Saturday, September 24, 2011

Once Upon A Time In Suburban Connecticut

Once upon a time, in suburban Connecticut, a boy named Sam had to go to the local mall at seven o'clock on a Saturday morning. Charlotte wanted to find me the proper attire for my dance. We argued and screamed. I cursed. She covered her ears. I repeatedly slammed my head into the bathroom door, begging not to go. Charlotte won. She did the whole "watery eye thing", saying "We've never gone shopping before, darling." It's true, Charlotte was always too drunk to shop, even when we really needed it. When she did shop it was never with me. It was always on a whim between binges. Or she'd make a run to go get cigarettes, and notice her malnourished, half clothed children on the way out of the house. I decided I should put the melodrama away for a more important battle.

Reading the license plates on the way to the mall I read "Connecticut the Nutmeg State". I think the plates should read: "Connecticut a place for complacency." We passed a giant billboard. It read: "Connecticut if you lived here, you'd be home now." I felt the billboard should have read:"Connecticut, if you lived here you'd be bored." Or perhaps something more simple and straight to the point: "Connecticut, kill your self!" We past a mushroom farm that smelled like pig shit. And a trailer park which smelled the same. Yes, Charlotte and I saw all the exotic wonders of this native land.

"Do you want to try Sears or JC Pennys first." Charlotte asked as if I had a definite opinion on the matter. Well of course I preferred Sears home ware, but their boys evening ware was lacking; While JC Pennys really catered to the modern lifestyle and fashion of a young man like my self. "Charlotte I really don't care I think they have the same shit." I said with an eye roll. "My word that mouth!" Charlotte really thought she transformed into the Queen of England. My mouth was a matter of genetics, old Mom had it and Christine had it. I'm sure if I ran into my father (who I never met) in a crowded room I'd be able to tell who he was by the words he used before I'd recognize him by our similarity in features.

JC Pennys it was! Yellow lights, sickly faced shoppers, and beige walls filled my eyes. Charlotte picked up five green button downs in various hues of gross. "Those all look the same." I told her, and she assured me they weren't. There were other teens there, all with the same make believe grimace painted on their face, a pinch away from snapping. Plastic sales associates moved threw the racks like a rat maze. There was a sale on kakis that Saturday. The prison like loud speaker told me so. I'm surprised there isn't a sale on kakis every day. Kakis are stiff, almost always pleated, and always unflattering. Upon entering the sales department there was a giant advertisement for kakis. It featured white rich people on a beach somewhere in Cape Cod having the time of their lives giving each other piggy back rides. This was my new life goal: never be these people.

Charlotte grabbed a pair of kakis, which style I would call "dumpy professional" and shoved me in a dressing room. There was four other younger boys already inside, complaining with squishy faces. The youngest of the boys had made an accident in his new off the rack slacks. I was waiting for one of the adults in the dressing room to take notice. They didn't. I stood nervous to make a move, there were no stalls, just a large open space with mirrors all around. Charlotte stood out side the door yelling "How do they fit darling." I thought about trying them on, then the kid with the accident came running at me with shit on his hands. I ran from the dressing room and told Charlotte they were perfect.

The woman checking us out was about sixty, and she was quite the chatty Cathy. "Wow twenty dollars for a whole outfit can you imagine? What a bargain! You're going to be one smartly dressed little fellow!"she said. I don't know if I'd consider my self smartly dressed or that this was a bargain. I could have fashioned a better outfit out of some trash bags, a roll of duct tape, and some baby spit. Charlotte was so please with her self, she blushed and turned to me in celebration "Did you hear that Sam? A great bargain! Your mother is quite the smart shopper!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dirt Bag

In the bathroom, my place of solace, I felt an overwhelming monkish calm, quite like that of sleep. I let my stomach pains escape me and I thought. Perhaps having a real mother is what I wanted? Maybe it just seems strange at the moment, I just need to adjust to this pleasant parenting? I leafed thru an old celebrity gossip magazine, and carelessly guffawed my way through who's dating who and Robert Downing Junior's new mug-shots. During a strain to expel, I could here the phone ring. "I'll get it!" yelled Charlotte in a fury of productivity.

Charlotte picked up the phone:

"Oh hello. Fitzgerald residence."

"No you have the right number."

"This is Samuel's mother. He's busy at the moment, can I leave him a message?"

"The Dance..."

I jumped from the john, and tried to scramble for the door. I tripped over my pants which were around my ankles, smashing my forehead on the door knob.

"Oh don't worry Anne! I'm sure Samuel would love to go with you, in-fact he was talking about it just this morning."

"MOM! CHARLOTTE! MOM!" I screamed. I kicked the door open, still scrambling to pull up my pants.

"Okay Anne, I'll pick you up around seven, I'm sure it will be lovely."

I stood in the doorway fuming. Charlotte hung up the phone. My forehead red and bruising, my fly unzipped, and my newly found compassion for Charlotte went out the window. I don't even remember if I flushed.

I looked back. The brown child of this awful catastrophe was staring at me from the toilet.

"How dare you!" I swear I felt my balls drop with every word spoken.

Charlotte shook her head.

"How could you Charlotte?" determination filled my being.

"Why? Why'd you tell her I'd go? You had no right doing that!"

Charlotte paused and looked down. "Please Samuel, your manhood is staring me in the face, please zip up you trousers." I blushed and took noticed of my appendage. Embarrassment had halted my speech. That was it she had won the battle.

