junior high. My uniform was Christine. I remember the agony.

Junior high is a prison designed to confine the ideals of hormone-infested youths yearning for revolt--a birthplace for the human invention of fear and anxiety. It was my second day in this deranged institution and it was gym day. We were told we could buy a new gym uniform for ten dollars and fifty cents or use a hand-me-down. I, of course, had to use Christine's old one. It was awful. She had stretched out the neck so that the collar fell over one of my shoulders. Welcome to Junior high, you are now the biggest faggot to enter these legendary halls, I thought.

A nightmare. Running and running. The beast at my heels was the intense ignorance of my peers. The unyielding fervor of Coach Pierce's booming commands made me jump and sprint all the while trying to pull up my lady collar. I was in the middle of the second lap around the school yard when Joshua Wellman knocked me down. "Fucking faggot I saw you staring at my prick in the locker room!" It was true I was looking at it, a kind of puny thing, but I denied the claim. "Why'd you get the girl uniform?"

Timothy Johns and Frankie Roseglass backed him up with "You fucking lady boy!" Timothy Johns pushed me down and kicked me in the face and I started bleeding everywhere and crying. Where were the guards, the teachers, some sane security to this madness? The blood was pouring from my mouth. In a state so pathetic, I was twitching, crying, bleeding. The boys' laughter must have echoed to the neighboring town it had such a roar. Then they heard an approaching stranger. Fearing it was an adult, they ran.

My Savior was a scrappy boy with a lazy eye named Johnny. He saw the blood. He picked me up and we snuck out to the woods near the school. I just cried till we got to a big rock overlooking that putrid place. I stopped crying and looked at him. There was a deafening romantic silence and he said "Fuck everything." I was in love.

Dear Diary,


I found beauty today. I know you understand. Maybe Junior High won't be so bad. I like him and I think he likes me too. I can finally die happy.

Love,

Sam


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