Novels by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Fever 1793 Catalyst Prom SPEAK LAURIE HALSE A N D E R S O N
Novels by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Fever 1793 Catalyst Prom  SPEAK LAURIE HALSE A N D E R S O N
Novels by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Fever 1793 Catalyst Prom SPEAK LAURIE HALSE A N D E R S O N
Novels by Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Fever 1793 Catalyst Prom  SPEAK LAURIE HALSE A N D E R S O N
T FIRST MARKING PERIOD
T  FIRST  MARKING  PERIOD
T FIRST MARKING PERIOD
T  FIRST  MARKING  PERIOD
W E L C O M E TO M E R R YWEATHER HIGH It is my first morning of high school I have seven new notebooks a skirt I hate and a stomachache The school bus wheezes to my corner The door opens and I step up I am the first pickup of the day The driver pulls away from the curb while I stand in the aisle Where to sit I ve never been a backseat wasteease If I sit in the middle a stranger could sit next to me If I sit in the front it will make me look like a little kid but I figure it s the best chance I have to make eye contact with one of my friends if any of them have decided to talk to me yet The bus picks up students in groups of four or five As they walk down the aisle people who were my middle school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me I close my eyes This is what I ve been dreading As we leave the last stop I am the only person sitting alone The driver downshifts to drag us over the hills The engine clanks which makes the guys in the back holler something obscene Someone is wearing too much cologne I try to open my window but the little latches won t move A guy behind me unwraps his breakfast and shoots the wrapper at the back of my head It bounces into my lap a Ho Ho We pass janitors painting over the sign in front of the high school The school board has decided that Merryweather 3
W E L C O M E TO M E R R YWEATHER HIGH It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, ...
W E L C O M E TO M E R R YWEATHER HIGH It is my first morning of high school I have seven new notebooks a skirt I hate and a stomachache The school bus wheezes to my corner The door opens and I step up I am the first pickup of the day The driver pulls away from the curb while I stand in the aisle Where to sit I ve never been a backseat wasteease If I sit in the middle a stranger could sit next to me If I sit in the front it will make me look like a little kid but I figure it s the best chance I have to make eye contact with one of my friends if any of them have decided to talk to me yet The bus picks up students in groups of four or five As they walk down the aisle people who were my middle school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me I close my eyes This is what I ve been dreading As we leave the last stop I am the only person sitting alone The driver downshifts to drag us over the hills The engine clanks which makes the guys in the back holler something obscene Someone is wearing too much cologne I try to open my window but the little latches won t move A guy behind me unwraps his breakfast and shoots the wrapper at the back of my head It bounces into my lap a Ho Ho We pass janitors painting over the sign in front of the high school The school board has decided that Merryweather 3
W E L C O M E TO M E R R YWEATHER HIGH It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, ...
High Home of the Trojans didn t send a strong abstinence ex best friend She stares at something above my left ear message so they have transformed us into the Blue Devils Words climb up my throat This was the girl who suffered Better the Devil you know than the Trojan you don t I guess through Brownies with me who taught me how to swim who School colors will stay purple and gray The board didn t want understood about my parents who didn t make fun of my to spring for new uniforms bedroom If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened it s Rachel My throat burns Older students are allowed to roam until the bell but ninthgraders are herded into the auditorium We fall into clans Her eyes meet mine for a second I hate you she mouths Jocks Country Clubbers Idiot Savants Cheerleaders Human silently She turns her back to me and laughs with her friends Waste Eurotrash Future Fascists of America Big Hair Chix I bite my lip I am not going to think about it It was ugly but the Marthas Suffering Artists Thespians Goths Shredders I it s over and I m not going to think about it My lip bleeds a am clanless I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad little It tastes like metal I need to sit down cartoons I didn t go to the mall the lake or the pool or answer the phone I have entered high school with the wrong I stand in the center aisle of the auditorium a wounded zebra hair the wrong clothes the wrong attitude And I don t have in a National Geographic special looking for someone any anyone to sit with one to sit next to A predator approaches gray jock buzz cut whistle around a neck thicker than his head Probably a social I am Outcast studies teacher hired to coach a blood sport There is no point looking for my ex friends Our clan the Mr Neck Sit Plain Janes has splintered and the pieces are being absorbed by rival factions Nicole lounges with the Jocks comparing I grab a seat Another wounded zebra turns and smiles at me scars from summer league sports Ivy floats between the Suf She s packing at least five grand worth of orthodontia but has fering Artists on one side of the aisle and the Thespians on the great shoes I m Heather from Ohio she says I m new other She has enough personality to travel with two packs here Are you I don t have time to answer The lights dim Jessica has moved to Nevada No real loss She was mostly and the indoctrination begins Ivy s friend anyway T H E F I R S T T E N LIES T H E Y T E L L Y O U I N HIGH S C H O O L The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they re laughing 1 We are here to help you about me I can t help myself I turn around It s Rachel sur 2 You will have enough time to get to your class before rounded by a bunch of kids wearing clothes that most definitely did not come from the EastSide Mall Rachel Bruin my 4 the bell rings 3 The dress code will be enforced 5
High   Home of the Trojans  didn t send a strong abstinence  ex-best friend. She stares at something above my left ear.  m...
High Home of the Trojans didn t send a strong abstinence ex best friend She stares at something above my left ear message so they have transformed us into the Blue Devils Words climb up my throat This was the girl who suffered Better the Devil you know than the Trojan you don t I guess through Brownies with me who taught me how to swim who School colors will stay purple and gray The board didn t want understood about my parents who didn t make fun of my to spring for new uniforms bedroom If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened it s Rachel My throat burns Older students are allowed to roam until the bell but ninthgraders are herded into the auditorium We fall into clans Her eyes meet mine for a second I hate you she mouths Jocks Country Clubbers Idiot Savants Cheerleaders Human silently She turns her back to me and laughs with her friends Waste Eurotrash Future Fascists of America Big Hair Chix I bite my lip I am not going to think about it It was ugly but the Marthas Suffering Artists Thespians Goths Shredders I it s over and I m not going to think about it My lip bleeds a am clanless I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad little It tastes like metal I need to sit down cartoons I didn t go to the mall the lake or the pool or answer the phone I have entered high school with the wrong I stand in the center aisle of the auditorium a wounded zebra hair the wrong clothes the wrong attitude And I don t have in a National Geographic special looking for someone any anyone to sit with one to sit next to A predator approaches gray jock buzz cut whistle around a neck thicker than his head Probably a social I am Outcast studies teacher hired to coach a blood sport There is no point looking for my ex friends Our clan the Mr Neck Sit Plain Janes has splintered and the pieces are being absorbed by rival factions Nicole lounges with the Jocks comparing I grab a seat Another wounded zebra turns and smiles at me scars from summer league sports Ivy floats between the Suf She s packing at least five grand worth of orthodontia but has fering Artists on one side of the aisle and the Thespians on the great shoes I m Heather from Ohio she says I m new other She has enough personality to travel with two packs here Are you I don t have time to answer The lights dim Jessica has moved to Nevada No real loss She was mostly and the indoctrination begins Ivy s friend anyway T H E F I R S T T E N LIES T H E Y T E L L Y O U I N HIGH S C H O O L The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they re laughing 1 We are here to help you about me I can t help myself I turn around It s Rachel sur 2 You will have enough time to get to your class before rounded by a bunch of kids wearing clothes that most definitely did not come from the EastSide Mall Rachel Bruin my 4 the bell rings 3 The dress code will be enforced 5
High   Home of the Trojans  didn t send a strong abstinence  ex-best friend. She stares at something above my left ear.  m...
4 No smoking is allowed on school grounds history for the ninth time in nine years Another review 5 Our football team will win the championship this year of map skills 6 We expect more of you here opher Columbus in time for Columbus Day the Pilgrims in 7 Guidance counselors are always available to listen time for Thanksgiving Every year they say we re going to get 8 Your schedule was created with your needs in mind right up to the present but we always get stuck in the Indus 9 Your locker combination is private 10 These will be the years you look back on fondly one week of Native Americans Christ trial Revolution We got to World War I in seventh grade who knew there had been a war with the whole world We need more holidays to keep the social studies teachers on My first class is biology I can t find it and get my first demerit track for wandering the hall It is 8 50 in the morning Only 6 9 9 days and 7 class periods until graduation My social studies teacher is Mr Neck the same guy who growled at me to sit down in the auditorium He remembers me fondly I got my eye on you Front row OUR TEACHERS ARE THE BEST Nice seeing you again too I bet he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder Vietnam or Iraq one of those TV wars My English teacher has no face She has uncombed stringy hair that droops on her shoulders The hair is black from her part to her ears and then neon orange to the frizzy ends I can t decide if she had pissed off her hairdresser or is morph SPOTLIGHT ing into a monarch butterfly I call her Hairwoman I find my locker after social studies The lock sticks a little Hairwoman wastes twenty minutes taking attendance because but I open it I dive into the stream of fourth period lunch stu she won t look at us She keeps her head bent over her desk so dents and swim down the hall to the cafeteria the hair flops in front of her face She spends the rest of class writing on the board and speaking to the flag about our re I know enough not to bring lunch on the first day of high quired reading She wants us to write in our class journals school There is no way of telling what the acceptable fashion every day but promises not to read them I write about how will be Brown bags humble testament to suburbia or ter weird she is minal geek gear Insulated lunch bags hip way to save the planet or sign of an overinvolved mother Buying is the only We have journals in social studies too The school must have solution And it gives me time to scan the cafeteria for a gotten a good price on journals We are studying American friendly face or an inconspicuous corner 6 7
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.  history for the ninth time in nine years. Another review  5. Our football tea...
4 No smoking is allowed on school grounds history for the ninth time in nine years Another review 5 Our football team will win the championship this year of map skills 6 We expect more of you here opher Columbus in time for Columbus Day the Pilgrims in 7 Guidance counselors are always available to listen time for Thanksgiving Every year they say we re going to get 8 Your schedule was created with your needs in mind right up to the present but we always get stuck in the Indus 9 Your locker combination is private 10 These will be the years you look back on fondly one week of Native Americans Christ trial Revolution We got to World War I in seventh grade who knew there had been a war with the whole world We need more holidays to keep the social studies teachers on My first class is biology I can t find it and get my first demerit track for wandering the hall It is 8 50 in the morning Only 6 9 9 days and 7 class periods until graduation My social studies teacher is Mr Neck the same guy who growled at me to sit down in the auditorium He remembers me fondly I got my eye on you Front row OUR TEACHERS ARE THE BEST Nice seeing you again too I bet he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder Vietnam or Iraq one of those TV wars My English teacher has no face She has uncombed stringy hair that droops on her shoulders The hair is black from her part to her ears and then neon orange to the frizzy ends I can t decide if she had pissed off her hairdresser or is morph SPOTLIGHT ing into a monarch butterfly I call her Hairwoman I find my locker after social studies The lock sticks a little Hairwoman wastes twenty minutes taking attendance because but I open it I dive into the stream of fourth period lunch stu she won t look at us She keeps her head bent over her desk so dents and swim down the hall to the cafeteria the hair flops in front of her face She spends the rest of class writing on the board and speaking to the flag about our re I know enough not to bring lunch on the first day of high quired reading She wants us to write in our class journals school There is no way of telling what the acceptable fashion every day but promises not to read them I write about how will be Brown bags humble testament to suburbia or ter weird she is minal geek gear Insulated lunch bags hip way to save the planet or sign of an overinvolved mother Buying is the only We have journals in social studies too The school must have solution And it gives me time to scan the cafeteria for a gotten a good price on journals We are studying American friendly face or an inconspicuous corner 6 7
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.  history for the ninth time in nine years. Another review  5. Our football tea...
The hot lunch is turkey with reconstituted dried mashed pota the one hundred in under ten seconds unless they re willing to toes and gravy a damp green vegetable and a cookie I m not do it while holding on to a football sure how to order anything else so I just slide my tray along and let the lunch drones fill it This eight foot senior in front Mr Neck We meet again of me somehow gets three cheeseburgers French fries and two Ho Hos without saying a word Some sort of Morse code Me with his eyes maybe Must study this further I follow the Basketball Pole into the cafeteria Would he listen to I need to go home and change or Did you see what that bozo did Not a chance I keep my mouth shut I see a few friends people I used to think were my friends but they look away Think fast think fast There s that new girl Mr Neck Where do you think you re going Heather reading by the window I could sit across from her Or I could crawl behind a trash can Or maybe I could dump my lunch Me straight into the trash and keep moving right on out the door It is easier not to say anything Shut your trap button your The Basketball Pole waves to a table of friends Of course lip can it All that crap you hear on TV about communication The basketball team They all swear at him a bizarre greet and expressing feelings is a lie Nobody really wants to hear ing practiced by athletic boys with zits He smiles and throws what you have to say a Ho Ho I try to scoot around him Mr Neck makes a note in his book I knew you were trouble Thwap A lump of potatoes and gravy hits me square in the the first time I saw you I ve taught here for twenty four years center of my chest All conversation stops as the entire lunch and I can tell what s going on in a kid s head just by looking in room gawks my face burning into their retinas I will be for their eyes No more warnings You just earned a demerit for ever known as that girl who got nailed by potatoes the first wandering the halls without a pass day The Basketball Pole apologizes and says something else but four hundred people explode in laughter and I can t read lips I ditch my tray and bolt for the door SANCTUARY I motor so fast out of the lunchroom the track coach would draft me for varsity if he were around But no Mr Neck has Art follows lunch like dream follows nightmare The class cafeteria duty And Mr Neck has no use for girls who can run room is at the far end of the building and has long 8 9
The hot lunch is turkey with reconstituted dried mashed pota-  the one hundred in under ten seconds, unless they re willin...
The hot lunch is turkey with reconstituted dried mashed pota the one hundred in under ten seconds unless they re willing to toes and gravy a damp green vegetable and a cookie I m not do it while holding on to a football sure how to order anything else so I just slide my tray along and let the lunch drones fill it This eight foot senior in front Mr Neck We meet again of me somehow gets three cheeseburgers French fries and two Ho Hos without saying a word Some sort of Morse code Me with his eyes maybe Must study this further I follow the Basketball Pole into the cafeteria Would he listen to I need to go home and change or Did you see what that bozo did Not a chance I keep my mouth shut I see a few friends people I used to think were my friends but they look away Think fast think fast There s that new girl Mr Neck Where do you think you re going Heather reading by the window I could sit across from her Or I could crawl behind a trash can Or maybe I could dump my lunch Me straight into the trash and keep moving right on out the door It is easier not to say anything Shut your trap button your The Basketball Pole waves to a table of friends Of course lip can it All that crap you hear on TV about communication The basketball team They all swear at him a bizarre greet and expressing feelings is a lie Nobody really wants to hear ing practiced by athletic boys with zits He smiles and throws what you have to say a Ho Ho I try to scoot around him Mr Neck makes a note in his book I knew you were trouble Thwap A lump of potatoes and gravy hits me square in the the first time I saw you I ve taught here for twenty four years center of my chest All conversation stops as the entire lunch and I can tell what s going on in a kid s head just by looking in room gawks my face burning into their retinas I will be for their eyes No more warnings You just earned a demerit for ever known as that girl who got nailed by potatoes the first wandering the halls without a pass day The Basketball Pole apologizes and says something else but four hundred people explode in laughter and I can t read lips I ditch my tray and bolt for the door SANCTUARY I motor so fast out of the lunchroom the track coach would draft me for varsity if he were around But no Mr Neck has Art follows lunch like dream follows nightmare The class cafeteria duty And Mr Neck has no use for girls who can run room is at the far end of the building and has long 8 9
The hot lunch is turkey with reconstituted dried mashed pota-  the one hundred in under ten seconds, unless they re willin...
south facing windows The sun doesn t shine much in Syr I sneak a peek behind me The eyebrow telegraph is flashing acuse so the art room is designed to get every bit of light fast This guy is weird He must see it he must know what we it can It is dusty in a clean dirt kind of way The floor is are thinking He keeps on talking He says we will graduate layered with dry splotches of paint the walls plastered knowing how to read and write because we ll spend a million with sketches of tormented teenagers and fat puppies the hours learning how to read and write I could argue that shelves crowded with clay pots A radio plays my favorite point station Mr Freeman Why not spend that time on art painting Mr Freeman is ugly Big old grasshopper body like a stilt sculpting charcoal pastel oils Are words or numbers more walking circus guy Nose like a credit card sunk between his important than images W h o decided this Does algebra move eyes But he smiles at us as we file into class you to tears Hands raise thinking he wants answers Can the plural possessive express the feelings in your heart He is hunched over a spinning pot his hands muddy red If you don t learn art now you will never learn to breathe Welcome to the only class that will teach you how to survive he says Welcome to Art There is more For someone who questions the value of words he sure uses a lot of them I tune out for a while and I sit at a table close to his desk Ivy is in this class She sits by come back when he holds up a huge globe that is missing half the door I keep staring at her trying to make her look at me of the Northern Hemisphere Can anyone tell me what this That happens in movies people can feel it when other people is he asks A globe ventures a voice in the back Mr stare at them and they just have to turn around and say some Freeman rolls his eyes Was it an expensive sculpture that thing Either Ivy has a great force field or my laser vision isn t some kid dropped and he had to pay for it out of his own very strong She won t look back at me I wish I could sit with money or they didn t let him graduate asks another her She knows art Mr Freeman sighs N o imagination What are you thirteen Mr Freeman turns off the wheel and grabs a piece of chalk Fourteen You ve already let them beat your creativity out of without washing his hands SOUL he writes on the board you This is an old globe I used to let my daughters kick The clay streaks the word like dried blood This is where you around my studio when it was too wet to play outside One can find your soul if you dare Where you can touch that part day Jenny put her foot right through Texas and the United of you that you ve never dared look at before Do not come States crumbled into the sea And voila an idea This broken here and ask me to show you how to draw a face Ask me to ball could be used to express such powerful visions you help you find the wind could paint a picture of it with people fleeing from the hole 10 11
south-facing windows. The sun doesn t shine much in Syr-  I sneak a peek behind me. The eyebrow telegraph is flashing  acu...
south facing windows The sun doesn t shine much in Syr I sneak a peek behind me The eyebrow telegraph is flashing acuse so the art room is designed to get every bit of light fast This guy is weird He must see it he must know what we it can It is dusty in a clean dirt kind of way The floor is are thinking He keeps on talking He says we will graduate layered with dry splotches of paint the walls plastered knowing how to read and write because we ll spend a million with sketches of tormented teenagers and fat puppies the hours learning how to read and write I could argue that shelves crowded with clay pots A radio plays my favorite point station Mr Freeman Why not spend that time on art painting Mr Freeman is ugly Big old grasshopper body like a stilt sculpting charcoal pastel oils Are words or numbers more walking circus guy Nose like a credit card sunk between his important than images W h o decided this Does algebra move eyes But he smiles at us as we file into class you to tears Hands raise thinking he wants answers Can the plural possessive express the feelings in your heart He is hunched over a spinning pot his hands muddy red If you don t learn art now you will never learn to breathe Welcome to the only class that will teach you how to survive he says Welcome to Art There is more For someone who questions the value of words he sure uses a lot of them I tune out for a while and I sit at a table close to his desk Ivy is in this class She sits by come back when he holds up a huge globe that is missing half the door I keep staring at her trying to make her look at me of the Northern Hemisphere Can anyone tell me what this That happens in movies people can feel it when other people is he asks A globe ventures a voice in the back Mr stare at them and they just have to turn around and say some Freeman rolls his eyes Was it an expensive sculpture that thing Either Ivy has a great force field or my laser vision isn t some kid dropped and he had to pay for it out of his own very strong She won t look back at me I wish I could sit with money or they didn t let him graduate asks another her She knows art Mr Freeman sighs N o imagination What are you thirteen Mr Freeman turns off the wheel and grabs a piece of chalk Fourteen You ve already let them beat your creativity out of without washing his hands SOUL he writes on the board you This is an old globe I used to let my daughters kick The clay streaks the word like dried blood This is where you around my studio when it was too wet to play outside One can find your soul if you dare Where you can touch that part day Jenny put her foot right through Texas and the United of you that you ve never dared look at before Do not come States crumbled into the sea And voila an idea This broken here and ask me to show you how to draw a face Ask me to ball could be used to express such powerful visions you help you find the wind could paint a picture of it with people fleeing from the hole 10 11
south-facing windows. The sun doesn t shine much in Syr-  I sneak a peek behind me. The eyebrow telegraph is flashing  acu...