I turned, tucked, zipped, and marched to my room.

At school, things had changed. I had gone three months without the unwarranted attention of my peers. Ever since the "Fag and Whale" incident, I worked vigorously to become unseen. This would all come to a head mid May of that year. I was so close, one month left and I was free.

Damn the Dance! Damn organized social event! How is this part of the educational system? As if liver spotted board members sat around devising schemes to make the socially oblivious more awkward!

Anne told the school of her exploits. Squirming with my locker combo, which never seemed to work, I was ambushed. My head was down fixing my backpack, when the light on the checker board tiled floors was eclipsed by a large circular being. I turned to the sight of a poke-a-dotted disaster. It was Anne.

"Hey I called, I'm glad Charlotte is back!" Anne said looking bashful. She really did have a nice way about her.

"Yeah I guess." with my head to the floor examining the constellations the scuff marks made on the tiles.

"Hey so... you excited about the dance?" Anne's sheepish grin smeared her face, it sat between the breakfast stains on her cheeks.

I wanted to say No and walk away. But, this meant so much to Anne. "Yeah... it should be fun... all the lights and stuff?" I make a horrible lier. Anne exhaled, a weight lifted off of our conversation.

Two dolled up tramps walked by, throwing verbal garbage at our gentle egos. "Hey love birds, can wait for the dance?"

Oh man every thing was harsh. The bell rang and Anne smiled scampering to her next class.

In second period my contempt, for people of my age grew. Trapped the stale surrounds of an eight grade english class room, ridicule was the greatest escape form boredom. Notes, chatter, and spit balls illuminated the room upon my arrival. Randy Dimmleman sat in front of me. He was a quiet outcast, same as I. The mockery didn't even stop with him. "Hey Sam, I was wondering, do think the gym can support a mammal as large as Anne? And how do you dance with a whale?"

Fuck you Randy! I'm amazed he knew a whale was a mammal.

"Randy I think the gym will be fine, but not if I had to bring her into that shitty trailer you live in, with all your inbreed relatives!"

His face turn bright red with embarrassment. His buck toothed smile turned into a sloppy frown as he turned around.

The teacher, Mrs Joiner, entered and proceeded with her lesson plan.

I proceeded to scribble in my diary.


Dear Diary,

How does one dance with a whale, when forced to dance? Does he take it in stride. Will he harpoon the beast? Or will he smile and entertain those who came for the freak show? I suppose I'm married to the sea.


I want a divorce,

Sam


I couldn't take refuge in the bathrooms anymore. That's where they talked, about me. It was my one place of hiding, and Anne ruined it! I was out, walking the battlefield, the halls of discontent. Whispers slithered around me, words that would plague the ears of the weak of heart. The words fat, Anne, fag, and Sam all rattled against the cold steel lockers. I was a marked man.

In gym class Frankie Roseglass approached me, we were changing and his delicate touch grazed my shoulder blade. "Hey Sam, I heard your going with Anne to the dance!"

I fumbled, my tounge became bloated and vomit rose in my esophagus.

He continued "Listen, I just wanted to say I understand."

What? Was this some "Carrie" like joke, I inspected the area for pigs blood.

"Hey, I'm just like you! I also like a big woman. Big sweaty tits, huge ass, all that cushion.."

Frankie continued in spirals of adolescent chubby chaser fantasy. Life paused for me to write a very eloquently spoken letter to God in my mind.

Dear God,

Why?

love,

Sam.

I repeated the hyper sexualized comments which Frankie spoke. I wanted Frankie to think I was just like him. I thought it better for him to believe I had a big girl fetish than the idea that I actually liked Anne. I was doing the male thing to do. Teenage realization: being a man meant being a dirt bag!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God Damn Wednesday Mornings

God damn Wednesday mornings. Every Wednesday of my life is a day of horror and misery. That particular Wednesday I woke in a panic. A cold wind crept threw my slightly cracked window. It ran a chill up my pajama pant leg straight to the empty caverns of my chest. With shaking hands I pulled my covers from off my face and inspected the elements of this horrid day. What I saw was a furious wind and newly decapitated tree limbs dancing dangerously around my backyard. Grey clouds sat pregnant on the March sky and I could almost hear them complain.

I crept down the hallway, a foreign aroma crept with me. Inching toward the kitchen, I heard a symphony of pots and pan clatter. There was Charlotte, throwing around ingredients and cooking utensils like a mad sea captain saving her crew from a white squall. She stopped her ongoings and recognized my presence “Good morning Sam, I’ve made you some breakfast.” I looked down upon the bowl presented to me on the kitchen table. Some sort of milky stew, it sat awaiting my approval. “I’m sorry darling, I’m not very good at breakfast food.” My response was a not so well hidden frown. “Sorry Mom, I think I’ll just go with my usual cereal.” “Oh no Sam, I used all the milk in my soup.”

I sat and ate a dry bowl of cereal. I stared across the table at Charlotte. I wonder if I should ask her where she’d been. She’d probably lie anyway. I watched as she engulfed the entire contents of the abnormally large bowl she made for her self. I inspected her as a biologist might:

Specimen shows signs of

.Increased appetite

.Sunny disposition

.Softer voice

.She now smiles

.Change in used vocabulary saying "darling"

Who have you become?

