Sunday, April 30, 2006

Random Acts of Emotional Violence

It's a college town. The type where the population doubles when classes are in session. Kids flood the streets of the downtown area that boasts 90-plus bars within a 1/2 mile radius. Friends gather to drink, talk and engage in all varieties of debauchery.

A pair of friends decide that a change of venue is in order. Girl hops onto boy’s back and they start their journey. Along the way they encounter several obstacles; a man wailing on his guitar under the awning of a store (guitar case strategically positioned and open), hot dog stands wafting their addictive scents, a row of local bums negotiating for small cash donations, a slew of frat boys who seem unaware that anyone besides themselves might exist.

The pair dodges in and out of the crowds. They pause to wait for the next open space to appear. A boy, who seems engaged in his own live drama, turns his gaze upon them and yells to his friends (grouped nearby), “Watch out for this guy, he’s got something really heavy on his back!” The group erupts into jeering laughter.

“Keep walking,” she says. He complies, but offers to go back and kick their asses. She lowers her head in shame (and also to hide the redness appearing in her eyes). “No, just keep walking…please.”

She inches off of his back and tries to walk it off…Literally…

After receiving a clean bill of health from the doctor not a week ago, she heads home and makes her first voluntary attempt at throwing up. Perhaps an empty stomach will distract from the pain in her head.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Living the Dream

You know that dream you have where you show up to class on the last day of the semester and you realize that you have a huge exam and a paper due and a presentation and you won’t graduate if you don’t finish this course and your grandmother just died and you don’t have any pencils with erasers on them and that really sad song that reminds you of your ex is playing and you’re wearing two different socks and you have indigestion and your professor hates you and the kid behind you won’t stop clicking his pen and your favorite seat is taken and there’s a bee that keeps threatening to sting you and you’re naked and wait, you don’t even remember signing up for this course…


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


A girl, aged eight years, cackled as her best friend grabbed the back of her head and shoved a snowball in her face. Triumphant, she pointed across the lawn to the front door where her friend’s mother was standing. Caught red handed! And for the ultimate crime!

The girl had marched across the lawn not five minutes earlier to a frozen fortress. Hours of her own efforts has yielded this strategic pile and frostbitten fingers. She sat, without hesitation, upon her own handiwork, destroying the fruits of her labor.

Ten minutes ago she had slammed the red front door on the otherwise gray house. (The same house which was now gaping, open mouthed, at her.) Running, she collided with her enemy’s barrier of ice. Her mouth issued a guttural shout as its walls collapsed under her weight. Widening eyes revealed the realization that a chain reaction had been started. The satisfaction of retaliation must be denied! She must take action to prevent such vengeance.

One hour prior the friends rushed through the garage door. Stripping hats, gloves and snowsuits they surrounded the kitchen table. Hands encircled mugs and chocolate warmth engulfed. A bag of marshmallows spurred a frenzy until only one remained. Before the other could, one girl grabbed for the remaining treat. She eyed her friend and popped the entire thing into her mouth just as her friend began to protest: Share!