with a wet muzzled dog chewing Alaska the opportunities are endless It s almost too much but you are important enough to give it to ESPA OL Huh My Spanish teacher is going to try to get through the entire You will each pick a piece of paper out of the globe He year without speaking English to us This is both amusing and walks around the room so we can pull red scraps from the useful makes it much easier to ignore her She communicates center of the earth On the paper you will find one word the through exaggerated gestures and playacting It s like taking a name of an object I hope you like it You will spend the rest class in charades She says a sentence in Spanish and puts the of the year learning how to turn that object into a piece of art back of her hand to her forehead You have a fever some You will sculpt it You will sketch it papier mache it carve it one from class calls out She shakes her head no and repeats If the computer teacher is talking to me this year you can use the gesture You feel faint No She goes out to the hall the lab for computer aided designs But there s a catch by the then bursts through the door looking busy and distracted She end of the year you must figure out how to make your object turns to us acts surprised to see us then does the bit with the say something express an emotion speak to every person back of the hand to the forehead You re lost You re an who looks at it gry You re in the wrong school You re in the wrong country You re on the wrong planet Some people groan My stomach flutters Can he really let us do this It sounds like too much fun He stops at my table I She tries one more time and smacks herself so hard on the plunge my hand into the bottom of the globe and fish out my forehead she staggers a bit Her forehead is as pink as her lip paper Tree Tree It s too easy I learned how to draw a tree stick The guesses continue You can t believe how many kids in second grade I reach in for another piece of paper Mr are in this class You forgot how to speak Spanish You Freeman shakes his head Ah ah ah he says You just have a migraine You re going to have a migraine if we chose your destiny you can t change that don t figure it out He pulls a bucket of clay from under the pottery wheel In desperation she writes a sentence in Spanish on the board breaks off fist sized balls and tosses one to each of us Me sorprende que estoy tan cansada hoy No one knows what Then he turns up the radio and laughs Welcome to the it says We don t understand Spanish that s why we re here journey Finally some brain gets out the Spanish English dictionary We spend the rest of the period trying to translate the sen 12 13
with a wet-muzzled dog chewing Alaska   the opportunities are endless. It s almost too much, but you are important enough ...
with a wet muzzled dog chewing Alaska the opportunities are endless It s almost too much but you are important enough to give it to ESPA OL Huh My Spanish teacher is going to try to get through the entire You will each pick a piece of paper out of the globe He year without speaking English to us This is both amusing and walks around the room so we can pull red scraps from the useful makes it much easier to ignore her She communicates center of the earth On the paper you will find one word the through exaggerated gestures and playacting It s like taking a name of an object I hope you like it You will spend the rest class in charades She says a sentence in Spanish and puts the of the year learning how to turn that object into a piece of art back of her hand to her forehead You have a fever some You will sculpt it You will sketch it papier mache it carve it one from class calls out She shakes her head no and repeats If the computer teacher is talking to me this year you can use the gesture You feel faint No She goes out to the hall the lab for computer aided designs But there s a catch by the then bursts through the door looking busy and distracted She end of the year you must figure out how to make your object turns to us acts surprised to see us then does the bit with the say something express an emotion speak to every person back of the hand to the forehead You re lost You re an who looks at it gry You re in the wrong school You re in the wrong country You re on the wrong planet Some people groan My stomach flutters Can he really let us do this It sounds like too much fun He stops at my table I She tries one more time and smacks herself so hard on the plunge my hand into the bottom of the globe and fish out my forehead she staggers a bit Her forehead is as pink as her lip paper Tree Tree It s too easy I learned how to draw a tree stick The guesses continue You can t believe how many kids in second grade I reach in for another piece of paper Mr are in this class You forgot how to speak Spanish You Freeman shakes his head Ah ah ah he says You just have a migraine You re going to have a migraine if we chose your destiny you can t change that don t figure it out He pulls a bucket of clay from under the pottery wheel In desperation she writes a sentence in Spanish on the board breaks off fist sized balls and tosses one to each of us Me sorprende que estoy tan cansada hoy No one knows what Then he turns up the radio and laughs Welcome to the it says We don t understand Spanish that s why we re here journey Finally some brain gets out the Spanish English dictionary We spend the rest of the period trying to translate the sen 12 13
with a wet-muzzled dog chewing Alaska   the opportunities are endless. It s almost too much, but you are important enough ...
tence When the bell rings we have gotten as far as To ex a million years M o m loves doing the things that other peo haust the day to surprise ple are afraid of She could have been a snake handler But the downtown location makes it hard to find people to work for her Daily shoplifters bums peeing on the front door HOME WORK and the occasional armed robbery discourage job seekers Go figure We are now two weeks into September and she s al I make it through the first two weeks of school without a nu ready thinking Christmas She has plastic snowflakes and red clear meltdown Heather from Ohio sits with me at lunch and felt wearing Santas on the brain If she can t find enough calls to talk about English homework She can talk for hours employees for September she ll be in deep doo doo when the All I have to do is prop the phone against my ear and uh holiday season hits huh occasionally while I surf the cable Rachel and every other person I ve known for nine years continue to ignore me I order my dinner at 3 1 0 and eat it on the white couch I I m getting bumped a lot in the halls A few times my books don t know which parent was having seizures when they were accidentally ripped from my arms and pitched to the bought that couch The trick to eating on it is to turn the floor I try not to dwell on it It has to go away eventually messy side of the cushions up The couch has two personalities Melinda inhaling pepperoni and mushroom and N o At first M o m was pretty good about preparing dinners in the one ever eats in the family room no ma am I chow and morning and sticking them in the fridge but I knew it would watch TV until I hear Dad s Jeep in the driveway Flip flip end I come home to a note that says Pizza 5 5 5 4 8 9 2 Small flip cushions reversed to show their pretty white cheeks tip this time Clipped to the note is a twenty dollar bill My then bolt upstairs By the time Dad unlocks the door every family has a good system We communicate with notes on the thing looks the way he wants to see it and I have vanished kitchen counter I write when I need school supplies or a ride to the mall They write what time they ll be home from work My room belongs to an alien It is a postcard of who I was in and if I should thaw anything What else is there to say fifth grade I went through a demented phase when I thought that roses should cover everything and pink was a great color M o m is having staff problems again My mother manages Ef It was all Rachel s fault She begged her mom to let her do her fert s a clothing store downtown Her boss offered her the room over so we all ended up with new rooms Nicole refused branch at the mall but she didn t want it I think she likes to put the stupid little skirt around her nightstand and Ivy had watching the reaction when she says she works in the city gone way over the top as usual Jessica did hers in a desert n Aren t you afraid people ask I would never work there in cowdudes theme My room was stuck in the middle a bit 14 15
tence. When the bell rings, we have gotten as far as  To ex-  a million years.  M o m loves doing the things that other pe...
tence When the bell rings we have gotten as far as To ex a million years M o m loves doing the things that other peo haust the day to surprise ple are afraid of She could have been a snake handler But the downtown location makes it hard to find people to work for her Daily shoplifters bums peeing on the front door HOME WORK and the occasional armed robbery discourage job seekers Go figure We are now two weeks into September and she s al I make it through the first two weeks of school without a nu ready thinking Christmas She has plastic snowflakes and red clear meltdown Heather from Ohio sits with me at lunch and felt wearing Santas on the brain If she can t find enough calls to talk about English homework She can talk for hours employees for September she ll be in deep doo doo when the All I have to do is prop the phone against my ear and uh holiday season hits huh occasionally while I surf the cable Rachel and every other person I ve known for nine years continue to ignore me I order my dinner at 3 1 0 and eat it on the white couch I I m getting bumped a lot in the halls A few times my books don t know which parent was having seizures when they were accidentally ripped from my arms and pitched to the bought that couch The trick to eating on it is to turn the floor I try not to dwell on it It has to go away eventually messy side of the cushions up The couch has two personalities Melinda inhaling pepperoni and mushroom and N o At first M o m was pretty good about preparing dinners in the one ever eats in the family room no ma am I chow and morning and sticking them in the fridge but I knew it would watch TV until I hear Dad s Jeep in the driveway Flip flip end I come home to a note that says Pizza 5 5 5 4 8 9 2 Small flip cushions reversed to show their pretty white cheeks tip this time Clipped to the note is a twenty dollar bill My then bolt upstairs By the time Dad unlocks the door every family has a good system We communicate with notes on the thing looks the way he wants to see it and I have vanished kitchen counter I write when I need school supplies or a ride to the mall They write what time they ll be home from work My room belongs to an alien It is a postcard of who I was in and if I should thaw anything What else is there to say fifth grade I went through a demented phase when I thought that roses should cover everything and pink was a great color M o m is having staff problems again My mother manages Ef It was all Rachel s fault She begged her mom to let her do her fert s a clothing store downtown Her boss offered her the room over so we all ended up with new rooms Nicole refused branch at the mall but she didn t want it I think she likes to put the stupid little skirt around her nightstand and Ivy had watching the reaction when she says she works in the city gone way over the top as usual Jessica did hers in a desert n Aren t you afraid people ask I would never work there in cowdudes theme My room was stuck in the middle a bit 14 15
tence. When the bell rings, we have gotten as far as  To ex-  a million years.  M o m loves doing the things that other pe...
stolen from everyone else The only things that were really in my face Could I put a face in my tree like a dryad from mine were my stuffed rabbit collection from when I was a lit Greek mythology Two muddy circle eyes under black dash tle kid and my canopy bed No matter how much Nicole eyebrows piggy nose nostrils and a chewed up horror of a teased me I wouldn t take the canopy down I m thinking mouth Definitely not a dryad face I can t stop biting my lips about changing the rose wallpaper but then M o m would get It looks like my mouth belongs to someone else someone I involved and Dad would measure the walls and they would don t even know argue about paint color I don t know what I want it to look like anyway I get out of bed and take down the mirror I put it in the back of my closet facing the wall Homework is not an option My bed is sending out serious nap rays I can t help myself The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are more powerful than I am I have no choice but to snuggle under the covers OUR FEARLESS LEADER I hear Dad turn on the television Clink clink clink he I m drops ice cubes in a heavy bottomed glass and pours in some clear I peek out the door Principal Principal spots another booze He opens the microwave for the pizza I guess errant student in the hall hiding in the bathroom waiting for the coast to slams it closed then beep beeps the timer I turn on my radio so he ll know I m home I won t take a real nap I have this Principal Principal Where s your late pass mister halfway place a rest stop on the road to sleep where I can stay for hours I don t even need to close my eyes just stay Errant Student I m on my way to get one now safe under the covers and breathe PP But you can t be in the hall without a pass Dad turns up the volume on the TV The news team anchordude bellows Five dead in house fire Young girl attacked ES I know I m so upset That s why I need to hurry so I can Teens suspected in gas station holdup I nibble on a scab on get a pass my lower lip Dad hops from channel to channel watching the same stories play over and over Principal Principal pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck s when Bugs is pulling a fast one I watch myself in the mirror across the room Ugh My hair is completely hidden under the comforter I look for the shapes 16 PP Well hurry up then and get that pass 17
stolen from everyone else. The only things that were really  in my face. Could I put a face in my tree, like a dryad from ...
stolen from everyone else The only things that were really in my face Could I put a face in my tree like a dryad from mine were my stuffed rabbit collection from when I was a lit Greek mythology Two muddy circle eyes under black dash tle kid and my canopy bed No matter how much Nicole eyebrows piggy nose nostrils and a chewed up horror of a teased me I wouldn t take the canopy down I m thinking mouth Definitely not a dryad face I can t stop biting my lips about changing the rose wallpaper but then M o m would get It looks like my mouth belongs to someone else someone I involved and Dad would measure the walls and they would don t even know argue about paint color I don t know what I want it to look like anyway I get out of bed and take down the mirror I put it in the back of my closet facing the wall Homework is not an option My bed is sending out serious nap rays I can t help myself The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are more powerful than I am I have no choice but to snuggle under the covers OUR FEARLESS LEADER I hear Dad turn on the television Clink clink clink he I m drops ice cubes in a heavy bottomed glass and pours in some clear I peek out the door Principal Principal spots another booze He opens the microwave for the pizza I guess errant student in the hall hiding in the bathroom waiting for the coast to slams it closed then beep beeps the timer I turn on my radio so he ll know I m home I won t take a real nap I have this Principal Principal Where s your late pass mister halfway place a rest stop on the road to sleep where I can stay for hours I don t even need to close my eyes just stay Errant Student I m on my way to get one now safe under the covers and breathe PP But you can t be in the hall without a pass Dad turns up the volume on the TV The news team anchordude bellows Five dead in house fire Young girl attacked ES I know I m so upset That s why I need to hurry so I can Teens suspected in gas station holdup I nibble on a scab on get a pass my lower lip Dad hops from channel to channel watching the same stories play over and over Principal Principal pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck s when Bugs is pulling a fast one I watch myself in the mirror across the room Ugh My hair is completely hidden under the comforter I look for the shapes 16 PP Well hurry up then and get that pass 17
stolen from everyone else. The only things that were really  in my face. Could I put a face in my tree, like a dryad from ...
Errant Student races down hall waving and smiling Principal when it feels like snow W h o dreamed up this one Nicole is Principal walks the other way replaying the conversation in unstoppable at field hockey She motors downfield so fast she his mind trying to figure out what went wrong I ponder this creates a wake of flowing mud that washes over anyone who and laugh gets in her way She does something with her wrist then the ball is in the goal She smiles and jogs back to the center circle FIZZ ED Nicole can do anything that involves a ball and a whistle Basketball softball lacrosse football soccer rugby Anything Gym should be illegal It is humiliating And she makes it look easy Boys watch her to learn how to play better It doesn t hurt that she s cute She chipped her My gym locker is closest to the door which means I have to tooth this past summer at some kind of jock camp Makes her change my clothes in a bathroom stall Heather from Ohio look even cuter has the locker next to mine She wears her gym clothes under her regular clothes After gym she changes out of her shorts The gym teachers have a special place in their hearts for but always leaves an undershirt on It makes me worry about Nicole She shows Potential They look at her and see future the girls in Ohio Do they all have to wear undershirts State Championships Pay raises One day she scored 35 goals before my team threatened to walk off the field The gym The only other girl I know in gym is Nicole In our old clan we teacher made her the referee Not only did my team lose but had never been very close She almost said something to me four girls went to the nurse with injuries Nicole doesn t be when school started but instead looked down and retied her lieve in the concept of fouling She comes from the play till Nikes Nicole has a full length locker in a discreet fresh smelling death or maiming school of athletics alcove because she s on the soccer team She doesn t mind changing her clothes in public She even changes bras wearing one It it weren t for her attitude it would be easier to deal with all sports bra to regular class and another to gym class Never this The crappy locker I have Heather geeking around me blushes or turns around to hide herself just changes her clothes like a moth cold mornings in the mud watching Nicole War Must be a jock thing If you re that strong you don t care if rior Princess listening to the coaches praise her I could just people make comments about your boobs or rear end accept it and move on But Nicole is so friendly She even talks to Heather from Ohio She told Heather where to buy a It s late September and we re starting our field hockey unit mouth guard so her braces wouldn t cut up her lips if she got Field hockey is a mud sport played only on wet cloudy days I in with a ball Heather now wants to buy a sports bra Nicole 18 19
Errant Student races down hall, waving and smiling. Principal  when it feels like snow. W h o dreamed up this one  Nicole ...
Errant Student races down hall waving and smiling Principal when it feels like snow W h o dreamed up this one Nicole is Principal walks the other way replaying the conversation in unstoppable at field hockey She motors downfield so fast she his mind trying to figure out what went wrong I ponder this creates a wake of flowing mud that washes over anyone who and laugh gets in her way She does something with her wrist then the ball is in the goal She smiles and jogs back to the center circle FIZZ ED Nicole can do anything that involves a ball and a whistle Basketball softball lacrosse football soccer rugby Anything Gym should be illegal It is humiliating And she makes it look easy Boys watch her to learn how to play better It doesn t hurt that she s cute She chipped her My gym locker is closest to the door which means I have to tooth this past summer at some kind of jock camp Makes her change my clothes in a bathroom stall Heather from Ohio look even cuter has the locker next to mine She wears her gym clothes under her regular clothes After gym she changes out of her shorts The gym teachers have a special place in their hearts for but always leaves an undershirt on It makes me worry about Nicole She shows Potential They look at her and see future the girls in Ohio Do they all have to wear undershirts State Championships Pay raises One day she scored 35 goals before my team threatened to walk off the field The gym The only other girl I know in gym is Nicole In our old clan we teacher made her the referee Not only did my team lose but had never been very close She almost said something to me four girls went to the nurse with injuries Nicole doesn t be when school started but instead looked down and retied her lieve in the concept of fouling She comes from the play till Nikes Nicole has a full length locker in a discreet fresh smelling death or maiming school of athletics alcove because she s on the soccer team She doesn t mind changing her clothes in public She even changes bras wearing one It it weren t for her attitude it would be easier to deal with all sports bra to regular class and another to gym class Never this The crappy locker I have Heather geeking around me blushes or turns around to hide herself just changes her clothes like a moth cold mornings in the mud watching Nicole War Must be a jock thing If you re that strong you don t care if rior Princess listening to the coaches praise her I could just people make comments about your boobs or rear end accept it and move on But Nicole is so friendly She even talks to Heather from Ohio She told Heather where to buy a It s late September and we re starting our field hockey unit mouth guard so her braces wouldn t cut up her lips if she got Field hockey is a mud sport played only on wet cloudy days I in with a ball Heather now wants to buy a sports bra Nicole 18 19
Errant Student races down hall, waving and smiling. Principal  when it feels like snow. W h o dreamed up this one  Nicole ...