My stomach started to moan and churn. It wasn't used to this "eating before 9am thing". I had to make a bowl movement. I rose from the table and my chair screeched across the linoleum. Charlotte's head raised from her empty bowl, like a meerkat on the savanna. "Where do you think you're going?" She absurdly asked. "Um..." I was dumb founded. "Aren't you going to ask to excuse your self from the kitchen table?" What? Where did this come from? I was almost insulted. "Charlotte, I don't know where you went, and why your acting like this. Your so strange now!" My heart was trying to escape my mouth and I could feel my heart beat in the strangest parts of my body.

"Sam I thought you wanted this... I thought you wanted a Mother." I did.

She sat doe eyed, those tiny black marbles in her head known as her eyes, grew twice their size. They glistened a bit in the morning light. "I'm going to the bathroom. May I be excused?"

She nodded and smiled.

Monday, May 23, 2011

There were Germans and we danced.

It was Monday; I was walking home from school. I didn’t ride the bus anymore because of recent incidences, even if it was a forty five minute walk home. I passed a group of Germans arguing over the pay phone. From what I could make out they all bought a phone card together, and the one with the thickest accent and biggest nose wasted all the minutes calling his girl friend in Munich.

“Excuse me gentlemen are you all finished with the phone?” I heard the phrase “Fick dich” thrown around a lot combined with the name Blanche. I assumed was the girl friend was named Blanche and that “Frick dich” means fuck something. Then the first gentleman named Lukas head butted the second gentleman Jonas. Blood poured from pour Jonas’ nose like an eighties slasher film, this was my chance to sneak up and grab the phone. They rolled to the streets and started to brawl. As fists were thrown the third gentleman, of whom I did not know his name stood in a panic. I dialed Anne’s number.

The phone rang twice, in this time Lukas also got a bloody nose. Anne picked up the phone out of breath and ecstatic. “Oh my God! I can’t believe you called! Breathe. Breathe. Pant. Pant. Sorry I’m so winded I ran to catch the phone I knew it be you. Pant. Pant. Hey what’s all that noise in the back ground?” Jonas’ was head to toe covered in blood wielding a trash can above his head screaming “Du Hurensohn!!!” The third friend trying to hold him back. “Sam are you okay? Is your mom watching a movie? Pant. Breathe. Where are you?” Anne was now frightened and I was more intrigued with the fight then making up with Anne. I suppose I should have called the police or something, but it looked like they were ending soon. “I’m at a pay phone on Center Street, there’s some people talking around me.” Lucas was now unconscious and Jonas was chasing the other friend with the lid of the trash can. He chased him around me and the pay phone. “Oh my gosh Sam. I wanted to say I’m sorry for what happened the other week.” She really did sound sorry and I was almost sorry for her too. I’m sure she didn’t have many people to talk to lately either. “It’s okay Anne just don’t go around telling people I’m your boyfriend. Okay?” I was then interrupted by a tap on the shoulder; it was German friend three trying to tell me to call the police in sign language. I didn’t get it till he screamed “HELP!” “Listen Anne I need to go, someone needs to use the phone.” The unknown German stood behind me dressed in desperation needing to use the phone. Lucas was laying there like road kill and Jonas was gone. “Will you come over tonight?” I asked, excepting the fact that I invited her into my home. I turned and there was Jonas. He had returned with a bat. “See you at seven. Okay?” I yelled into the phone and hung up. German three was in a panic so I dialed 911 handed him the phone and ran. When I reached the corner I heard sirens.

As my Casio wrist watch read 6:58, Anne appeared on my doorstep. I lit candles in the living room because I didn’t want the neighbors to question the power outage. “Keeping up with the Joneses” so to speak. I found my shitty raised ranch looked rather Victorian in this warm atmospheric flicker. Annie entered and said “How romantic.” I rolled my eyes and her face dropped, physically retracting her prior statement. “Listen Sam, I’m sorry. You must be humiliated.” Anne’s tiny eyes melted into her doughy head. I was humiliated, but this was a natural feeling. I’ve come to know, trust, and hang out with my anxiety, like a deformed younger brother. She continued “I never wanted to put you in that position. All those people laughing at you.” She said this in such a selfless way, as if she was exempt from the attack. “Hey Anne, I don’t care. We can be friends, but I am not your boyfriend.” She paused and shuffled her hands which were behind her back. She was hiding something. “I have a surprise for you.” A glow illuminate her baby skin. She revealed a battery powered boom box. I think Anne was trying to cheer me up because of the whole electricity thing.

A mixtape was inserted and Anne pressed play. Click. It was music, music I did not like. Anne said it was the music of today. Anne talked about music the way an elderly person might speak about music. It was almost foreign to her. She played me R&B, dance, boy bands, and cheesy hip hop. I didn’t understand how any of these people related to poor Anne. Boys 2 Men, Backstreet Boys, Will Smith, I was so confused, why was this happening. She was so eager to introduce me to this trash; I couldn’t show her my contempt.

Then she danced. She danced the only way a white fat girl from suburban Connecticut could. I watched, perhaps mouth dropped. It was quite an amazing sight. Oscillating pockets of sludge swayed and swirled in front of me, taking my living room furnishings in orbit. Her white and bright pink Reeboks floated across my floor. It looked like some sort of variation of the “Tootsie Roll” dance. I could closest relate it to the dancing my drunk Aunt Jenna preformed at her daughters wedding when I was ten, a lot of sloppy gyrating and dangerous swinging arms. If I remember correctly Uncle Timmy had his new VHS camcorder at that event capturing a pinnacle moment of embarrassment for me, when Aunt Jenna grabbed me to dance. If we were the type of family to have gathering this would be a Turner family classic played at every get together.