is just not a bitch It would be so much easier to hate her if Rachelle Eehn She gets mascara in her eye and rubs it she were smearing mascara across her face I don t want to be cool I want to grab her by the neck and shake her and scream at her to stop treating me like dirt She FRIENDS didn t even bother to find out the truth what kind of friend is that My contact folds in half under my eyelid Tears well in Rachel is with me in the bathroom Edit that Rachelle is with my right eye me in the bathroom She has changed her name Rachelle is reclaiming her European heritage by hanging out with the Me Ouch foreign exchange students After five weeks in school she can swear in French She wears black stockings with runs and Rachelle Snorts Stands back from mirror turns head from doesn t shave under her arms She waves her hand in the air side to side to admire the black mess that looks like goose and you find yourself thinking of young chimpanzees poop across her cheekbones Pas mal I can t believe she was my best friend She puts a candy cigarette between her lips Rachelle wants desperately to smoke but she has asthma She has started a I m in the bathroom trying to put my right contact lens back new Thing unheard of in a ninth grader Candy cigarettes in She s smudging mascara under her eyes to look exhausted The exchange students love it Next thing you know she ll be and wan I think about running out so she can t pull the evil drinking black coffee and reading books without pictures eye on me again but Hairwoman my English teacher is patrolling the hall and I forgot to go to her class An exchange student flushes and comes out of the stall This one looks like a supermodel with a name like Greta or Ingrid Is America the only country with dumpy teenagers She says Me Hi something foreign and Rachelle laughs Right like she underRachelle M m m stood Now what I m going to be completely totally cool like noth Me ing has happened Think ice Think snow Rachelle blows a candy cigarette smoke ring at my face Blows I low s it going I try to put in my contact and poke me off I have been dropped like a hot Pop Tart on a cold kitchen floor Rachelle and Greta Ingrid glide out of the bath i n s II 111 d i e eye Very cool 20 21
is just not a bitch. It would be so much easier to hate her if  Rachelle   Eehn.  She gets mascara in her eye and rubs it,...
is just not a bitch It would be so much easier to hate her if Rachelle Eehn She gets mascara in her eye and rubs it she were smearing mascara across her face I don t want to be cool I want to grab her by the neck and shake her and scream at her to stop treating me like dirt She FRIENDS didn t even bother to find out the truth what kind of friend is that My contact folds in half under my eyelid Tears well in Rachel is with me in the bathroom Edit that Rachelle is with my right eye me in the bathroom She has changed her name Rachelle is reclaiming her European heritage by hanging out with the Me Ouch foreign exchange students After five weeks in school she can swear in French She wears black stockings with runs and Rachelle Snorts Stands back from mirror turns head from doesn t shave under her arms She waves her hand in the air side to side to admire the black mess that looks like goose and you find yourself thinking of young chimpanzees poop across her cheekbones Pas mal I can t believe she was my best friend She puts a candy cigarette between her lips Rachelle wants desperately to smoke but she has asthma She has started a I m in the bathroom trying to put my right contact lens back new Thing unheard of in a ninth grader Candy cigarettes in She s smudging mascara under her eyes to look exhausted The exchange students love it Next thing you know she ll be and wan I think about running out so she can t pull the evil drinking black coffee and reading books without pictures eye on me again but Hairwoman my English teacher is patrolling the hall and I forgot to go to her class An exchange student flushes and comes out of the stall This one looks like a supermodel with a name like Greta or Ingrid Is America the only country with dumpy teenagers She says Me Hi something foreign and Rachelle laughs Right like she underRachelle M m m stood Now what I m going to be completely totally cool like noth Me ing has happened Think ice Think snow Rachelle blows a candy cigarette smoke ring at my face Blows I low s it going I try to put in my contact and poke me off I have been dropped like a hot Pop Tart on a cold kitchen floor Rachelle and Greta Ingrid glide out of the bath i n s II 111 d i e eye Very cool 20 21
is just not a bitch. It would be so much easier to hate her if  Rachelle   Eehn.  She gets mascara in her eye and rubs it,...
room Neither one of them has toilet paper stuck to her boots first You can hardly tell it s a basement It s covered in carpet Where is the justice ing nicer than we have in our living room A monster TV glows in a corner and there s a pool table and exercise equip I need a new friend I need a friend period Not a true friend ment It doesn t even smell like a basement nothing close or share clothes or sleepover giggle giggle yak yak Just a pseudo friend disposable friend Friend as acces Heather hops on the treadmill and resumes scheming She sory Just so I don t feel and look so stupid isn t finished with her survey of Merryweather s social scene but she thinks the International Club and the Select Chorus My journal entry for the day Exchange students are ruining will be a good place to start Maybe we can try out for the our country musical I turn on the television and eat her popcorn Heather What should we do What do you want to join Maybe we should tutor at the elementary school She inHEATHERING creases the speed of the treadmill What about your friends from last year Don t you know Nicole But she does all those As we ride home on Heather s bus she tries to bully me into sports doesn t she I could never do sports I fall down too joining a club She has a Plan She wants us to join five clubs easy What do you want to d o one for every day of the week The tricky part is choosing the clubs that have the Right People Latin Club is out of the ques M e Nothing The clubs are stupid Want some popcorn tion as is Bowling Heather actually likes bowling it was a big thing in her old school but she has seen our bowling lanes and She edges up the treadmill speed and breaks into a sprint The she could tell that no Right Person would set foot in there treadmill is so loud I can hardly hear the television Heather wags her finger at me Hanging back is a common mistake When we get to Heather s house her mother meets us at the most ninth graders make she says I shouldn t be intimidated door She wants to hear all about our day how long I ve lived I have to get involved become a part of the school That s in town and asks little sideways questions about my parents what all the popular people do She turns down the treadmill so she can figure out if I m the kind of friend she wants for her and wipes her brow with a thick towel that hangs off the side daughter I don t mind I think it s nice that she cares of the machine After a few minutes of cooling down she hops off A hundred calories she crows Want to try We can t go in Heather s room because the decorators aren t finished Armed with a bowl of orange popcorn and diet so I shudder and hold out the popcorn bowl to her She reaches das we retreat to the basement The decorators finished that right past me and takes a pen topped with a Merryweather 22 23
room. Neither one of them has toilet paper stuck to her boots.  first. You can hardly tell it s a basement. It s covered i...
room Neither one of them has toilet paper stuck to her boots first You can hardly tell it s a basement It s covered in carpet Where is the justice ing nicer than we have in our living room A monster TV glows in a corner and there s a pool table and exercise equip I need a new friend I need a friend period Not a true friend ment It doesn t even smell like a basement nothing close or share clothes or sleepover giggle giggle yak yak Just a pseudo friend disposable friend Friend as acces Heather hops on the treadmill and resumes scheming She sory Just so I don t feel and look so stupid isn t finished with her survey of Merryweather s social scene but she thinks the International Club and the Select Chorus My journal entry for the day Exchange students are ruining will be a good place to start Maybe we can try out for the our country musical I turn on the television and eat her popcorn Heather What should we do What do you want to join Maybe we should tutor at the elementary school She inHEATHERING creases the speed of the treadmill What about your friends from last year Don t you know Nicole But she does all those As we ride home on Heather s bus she tries to bully me into sports doesn t she I could never do sports I fall down too joining a club She has a Plan She wants us to join five clubs easy What do you want to d o one for every day of the week The tricky part is choosing the clubs that have the Right People Latin Club is out of the ques M e Nothing The clubs are stupid Want some popcorn tion as is Bowling Heather actually likes bowling it was a big thing in her old school but she has seen our bowling lanes and She edges up the treadmill speed and breaks into a sprint The she could tell that no Right Person would set foot in there treadmill is so loud I can hardly hear the television Heather wags her finger at me Hanging back is a common mistake When we get to Heather s house her mother meets us at the most ninth graders make she says I shouldn t be intimidated door She wants to hear all about our day how long I ve lived I have to get involved become a part of the school That s in town and asks little sideways questions about my parents what all the popular people do She turns down the treadmill so she can figure out if I m the kind of friend she wants for her and wipes her brow with a thick towel that hangs off the side daughter I don t mind I think it s nice that she cares of the machine After a few minutes of cooling down she hops off A hundred calories she crows Want to try We can t go in Heather s room because the decorators aren t finished Armed with a bowl of orange popcorn and diet so I shudder and hold out the popcorn bowl to her She reaches das we retreat to the basement The decorators finished that right past me and takes a pen topped with a Merryweather 22 23
room. Neither one of them has toilet paper stuck to her boots.  first. You can hardly tell it s a basement. It s covered i...
Purple ball of fluff off the coffee table We must make going to be late just ask a teacher for a late pass See No plans she says solemnly She draws four boxes one for each need for tears marking period then writes GOALS in each box We won t get anywhere without knowing our goals Everyone always She holds up a small green pad my get out of jail free cards says that and it is so true She opens her soda W h at are I smile and try to choke out a thank you but can t say any your goals M e l thing She thinks I m overcome with emotion because she didn t bust me Close enough There s not enough time for a I used to be like Heather Have I changed that much in two nap so I check out a stack of books to make the librarian months She is happy driven aerobically fit She has a nice happy I might even read one mom and an awesome television But she s like a dog that keeps jumping into your lap She always walks with me down I don t come up with my brilliant idea right then and there It the halls chattering a million miles a minute is born when Mr Neck tracks me through the cafeteria demanding my Twenty Ways the Iroquois Survived in the For My goal is to go home and take a nap est homework I pretend that I don t see him I cut through the lunch line loop around a couple making out by the door and start down a hall Mr Neck stops to break up the PDA I head for the Seniors Wing BURROW I am in foreign territory where No Freshman Ffas Gone BeYesterday Hairwoman yanked me from study hall and forced fore I don t have time to worry about the looks I m getting I me to make up my missing homework in her room She can hear Mr Neck I turn a corner open a door and step into made fluttering noises of concern and mentioned a meeting darkness I hold the doorknob but Mr Neck doesn t touch it with my parents Not good Nobody bothered to tell me that I hear his footsteps lumber down the hall I feel the wall next study hall was being held in the library today By the time I to the door until I find a light switch I haven t stumbled into find it the period is almost over I m dead I try to explain to a classroom it is an old janitor s closet that smells like sour the librarian but I keep stuttering and nothing comes out sponges right The back wall has built in shelves filled with dusty textbooks Librarian Calm down calm down It s O K Don t get upset and a few bottles of bleach A stained armchair and an old You are Melinda Sordino right Don t worry I ll mark you fashioned desk peek from behind a collection of mops and present Let me show you how it works If you think you re brooms A cracked mirror tilts over a sink littered with dead 24 25
Purple ball of fluff off the coffee table.  We must make  going to be late, just ask a teacher for a late pass. See  No  p...
Purple ball of fluff off the coffee table We must make going to be late just ask a teacher for a late pass See No plans she says solemnly She draws four boxes one for each need for tears marking period then writes GOALS in each box We won t get anywhere without knowing our goals Everyone always She holds up a small green pad my get out of jail free cards says that and it is so true She opens her soda W h at are I smile and try to choke out a thank you but can t say any your goals M e l thing She thinks I m overcome with emotion because she didn t bust me Close enough There s not enough time for a I used to be like Heather Have I changed that much in two nap so I check out a stack of books to make the librarian months She is happy driven aerobically fit She has a nice happy I might even read one mom and an awesome television But she s like a dog that keeps jumping into your lap She always walks with me down I don t come up with my brilliant idea right then and there It the halls chattering a million miles a minute is born when Mr Neck tracks me through the cafeteria demanding my Twenty Ways the Iroquois Survived in the For My goal is to go home and take a nap est homework I pretend that I don t see him I cut through the lunch line loop around a couple making out by the door and start down a hall Mr Neck stops to break up the PDA I head for the Seniors Wing BURROW I am in foreign territory where No Freshman Ffas Gone BeYesterday Hairwoman yanked me from study hall and forced fore I don t have time to worry about the looks I m getting I me to make up my missing homework in her room She can hear Mr Neck I turn a corner open a door and step into made fluttering noises of concern and mentioned a meeting darkness I hold the doorknob but Mr Neck doesn t touch it with my parents Not good Nobody bothered to tell me that I hear his footsteps lumber down the hall I feel the wall next study hall was being held in the library today By the time I to the door until I find a light switch I haven t stumbled into find it the period is almost over I m dead I try to explain to a classroom it is an old janitor s closet that smells like sour the librarian but I keep stuttering and nothing comes out sponges right The back wall has built in shelves filled with dusty textbooks Librarian Calm down calm down It s O K Don t get upset and a few bottles of bleach A stained armchair and an old You are Melinda Sordino right Don t worry I ll mark you fashioned desk peek from behind a collection of mops and present Let me show you how it works If you think you re brooms A cracked mirror tilts over a sink littered with dead 24 25
Purple ball of fluff off the coffee table.  We must make  going to be late, just ask a teacher for a late pass. See  No  p...
roaches crocheted together with cobwebs The taps are so the freshman class has the most spirit don t you I ve always rusted they don t turn No janitor has chilled in this closet for wanted to go to a pep rally Can you imagine what it must be a very long time They have a new lounge and supply room by like to be on the football team and have the whole school sup the loading dock All the girls avoid it because of the way they porting you That is so powerful Do you think they ll win stare and whistle softly when we walk by This closet is aban tonight They will I just know they will It s been a hard sea doned it has no purpose no name It is the perfect place for son so far but we ll get them going won t we M e l me Her enthusiasm makes me itch but sarcasm would go right I steal a pad of late passes from Hairwoman s desk I feel over her head It won t kill me to go to the rally I have some much much better one to sit with that counts as a step up on the ladder of social acceptability How bad could a rally be I want to stand by the doors but Heather drags me up into DEVILS DESTROY the freshman section of the bleachers I know these guys she says They work with me on the newspaper Not only is the Homecoming pep rally going to spring me from algebra it will be a great time to clean up my closet I The newspaper We have a newspaper brought some sponges from home No need to goof off in filth I want to smuggle in a blanket and some potpourri too She introduces me to a bunch of pale zitty faces I vaguely recognize a couple the rest must have gone to the other middle My plan is to walk toward the auditorium with the rest of the school I curve up the corners of my mouth without biting my crowd then duck in a bathroom until the coast is clear I lips A small step Heather beams and hands me a pom pom would have made it past the teachers with no problem but I forgot to factor in Heather Just as the Escape Bathroom I relax an eensy bit The girl behind me taps me on the shoul comes into sight Heather calls my name runs up and grabs der with her long black nails She had heard Heather intro my arm She is bursting with Merryweather Pride all perk duce me Sordino she asks You re Melinda Sordino and pep and purple And she assumes I am just as happy and excited as she is We troop down for the brainwashing and she I turn around She blows a black bubble and sucks it back can t stop talking into her mouth I nod Heather waves to a sophomore she knows across the gym The girl pokes me harder Aren t you Heather This is so exciting a pep rally I made extra pom the one who called the cops at Kyle Rodgers s party at the end poms Here have one We ll look great during the Wave I bet of the summer 26 27
roaches crocheted together with cobwebs. The taps are so  the freshman class has the most spirit, don t you  I ve always  ...
roaches crocheted together with cobwebs The taps are so the freshman class has the most spirit don t you I ve always rusted they don t turn No janitor has chilled in this closet for wanted to go to a pep rally Can you imagine what it must be a very long time They have a new lounge and supply room by like to be on the football team and have the whole school sup the loading dock All the girls avoid it because of the way they porting you That is so powerful Do you think they ll win stare and whistle softly when we walk by This closet is aban tonight They will I just know they will It s been a hard sea doned it has no purpose no name It is the perfect place for son so far but we ll get them going won t we M e l me Her enthusiasm makes me itch but sarcasm would go right I steal a pad of late passes from Hairwoman s desk I feel over her head It won t kill me to go to the rally I have some much much better one to sit with that counts as a step up on the ladder of social acceptability How bad could a rally be I want to stand by the doors but Heather drags me up into DEVILS DESTROY the freshman section of the bleachers I know these guys she says They work with me on the newspaper Not only is the Homecoming pep rally going to spring me from algebra it will be a great time to clean up my closet I The newspaper We have a newspaper brought some sponges from home No need to goof off in filth I want to smuggle in a blanket and some potpourri too She introduces me to a bunch of pale zitty faces I vaguely recognize a couple the rest must have gone to the other middle My plan is to walk toward the auditorium with the rest of the school I curve up the corners of my mouth without biting my crowd then duck in a bathroom until the coast is clear I lips A small step Heather beams and hands me a pom pom would have made it past the teachers with no problem but I forgot to factor in Heather Just as the Escape Bathroom I relax an eensy bit The girl behind me taps me on the shoul comes into sight Heather calls my name runs up and grabs der with her long black nails She had heard Heather intro my arm She is bursting with Merryweather Pride all perk duce me Sordino she asks You re Melinda Sordino and pep and purple And she assumes I am just as happy and excited as she is We troop down for the brainwashing and she I turn around She blows a black bubble and sucks it back can t stop talking into her mouth I nod Heather waves to a sophomore she knows across the gym The girl pokes me harder Aren t you Heather This is so exciting a pep rally I made extra pom the one who called the cops at Kyle Rodgers s party at the end poms Here have one We ll look great during the Wave I bet of the summer 26 27
roaches crocheted together with cobwebs. The taps are so  the freshman class has the most spirit, don t you  I ve always  ...
A block of ice freezes our section of the bleachers Heads snap out of people are now rewarded for it They call it football in my direction with the sound of a hundred paparazzi cam The coach introduces the team I can t tell them apart Coach eras I can t feel my fingers I shake my head Another girl Disaster holds the microphone too close to his lips so all we chimes in M y brother got arrested at that party He got fired hear is the sound of his spitting and breathing because of the arrest I can t believe you did that Asshole The girl behind me jams her knees into my back They are as You don t understand my headvoice answers Too bad she sharp as her fingernails I inch forward in my seat and stare can t hear it My throat squeezes shut as if two hands of black intently at the team The girl with the arrested brother leans fingernails are clamped on my windpipe I have worked so forward As Heather shakes her pom poms the girl yanks my hard to forget every second of that stupid party and here I am hair I almost climb up the back of the kid in front of me He in the middle of a hostile crowd that hates me for what I had turns and gives me a dirty look to do I can t tell them what really happened I can t even look at that part myself An animal noise rustles in my stomach The coach finally hands the wet microphone back to the princi Heather moves to pat my pom pom but pulls her hand into synchronized splits and the crowd goes nuts Our cheer back For a minute she looks like she ll defend me N o no leaders are much better at scoring than the football team is pal who introduces us to our very own cheerleaders They slide she won t It might interfere with her Plan I close my eyes Breathe breathe breathe Don t say anything Breathe The cheerleaders cartwheel into the gym and bellow The CHEERLEADERS crowd stomps the bleachers and roars back I put my head in my hands and scream to let out the animal noise and some of There are twelve of them Jennie Jen Jenna Ashley Aubrey that night No one hears They are all quite spirited Amber Colleen Kaitlin Marcie Donner Blitzen and Raven Raven is the captain Blondest of the blondes The band staggers through a song and the cheerleaders bounce The Blue Devil mascot earns a standing ovation by My parents didn t raise me to be religious The closest we back flipping right into the principal Principal Principal come to worship is the Trinity of Visa MasterCard and smiles and awshucks us It has only been six weeks since the American Express I think the Merryweather cheerleaders beginning of school He still has a sense of humor confuse me because I missed out on Sunday School It has to be a miracle There is no other explanation How else could Finally our own Devils hulk into the gym The same boys they sleep with the football team on Saturday night and be who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap reincarnated as virginal goddesses on Monday It s as if they 28 29
A block of ice freezes our section of the bleachers. Heads snap  out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it footb...
A block of ice freezes our section of the bleachers Heads snap out of people are now rewarded for it They call it football in my direction with the sound of a hundred paparazzi cam The coach introduces the team I can t tell them apart Coach eras I can t feel my fingers I shake my head Another girl Disaster holds the microphone too close to his lips so all we chimes in M y brother got arrested at that party He got fired hear is the sound of his spitting and breathing because of the arrest I can t believe you did that Asshole The girl behind me jams her knees into my back They are as You don t understand my headvoice answers Too bad she sharp as her fingernails I inch forward in my seat and stare can t hear it My throat squeezes shut as if two hands of black intently at the team The girl with the arrested brother leans fingernails are clamped on my windpipe I have worked so forward As Heather shakes her pom poms the girl yanks my hard to forget every second of that stupid party and here I am hair I almost climb up the back of the kid in front of me He in the middle of a hostile crowd that hates me for what I had turns and gives me a dirty look to do I can t tell them what really happened I can t even look at that part myself An animal noise rustles in my stomach The coach finally hands the wet microphone back to the princi Heather moves to pat my pom pom but pulls her hand into synchronized splits and the crowd goes nuts Our cheer back For a minute she looks like she ll defend me N o no leaders are much better at scoring than the football team is pal who introduces us to our very own cheerleaders They slide she won t It might interfere with her Plan I close my eyes Breathe breathe breathe Don t say anything Breathe The cheerleaders cartwheel into the gym and bellow The CHEERLEADERS crowd stomps the bleachers and roars back I put my head in my hands and scream to let out the animal noise and some of There are twelve of them Jennie Jen Jenna Ashley Aubrey that night No one hears They are all quite spirited Amber Colleen Kaitlin Marcie Donner Blitzen and Raven Raven is the captain Blondest of the blondes The band staggers through a song and the cheerleaders bounce The Blue Devil mascot earns a standing ovation by My parents didn t raise me to be religious The closest we back flipping right into the principal Principal Principal come to worship is the Trinity of Visa MasterCard and smiles and awshucks us It has only been six weeks since the American Express I think the Merryweather cheerleaders beginning of school He still has a sense of humor confuse me because I missed out on Sunday School It has to be a miracle There is no other explanation How else could Finally our own Devils hulk into the gym The same boys they sleep with the football team on Saturday night and be who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap reincarnated as virginal goddesses on Monday It s as if they 28 29
A block of ice freezes our section of the bleachers. Heads snap  out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it footb...
operate in two realities simultaneously In one universe they paint them so they are nearly dead but not totally Mr Free are gorgeous straight teethed long legged wrapped in de man doesn t say a word to me about them He just raises his signer fashions and given sports cars on their sixteenth birth eyebrows One picture is so dark you can barely see the tree at days Teachers smile at them and grade them on the curve all They know the first names of the staff They are the Pride of the Trojans Oops I mean Pride of the Blue Devils We are all floundering Ivy pulled Clowns as her assignment She tells Mr Freeman she hates clowns a clown scared In Universe 2 they throw parties wild enough to attract col her when she was a little girl and it put her into therapy Mr lege students They worship the stink of Eau de Jocque They Freeman says fear is a great place to begin art Another girl rent beach houses in Canciin during Spring Break and get whines that Brain is just too gross a subject for her She group rate abortions before the prom wants Kittens or Rainbows But they are so cute And they cheer on our boys inciting Mr Freeman throws his hands in the air Enough Please them to violence and we hope victory These are our role turn your attention to the bookshelves We dutifully turn and models the Girls W h o Have It All I bet none of them ever stare Books This is art class Why do we need books I f you stutter or screw up or feel like their brains are dissolving into are stumped you may take some time to study the masters marshmallow fluff They all have beautiful lips carefully out He pulls out an armful Kahlo Monet O Keeffe Pollock Pi lined in red and polished to a shine casso Dali They did not complain about subject they mined every subject for the root of its meaning Of course they When the pep rally ends I am accidentally knocked down didn t have a school board forcing them to paint with both three rows of bleachers If I ever form my own clan we ll be hands tied behind their backs they had patrons who under the Anti Cheerleaders We will not sit in the bleachers We will stood the need to pay for basic things such as paper and wander underneath them and commit mild acts of mayhem paint We groan He s off on the school board thing again The school board has cut his supply budget telling him to make THE OPPOSITE OF INSPIRATION do with the stuff left over from last year No new paint no ex IS E X P I R A T I O N tra paper He ll rant for the rest of the period forty three minutes The room is warm filled with sun and paint fumes For a solid week ever since the pep rally I ve been painting Three kids fall dead asleep eye twitches snores and every watercolors of trees that have been hit by lightning I try to thing 30 31
operate in two realities simultaneously. In one universe, they  paint them so they are nearly dead, but not totally. Mr. F...
operate in two realities simultaneously In one universe they paint them so they are nearly dead but not totally Mr Free are gorgeous straight teethed long legged wrapped in de man doesn t say a word to me about them He just raises his signer fashions and given sports cars on their sixteenth birth eyebrows One picture is so dark you can barely see the tree at days Teachers smile at them and grade them on the curve all They know the first names of the staff They are the Pride of the Trojans Oops I mean Pride of the Blue Devils We are all floundering Ivy pulled Clowns as her assignment She tells Mr Freeman she hates clowns a clown scared In Universe 2 they throw parties wild enough to attract col her when she was a little girl and it put her into therapy Mr lege students They worship the stink of Eau de Jocque They Freeman says fear is a great place to begin art Another girl rent beach houses in Canciin during Spring Break and get whines that Brain is just too gross a subject for her She group rate abortions before the prom wants Kittens or Rainbows But they are so cute And they cheer on our boys inciting Mr Freeman throws his hands in the air Enough Please them to violence and we hope victory These are our role turn your attention to the bookshelves We dutifully turn and models the Girls W h o Have It All I bet none of them ever stare Books This is art class Why do we need books I f you stutter or screw up or feel like their brains are dissolving into are stumped you may take some time to study the masters marshmallow fluff They all have beautiful lips carefully out He pulls out an armful Kahlo Monet O Keeffe Pollock Pi lined in red and polished to a shine casso Dali They did not complain about subject they mined every subject for the root of its meaning Of course they When the pep rally ends I am accidentally knocked down didn t have a school board forcing them to paint with both three rows of bleachers If I ever form my own clan we ll be hands tied behind their backs they had patrons who under the Anti Cheerleaders We will not sit in the bleachers We will stood the need to pay for basic things such as paper and wander underneath them and commit mild acts of mayhem paint We groan He s off on the school board thing again The school board has cut his supply budget telling him to make THE OPPOSITE OF INSPIRATION do with the stuff left over from last year No new paint no ex IS E X P I R A T I O N tra paper He ll rant for the rest of the period forty three minutes The room is warm filled with sun and paint fumes For a solid week ever since the pep rally I ve been painting Three kids fall dead asleep eye twitches snores and every watercolors of trees that have been hit by lightning I try to thing 30 31
operate in two realities simultaneously. In one universe, they  paint them so they are nearly dead, but not totally. Mr. F...
I stay awake I take out a page of notebook paper and a pen prints on them Her bookcase has glass doors She has a tele and doodle a tree my second grade version Hopeless I crum vision and a phone and her homework is neatly laid out on ple it into a ball and take out another sheet How hard can her desk Her closet is opened just a tad I open it farther with it be to put a tree on a piece of paper Two vertical lines for my foot All her clothes wait patiently on hangers organized the trunk Maybe some thick branches a bunch of thinner by type skirts together pants hanging by their cuffs her branches and plenty of leaves to hide the mistakes I draw a sweaters stacked in plastic bags on shelves The room screams horizontal line for the ground and a daisy popping up next to Heather Why can t I figure out how to do that Not that I the tree Somehow I don t think Mr Freeman is going to find want my room screaming Heather that would be too much emotion in it I don t find any He started out as such a creepy But a little whisper of Melinda would be nice I sit cool teacher Is he going to make us thrash around with this on the floor flipping through her CDs Heather paints her ridiculous assignment without helping us nails on her desk blotter and blathers She is determined to sign up for the musical The Music Wingers are a hard clan to break into Heather doesn t have talent or connections I tell her she is wasting her time to even think of it She thinks we ACTING should try out together I think she has been breathing too much hairspray My job is to nod or shake my head to say I We get a day off for Columbus Day I go to Heather s house I wanted to sleep in but Heather really really really wanted know what you mean when I don t and That is so unfair when it isn t me to come over There s nothing on television anyway Heather s mom acts very excited to see me She makes us The musical would be easy for me I am a good actor I have mugs of hot chocolate to take upstairs and tries to convince a whole range of smiles I use the shy look up through the Heather to invite a whole group for a sleepover Maybe Mel bangs smile for staff members and the crinkly eye smile with lie could bring some of her friends I don t mention the pos a quick shake of my head if a teacher asks me for an answer sibility that Rachel would slit my throat on her new carpet I If my parents want to know how school went I flash my eye show my teeth like a good girl Her mother pats my cheek I brows upward and shrug my shoulders When people point at am getting better at smiling when people expect it me or whisper as I walk past I wave to imaginary friends down the hall and hurry to meet them If I drop out of high Heather s room is finished and ready for viewing It does not school I could be a mime look like a fifth grader s Or a ninth grader s It looks like a commercial for vacuum cleaners all fresh paint and vacuum Heather asks why I don t think they would let us in the musi cleaner lines in the carpet The lilac walls have a few artsy cal I sip my hot chocolate It burns the roof of my mouth 32 33
I stay awake. I take out a page of notebook paper and a pen  prints on them. Her bookcase has glass doors. She has a tele-...
I stay awake I take out a page of notebook paper and a pen prints on them Her bookcase has glass doors She has a tele and doodle a tree my second grade version Hopeless I crum vision and a phone and her homework is neatly laid out on ple it into a ball and take out another sheet How hard can her desk Her closet is opened just a tad I open it farther with it be to put a tree on a piece of paper Two vertical lines for my foot All her clothes wait patiently on hangers organized the trunk Maybe some thick branches a bunch of thinner by type skirts together pants hanging by their cuffs her branches and plenty of leaves to hide the mistakes I draw a sweaters stacked in plastic bags on shelves The room screams horizontal line for the ground and a daisy popping up next to Heather Why can t I figure out how to do that Not that I the tree Somehow I don t think Mr Freeman is going to find want my room screaming Heather that would be too much emotion in it I don t find any He started out as such a creepy But a little whisper of Melinda would be nice I sit cool teacher Is he going to make us thrash around with this on the floor flipping through her CDs Heather paints her ridiculous assignment without helping us nails on her desk blotter and blathers She is determined to sign up for the musical The Music Wingers are a hard clan to break into Heather doesn t have talent or connections I tell her she is wasting her time to even think of it She thinks we ACTING should try out together I think she has been breathing too much hairspray My job is to nod or shake my head to say I We get a day off for Columbus Day I go to Heather s house I wanted to sleep in but Heather really really really wanted know what you mean when I don t and That is so unfair when it isn t me to come over There s nothing on television anyway Heather s mom acts very excited to see me She makes us The musical would be easy for me I am a good actor I have mugs of hot chocolate to take upstairs and tries to convince a whole range of smiles I use the shy look up through the Heather to invite a whole group for a sleepover Maybe Mel bangs smile for staff members and the crinkly eye smile with lie could bring some of her friends I don t mention the pos a quick shake of my head if a teacher asks me for an answer sibility that Rachel would slit my throat on her new carpet I If my parents want to know how school went I flash my eye show my teeth like a good girl Her mother pats my cheek I brows upward and shrug my shoulders When people point at am getting better at smiling when people expect it me or whisper as I walk past I wave to imaginary friends down the hall and hurry to meet them If I drop out of high Heather s room is finished and ready for viewing It does not school I could be a mime look like a fifth grader s Or a ninth grader s It looks like a commercial for vacuum cleaners all fresh paint and vacuum Heather asks why I don t think they would let us in the musi cleaner lines in the carpet The lilac walls have a few artsy cal I sip my hot chocolate It burns the roof of my mouth 32 33
I stay awake. I take out a page of notebook paper and a pen  prints on them. Her bookcase has glass doors. She has a tele-...
M e We are nobody sleeve L o o k at you You re just like my mom She says No use crying just get on with your life I know what we ll do Heather Ho w can you say that Why does everyone have First we ll work our way into a good group We ll make them that attitude I don t understand any of this If we want to be like us By next year the Music Wingers will be begging us to in the musical then they should let us We could just stand on be in the musical stage or something if they don t like our singing It s not fair I hate high school It is the most hopeless idea I have ever heard but I nod and pour the remover on the carpet It lightens the polish to a She pushes her books to the floor and knocks the green nail bright vomit green and bleaches the carpet surrounding it polish on the sand colored carpet Why is it so hard to make When Heather sees what I have done she bursts into tears friends here Is there something in the water In my old again sobbing that it isn t my fault My stomach is killing me school I could have gone out for the musical and worked on Her room isn t big enough for this much emotion I leave the newspaper and chaired the car wash Here people don t without saying goodbye even know I exist I get squished in the hall and I don t belong anywhere and nobody cares And you re no help You are so negative and you never try anything you just mope around like you don t care that people talk about you behind your DINNER THEATER back The Parents are making threatening noises turning dinner She flops on her bed and bursts into sobs Big boohoos with into performance art with Dad doing his Arnold Schwarze little squeals of frustration when she punches her teddy bear I negger imitation and M o m playing Glenn Close in one of her don t know what to do I try to soak up the nail polish but I psycho roles I am the Victim make the stain bigger It looks like algae Heather wipes her nose on the bear s plaid scarf I slip out to the bathroom and M o m creepy smile Thought you could put one over on us come back with another box of tissues and a bottle of nail did you Melinda Big high school student now don t need to polish remover show your homework to your parents don t need to show any failing test grades Heather I am so sorry Mellie I can t believe I said those things to you It s P M S don t pay any attention to me You Dad Bangs table silverware jumps Cut the crap She have been so sweet to me You are the only person I can knows what s up The interim reports came today Listen to trust She blows her nose loudly and wipes her eyes on her me young lady I m only going to say this once You get those 34 35
M e    We are nobody.   sleeve.   L o o k at you. You re just like my mom. She says  No use crying, just get on with your ...
M e We are nobody sleeve L o o k at you You re just like my mom She says No use crying just get on with your life I know what we ll do Heather Ho w can you say that Why does everyone have First we ll work our way into a good group We ll make them that attitude I don t understand any of this If we want to be like us By next year the Music Wingers will be begging us to in the musical then they should let us We could just stand on be in the musical stage or something if they don t like our singing It s not fair I hate high school It is the most hopeless idea I have ever heard but I nod and pour the remover on the carpet It lightens the polish to a She pushes her books to the floor and knocks the green nail bright vomit green and bleaches the carpet surrounding it polish on the sand colored carpet Why is it so hard to make When Heather sees what I have done she bursts into tears friends here Is there something in the water In my old again sobbing that it isn t my fault My stomach is killing me school I could have gone out for the musical and worked on Her room isn t big enough for this much emotion I leave the newspaper and chaired the car wash Here people don t without saying goodbye even know I exist I get squished in the hall and I don t belong anywhere and nobody cares And you re no help You are so negative and you never try anything you just mope around like you don t care that people talk about you behind your DINNER THEATER back The Parents are making threatening noises turning dinner She flops on her bed and bursts into sobs Big boohoos with into performance art with Dad doing his Arnold Schwarze little squeals of frustration when she punches her teddy bear I negger imitation and M o m playing Glenn Close in one of her don t know what to do I try to soak up the nail polish but I psycho roles I am the Victim make the stain bigger It looks like algae Heather wipes her nose on the bear s plaid scarf I slip out to the bathroom and M o m creepy smile Thought you could put one over on us come back with another box of tissues and a bottle of nail did you Melinda Big high school student now don t need to polish remover show your homework to your parents don t need to show any failing test grades Heather I am so sorry Mellie I can t believe I said those things to you It s P M S don t pay any attention to me You Dad Bangs table silverware jumps Cut the crap She have been so sweet to me You are the only person I can knows what s up The interim reports came today Listen to trust She blows her nose loudly and wipes her eyes on her me young lady I m only going to say this once You get those 34 35
M e    We are nobody.   sleeve.   L o o k at you. You re just like my mom. She says  No use crying, just get on with your ...
grades up or your name is mud Hear me Get them up At to use real microscopes not plastic Kmart specials It s not tacks baked potato bad M o m annoyed at being upstaged I ll handle this Melinda Ms Keen is our teacher I feel kind of sad for her She could She smiles Audience shudders We re not asking for much have been a famous scientist or doctor or something Instead dear We just want you to do your best And we know your she s stuck with us She has wooden boxes all over the front of best is much better than this You tested so well dear Look at the room that she climbs on when she talks to us If she d cut me when I talk to you back on the doughnuts she d look like a tiny grandmother doll Instead she has a gelatinous figure usually encased in Victim mixes cottage cheese into applesauce Dad snorts like orange polyester She avoids basketball players From their a bull M o m grasps knife perspective she must look like a basketball M o m I said look at me I have a lab partner David Petrakis Belongs to the Cybergenius clan He has the potential to be cute when the braces Victim mixes peas into applesauce and cottage cheese Dad come off He is so brilliant he makes the teachers nervous stops eating You d think a kid like that would get beat up a lot but the bad guys leave him alone I have to find out his secret David ig M o m Look at me now nores me mostly except when I almost ruined the 3 0 0 microscope by twisting the knob the wrong way That was the day This is the Death Voice the Voice that means business When Ms Keen wore a purple dress with bright blue roses Baffling I was a kid this Voice made me pee in my pants It takes more They shouldn t let teachers change like that without some kind now I look M o m square in the eye then rinse my plate and of Early Warning Alert It shakes up the students That dress retreat to my room Deprived of Victim M o m and Dad holler was all anyone talked about for days She hasn t worn it since at each other I turn up my music to drown out the noise STUDENT DIVIDED BY CONFUSION BLUE ROSES EQUALS ALGEBRA After last night s interrogation I try to pay attention in biol I slide into my desk with ten minutes left in algebra class Mr ogy We are studying cells which have all these tiny parts you Stetman stares at my late pass for a long time I pull out a can t see unless you look at them under a microscope We get clean sheet of paper so I can copy the problems off the board 36 37
grades up or your name is mud. Hear me  Get them up    At-  to use real microscopes, not plastic Kmart specials. It s not ...
grades up or your name is mud Hear me Get them up At to use real microscopes not plastic Kmart specials It s not tacks baked potato bad M o m annoyed at being upstaged I ll handle this Melinda Ms Keen is our teacher I feel kind of sad for her She could She smiles Audience shudders We re not asking for much have been a famous scientist or doctor or something Instead dear We just want you to do your best And we know your she s stuck with us She has wooden boxes all over the front of best is much better than this You tested so well dear Look at the room that she climbs on when she talks to us If she d cut me when I talk to you back on the doughnuts she d look like a tiny grandmother doll Instead she has a gelatinous figure usually encased in Victim mixes cottage cheese into applesauce Dad snorts like orange polyester She avoids basketball players From their a bull M o m grasps knife perspective she must look like a basketball M o m I said look at me I have a lab partner David Petrakis Belongs to the Cybergenius clan He has the potential to be cute when the braces Victim mixes peas into applesauce and cottage cheese Dad come off He is so brilliant he makes the teachers nervous stops eating You d think a kid like that would get beat up a lot but the bad guys leave him alone I have to find out his secret David ig M o m Look at me now nores me mostly except when I almost ruined the 3 0 0 microscope by twisting the knob the wrong way That was the day This is the Death Voice the Voice that means business When Ms Keen wore a purple dress with bright blue roses Baffling I was a kid this Voice made me pee in my pants It takes more They shouldn t let teachers change like that without some kind now I look M o m square in the eye then rinse my plate and of Early Warning Alert It shakes up the students That dress retreat to my room Deprived of Victim M o m and Dad holler was all anyone talked about for days She hasn t worn it since at each other I turn up my music to drown out the noise STUDENT DIVIDED BY CONFUSION BLUE ROSES EQUALS ALGEBRA After last night s interrogation I try to pay attention in biol I slide into my desk with ten minutes left in algebra class Mr ogy We are studying cells which have all these tiny parts you Stetman stares at my late pass for a long time I pull out a can t see unless you look at them under a microscope We get clean sheet of paper so I can copy the problems off the board 36 37
grades up or your name is mud. Hear me  Get them up    At-  to use real microscopes, not plastic Kmart specials. It s not ...