I was in fear of my life. One that Anne would knock over a candelabra and burn the house down. And two that someone would see us, but at that point what would it matter. How much farther could I fall down the social ladder? I was pretty sure I was at the bottom of the pit.

Anne grabbed my hands to dance along. She had a mighty force. I was thrown and tossed around. My body was a wooden plank, I fell this way and that. “Come on Sam! Get into it; it’ll make you feel better.” Annie yelled as we twirled in dizzying circles, causing the candle light to create shapes and patterns on our backdrop. Her chubby face liquefied in space. Spinning around, my focus moved from the surrounding fire lights to her giant grin. How could she be so happy? I felt my face move, twitch; a strange calm fell over the tense muscles in my body. My legs began to quiver and tick to a beat. We sashayed pass the dusty broken hallway mirror. Threw the dirt and grim that created a permafrost over its shiny surface I noticed something, I was grinning.

I awoke cuddling with her on the couch. I suffered from a joy hangover that morning. I was crashing back to reality, thoughts of school, Mom, and a gigantic photograph of Christine became sunburned on my brain. Anne was still in slumber, like Grendel in her cave, what happened here? I was tempted to kick her out, send her home, and lock my self in the bathroom furiously washing her scent from my body with lye soap. Instead I gently laid Charlotte's smoke stained white wool blanket over the sleeping piglet. I watched her. Her heavy breathing lulled me back to sleep in the side chair. Then Anne jumped from her coma. “Sam! Oh my gosh what time is it?”

That second her father Leroy burst threw the door. Actually he knocked and politely opened the door. He was enraged; I could almost make out the cartoon smoke spraying from his ears. “Sam how dare you? I thought you were a gentleman?” He screamed and then Anne yelled, cried, and screamed. Before I knew it Leroy was in the car waiting for Anne to say her goodbyes. I don’t know why he took the car; he couldn't have lived more than two blocks over. Anne moved in for an embrace and I stood in shock. “Are you going to be in trouble Anne?” I asked. “No, he’d be excited if a boy touched me, he just needs some time to calm down. Listen Sam, I never got to ask you last night... I guess we were having too much fun....” there was a long pause. Dear God, what was she going to ask me? I started mentally digging my grave. “Listen I know eighth grade is almost over... and soon we’ll be going to high school and....” I couldn't handle the pauses. I grabbed her and shook a little. “What is it Anne!” I prayed for relief. “Do you want to go with me to the dance?” she squeaked. I must have given a look of disgust, and it wasn’t the thought of going with Anne. It was the thought of going at all. She quickly blurted “Think about it, we’ll just go as friends.” and she pranced out the door. I heard “God Dad you’re such an embarrassment!” Trail in the distance. As Anne and Leroy jumped in their huge car to travel the two blocks up the road.

That day I sat in my pajamas all day trembling, scared. I heard the door jiggle a little and looked up to expect Charlotte. Stupid boy it’s just the wind, your mother doesn’t love you. These were the kind of situations where I wanted a real mother. I wanted anything. In some pathetic way I wanted to go to the dance. I had a teenage longing for memories. Good memories.


Dear Diary,

School bells

and bathroom stalls,

always running from her

then Mom came home.

Sam


Charlotte arrived on a Tuesday morning. The doors theatrically swung open and I stood in awe. Charlotte ran to me, and her worn withered hands grabbed my cheeks. I didn’t know what she was doing. I stared deep into her dull ashen eyes, I was sure she was going to rip my face clear off. Her eyes were beady and half open, tiny slits concealing white spherical nuggets. At this range I could count every crack and dimple of her crow’s feet. A strange odor hung around her, an aberrant musk, it permeated the room. In one crazed swoop she kissed my cheek. “Sam, my dear, I’m back!” Charlotte never spoke with such affection, and definitely never used the phrase “my dear”. I never had a nickname, other then “Hey you.”

Her soft voice wafted from room to room. Normally it sounded her voice was reminiscent of tin can was caught in a garbage disposal. She trailed telling me how she missed home and what mature boy I was being able to take care of my self while she was gone. “Were you alright with out me?” she asked. “Barely noticed you were gone.” I responded. Her expression twitched slightly and she returned to appraising the house. “Oh yeah, they shut off the electric while you were gone.” I said curious of her reaction. “No bother.” Her reaction was so strangely casual, it was almost haunting. I expected her normal fit of swears and grunts. Something had changed inside Charlotte and I didn't trust it. Her pleasant disposition was unsettling.


Friday, May 20, 2011

There was nothing.

I was dead.


Dear Diary,

My dreams are Spanish soap operas. Minus the Spanish language and the mariachi band. Mark that, sometimes there is a mariachi band. The light is always soft focus, the characters are loud and hate each other. The sets are colored in shades of Easter pastels. The scenarios are always very literal, relating directly to my life. My dreams used to be about Christine, and how she’s crawled out of the grave and is just here now. But as of lately they’ve been about Anne, humiliating me. In a few I tried to blow up the school, but plans are always foiled by a bumbling Anne. I’m taken away by the police and I’m screaming “This world was not ready for me!” Everyone always laughs at me in these dreams. And then I die.