I sit in the back row where I can keep my eye on everyone as Mr Stetman W h o wants to help Melinda understand how well as whatever is going on in the parking lot I think of my we work our way through this problem Rachel Great self as the Emergency Warning System of the class I plan disaster drills How would we escape if the chemistry lab exploded My head explodes with the noise of fire trucks leaving the sta What if an earthquake hit Central New York A tornado tion This is a real disaster Rachel Rachelle clogs up to the board dressed in an outrageous Dutch Scandinavian ensem It is impossible to stay focused on algebra It s not that I m ble She looks half cute half sophisticated She has red laser bad at math I tested at the top of the class last year that s eyes that burn my forehead I wear basic Dumpster togs how I got Dad to pay for my new bike Math is easy because smelly gray turtleneck and jeans I just this minute remember there is no room for debate The answer is right or it is wrong that I need to wash my hair Give me a sheet of math problems and I ll get 98 percent of them right Rachelle s mouth moves and her hand glides over the board drawing funny shapes and numbers I pull my lower lip all the But I can t get my head around algebra I knew why I had to way in between my teeth If I try hard enough maybe I can memorize my multiplication tables Understanding fractions gobble my whole self this way Mr Stetman drones something and decimals and percentages and even geometry all that and Rachelle flutters her eyelids She nudges me We are sup was practical Toolz eye kan youz It made so much sense I posed to sit down The class giggles as we walk back to our never thought about it I did the work Made honor roll seats I didn t try hard enough to swallow myself But algebra Every single day someone asks Mr Stetman why My brain doesn t think we should spend any time hanging we have to learn algebra You can tell this causes him great around algebra We have better things to think about It s a personal pain Mr Stetman loves algebra He is poetic about shame Mr Stetman seems like a nice guy it in an integral number sort of way He talks about algebra the way some guys talk about their cars Ask him why algebra and he launches into a thousand and one stories why algebra None of them makes sense HALLOWEEN Mr Stetman asks if anyone can explain the wangdiddler s role My parents declare that I am too old to go trick or treating in the negative hotchka theorem Heather has the answer She I m thrilled This way I don t have to admit that no one in is wrong Stetman tries again Me I shake my head with a sad vited me to go with them I m not about to tell M o m and Dad smile Not this time try me again in twenty years He calls me that To keep up appearances I stomp to my room and slam to the board the door 38 39
I sit in the back row, where I can keep my eye on everyone, as  Mr. Stetman    W h o wants to help Melinda understand how ...
I sit in the back row where I can keep my eye on everyone as Mr Stetman W h o wants to help Melinda understand how well as whatever is going on in the parking lot I think of my we work our way through this problem Rachel Great self as the Emergency Warning System of the class I plan disaster drills How would we escape if the chemistry lab exploded My head explodes with the noise of fire trucks leaving the sta What if an earthquake hit Central New York A tornado tion This is a real disaster Rachel Rachelle clogs up to the board dressed in an outrageous Dutch Scandinavian ensem It is impossible to stay focused on algebra It s not that I m ble She looks half cute half sophisticated She has red laser bad at math I tested at the top of the class last year that s eyes that burn my forehead I wear basic Dumpster togs how I got Dad to pay for my new bike Math is easy because smelly gray turtleneck and jeans I just this minute remember there is no room for debate The answer is right or it is wrong that I need to wash my hair Give me a sheet of math problems and I ll get 98 percent of them right Rachelle s mouth moves and her hand glides over the board drawing funny shapes and numbers I pull my lower lip all the But I can t get my head around algebra I knew why I had to way in between my teeth If I try hard enough maybe I can memorize my multiplication tables Understanding fractions gobble my whole self this way Mr Stetman drones something and decimals and percentages and even geometry all that and Rachelle flutters her eyelids She nudges me We are sup was practical Toolz eye kan youz It made so much sense I posed to sit down The class giggles as we walk back to our never thought about it I did the work Made honor roll seats I didn t try hard enough to swallow myself But algebra Every single day someone asks Mr Stetman why My brain doesn t think we should spend any time hanging we have to learn algebra You can tell this causes him great around algebra We have better things to think about It s a personal pain Mr Stetman loves algebra He is poetic about shame Mr Stetman seems like a nice guy it in an integral number sort of way He talks about algebra the way some guys talk about their cars Ask him why algebra and he launches into a thousand and one stories why algebra None of them makes sense HALLOWEEN Mr Stetman asks if anyone can explain the wangdiddler s role My parents declare that I am too old to go trick or treating in the negative hotchka theorem Heather has the answer She I m thrilled This way I don t have to admit that no one in is wrong Stetman tries again Me I shake my head with a sad vited me to go with them I m not about to tell M o m and Dad smile Not this time try me again in twenty years He calls me that To keep up appearances I stomp to my room and slam to the board the door 38 39
I sit in the back row, where I can keep my eye on everyone, as  Mr. Stetman    W h o wants to help Melinda understand how ...
I look out my window A group of little creatures is coming up This year Rachelle is going to a party thrown by one of the the walk A pirate a dinosaur two fairies and a bride Why is exchange students host families I heard her talk about it in it that you never see a kid dressed as a groom on Halloween algebra I knew I wouldn t get an invitation I would be lucky Their parents chat at the curb The night is dangerous parents to get an invitation to my own funeral with my reputation are required tall ghosts in khakis and down jackets floating Heather is walking with some of the little kids in her neigh behind the children borhood so their mothers can stay home The doorbell rings My parents squabble about who will an I am prepared I refuse to spend the night moping in my room swer it Then M o m swears and opens the door with a high or listening to my parents argue I checked out a book from pitched O o o o h who do we have here She must have the library Dracula by Bram Stoker Cool name I settle into handed out only one mini chocolate bar to each creature my nest with a bag of candy corn and the blood sucking mon their thank yous do not sound enthusiastic The kids cut ster through the yard to the next house and their parents follow in the street NAME NAME NAME Last year our clan all dressed up as witches We went to Ivy s house because she and her older sister had theatrical makeup We traded clothes and splurged on cheap black wigs Rachel In a post Halloween frenzy the school board has come out and I looked the best We had used baby sitting money to rent against calling us the Devils We are now the Merryweather black satin capes lined in red We rocked It was an unusually Tigers Roar warm wicked evening We didn t need long underwear and the sky was clear The wind kicked up skimming clouds over The Ecology Club is planning a rally to protest the degrading the surface of the full moon which was hung just to make us of an endangered species This is the only thing talked about feel powerful and strong We raced through the night a clan at school Especially during class Mr Neck has a steroid rage of untouchable witches I actually thought for a moment that screaming about Motivation and Identity and sacred School we could cast spells could turn people into frogs or rabbits Spirit We won t even make it to the Industrial Revolution at to punish the evil and reward the good We ended up with this rate pounds of candy After Ivy s parents went to bed we lit a candle in the totally dark house We held it in front of an I get hosed in Spanish Linda means pretty in Spanish antique mirror at midnight to see our futures I couldn t see This is a great joke Mrs Spanish Teacher calls my name anything Some stand up comic cracks No Melinda no es linda 40 41
I look out my window. A group of little creatures is coming up  This year Rachelle is going to a party thrown by one of th...
I look out my window A group of little creatures is coming up This year Rachelle is going to a party thrown by one of the the walk A pirate a dinosaur two fairies and a bride Why is exchange students host families I heard her talk about it in it that you never see a kid dressed as a groom on Halloween algebra I knew I wouldn t get an invitation I would be lucky Their parents chat at the curb The night is dangerous parents to get an invitation to my own funeral with my reputation are required tall ghosts in khakis and down jackets floating Heather is walking with some of the little kids in her neigh behind the children borhood so their mothers can stay home The doorbell rings My parents squabble about who will an I am prepared I refuse to spend the night moping in my room swer it Then M o m swears and opens the door with a high or listening to my parents argue I checked out a book from pitched O o o o h who do we have here She must have the library Dracula by Bram Stoker Cool name I settle into handed out only one mini chocolate bar to each creature my nest with a bag of candy corn and the blood sucking mon their thank yous do not sound enthusiastic The kids cut ster through the yard to the next house and their parents follow in the street NAME NAME NAME Last year our clan all dressed up as witches We went to Ivy s house because she and her older sister had theatrical makeup We traded clothes and splurged on cheap black wigs Rachel In a post Halloween frenzy the school board has come out and I looked the best We had used baby sitting money to rent against calling us the Devils We are now the Merryweather black satin capes lined in red We rocked It was an unusually Tigers Roar warm wicked evening We didn t need long underwear and the sky was clear The wind kicked up skimming clouds over The Ecology Club is planning a rally to protest the degrading the surface of the full moon which was hung just to make us of an endangered species This is the only thing talked about feel powerful and strong We raced through the night a clan at school Especially during class Mr Neck has a steroid rage of untouchable witches I actually thought for a moment that screaming about Motivation and Identity and sacred School we could cast spells could turn people into frogs or rabbits Spirit We won t even make it to the Industrial Revolution at to punish the evil and reward the good We ended up with this rate pounds of candy After Ivy s parents went to bed we lit a candle in the totally dark house We held it in front of an I get hosed in Spanish Linda means pretty in Spanish antique mirror at midnight to see our futures I couldn t see This is a great joke Mrs Spanish Teacher calls my name anything Some stand up comic cracks No Melinda no es linda 40 41
I look out my window. A group of little creatures is coming up  This year Rachelle is going to a party thrown by one of th...
They call me Me no linda for the rest of the period This is Meg n Emily n Siobhan understand irony They like rules how terrorists get started this kind of harmless fun I wonder too much if it s too late to transfer to German Marthas are big on helping The name of their group came I just thought of a great theory that explains everything from somebody in the Bible the original Martha Clan Leader When I went to that party I was abducted by aliens They became a missionary in Los Angeles But now they follow the have created a fake Earth and fake high school to study me Other Martha Saint Martha of the Glue Gun the lady who and my reactions This certainly explains cafeteria food Not writes books about cheery decorations Very Connecticut very the other stuff though The aliens have a sick sense of humor prep The Marthas tackle projects and perform good deeds This is ideal Heather work She says they run the canned food drive tutor kids in the city host a walkathon a danceathon and a rockingchairathon to raise money for I don t know THE MARTHAS what They also Do Nice Things for teachers Gag Heather has found a clan the Marthas She is a freshman Heather s first Martha Project is to decorate the faculty lounge member on probation I have no idea how she did it I suspect for a Thanksgiving party faculty meeting She corners me after money changed hands This is part of her strategy to make a Spanish and begs me to help her She thinks the Marthas have place for herself at school I am supposed to be tagging along given her a deliberately impossible job so they can dump her But the Marthas I ve always wondered what the staff room looks like You hear so many rumors Will it have a cot for teachers who need It s an expensive clan to run with outfits must be coordinated naps Economy sized boxes of tissues for emotional melt crisp and seasonally appropriate They favor plaid for au downs Comfortable leather chairs and a private butler tumn with matching sweaters in colors named after fruit like What about the secret files they keep on all the kids apricot and russet apple Winter calls for Fair Isle sweaters lined wool pants and Christmas hair ornaments They haven t The truth is nothing more than a small green room with dirty told her what to buy for spring I predict skirts with geese and windows and a lingering smell of cigarettes even though it white blouses with embroidered ducks on the collar has been illegal to smoke on school property for years Metal folding chairs surround a battered table One wall has a bul I tell Heather she should push the fashion envelope just a letin board that hasn t been cleared off since Americans teeny bit to be an ironic reflection of the 1 9 5 0 s you know in walked on the moon And I look but I can t find any secret nocence and apple pie She doesn t think the Clan Leaders files They must keep them in the principal s office 42 43
They call me Me-no-linda for the rest of the period. This is  Meg  n  Emily  n  Siobhan, understand irony. They like rules...
They call me Me no linda for the rest of the period This is Meg n Emily n Siobhan understand irony They like rules how terrorists get started this kind of harmless fun I wonder too much if it s too late to transfer to German Marthas are big on helping The name of their group came I just thought of a great theory that explains everything from somebody in the Bible the original Martha Clan Leader When I went to that party I was abducted by aliens They became a missionary in Los Angeles But now they follow the have created a fake Earth and fake high school to study me Other Martha Saint Martha of the Glue Gun the lady who and my reactions This certainly explains cafeteria food Not writes books about cheery decorations Very Connecticut very the other stuff though The aliens have a sick sense of humor prep The Marthas tackle projects and perform good deeds This is ideal Heather work She says they run the canned food drive tutor kids in the city host a walkathon a danceathon and a rockingchairathon to raise money for I don t know THE MARTHAS what They also Do Nice Things for teachers Gag Heather has found a clan the Marthas She is a freshman Heather s first Martha Project is to decorate the faculty lounge member on probation I have no idea how she did it I suspect for a Thanksgiving party faculty meeting She corners me after money changed hands This is part of her strategy to make a Spanish and begs me to help her She thinks the Marthas have place for herself at school I am supposed to be tagging along given her a deliberately impossible job so they can dump her But the Marthas I ve always wondered what the staff room looks like You hear so many rumors Will it have a cot for teachers who need It s an expensive clan to run with outfits must be coordinated naps Economy sized boxes of tissues for emotional melt crisp and seasonally appropriate They favor plaid for au downs Comfortable leather chairs and a private butler tumn with matching sweaters in colors named after fruit like What about the secret files they keep on all the kids apricot and russet apple Winter calls for Fair Isle sweaters lined wool pants and Christmas hair ornaments They haven t The truth is nothing more than a small green room with dirty told her what to buy for spring I predict skirts with geese and windows and a lingering smell of cigarettes even though it white blouses with embroidered ducks on the collar has been illegal to smoke on school property for years Metal folding chairs surround a battered table One wall has a bul I tell Heather she should push the fashion envelope just a letin board that hasn t been cleared off since Americans teeny bit to be an ironic reflection of the 1 9 5 0 s you know in walked on the moon And I look but I can t find any secret nocence and apple pie She doesn t think the Clan Leaders files They must keep them in the principal s office 42 43
They call me Me-no-linda for the rest of the period. This is  Meg  n  Emily  n  Siobhan, understand irony. They like rules...
I m supposed to make a centerpiece out of waxed maple handiwork is inspected Meg picks up the centerpiece and ex leaves acorns ribbon and a mile of thin wire Heather is go amines it from every angle ing to set the table and hang the banner She babbles on about her classes while I ruin leaf after red leaf I ask if we can trade Meg Nice j o b before I cause permanent damage to myself Heather gently untangles me from the wire She holds a bunch of leaves in Heather blushes one hand twists the wire around the stem one two hides the wire with ribbon and hot glues the acorns into place It s Emily W h o was that girl spooky I hurry to finish the table Heather She s a friend She was the first person to make me Heather What do you think feel at home here M e You are a decorating genius Siobhan She s creepy What s wrong with her lips It looks like she s got a disease or something Heather eyes rolling N o silly What do you think about this M e Can you believe they re letting me join Meg has Emily holds out her watch the watchband matches the bow been so sweet to me she calls me every night just to talk She in her hair Five minutes Heather has to leave before the walks around the table and straightens the forks I just set teachers arrive Part of being on probation means she s not al You are going to think this is ridiculous but I was so up lowed to take credit for her work set last month I asked my parents to send me to boarding school But now I have friends and I know how to open my I hide in the bathroom until I know Heather s bus has left locker and she pauses and scrunches her face up it s just The salt in my tears feels good when it stings my lips I wash perfect my face in the sink until there is nothing left of it no eyes no nose no mouth A slick nothing I don t have to choke out an answer because Meg n Emily n Siobhan march in carrying trays of mini muffins and apple slices dipped in chocolate Meg raises an eyebrow at me NIGHTMARE M e Thanks for the homework Heather You are so helpful I scoot out the door leaving it open a crack to watch I see FT in the hallway FT goes to Merryweather IT is walking what happens next Heather stands at attention while our with Aubrey Cheerleader IT is my nightmare and I can t wake up 44 45
I m supposed to make a centerpiece out of waxed maple  handiwork is inspected. Meg picks up the centerpiece and ex-  leave...
I m supposed to make a centerpiece out of waxed maple handiwork is inspected Meg picks up the centerpiece and ex leaves acorns ribbon and a mile of thin wire Heather is go amines it from every angle ing to set the table and hang the banner She babbles on about her classes while I ruin leaf after red leaf I ask if we can trade Meg Nice j o b before I cause permanent damage to myself Heather gently untangles me from the wire She holds a bunch of leaves in Heather blushes one hand twists the wire around the stem one two hides the wire with ribbon and hot glues the acorns into place It s Emily W h o was that girl spooky I hurry to finish the table Heather She s a friend She was the first person to make me Heather What do you think feel at home here M e You are a decorating genius Siobhan She s creepy What s wrong with her lips It looks like she s got a disease or something Heather eyes rolling N o silly What do you think about this M e Can you believe they re letting me join Meg has Emily holds out her watch the watchband matches the bow been so sweet to me she calls me every night just to talk She in her hair Five minutes Heather has to leave before the walks around the table and straightens the forks I just set teachers arrive Part of being on probation means she s not al You are going to think this is ridiculous but I was so up lowed to take credit for her work set last month I asked my parents to send me to boarding school But now I have friends and I know how to open my I hide in the bathroom until I know Heather s bus has left locker and she pauses and scrunches her face up it s just The salt in my tears feels good when it stings my lips I wash perfect my face in the sink until there is nothing left of it no eyes no nose no mouth A slick nothing I don t have to choke out an answer because Meg n Emily n Siobhan march in carrying trays of mini muffins and apple slices dipped in chocolate Meg raises an eyebrow at me NIGHTMARE M e Thanks for the homework Heather You are so helpful I scoot out the door leaving it open a crack to watch I see FT in the hallway FT goes to Merryweather IT is walking what happens next Heather stands at attention while our with Aubrey Cheerleader IT is my nightmare and I can t wake up 44 45
I m supposed to make a centerpiece out of waxed maple  handiwork is inspected. Meg picks up the centerpiece and ex-  leave...
IT sees me IT smiles and winks Good thing my lips are stitched together or I d throw up MY REPORT CARD SECOND Plays Nice B Social Studies C Spanish C Lunch D Biology B Algebra C Clothes C English C Gym 46 C Art A MARKING PERIOD
IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I d throw up.  MY REPORT CARD   SECOND Plays ...
IT sees me IT smiles and winks Good thing my lips are stitched together or I d throw up MY REPORT CARD SECOND Plays Nice B Social Studies C Spanish C Lunch D Biology B Algebra C Clothes C English C Gym 46 C Art A MARKING PERIOD
IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I d throw up.  MY REPORT CARD   SECOND Plays ...
GO FILL IN THE BLANK The Ecology Club has won round two We are no longer the Tigers because the name shows shocking disrespect for an endangered creature I know I m shocked The Ecology Club made great posters They laid out headlines from the sports page T I G E R S R I P P E D A P A R T T I G E R S SLAUGHTERED TIGERS K I L L E D side by side with color photos of Bengal tigers with their skins peeled off Effective The Ecology Club has some good PR people The football team would have protested but the sad truth is that they ve lost every game this season They are happy not to be called the Tigers Other teams called them Pussycats Not manly More than half the school signed a petition and the tree huggers got letters of support from a bunch of outside groups and three Hollywood Actors They herd us into an assembly that is supposed to be a democratic forum to come up with a new school mascot W h o are we We can t be the Buccaneers because pirates supported violence and discrimination against women The kid who suggests the Shoemakers in honor of the old moccasin factory is laughed out of the auditorium Warriors insults Native Americans I think Overbearing Eurocentric Patriarchs would be perfect but I don t suggest it 49
GO   FILL IN THE BLANK    The Ecology Club has won round two. We are no longer the Tigers because the name shows  shocking...
GO FILL IN THE BLANK The Ecology Club has won round two We are no longer the Tigers because the name shows shocking disrespect for an endangered creature I know I m shocked The Ecology Club made great posters They laid out headlines from the sports page T I G E R S R I P P E D A P A R T T I G E R S SLAUGHTERED TIGERS K I L L E D side by side with color photos of Bengal tigers with their skins peeled off Effective The Ecology Club has some good PR people The football team would have protested but the sad truth is that they ve lost every game this season They are happy not to be called the Tigers Other teams called them Pussycats Not manly More than half the school signed a petition and the tree huggers got letters of support from a bunch of outside groups and three Hollywood Actors They herd us into an assembly that is supposed to be a democratic forum to come up with a new school mascot W h o are we We can t be the Buccaneers because pirates supported violence and discrimination against women The kid who suggests the Shoemakers in honor of the old moccasin factory is laughed out of the auditorium Warriors insults Native Americans I think Overbearing Eurocentric Patriarchs would be perfect but I don t suggest it 49
GO   FILL IN THE BLANK    The Ecology Club has won round two. We are no longer the Tigers because the name shows  shocking...
Student Council is holding an election before Winter Break or a teacher I sputter or freeze What is wrong with me It s Our choices like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis a The Bees useful to agriculture painful to cross b Icebergs in honor of our festive winter weather I know my head isn t screwed on straight I want to leave c Hilltoppers guaranteed to frighten opponents transfer warp myself to another galaxy I want to confess d Wombats no one knows if they re endangered everything hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else There is a beast in my gut I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs Even if I dump the memory it will stay with me staining me My closet is a good thing a C L O S E T SPACE quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them My parents commanded me to stay after school every day for extra help from teachers I agreed to stay after school I hang out in my refurbished closet It is shaping up nicely ALL T O G E T H E R N O W The first thing to go is the mirror It is screwed to the wall so I cover it with a poster of Maya Angelou that the librarian gave My Spanish teacher breaks the no English rule to tell us me She said M s Angelou is one of the greatest American writ that we had better stop pretending we don t understand the ers The poster was coming down because the school board homework assignments or we re all going to get detention banned one of her books She must be a great writer if the Then she repeats what she just said in Spanish though it school board is afraid of her Maya Angelou s picture watches seems as if she tosses in a few extra phrases I don t know why me while I sweep and mop the floor while I scrub the shelves she hasn t figured it out yet If she just taught us all the swear while I chase spiders out of the corners I do a little bit of work words the first day we would have done whatever she wanted every day It s like building a fort I figure Maya would like it if the rest of the year I read in here so I bring a few books from home Mostly I watch the scary movies playing on the inside of my eyelids Detention does not sound appealing I do my homework choose five verbs and conjugate them It is getting harder to talk My throat is always sore my lips To translate traducir I traducate raw When I wake up in the morning my jaws are clenched so To flunk fracasar Yo am almost fracasaring tight I have a headache Sometimes my mouth relaxes around To hide esconder To escape escapar Heather if we re alone Every time I try to talk to my parents To forget olvidar 50 51
Student Council is holding an election before Winter Break.  or a teacher, I sputter or freeze. What is wrong with me  It ...
Student Council is holding an election before Winter Break or a teacher I sputter or freeze What is wrong with me It s Our choices like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis a The Bees useful to agriculture painful to cross b Icebergs in honor of our festive winter weather I know my head isn t screwed on straight I want to leave c Hilltoppers guaranteed to frighten opponents transfer warp myself to another galaxy I want to confess d Wombats no one knows if they re endangered everything hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else There is a beast in my gut I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs Even if I dump the memory it will stay with me staining me My closet is a good thing a C L O S E T SPACE quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them My parents commanded me to stay after school every day for extra help from teachers I agreed to stay after school I hang out in my refurbished closet It is shaping up nicely ALL T O G E T H E R N O W The first thing to go is the mirror It is screwed to the wall so I cover it with a poster of Maya Angelou that the librarian gave My Spanish teacher breaks the no English rule to tell us me She said M s Angelou is one of the greatest American writ that we had better stop pretending we don t understand the ers The poster was coming down because the school board homework assignments or we re all going to get detention banned one of her books She must be a great writer if the Then she repeats what she just said in Spanish though it school board is afraid of her Maya Angelou s picture watches seems as if she tosses in a few extra phrases I don t know why me while I sweep and mop the floor while I scrub the shelves she hasn t figured it out yet If she just taught us all the swear while I chase spiders out of the corners I do a little bit of work words the first day we would have done whatever she wanted every day It s like building a fort I figure Maya would like it if the rest of the year I read in here so I bring a few books from home Mostly I watch the scary movies playing on the inside of my eyelids Detention does not sound appealing I do my homework choose five verbs and conjugate them It is getting harder to talk My throat is always sore my lips To translate traducir I traducate raw When I wake up in the morning my jaws are clenched so To flunk fracasar Yo am almost fracasaring tight I have a headache Sometimes my mouth relaxes around To hide esconder To escape escapar Heather if we re alone Every time I try to talk to my parents To forget olvidar 50 51
Student Council is holding an election before Winter Break.  or a teacher, I sputter or freeze. What is wrong with me  It ...
don t you do it with me I ll study real hard in biology and go to S U and get my R N What a great plan J O B DAY How could she know this I don t know what I m doing in the next five minutes and she has the next ten years figured out Just in case we forget that weareheretogetagoodfoundation I ll worry about making it out of ninth grade alive Then I ll sowecangotocollegeliveuptoourpotentialgetagoodjoblivehap think about a career path pilyeverafterandgotoDisneyWorld we have a J o b Day Like all things Hi School it starts with a test a test of my deFIRST sires and my dreams Do I a prefer to spend time with a AMENDMENT large group of people b prefer to spend time with a small group of close friends c prefer to spend time with family Mr Neck storms into class a bull chasing thirty three red d prefer to spend time alone flags We slide into our seats I think for sure he s going to explode Which he does but in an unpredictable faintly educa Am I a a helper b a doer c a planner d a dreamer tional way If I were tied to railroad tracks and the 3 15 train to Rochester I M M I G R A T I O N He writes it on the board I m pretty sure he was ready to cut a path across my middle would I a scream spelled it right for help b ask my little mice friends to chew through the ropes c remember that my favorite jeans were in the dryer Mr Neck M y family has been in this country for over two and were hopelessly wrinkled d close my eyes and pretend hundred years We built this place fought in every war from nothing was wrong the first one to the last one paid taxes and voted Two hundred questions later I get my results I should con A cartoon thought bubble forms over the heads of everyone in sider a career in a forestry b nrefighting c communica the class W I L L T H I S B E O N T H E T E S T tions d mortuary science Heather s results are clearer She should be a nurse It makes her jump up and down Mr Neck S o tell me why my son can t get a j o b Heather This is the best I know exactly what I m going to A few hands creep skyward Mr Neck ignores them It is a do I ll be a candy striper at the hospital this summer Why pretend question one he asked so he could give the answer I 52 S3
don t you do it with me  I ll study real hard in biology and go to S.U. and get my R . N . What a great plan    J O B DAY ...
don t you do it with me I ll study real hard in biology and go to S U and get my R N What a great plan J O B DAY How could she know this I don t know what I m doing in the next five minutes and she has the next ten years figured out Just in case we forget that weareheretogetagoodfoundation I ll worry about making it out of ninth grade alive Then I ll sowecangotocollegeliveuptoourpotentialgetagoodjoblivehap think about a career path pilyeverafterandgotoDisneyWorld we have a J o b Day Like all things Hi School it starts with a test a test of my deFIRST sires and my dreams Do I a prefer to spend time with a AMENDMENT large group of people b prefer to spend time with a small group of close friends c prefer to spend time with family Mr Neck storms into class a bull chasing thirty three red d prefer to spend time alone flags We slide into our seats I think for sure he s going to explode Which he does but in an unpredictable faintly educa Am I a a helper b a doer c a planner d a dreamer tional way If I were tied to railroad tracks and the 3 15 train to Rochester I M M I G R A T I O N He writes it on the board I m pretty sure he was ready to cut a path across my middle would I a scream spelled it right for help b ask my little mice friends to chew through the ropes c remember that my favorite jeans were in the dryer Mr Neck M y family has been in this country for over two and were hopelessly wrinkled d close my eyes and pretend hundred years We built this place fought in every war from nothing was wrong the first one to the last one paid taxes and voted Two hundred questions later I get my results I should con A cartoon thought bubble forms over the heads of everyone in sider a career in a forestry b nrefighting c communica the class W I L L T H I S B E O N T H E T E S T tions d mortuary science Heather s results are clearer She should be a nurse It makes her jump up and down Mr Neck S o tell me why my son can t get a j o b Heather This is the best I know exactly what I m going to A few hands creep skyward Mr Neck ignores them It is a do I ll be a candy striper at the hospital this summer Why pretend question one he asked so he could give the answer I 52 S3
don t you do it with me  I ll study real hard in biology and go to S.U. and get my R . N . What a great plan    J O B DAY ...
relax This is like when my father complains about his boss ica We ve been in this school district since I was in first grade The best thing to do is to stay awake and blink sympatheti that must count for something I start an apple tree cally The arguments jump back and forth across the room A few His son wanted to be a firefighter but didn t get the j o b Mr suck ups quickly figure out which side Mr Neck is squatting Neck is convinced that this is some kind of reverse discrimina on so they fight to throw out the foreigners Anyone whose tion He says we should close our borders so that real Ameri family immigrated in the last century has a story to tell about cans can get the jobs they deserve The job test said that I how hard their relatives have worked the contributions they would be a good firefighter I wonder if I could take a job make to the country the taxes they pay A member of the away from Mr Neck s son Archery Club tries to say that we are all foreigners and we should give the country back to the Native Americans but I tune out and focus on my doodle a pine tree I ve been try she s buried under disagreement Mr Neck enjoys the noise ing to carve a linoleum block in art class The problem with until one kid challenges him directly the block is that there is no way to correct mistakes Every mistake I make is frozen in the picture So I have to think Brave Kid Maybe your son didn t get that job because he s ahead not good enough Or he s lazy Or the other guy was better Mr Neck writes on the board again D E B A T E America ple who have been here for two hundred years are the ones should have closed her borders in 1 9 0 0 That strikes a nerve pulling down the country They don t know how to work Several nerves I can see kids counting backward on their they ve had it too easy than him no matter what his skin color I think the white peo fingers trying to figure when their grandparents or greatgrandparents were born when they came to America if they The pro immigration forces erupt in applause and hooting would have made the Neck Cut When they figure out they would have been stuck in a country that hated them or a Mr Neck You watch your mouth mister You are talking place with no schools or a place with no future their about my son I don t want to hear any more from you That s hands shoot up They beg to differ with Mr Neck s learned enough debate get your books out opinion The Neck is back in control Show time is over I try to draw I don t know where my family came from Someplace cold a branch coming out of a tree trunk for the 3 1 5 t h time It where they eat beans on Thursday and hang their wash on the looks so flat a cheap cruddy drawing I have no idea how to line on Monday I don t know how long we ve been in Amer make it come alive I am so focused I don t notice at first that 54 55
relax. This is like when my father complains about his boss.  ica. We ve been in this school district since I was in first...
relax This is like when my father complains about his boss ica We ve been in this school district since I was in first grade The best thing to do is to stay awake and blink sympatheti that must count for something I start an apple tree cally The arguments jump back and forth across the room A few His son wanted to be a firefighter but didn t get the j o b Mr suck ups quickly figure out which side Mr Neck is squatting Neck is convinced that this is some kind of reverse discrimina on so they fight to throw out the foreigners Anyone whose tion He says we should close our borders so that real Ameri family immigrated in the last century has a story to tell about cans can get the jobs they deserve The job test said that I how hard their relatives have worked the contributions they would be a good firefighter I wonder if I could take a job make to the country the taxes they pay A member of the away from Mr Neck s son Archery Club tries to say that we are all foreigners and we should give the country back to the Native Americans but I tune out and focus on my doodle a pine tree I ve been try she s buried under disagreement Mr Neck enjoys the noise ing to carve a linoleum block in art class The problem with until one kid challenges him directly the block is that there is no way to correct mistakes Every mistake I make is frozen in the picture So I have to think Brave Kid Maybe your son didn t get that job because he s ahead not good enough Or he s lazy Or the other guy was better Mr Neck writes on the board again D E B A T E America ple who have been here for two hundred years are the ones should have closed her borders in 1 9 0 0 That strikes a nerve pulling down the country They don t know how to work Several nerves I can see kids counting backward on their they ve had it too easy than him no matter what his skin color I think the white peo fingers trying to figure when their grandparents or greatgrandparents were born when they came to America if they The pro immigration forces erupt in applause and hooting would have made the Neck Cut When they figure out they would have been stuck in a country that hated them or a Mr Neck You watch your mouth mister You are talking place with no schools or a place with no future their about my son I don t want to hear any more from you That s hands shoot up They beg to differ with Mr Neck s learned enough debate get your books out opinion The Neck is back in control Show time is over I try to draw I don t know where my family came from Someplace cold a branch coming out of a tree trunk for the 3 1 5 t h time It where they eat beans on Thursday and hang their wash on the looks so flat a cheap cruddy drawing I have no idea how to line on Monday I don t know how long we ve been in Amer make it come alive I am so focused I don t notice at first that 54 55
relax. This is like when my father complains about his boss.  ica. We ve been in this school district since I was in first...
David Petrakis My Lab Partner has stood up The class stops David stares at Mr Neck looks at the flag for a minute talking I put my pencil down then picks up his books and walks out of the room He says a million things without saying a word I make a note to Mr Neck Mr Petrakis take your seat study David Petrakis I have never heard a more eloquent silence David Petrakis is never ever in trouble He is the kid who wins perfect attendance records who helps the staff chase down bugs in the computer files of report cards I chew a hangnail on my pinkie What is he thinking Has he flipped GIVING THANKS finally cracked under the pressure of being smarter than everyThe Pilgrims gave thanks at Thanksgiving because the Native one Americans saved their sorry butts from starving I give thanks David I f the class is debating then each student has the right at Thanksgiving because my mother finally goes to work and to say what s on his mind my father orders pizza Mr Neck I decide who talks in here My normally harried rushed mother always turns into a strung out retail junkie just before Turkey Day It s because of David You opened a debate You can t close it just because it Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving the start of the is not going your way Christmas shopping season If she doesn t sell a billion shirts and twelve million belts on Black Friday the world will end Mr Neck Watch me Take your seat Mr Petrakis She lives on cigarettes and black coffee swearing like a rap star and calculating spreadsheets in her head The goals she David The Constitution does not recognize different classes sets for her store are totally unrealistic and she knows it She of citizenship based on time spent living in the country I am a can t help herself It s like watching someone caught in an citizen with the same rights as your son or you As a citizen electric fence twitching and squirming and very stuck Every and as a student I am protesting the tone of this lesson as year just when she s stressed to the snapping point she cooks racist intolerant and xenophobic Thanksgiving dinner We beg her not to We plead with her send anonymous notes She doesn t listen Mr Neck Sit your butt in that chair Petrakis and watch your mouth I try to get a debate going in here and you people turn I go to bed the night before Thanksgiving at 10 p m She s it into a race thing Sit down or you re going to the principal pounding on her laptop at the dining room table When I 56 57
David Petrakis My Lab Partner has stood up. The class stops  David stares at Mr. Neck, looks at the flag for a minute,  ta...
David Petrakis My Lab Partner has stood up The class stops David stares at Mr Neck looks at the flag for a minute talking I put my pencil down then picks up his books and walks out of the room He says a million things without saying a word I make a note to Mr Neck Mr Petrakis take your seat study David Petrakis I have never heard a more eloquent silence David Petrakis is never ever in trouble He is the kid who wins perfect attendance records who helps the staff chase down bugs in the computer files of report cards I chew a hangnail on my pinkie What is he thinking Has he flipped GIVING THANKS finally cracked under the pressure of being smarter than everyThe Pilgrims gave thanks at Thanksgiving because the Native one Americans saved their sorry butts from starving I give thanks David I f the class is debating then each student has the right at Thanksgiving because my mother finally goes to work and to say what s on his mind my father orders pizza Mr Neck I decide who talks in here My normally harried rushed mother always turns into a strung out retail junkie just before Turkey Day It s because of David You opened a debate You can t close it just because it Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving the start of the is not going your way Christmas shopping season If she doesn t sell a billion shirts and twelve million belts on Black Friday the world will end Mr Neck Watch me Take your seat Mr Petrakis She lives on cigarettes and black coffee swearing like a rap star and calculating spreadsheets in her head The goals she David The Constitution does not recognize different classes sets for her store are totally unrealistic and she knows it She of citizenship based on time spent living in the country I am a can t help herself It s like watching someone caught in an citizen with the same rights as your son or you As a citizen electric fence twitching and squirming and very stuck Every and as a student I am protesting the tone of this lesson as year just when she s stressed to the snapping point she cooks racist intolerant and xenophobic Thanksgiving dinner We beg her not to We plead with her send anonymous notes She doesn t listen Mr Neck Sit your butt in that chair Petrakis and watch your mouth I try to get a debate going in here and you people turn I go to bed the night before Thanksgiving at 10 p m She s it into a race thing Sit down or you re going to the principal pounding on her laptop at the dining room table When I 56 57
David Petrakis My Lab Partner has stood up. The class stops  David stares at Mr. Neck, looks at the flag for a minute,  ta...
come downstairs Thanksgiving morning she s still there I M o m hangs up and chases me out with instructions to take a don t think she slept shower and clean my room I soak in the bathtub I fill my lungs with air and float on top of the water then blow out all She looks up at me in my robe and bunny slippers O h my breath and sink to the bottom I put my head under damn she says The turkey water to listen to my heart beat The phone rings again Emergency 2 I peel potatoes while she gives the frozen turkey a hot bath The windows fog up separating us from the outside I want to By the time I m dressed the parades are over and Dad is suggest that we have something else for dinner spaghetti watching football Confectioner s sugar dusts the stubble on maybe or sandwiches but I know she wouldn t take it the his face I don t like it when he bums around the house on hol right way She hacks at the guts of the turkey with an ice pick idays I like my Dad clean shaven and wearing a suit He mo to get out the bag of body parts I m impressed Last year she tions for me to get out of the way so he can see the screen cooked the bird with the bag inside M o m is on the phone Emergency 3 The long curly cord Cooking Thanksgiving dinner means something to her It s snakes around and around her thin body like a rope tying her like a holy obligation part of what makes her a wife and to the stake Two drumstick tips poke out of an enormous pot mother My family doesn t talk much and we have nothing in of boiling water She is boiling the frozen turkey It s too big common but if my mother cooks a proper Thanksgiving din for the microwave she explains It will be thawed soon ner it says we ll be a family for one more year Kodak logic She puts a finger in her free ear to concentrate on what the Only in film commercials does stuff like that work phone is telling her I take a plain doughnut from the bag and go back to my room I finish the potatoes She sends me to the TV to watch the parades Dad stumbles downstairs How is she he asks be Three magazines later my parents are arguing Not a rip fore he goes in the kitchen It s Thanksgiving I say Dad roarer A simmering argument a few bubbles splashing on the puts on his coat Doughnuts he asks I nod stove I want another doughnut but don t feel like wading through the fight to get it They retreat to their corners when The phone rings M o m answers It s the store Emergency 1 the phone rings again Here s my chance I go into the kitchen for a soda She pours me orange juice which I can t drink because it burns my scabby lips The M o m has the phone to her ear when I walk in the kitchen but turkey floats in the sink a ten pound turkey iceberg A she isn t listening to it She rubs the steam from the window turkeyberg I feel very much like the Titanic and stares into the back yard I join her at the sink 58 59
come downstairs Thanksgiving morning, she s still there. I  M o m hangs up and chases me out with instructions to take a  ...