What do these mean and why are they so stupid?

love

Sam


I wished for death.


Eight grade was almost over. Four months and then graduation, I pined for relief, an end to this awful institution. It was February and in these final days I was a loner, a faggot, and an outcast more then ever. I could still hear the faint echo of “Fag and Whale!” creeping threw the packed halls of Teachers Memorial Junior High.

I couldn’t face Anne, she was an impeccable trigger for all my insecurities. I was giving Anne the silent treatment, I had no one. At school I spent most of my time in the bathroom stalls. I read books, ate lunch, did crossword puzzles and wrote poetry on those placid walls. Underneath Derek Casio is a cock sucker, and above Mary has a stinky pussy I found a free space for my feelings:

I am mute

a silent chamber of organs

moms still gone.

I loved that bathroom more then my bedroom. I indulged in the scents and sounds of my new abode. Swirls, flushes, farts, and plops created harmonies fronting the beat of clanking pipes. It illuminated the space. Some may find solace in the home good scent of a fire place, my comfort scents were urinal cakes, pine sol, and the odor of boys. Just as a sea of anxiety flushed from my face, fecal mater did the same in a neighboring stall. I wish home was the same.

Home was empty. Charlotte (mom) had disappeared I wish I could say I worried or that it made things different. It wasn’t different, Charlotte was just another chair in the living room. She was a smoking piece of furniture usually place in front of the TV. I didn’t worry, I was more afraid someone would notice she was gone. No one noticed except the electric company.

I lasted two week with out talking to anyone. Not even in class, thanks to the utterly oblivious public school system. And then I broke. I needed human interaction. I knew what I had to do. Call Anne. I was so mad at her I forgot that she was my only “friend”. I had no one. At first I loved it. It was everything I ever wanted. To be dead to the world. How nice no one to notice your imperfect life. No one to add to the fucked world you live in. You just sit, watch, and observe. And then I was lonely.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fag and Whale

I couldn't sleep. What if someone saw us? Why did she do that? Just when I thought I made another friend, she had to go and stick it in. I could smell her breath on my lips and it made me gag.

I woke at six the next day and made my lunch. I looked for Charlotte, but she was still gone. I walked to school for fear of seeing anyone from school on the bus. I got there before school started and drank Ovaltine out of my thermos and ate my prepackaged saltine crackers for breakfast.

The buses arrived and a dumpy pink blob exited the bus. There she was. I hid behind a trash can and waited for the janitor to unlock the front door. Mr. Henry the janitor limped slowly along fussing with the keys as Anne waddled closer. I could read Mr. Henry's lips through the glass door saying "come on, come on" as he jiggled the key in the door. I could feel Anne's sausage fingers on my shoulder as the door popped open. I screamed "Thank God, I have to pee!" and sprinted to the little boys room. I hid in a stall and made sure not to leave until the third bell ran, which meant I would be late for check in. It also meant, I didn't have to wait around the hallways where Anne could have grabbed me.

I avoided her all day. God it was hard. She was everywhere, around every corner. And as if just to annoy me, she was wearing this muumuu-like bright pink raincoat all day. Like a neon beacon she tried waving and chasing me all day.

At lunch I went to the nurse and said I had an upset stomach. This was half true because all I ate that day was the packets of saltines I had for breakfast. I sat alone in the nurse's office in the dark wishing I had brought my lunch with me. My stomach was growling. "All right Sam. Lunch is over, are you okay to go back to class? Do we need to call your mother?" asked the nurse.

"Good luck," I said under my breath. "I think I'm fine. Thank you, Misses Redman." As I darted out of the office, I imagined I was a spy wearing large sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt. What the hell, throw in a mustache and I was the Unibomber.

I ducked into my math class. Anne sat three seats back and she threw notes at me all class. They bounced off the back of my head and hit the floor. Kids laughed and I never dared to stop and pick one up.

The school bell rang, it was the end of the day. In a quiet math class, I screamed ecstasy "Thank God". It's the most I ever said in that class. I ran outside to run for my bus but it wasn't there. None of them were. Where the hell were they? They were always there in time. I couldn't stick around long. I couldn't let Anne see me. But, like a line in any shitty movie I've seen. I thought, "You can't run forever, Sam. Sometimes they spit back." I don't know what that last part was about.

In a state of sheer panic, I turned around. And there she was , her rain coat was removed. She stood in perfect fat girl attire: Chunky shoes with chunky heals, a tightly suffocating magenta sweater swarming with cutesy ducks, the brightest blue stretch pants were painted on her dumpling legs, topped with a shitake mushroom hair cut framing the circles of her face. A satellite around earth could target this neon misfortune. "Where ya going, Sam? I guess the buses are running really late today. That's what the janitor told me. Gosh he's weird." Mr. Henry that bastard he sold me out.

Fuck, I thought. "Fuck!" I said. Like a youth riot, the entire school circled us on the sidewalk to wait for their buses. They were waiting, moving, jeering, moaning, screaming. I felt fear. Anne looked upon me with overwhelming complacency. In slow motion doughy hands moved toward my face and pinched my cheeks. I screamed. I crowds eyes followed the scream. Their retinas transfixed on the neon girl of circles.