come downstairs Thanksgiving morning she s still there I M o m hangs up and chases me out with instructions to take a don t think she slept shower and clean my room I soak in the bathtub I fill my lungs with air and float on top of the water then blow out all She looks up at me in my robe and bunny slippers O h my breath and sink to the bottom I put my head under damn she says The turkey water to listen to my heart beat The phone rings again Emergency 2 I peel potatoes while she gives the frozen turkey a hot bath The windows fog up separating us from the outside I want to By the time I m dressed the parades are over and Dad is suggest that we have something else for dinner spaghetti watching football Confectioner s sugar dusts the stubble on maybe or sandwiches but I know she wouldn t take it the his face I don t like it when he bums around the house on hol right way She hacks at the guts of the turkey with an ice pick idays I like my Dad clean shaven and wearing a suit He mo to get out the bag of body parts I m impressed Last year she tions for me to get out of the way so he can see the screen cooked the bird with the bag inside M o m is on the phone Emergency 3 The long curly cord Cooking Thanksgiving dinner means something to her It s snakes around and around her thin body like a rope tying her like a holy obligation part of what makes her a wife and to the stake Two drumstick tips poke out of an enormous pot mother My family doesn t talk much and we have nothing in of boiling water She is boiling the frozen turkey It s too big common but if my mother cooks a proper Thanksgiving din for the microwave she explains It will be thawed soon ner it says we ll be a family for one more year Kodak logic She puts a finger in her free ear to concentrate on what the Only in film commercials does stuff like that work phone is telling her I take a plain doughnut from the bag and go back to my room I finish the potatoes She sends me to the TV to watch the parades Dad stumbles downstairs How is she he asks be Three magazines later my parents are arguing Not a rip fore he goes in the kitchen It s Thanksgiving I say Dad roarer A simmering argument a few bubbles splashing on the puts on his coat Doughnuts he asks I nod stove I want another doughnut but don t feel like wading through the fight to get it They retreat to their corners when The phone rings M o m answers It s the store Emergency 1 the phone rings again Here s my chance I go into the kitchen for a soda She pours me orange juice which I can t drink because it burns my scabby lips The M o m has the phone to her ear when I walk in the kitchen but turkey floats in the sink a ten pound turkey iceberg A she isn t listening to it She rubs the steam from the window turkeyberg I feel very much like the Titanic and stares into the back yard I join her at the sink 58 59
come downstairs Thanksgiving morning, she s still there. I  M o m hangs up and chases me out with instructions to take a  ...
Dad strides across the back yard wearing an oven mitt and Bones are heaped on the cutting board A pot of glue boils on carrying the steaming turkey by one leg He said it would the stove Bits of gray green and yellow roll in the burping take hours to thaw mutters M o m A tiny voice squeaks from white paste the receiver N o not you Ted she tells the phone Dad lays the turkey on the chopping block and picks up his hatchet Dad It s supposed to be soup Whack The hatchet sticks in the frozen turkey flesh He saws back and forth Whack A slice of frozen turkey slides to the Me ground He picks it up and waves it at the window M o m turns her back to him and tells Ted she s on her way Dad It tasted a bit watery so I kept adding thickener I put in some corn and peas After M o m leaves for the store Dad takes over the dinner It s the principle of the thing If he gripes about the way she han Me dled Thanksgiving then he has to prove he can do a better job He brings in the butchered dirty meat and washes it in the sink with detergent and hot water He rinses off his hatchet Dad Just like the old days right Mellie Fellow goes out into the woods and brings home dinner This isn t so difficult Dad pulling wallet from his back pocket Call for pizza I ll get rid of this I order double cheese double mushroom Dad buries the soup in the back yard next to our dead beagle Ariel Cooking just requires some organization and the ability to read N o w get me the bread I m going to make real stuffing the way my mother used to You don t need to help Why don t you do some homework maybe some extra credit work WISHBONE to pull those grades up I ll call you when dinner is ready I want to make a memorial for our turkey Never has a bird I think about studying but it s a holiday so I park myself on been so tortured to provide such a lousy dinner I dig the the living room couch and watch an old movie instead I smell bones out of the trash and bring them to art class Mr Free smoke twice wince when glass shatters on the floor and listen man is thrilled He tells me to work on the bird but keep in on the other phone to his conversation with the turkey hot thinking tree line lady She says turkey soup is the best part of Thanksgiving anyway He calls me into the kitchen an hour later with the fake enthusiasm of a father who has screwed up big time 60 Mr Freeman You are on fire Melinda I can see it in your eyes You are caught up in the meaning in the subjectivity of 61
Dad strides across the back yard, wearing an oven mitt and  Bones are heaped on the cutting board. A pot of glue boils on ...
Dad strides across the back yard wearing an oven mitt and Bones are heaped on the cutting board A pot of glue boils on carrying the steaming turkey by one leg He said it would the stove Bits of gray green and yellow roll in the burping take hours to thaw mutters M o m A tiny voice squeaks from white paste the receiver N o not you Ted she tells the phone Dad lays the turkey on the chopping block and picks up his hatchet Dad It s supposed to be soup Whack The hatchet sticks in the frozen turkey flesh He saws back and forth Whack A slice of frozen turkey slides to the Me ground He picks it up and waves it at the window M o m turns her back to him and tells Ted she s on her way Dad It tasted a bit watery so I kept adding thickener I put in some corn and peas After M o m leaves for the store Dad takes over the dinner It s the principle of the thing If he gripes about the way she han Me dled Thanksgiving then he has to prove he can do a better job He brings in the butchered dirty meat and washes it in the sink with detergent and hot water He rinses off his hatchet Dad Just like the old days right Mellie Fellow goes out into the woods and brings home dinner This isn t so difficult Dad pulling wallet from his back pocket Call for pizza I ll get rid of this I order double cheese double mushroom Dad buries the soup in the back yard next to our dead beagle Ariel Cooking just requires some organization and the ability to read N o w get me the bread I m going to make real stuffing the way my mother used to You don t need to help Why don t you do some homework maybe some extra credit work WISHBONE to pull those grades up I ll call you when dinner is ready I want to make a memorial for our turkey Never has a bird I think about studying but it s a holiday so I park myself on been so tortured to provide such a lousy dinner I dig the the living room couch and watch an old movie instead I smell bones out of the trash and bring them to art class Mr Free smoke twice wince when glass shatters on the floor and listen man is thrilled He tells me to work on the bird but keep in on the other phone to his conversation with the turkey hot thinking tree line lady She says turkey soup is the best part of Thanksgiving anyway He calls me into the kitchen an hour later with the fake enthusiasm of a father who has screwed up big time 60 Mr Freeman You are on fire Melinda I can see it in your eyes You are caught up in the meaning in the subjectivity of 61
Dad strides across the back yard, wearing an oven mitt and  Bones are heaped on the cutting board. A pot of glue boils on ...
the effect of commercialism on this holiday This is wonderful face Mr Freeman says yes to Ivy too She waggles her eye wonderful Be the bird You are the bird Sacrifice yourself to brows at me and grins By the time I figure out that this might abandoned family values and canned yams be a good time to say something friendly to her she is back at work Whatever I glue the bones to a block of wood arranging the skeleton At first I want to glue the bones together in a heap like like a museum exhibit I find knives and forks in the odds n firewood get it tree firewood but Mr Freeman sighs I ends bin and glue them so it looks like they are attacking the can do better he says I arrange the bones on a black piece bones of paper and try to draw a turkey around it I don t need Mr Freeman to tell me it stinks By this point he has I take a step back It isn t quite done I rummage in the bin thrown himself back into his own painting and has forgotten again and find a half melted palm tree from a Lego set It ll we exist do Mr Freeman hangs on to everything a normal person would throw out Happy Meal toys lost playing cards He is working on a huge canvas It started out bleak a gut grocery store receipts keys dolls a saltshaker trains ted building along a gray road on a rainy day He spent a how does he know this stuff could be art week painting dirty coins on the sidewalk sweating to get them just right He painted the faces of school board members I pop the head off a Barbie doll and set it inside the turkey s peering out the windows of the building then he put bars on body That feels right Ivy walks past and looks She arches the windows and turned the building into a prison His canvas her left eyebrow and nods I wave my hand and Mr Freeman is better than TV because you never know what is going to comes over to inspect He almost faints with delight happen next Mr Freeman Excellent excellent What does this say to I crumple the paper and lay out the bones on the table you Melinda Sordino Anthropologist I have unearthed the remains of a hideous sacrifice The bell rings and I look at Mr Darn I didn t know there would be a quiz I clear my throat Freeman with puppy dog eyes He says he ll call my Spanish I can t get any words out it is too dry I try again with a little teacher with some kind of excuse I can stay for another class cough period When Ivy hears this she begs permission to stay late too She s trying to conquer her fear of clowns She s con Mr Freeman Sore throat Don t worry it s going around si nm mg some weird sculpture a mask behind a clown s Want me to tell you what I see 62 63
the effect of commercialism on this holiday. This is wonderful,  face. Mr. Freeman says yes to Ivy, too. She waggles her e...
the effect of commercialism on this holiday This is wonderful face Mr Freeman says yes to Ivy too She waggles her eye wonderful Be the bird You are the bird Sacrifice yourself to brows at me and grins By the time I figure out that this might abandoned family values and canned yams be a good time to say something friendly to her she is back at work Whatever I glue the bones to a block of wood arranging the skeleton At first I want to glue the bones together in a heap like like a museum exhibit I find knives and forks in the odds n firewood get it tree firewood but Mr Freeman sighs I ends bin and glue them so it looks like they are attacking the can do better he says I arrange the bones on a black piece bones of paper and try to draw a turkey around it I don t need Mr Freeman to tell me it stinks By this point he has I take a step back It isn t quite done I rummage in the bin thrown himself back into his own painting and has forgotten again and find a half melted palm tree from a Lego set It ll we exist do Mr Freeman hangs on to everything a normal person would throw out Happy Meal toys lost playing cards He is working on a huge canvas It started out bleak a gut grocery store receipts keys dolls a saltshaker trains ted building along a gray road on a rainy day He spent a how does he know this stuff could be art week painting dirty coins on the sidewalk sweating to get them just right He painted the faces of school board members I pop the head off a Barbie doll and set it inside the turkey s peering out the windows of the building then he put bars on body That feels right Ivy walks past and looks She arches the windows and turned the building into a prison His canvas her left eyebrow and nods I wave my hand and Mr Freeman is better than TV because you never know what is going to comes over to inspect He almost faints with delight happen next Mr Freeman Excellent excellent What does this say to I crumple the paper and lay out the bones on the table you Melinda Sordino Anthropologist I have unearthed the remains of a hideous sacrifice The bell rings and I look at Mr Darn I didn t know there would be a quiz I clear my throat Freeman with puppy dog eyes He says he ll call my Spanish I can t get any words out it is too dry I try again with a little teacher with some kind of excuse I can stay for another class cough period When Ivy hears this she begs permission to stay late too She s trying to conquer her fear of clowns She s con Mr Freeman Sore throat Don t worry it s going around si nm mg some weird sculpture a mask behind a clown s Want me to tell you what I see 62 63
the effect of commercialism on this holiday. This is wonderful,  face. Mr. Freeman says yes to Ivy, too. She waggles her e...
I nod in relief Mr Freeman This has meaning Pain I see a girl caught in the remains of a holiday gone bad The bell rings I leave before he can say more with her flesh picked off day after day as the carcass dries out The knife and fork are obviously middle class sensibilities The palm tree is a nice touch A broken dream perhaps Plastic honeymoon deserted island Oh if you PEELED AND CORED put it in a slice of pumpkin pie it could be a desserted We are studying fruit in biology Ms Keen has spent a week island teaching us the finer points of stamens and pistils seedpods I laugh in spite of myself I m getting the hang of this While and flowers The earth has frozen it snows lightly at night but Ivy and Mr Freeman watch I reach in and pluck out the Bar Ms Keen is determined to keep Spring alive in her classroom bie head I set it on top of the bony carcass There is no place for the palm tree I toss that aside I move the knife and fork The Back Row sleeps until she points out that apple trees need so they look like legs I place a piece of tape over Barbie s bees to reproduce Reproduce is a trigger word for the Back mouth Row They have figured out it is related to sex The lecture on pistils and stamens turns into a big Ha ha M s Keen has been M e D o you have any twigs Little branches I could use teaching since the Middle Ages It would take more than a them to make the arms row full of overheated hypothalamuses hypothalamii to distract her from the day s lesson She calmly proceeds to the Ivy opens her mouth to say something then closes it again hands on portion of the lab Mr Freeman studies my homely project He doesn t say anything and I m afraid he s pissed that I took out the palm tree Apples We each get a Rome or a Cortland or a Mcintosh and a Ivy tries again It s scary she says In a weird way Not plastic knife We are instructed to dissect The Back Row holds clown scary um how do I say this Like you don t want to sword fights Ms Keen silently writes their names on the black look at it too long Good j o b M e l board along with their current grade She takes one point off for every minute the sword fight continues They go from low Bs to That s not the reaction I was hoping for but I guess it was very low Cs before they figure out what is going on They howl positive She could have turned her nose up or ignored me but she didn t Mr Freeman taps his chin He looks way too Back Row That s not fair You can t do that to us You serious to be an art teacher He s making me nervous didn t give us a chance 64 65
I nod in relief.  Mr. Freeman   This has meaning. Pain.    I see a girl caught in the remains of a holiday gone bad,  The ...
I nod in relief Mr Freeman This has meaning Pain I see a girl caught in the remains of a holiday gone bad The bell rings I leave before he can say more with her flesh picked off day after day as the carcass dries out The knife and fork are obviously middle class sensibilities The palm tree is a nice touch A broken dream perhaps Plastic honeymoon deserted island Oh if you PEELED AND CORED put it in a slice of pumpkin pie it could be a desserted We are studying fruit in biology Ms Keen has spent a week island teaching us the finer points of stamens and pistils seedpods I laugh in spite of myself I m getting the hang of this While and flowers The earth has frozen it snows lightly at night but Ivy and Mr Freeman watch I reach in and pluck out the Bar Ms Keen is determined to keep Spring alive in her classroom bie head I set it on top of the bony carcass There is no place for the palm tree I toss that aside I move the knife and fork The Back Row sleeps until she points out that apple trees need so they look like legs I place a piece of tape over Barbie s bees to reproduce Reproduce is a trigger word for the Back mouth Row They have figured out it is related to sex The lecture on pistils and stamens turns into a big Ha ha M s Keen has been M e D o you have any twigs Little branches I could use teaching since the Middle Ages It would take more than a them to make the arms row full of overheated hypothalamuses hypothalamii to distract her from the day s lesson She calmly proceeds to the Ivy opens her mouth to say something then closes it again hands on portion of the lab Mr Freeman studies my homely project He doesn t say anything and I m afraid he s pissed that I took out the palm tree Apples We each get a Rome or a Cortland or a Mcintosh and a Ivy tries again It s scary she says In a weird way Not plastic knife We are instructed to dissect The Back Row holds clown scary um how do I say this Like you don t want to sword fights Ms Keen silently writes their names on the black look at it too long Good j o b M e l board along with their current grade She takes one point off for every minute the sword fight continues They go from low Bs to That s not the reaction I was hoping for but I guess it was very low Cs before they figure out what is going on They howl positive She could have turned her nose up or ignored me but she didn t Mr Freeman taps his chin He looks way too Back Row That s not fair You can t do that to us You serious to be an art teacher He s making me nervous didn t give us a chance 64 65
I nod in relief.  Mr. Freeman   This has meaning. Pain.    I see a girl caught in the remains of a holiday gone bad,  The ...
She takes off another point They saw their apples mutter white hand upward An apple tree growing from an apple mutter curse curse old cow stupid teacher seed growing in an apple I show the little plantseed to M s Keen She gives me extra credit David rolls his eyes Biology David Petrakis My Lab Partner cuts his apple into eight equal is so cool wedges He doesn t say a word He is in the middle of a PreMed Week David can t make up his mind between pre med and pre law Ninth grade is a minor inconvenience to him A zit cream commercial before the Feature Film of Life FIRST AMENDMENT SECOND VERSE Applesmell soaks the air One time when I was little my par Rebellion is in the air We only have a week left before Winter ents took me to an orchard Daddy set me high in an apple Break Students are getting away with murder and the staff is tree It was like falling up into a storybook yummy and red too worn out to care I hear rumors of eggnog in the faculty and leaf and the branch not shaking a bit Bees bumbled lounge This revolutionary spirit is even breaking out in so through the air so stuffed with apple they couldn t be both cial studies class David Petrakis is fighting back about the ered to sting me The sun warmed my hair and a wind pushed freedom to speak thing my mother into my father s arms and all the apple picking parents and children smiled for a long long minute I get to class on time I don t dare use a stolen late pass with Mr Neck David takes a seat in the front row and sets a tape That s how biology class smells recorder on his desk As Mr Neck opens his mouth to speak David presses the Play and Record buttons at the same time I bite my apple White teeth red apple hard juice deep bite like a pianist hitting an opening chord David sputters Mr Neck teaches the class straight We are galloping toward David You re not supposed to do that She ll kill you You re the Revolutionary War He writes N o Taxation Without supposed to cut it Didn t you even listen You ll lose points Representation on the board Very cool rhyming slogan Too bad they didn t have bumper stickers back then The colonists Clearly David missed the apple tree sitting requirement of wanted a voice in the British Parliament No one in power childhood would listen to their complaints The lecture is going to I cut the rest of my apple into four fat pieces My apple has everything His voice is as smooth as a new poured road No twelve seeds One of the seeds has split its shell and reaches a bumps sound great on the tape Mr Neck has prepared notes and 66 67
She takes off another point. They saw their apples, mutter,  white hand upward. An apple tree growing from an apple  mutte...