Enter: Nicky Hust, a tiny blond girl with a slack jaw from compulsive gum chewing. She pushed Anne and screamed “Ow!” Anne turned to her. “ Why’d you push me you fat bitch?” Nicky said. A circle of hate and children formed around us. “You clumsy fat fuck!” Nicky continued to stab. “I’m sorry.” Anne blubbered compassionately.

I did nothing.

“Fatty, fatty, fuck!”

Brutal.

The crowd applauded.

It was all too easy.

“Listen, I said I was sorry.” Anne laid her swollen hands down on the tracks. Then Nicky went in for the kill: “Come on Godzilla! You think you can push me around just because I’m smaller than you.” A crescendo as Nicky threw gum in Anne’s hair.Anne turned to me, a moist gaze sparkled in her eyes. Then she turned to Nicky.

"At least I have a boyfriend."

"Who's your boyfriend, Miss Piggy?"

"His name is Samuel Tucker and I love him."

Well, dear God, she's done. She committed junior high homicide. She's turned those rabid ruffians on me. I had no response. I was speechless.

Nicky Hust screamed "That faggot? Yo guys, that faggot is dating this whale!"

Anne began to pick the gum from her hair. Kids moved around me as if I was there may pole. I was their wicker man, about to be burned alive. “He’s not gay! WE KISSED! WITH TONGUE!” Annie screamed, and they laughed. Then the chant began to a silent drummer they sang in beat "Fag and whale! Fag and whale! FAG AND WHALE! FAG AND WHALE!" My skin crawled, my temperature rose. I wanted my bus, I wanted relief. “Fag and whale! Fag and whale! FAG AND WHALE!”

The bus circled the lot and parked. Everyone shoveled in, I ducked and darted and cut in front of Elsa McDermit. She was handicapped and had leg braces, I didn’t care I was desperate. I knew how long it would take her to get in that damn buss. I still wasn’t quick enough, the only seat I could find was a window seat facing the angry mob. I could almost see their breath on the window. "Fag and whale! Fag and whale!" I: the fag. She: the whale.

The weight of the crowd heaved against the body of the bus. I swear it started to rock. As science class taught me, fat floats and Anne's blubber rose to the top of the mob. "I love you, Sam!" she yelled.

I stared back, as the bus started to pull away. Anne, it's been a good run. Well, not really.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Her Chub in Me

Anne was and is the biggest fag hag I have ever met. The next day at school she wouldn't stop waving at me. Anne enjoyed talking to you while she was walking at you. It was all very embarrassing.

Come lunch time, I saw Penny and Anne interact. Penny wanted nothing to do with Anne, but for some reason Anne didn't get it. I couldn't hear their conversation, only seeing the tragedy unfold. Anne approached the table and Penny wouldn't even let her sit down. Anne greeted her, Penny said hi and turned right back around to the "populars". Then the "populars" all laughed and Anne laughed too. The next thirty minutes lasted three hours and Anne just stood there never being offered a seat. A statue, towering over squawking teens trying to desperately join the conversation. She was placed behind and laughed at their jokes. I felt bad for Anne, but I don't know why she tried. Why care?

I was sure she was going to cancel the whole ice rink thing, but somehow she got my number and called me. Right as I was walking in the door the phone rang. I guess she could have used a phonebook. If so, I'm amazed at the amount of energy Anne put into people that didn't seem to care for her. The phone call was very awkward on my end and I wanted to call it off, but I couldn't. I felt like karma made it my obligation to watch this train wreck.

Leroy picked me up in the largest car I had ever seen. He said it was some kind of town car. Anne sat uncomfortably close to me in the back seat. She also sat on my hand and I was too scared to ask her to move over until my hand became uncomfortably numb. Leroy dropped us off in front of the rink, then grabbed and shook my flaccid hand. "You need to learn to have a firm handshake Sam. A 'manshake' as we call it." I imagined something really gay. "Well take care of Anne I'll see you kids at 9:30."

And just like, that Leroy was gone and I was alone with Anne. Gazing into the neon lights of my impending doom, it read "ICE RINK FUN FUN". I didn't trust those lights, they seemed to wink and grin an awful grin.

"Come on Stupid, let's go." Anne tugged me on into the man-made tundra that reeked with the scent of a teenage favorite--impostor cK1 cologne. I was wearing the same.

The pretty girls circled.

Anne's gut cried and gurgled.

They notice her large presence in orbit.

Penny's laugh stops with a cough.

"Wow Anne, I'm surprised you came." Penny said with a devilishly smug half smile. Fuck her, I thought!

"Why wouldn't I show up, Penny. I mean, geez, you told me you'd be here." Oh Anne, so naive, not even realizing Penny's malicious intent.

"Well Anne, you have changed a lot since we were little. You were… I mean we were so very little then. The girls all giggled. Anne just smiled and nodded as if she didn't get the joke. "With all this extra weight, I didn't think your ankles could support being on ice skates. I mean, have you ever seen a cow on ice skates? It's just not natural." Penny: the awful bitch. The horde of girls could not control their laughter. Those beasts, suckling from Lisa Frank's rancid tit, belching their insecure hatred in unison like Hitler youth on a fascist march. They waited for Anne’s response.

"Penny Shalot, you are a cunt." Words were never so delicately spoken. Anne sucked up her pride, held her tears with an internal pinch, and marched back outside.

I would like to pretend I was there backing up Anne that night, but I wasn't. The most I did was say a faint "yeah" under my breath as I followed Anne out the door. The girls all stood in silence.

Outside the giant mass of anxiety and insecurity that made Anne so huge poured out of her. The tears and moans were so large and loud I almost expected Anne to get smaller. "I thought it would be different here. I didn't expect Penny to be so different here!" she cried. You can't expect people to stay the way you left them. At thirteen everyone is horrible. I was horrible. I could have warned Anne. I think I was kind of waiting for the disaster, because I wanted to see Anne fail. And at that moment I realized, in some after-school-special way, I was horrible like Penny. Who was I to think I was better than Anne? She was the first person in months to invite me to do anything. I respected her for doing something I could never do--call Penny Shalot a cunt.

I was so silent, so awkwardly silent. Her whimpers stopped and she looked at me for some reaction. I didn't know how to console. I've never had to. I remembered the movies and I moved to her slowly. I tried to wrap my arms around her--they got about half way. She was so very large. I went to give her a kiss on the cheek. Anne moved her head. Eyes to eyes we met and she shoved her tongue in my mouth. I swear her tongue was as thick as five hot dogs. I was deep throating a bologna log. I choked and she pulled out then she laughed into the frigid night air. I felt raped. I didn't want that. She talked and all I heard was white noise. I stared down at her swollen heaving bosom, like giant utters begging for release.

I was so mad, I wanted to hit her. Instead I spoke. "I have to leave."

Anne was bewildered. "But it's not even eight o'clock."

I ran. I ran and I didn't look back. I didn't know where home was, but wandering the streets felt more comfortable. I lived surprisingly close to the ice skating rink, about a twenty minute jog. When I got home I rushed the stairs, but I felt like something was following me. Something big. Something called Anne. I almost locked the door. I looked around the house for Charlotte, but she was gone. Not surprisingly. Sometimes I'd forget and I imagined I had a normal mother. These fantasies never lasted that long.

I tried to sleep that night but couldn't. I wrote:

Dear Diary,

Fear of her

of her in me

her chub

my throat

did they see

her close to me

did they see

the fear in me.

love,

Sam

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meeting Anne

It was December, I was in the park staring into the empty house of my ex-best friend. I was taking notice how the city came in and gutted the house and redid the lawn. Then as the snow fell and melted over the asphalt streets a colossal moving truck arrived. It carried colossal people, one named Anne.

As an eager attempt at curiosity I approached the yard. Her mammoth father Leroy was outside screaming at their dog Buster. Anne was a flirtatious blob, awkwardly directing the moving guys on how to organize her things. With frowning eyes, they did her biding. Leroy noticed me watching the event. "Hey kid, yeah you Scrappy! You live around here?" He said. I explained I lived a block over and I asked where they moved from, like a polite young man.

Leroy went on, in true Midwestern babble, about where they came from: some state I had never knew existed. He inserted words like God, Jesus, church, and work. I couldn't pay attention to him. His voice a fog horn, his mouth just an instrument its only purpose: to shake his jowls. Side to side they shook. I imagined being a little man scaling the lard cliffs of his fat face, discovering hairs, eyes, and pockets of pores never seen by man.

His monologue still droning, I noticed Anne looking at me strangely. She was blushing. Then my attention was moved to Buster, the dog. He was eating shit, while taking one on the front step. I started to laugh.

"What are you laughing at Scrappy?"

"Mister your dog's taking a shit."

Leroy ran off to beat the dog and Anne swept in. She asked me things. Stupid things. She told me she was also in eighth grade. She talked like her father and she droned just the same except in a higher pitch. She was very excited about the ice skating rink in town. I didn't even know we had one. She told me her cousin was a girl in our grade named Penny Shalot. My brain came to a stall. The name typed in bold font streaming through shallow pools of thought strung along like smoke signals. Forming an unknown teenage language of fear. Penny Shalot was the most popular, awful girl, in school. On a witches broom she rode. I couldn't believe she had such a fat cousin.

"Penny told me the ice rink was where all the popular kids hung out. Do you hang out there Sam?" She asked.

"No I've never been there before." A solid answer I didn't care to lie and impress her.

"Well, good it'll be a first for both of us!" What! Did she just tell me where I was going? "Penny is going to be there tomorrow night. I haven't seen her since we were... Oh gosh, I don't know. Since we were five I guess. I suppose I've changed a bit. Ha ha. Either way I need a date and you're coming with me. That is, if you're not busy?" Well shit, I wasn't busy. I had no friends since Johnny was gone and I almost felt bad for her. I wonder if she knew how horrible Penny had become or if Penny was always like that.

"Sure I don't think I'm doing anything." My brain scanned over a completely dateless calendar. "You're sure your Mom won't mind?" she asked. I thought. Well Friday night was Mom's night to get drunk and stick her head in the oven.

"I don't think she'll care." I responded.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow days and piss.

Grandpa Pabst was stuck. Stuck believing it was still the 50s, that dinosaurs were alive and well, and most importantly stuck believing Sherry was still there in the form of a tattered doll in black face. Grandpa Pabst had sole custody of Johnny when his parents, the biggest heroine dealers in our little town, took off and went missing in 1992. Johnny was alone, his only caretaker was a delirious 93-year-old man.

"You're a whore... I saw things, I saw many things. The men, oh the men you've laid with. There was that colored man. Bet you liked that. Being laid by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Life is a gas Sherry. Through it all I love you...." There was a great pause where Grandpa Pabst waited for the doll to respond. "I guess you're right. We're both whores."

I crept up on him, I felt like a snoop. I wish I hadn't heard his conversation. "Excuse me sir? Sorry to interrupt." From his fog he fell back to earth and took a chug from his can.

"Yes, son?" his elder voice asked sweetly.

"Is Johnny home?" I was almost scared of him.

"Oh yeah he's around. You can go on in I think the doors unlocked."

I starred blankly at the screen door that screamed silently at me for its end. I couldn't conceive how it would lock.

Johnny was in his room. He had just buzzed his head. He was wearing white socks and white briefs with a small blanket covering his top half. He sat there a 14-year-old golden Adonis. His room was freezing--it was January and they had no heat. He sat reading a book of H.P. Lovecraft's short stories called "Crawling Chaos". He seemed unfazed by the cold. I was shivering so much I would have wet my pants to stay warm. He had headphones on and walkman blasting so he didn't notice my entrance. I didn't want him to notice me. I just wanted to watch him. He sat, his silhouette framed in light cast in by the winter sky.

Dear Diary,

After school Johnny told me to stop by his house. I did. I like hanging out with Johnny. He's so cool. Today I farted in front of him and he didn't even care. Fuck everyone. I hope we stay friends forever.

Sam

I stood there trying not to make a sound. I could feel my stomach slush my morning breakfast of saltines. I pinched it. I held on to that fart for dear life. I would do anything not to ruin this scenic beauty soon to become an ingrained memory. Like the strained squeak of a balloon releasing its contents in a tub of warm water, I broke wind.

Interrupted, he laughed and put down he book. He rose from the bed and gave me a punch in the arm. It hurt. All I could think was "this is what boys do." We remained friends thru the fart and the weeks to come.

December 24th the snow started to blow into our town. It was like the fake snow you see in movies. Someone was tearing up a huge fancy comforter in the clouds. This was a great blizzard that would become legendary to the kids of my block. Johnny was staying at my house because his heat was turned off and it was below zero out. His broken screen door provided little comfort to Old Man Winter.

It started with a huge snowball fight. We were pelted every which way, an onslaught of teenage aggression through fist-sized balls of ice. Everyone was teaming up against us. I had warned Johnny of such a situation. We waved a white flag of defeat and surrender, but they did not accept our plea. It took one ice ball to Johnny's eye and a lot of blood to make him cry. He didn't cry the way a 13-year-old boy should cry. He held his tears tight, a subtle wet glisten rolled over his cheeks. He sighed in pain like a wounded solider. He didn't create a show.

We ran, the melee seconds behind, into my house and locked the door. They were in my front lawn.

THUD! THUD!

Snowballs

THUD! THUD!

I could hear their pubescent hate splattering my front door with every slushy thud. "I fucking hate everything!" screamed Johnny. Beauty. Johnny ran up to my room and retrieved a gun from his backpack. I stopped at my doorway in shock. In slow motion Johnny started to scream and fired two shots out my window into the front yard at the angry adolescent mob. I felt a warmth in my pants, a stream ran down my inner thigh. Johnny had turned to me "Dude fucking calm down, it's a fucking pellet gun. You pissed your pants." he said with a laugh.

Embarrassment, he could read my face. We stood there awkwardly, feelings like a fart circled the room, but no one wanting to admit. So he leaned in and licked my cheek. I wrapped my shaking arms around him and he held onto my piss soaked body. I remember white lights. All white lights and I rubbed my face along his body. Stripped down to venerability and crawled into my bed in our underwear. Two pale scrawny mice half naked bathed in the white light of my bedroom window.


Dear Diary,

Lazy eyes and sundays,

snow chilled blow-jobs,

in piss crusted undies.

Love,

Sam

I loved him and we would be together forever.

I was walking Johnny home from my house. His stay had ended and he wanted to check on his grandpa. We had never talked about what happened the day of the snowball fight, questions amassed in my mind. I was counting the houses, playing with the shit in my pockets. This walk was heightening to an explosion. "Do you like me, Johnny?" I asked and felt a fool as the words slipped over my tongue, through my clenched teeth, and breezed passed my lips. I wanted to take it back. I didn't want to know, I should have just left it.

"Sam, I'm not a fag if thats what you are asking." I was shattered, heart-broken.

Johnny wasn't gay. I never thought that he was. I didn't even consider myself gay then. When you're 12 and going through puberty, you're attracted to everything. Nonetheless I loved him and in that moment it was clear it was unrequited.

I walked Johnny to the door in silence. He wouldn't even look at me. That's when Grandpa burst through that sad screen door screaming "They're comin' for us, Johnny!" and he pulled the boy in.

I started to walk home and I stopped when I heard the sirens. "Mr. Turner this is the police. We are here peacefully if could just come out. We would like to talk." They came to take Johnny away. One of the neighbors must have informed Child Services about the condition of Johnny's caretaker.

The event lasted all day with Johnny and Grandpa in the basement. Grandpa Pabst was threatening suicide. In the end Grandpa put up a good fight but they took Johnny. I heard Grandpa's gentle cry of "Sherry, why?!" when the cops knocked the mammy doll off its chair.

I would never talk to Johnny again. Dear Johnny, whose heart are you breaking now?