She takes off another point They saw their apples mutter white hand upward An apple tree growing from an apple mutter curse curse old cow stupid teacher seed growing in an apple I show the little plantseed to M s Keen She gives me extra credit David rolls his eyes Biology David Petrakis My Lab Partner cuts his apple into eight equal is so cool wedges He doesn t say a word He is in the middle of a PreMed Week David can t make up his mind between pre med and pre law Ninth grade is a minor inconvenience to him A zit cream commercial before the Feature Film of Life FIRST AMENDMENT SECOND VERSE Applesmell soaks the air One time when I was little my par Rebellion is in the air We only have a week left before Winter ents took me to an orchard Daddy set me high in an apple Break Students are getting away with murder and the staff is tree It was like falling up into a storybook yummy and red too worn out to care I hear rumors of eggnog in the faculty and leaf and the branch not shaking a bit Bees bumbled lounge This revolutionary spirit is even breaking out in so through the air so stuffed with apple they couldn t be both cial studies class David Petrakis is fighting back about the ered to sting me The sun warmed my hair and a wind pushed freedom to speak thing my mother into my father s arms and all the apple picking parents and children smiled for a long long minute I get to class on time I don t dare use a stolen late pass with Mr Neck David takes a seat in the front row and sets a tape That s how biology class smells recorder on his desk As Mr Neck opens his mouth to speak David presses the Play and Record buttons at the same time I bite my apple White teeth red apple hard juice deep bite like a pianist hitting an opening chord David sputters Mr Neck teaches the class straight We are galloping toward David You re not supposed to do that She ll kill you You re the Revolutionary War He writes N o Taxation Without supposed to cut it Didn t you even listen You ll lose points Representation on the board Very cool rhyming slogan Too bad they didn t have bumper stickers back then The colonists Clearly David missed the apple tree sitting requirement of wanted a voice in the British Parliament No one in power childhood would listen to their complaints The lecture is going to I cut the rest of my apple into four fat pieces My apple has everything His voice is as smooth as a new poured road No twelve seeds One of the seeds has split its shell and reaches a bumps sound great on the tape Mr Neck has prepared notes and 66 67
She takes off another point. They saw their apples, mutter,  white hand upward. An apple tree growing from an apple  mutte...
The tape will not be able to pick up the angry gleam in Mr Neck s eyes though He glares at David the whole time he s speaking If a teacher stared murder at me for forty eight minutes I d turn into a puddle of melted Jell O David stares WOMBATS RULE back I let Heather talk me into going to the Winter Assembly She The school office is the best place to go for gossip I overhear hates sitting alone almost as much as I do The Marthas have the sound bite about the Petrakises lawyer while I wait for not issued an imperial invitation for her to sit with them She s another lecture from my guidance counselor about not living bummed but she tries not to show it In perfect Martha style up to my potential How does she know what my potential is she wears a green sweater with a huge Santa face on it red Potential for what When she talks blah blah I usually count leggings and fluffy boots Too too perfect I refuse to wear the dots in her ceiling tiles anything seasonal The guidance counselor is late today so I sit invisible in the Heather gives me my Christmas present early bell earrings red plastic chair while the secretary brings a PTA volunteer up that chime when I turn my head This means I ll have to get to warp speed on the Petrakis thing David s parents have her something Maybe I ll go wholesome and buy a friendship hired a big nasty expensive lawyer He is threatening to sue necklace She s the friendship necklace type The bells are a the school district and Mr Neck for everything from incompe great choice I shake my head all through Principal Principal s tence to civil rights violations David s tape recorder is al speech to drown out his voice The orchestra plays an unrec lowed in class to document potential future violations The ognizable tune Heather says the school board won t let them secretary doesn t sound too upset at the idea that Mr Neck perform Christmas carols or Hanukkah songs or Kwanza could get canned I bet she knows him personally tunes Instead of multicultural we have no cultural David must have mentioned the hairy eyeball treatment to The high point of the assembly is the announcement of our his lawyer that afternoon because the next day there is a new name and mascot Principal Principal reads the vote total videocamera set up in the back of class David Petrakis is my Bees 3 Icebergs 17 Hilltoppers 1 Wombats 32 The hero other 1 547 votes were write ins or illegible The Merryweather Wombats Has a nice ring We are the Wombats woozy wicked Wombats Worried withdrawn weepy weird Wombats We pass Raven Cheerleader and Am 68 69
The tape will not be able to pick up the angry gleam in Mr. Neck s eyes, though. He glares at David the whole time he s sp...
The tape will not be able to pick up the angry gleam in Mr Neck s eyes though He glares at David the whole time he s speaking If a teacher stared murder at me for forty eight minutes I d turn into a puddle of melted Jell O David stares WOMBATS RULE back I let Heather talk me into going to the Winter Assembly She The school office is the best place to go for gossip I overhear hates sitting alone almost as much as I do The Marthas have the sound bite about the Petrakises lawyer while I wait for not issued an imperial invitation for her to sit with them She s another lecture from my guidance counselor about not living bummed but she tries not to show it In perfect Martha style up to my potential How does she know what my potential is she wears a green sweater with a huge Santa face on it red Potential for what When she talks blah blah I usually count leggings and fluffy boots Too too perfect I refuse to wear the dots in her ceiling tiles anything seasonal The guidance counselor is late today so I sit invisible in the Heather gives me my Christmas present early bell earrings red plastic chair while the secretary brings a PTA volunteer up that chime when I turn my head This means I ll have to get to warp speed on the Petrakis thing David s parents have her something Maybe I ll go wholesome and buy a friendship hired a big nasty expensive lawyer He is threatening to sue necklace She s the friendship necklace type The bells are a the school district and Mr Neck for everything from incompe great choice I shake my head all through Principal Principal s tence to civil rights violations David s tape recorder is al speech to drown out his voice The orchestra plays an unrec lowed in class to document potential future violations The ognizable tune Heather says the school board won t let them secretary doesn t sound too upset at the idea that Mr Neck perform Christmas carols or Hanukkah songs or Kwanza could get canned I bet she knows him personally tunes Instead of multicultural we have no cultural David must have mentioned the hairy eyeball treatment to The high point of the assembly is the announcement of our his lawyer that afternoon because the next day there is a new name and mascot Principal Principal reads the vote total videocamera set up in the back of class David Petrakis is my Bees 3 Icebergs 17 Hilltoppers 1 Wombats 32 The hero other 1 547 votes were write ins or illegible The Merryweather Wombats Has a nice ring We are the Wombats woozy wicked Wombats Worried withdrawn weepy weird Wombats We pass Raven Cheerleader and Am 68 69
The tape will not be able to pick up the angry gleam in Mr. Neck s eyes, though. He glares at David the whole time he s sp...
ber Cheerleader on the way to my bus They wrinkle their Merry Christmas brows as they struggle to rhyme wombat Democracy is a I call Heather but she s shopping What would Heather do if wonderful institution she were here and the house didn t feel like Christmas I will pretend to be Heather I bundle up in geeky snow clothes wrap a scarf around my head and plunge into a snowdrift WINTER BREAK The back yard is gorgeous The trees and bushes are all wrapped in ice reflecting sunlight into something powerful I School is out and there are two days until Christmas M o m just have to make a snow angel left a note saying I can put up the tree if I want I drag the tree out of the basement and stand it in the driveway so I can I tromp to an unmarked piece of snow and let myself fall sweep the dust and cobwebs off it with a broom We leave the backward The scarf falls over my mouth as I wave my wings lights on it from year to year All I have to do is hang the or The wet wool smells like first grade walking to school on a naments cold morning with my milk money jangling in the tips of my mittens We lived in a different house then a smaller house There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat M o m worked at the jewelry counter and was home after Little kids make Christmas fun I wonder if we could rent one school Dad had a nicer boss and talked all the time about for the holidays When I was tiny we would buy a real tree buying a boat I believed in Santa Claus and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations It seems like my par The wind stirs the branches overhead My heart clangs like a ents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie fire bell The scarf is too tight on my mouth I pull it off to Maybe I shouldn t have told them I knew where the presents breathe The moisture on my skin freezes I want to make a really came from It broke their hearts wish but I don t know what to wish for And I have snow up my back I bet they d be divorced by now if I hadn t been born I m sure I was a huge disappointment I m not pretty or smart or ath I break off branches from the holly bushes and a few sprigs of letic I m just like them an ordinary drone dressed in secrets pine and carry them inside I tie them together with red yarn and lies I can t believe we have to keep playacting until I and set them on the fireplace mantel and the dining room graduate It s a shame we can t just admit that we have failed table It doesn t look as nice as when the lady on TV did it family living sell the house split up the money and get on but it makes the place smell better I still wish we could bor with our lives row a kid for a few days 70 71
ber Cheerleader on the way to my bus. They wrinkle their  Merry Christmas.  brows as they struggle to rhyme  wombat.  Demo...
ber Cheerleader on the way to my bus They wrinkle their Merry Christmas brows as they struggle to rhyme wombat Democracy is a I call Heather but she s shopping What would Heather do if wonderful institution she were here and the house didn t feel like Christmas I will pretend to be Heather I bundle up in geeky snow clothes wrap a scarf around my head and plunge into a snowdrift WINTER BREAK The back yard is gorgeous The trees and bushes are all wrapped in ice reflecting sunlight into something powerful I School is out and there are two days until Christmas M o m just have to make a snow angel left a note saying I can put up the tree if I want I drag the tree out of the basement and stand it in the driveway so I can I tromp to an unmarked piece of snow and let myself fall sweep the dust and cobwebs off it with a broom We leave the backward The scarf falls over my mouth as I wave my wings lights on it from year to year All I have to do is hang the or The wet wool smells like first grade walking to school on a naments cold morning with my milk money jangling in the tips of my mittens We lived in a different house then a smaller house There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat M o m worked at the jewelry counter and was home after Little kids make Christmas fun I wonder if we could rent one school Dad had a nicer boss and talked all the time about for the holidays When I was tiny we would buy a real tree buying a boat I believed in Santa Claus and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations It seems like my par The wind stirs the branches overhead My heart clangs like a ents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie fire bell The scarf is too tight on my mouth I pull it off to Maybe I shouldn t have told them I knew where the presents breathe The moisture on my skin freezes I want to make a really came from It broke their hearts wish but I don t know what to wish for And I have snow up my back I bet they d be divorced by now if I hadn t been born I m sure I was a huge disappointment I m not pretty or smart or ath I break off branches from the holly bushes and a few sprigs of letic I m just like them an ordinary drone dressed in secrets pine and carry them inside I tie them together with red yarn and lies I can t believe we have to keep playacting until I and set them on the fireplace mantel and the dining room graduate It s a shame we can t just admit that we have failed table It doesn t look as nice as when the lady on TV did it family living sell the house split up the money and get on but it makes the place smell better I still wish we could bor with our lives row a kid for a few days 70 71
ber Cheerleader on the way to my bus. They wrinkle their  Merry Christmas.  brows as they struggle to rhyme  wombat.  Demo...
We sleep in till noon on Christmas I give M o m a black sweater and Dad a CD with sixties hits They give me a handful of gift certificates a TV for my room ice skates and a sketch pad with charcoal pencils They say they have noticed HARD LABOR me drawing I had two days of freedom before my parents decided I wasn t I almost tell them right then and there Tears flood my going to lounge around the house all vacation I have to go eyes They noticed I ve been trying to draw They noticed I to work with them I m not legally old enough to work but try to swallow the snowball in my throat This isn t going they don t care I spend the weekend at Mom s store dealing to be easy I m sure they suspect I was at the party Maybe with all the merchandise brought back by grumpy people Did they even heard about me calling the cops But I want to anyone in Syracuse get what they wanted for Christmas Sure tell them everything as we sit there by our plastic Christ doesn t seem like it Since I m underage M o m sticks me in the mas tree while the Rudolph basement stockroom I m supposed to refold the shirts stick the Red Nosed Reindeer video ing them with eleven pins The other employees watch me like plays I m a rat like my mother has sent me to the basement to spy I wipe my eyes They wait with unsure smiles The snow on them I fold a few shirts then kick back and take out a ball grows larger When I snuck home that night they book They relax I am one of them I don t want to be there weren t in the house Both cars were gone I was supposed to either have been at Rachel s all night long they weren t expecting me that s for sure I showered until the hot water was M o m obviously knows I did squat but she doesn t say gone then I crawled in bed and did not sleep M o m pulled anything in the car We don t leave until way after dark be in around 2 a m Dad just before sunup They had not cause she has so much work to do Sales have sucked she been together What had they been doing I thought I didn t get anywhere near the goal she set Layoffs are com knew H ow can I talk to them about that night H ow can I ing We stop at a traffic light M o m closes her eyes Her skin start is a flat gray color like underwear washed so many times it s about to fall apart I feel bad that I didn t fold more shirts Rudolph sets out on his ice floe I m independent he de for her clares Dad looks at his watch M o m stuffs the wrapping paper into a garbage bag They leave the room I am still sitting The next day they send me to Dad s He sells some kind of in on the floor holding the paper and charcoals I didn t even say surance but I don t know how or why He sets up a card table Thank you for me in his office My job is to put calendars into envelopes 72 73
We sleep in till noon on Christmas. I give M o m a black sweater and Dad a CD with sixties hits. They give me a handful of...
We sleep in till noon on Christmas I give M o m a black sweater and Dad a CD with sixties hits They give me a handful of gift certificates a TV for my room ice skates and a sketch pad with charcoal pencils They say they have noticed HARD LABOR me drawing I had two days of freedom before my parents decided I wasn t I almost tell them right then and there Tears flood my going to lounge around the house all vacation I have to go eyes They noticed I ve been trying to draw They noticed I to work with them I m not legally old enough to work but try to swallow the snowball in my throat This isn t going they don t care I spend the weekend at Mom s store dealing to be easy I m sure they suspect I was at the party Maybe with all the merchandise brought back by grumpy people Did they even heard about me calling the cops But I want to anyone in Syracuse get what they wanted for Christmas Sure tell them everything as we sit there by our plastic Christ doesn t seem like it Since I m underage M o m sticks me in the mas tree while the Rudolph basement stockroom I m supposed to refold the shirts stick the Red Nosed Reindeer video ing them with eleven pins The other employees watch me like plays I m a rat like my mother has sent me to the basement to spy I wipe my eyes They wait with unsure smiles The snow on them I fold a few shirts then kick back and take out a ball grows larger When I snuck home that night they book They relax I am one of them I don t want to be there weren t in the house Both cars were gone I was supposed to either have been at Rachel s all night long they weren t expecting me that s for sure I showered until the hot water was M o m obviously knows I did squat but she doesn t say gone then I crawled in bed and did not sleep M o m pulled anything in the car We don t leave until way after dark be in around 2 a m Dad just before sunup They had not cause she has so much work to do Sales have sucked she been together What had they been doing I thought I didn t get anywhere near the goal she set Layoffs are com knew H ow can I talk to them about that night H ow can I ing We stop at a traffic light M o m closes her eyes Her skin start is a flat gray color like underwear washed so many times it s about to fall apart I feel bad that I didn t fold more shirts Rudolph sets out on his ice floe I m independent he de for her clares Dad looks at his watch M o m stuffs the wrapping paper into a garbage bag They leave the room I am still sitting The next day they send me to Dad s He sells some kind of in on the floor holding the paper and charcoals I didn t even say surance but I don t know how or why He sets up a card table Thank you for me in his office My job is to put calendars into envelopes 72 73
We sleep in till noon on Christmas. I give M o m a black sweater and Dad a CD with sixties hits. They give me a handful of...
seal them up and stick on mailing labels He sits at his desk twice and put it through the net M s Connors tells me to do and talks to buddies on the phone it again And again She keeps bouncing balls my way and I keep putting them up swish swish swish Forty two shots He gets to work with his feet up He gets to laugh with his later my arms wobble and I miss one By that time the entire friends on the phone He gets to call out for lunch I think he class has gathered around and is watching Nicole is just deserves to be in the basement folding shirts and helping my about bursting You have to join the team she shouts mother I deserve to be watching cable or taking a nap or even going to Heather s house By lunchtime my stomach M s Connors Meet me back here during activity period You boils with anger Dad s secretary says something nice to me are Going Places with That Arm when she drops off my lunch but I don t answer her I glare daggers at the back of my father s head Angry angry angry I Me have another million envelopes to close I run my tongue over the gross gummy envelope flap The sharp edge of the flap It is a sad and downtrodden M s Connors who meets me three cuts my tongue I taste my blood IT s face suddenly pops up hours later She holds my current grades by two fingers D C in my mind All the anger whistles out of me like I m a B D C C A No basketball team for me because the popped balloon Dad is really pissed when he sees how many A was in art so my GPA is a whopping 1 7 M s Connors did calendars I bled on He mentions a need for professional help not win a lacrosse scholarship by being demure or hesitant She times me in wind sprints then puts me back on the line to I am actually grateful to go back to school shoot Ms Connors Try an outside shot bank it off the board have you thought about a tutor nice shot it s those Ds that are FOUL killing you try a lay up that needs work I could maybe do something about the social studies grade but your English N o w that there are two feet of snow on the ground the teacher is impossible she hates sports do you have a hook fizz ed teachers let us have class inside They keep the gym at shot about forty degrees because a little cool air never hurt anyone Easy for them to say they wear sweatpants I just do what I m told If I felt like talking I would explain that she couldn t pay me enough to play on her basketball The first inside sport is basketball M s Connors teaches us team All that running Sweating Getting knocked around by how to throw foul shots I step up to the line bounce the ball genetic mutants I don t think so Now if basketball had a 74 75
seal them up, and stick on mailing labels. He sits at his desk  twice, and put it through the net. M s. Connors tells me t...
seal them up and stick on mailing labels He sits at his desk twice and put it through the net M s Connors tells me to do and talks to buddies on the phone it again And again She keeps bouncing balls my way and I keep putting them up swish swish swish Forty two shots He gets to work with his feet up He gets to laugh with his later my arms wobble and I miss one By that time the entire friends on the phone He gets to call out for lunch I think he class has gathered around and is watching Nicole is just deserves to be in the basement folding shirts and helping my about bursting You have to join the team she shouts mother I deserve to be watching cable or taking a nap or even going to Heather s house By lunchtime my stomach M s Connors Meet me back here during activity period You boils with anger Dad s secretary says something nice to me are Going Places with That Arm when she drops off my lunch but I don t answer her I glare daggers at the back of my father s head Angry angry angry I Me have another million envelopes to close I run my tongue over the gross gummy envelope flap The sharp edge of the flap It is a sad and downtrodden M s Connors who meets me three cuts my tongue I taste my blood IT s face suddenly pops up hours later She holds my current grades by two fingers D C in my mind All the anger whistles out of me like I m a B D C C A No basketball team for me because the popped balloon Dad is really pissed when he sees how many A was in art so my GPA is a whopping 1 7 M s Connors did calendars I bled on He mentions a need for professional help not win a lacrosse scholarship by being demure or hesitant She times me in wind sprints then puts me back on the line to I am actually grateful to go back to school shoot Ms Connors Try an outside shot bank it off the board have you thought about a tutor nice shot it s those Ds that are FOUL killing you try a lay up that needs work I could maybe do something about the social studies grade but your English N o w that there are two feet of snow on the ground the teacher is impossible she hates sports do you have a hook fizz ed teachers let us have class inside They keep the gym at shot about forty degrees because a little cool air never hurt anyone Easy for them to say they wear sweatpants I just do what I m told If I felt like talking I would explain that she couldn t pay me enough to play on her basketball The first inside sport is basketball M s Connors teaches us team All that running Sweating Getting knocked around by how to throw foul shots I step up to the line bounce the ball genetic mutants I don t think so Now if basketball had a 74 75
seal them up, and stick on mailing labels. He sits at his desk  twice, and put it through the net. M s. Connors tells me t...
designated foul shot shooter maybe I d consider The other frown talk arms on hips biceps flexing The boys stare at team fouls you you get to pay them back Boom But that s me visitor from the Planet Foul Shot W h o is this girl not the way it works in basketball or in life M s Connors punches Coach in the arm Coach punches M s Connors looks so eager I like the sensation of succeeding Ms Connors in the arm They offer me a deal If I volunteer brilliantly at something even if it is just thunking in foul to teach the Basketball Pole how to swish a foul shot I will shots one after another I ll let her dream a few more minutes get an automatic A in gym I shrug my shoulders and they The boys varsity team dribbles in Their record is zero and grin I couldn t say no I couldn t say anything I just won t five Go Wombats show up Basketball Pole aka Brendan Keller the one who contributed to my mashed potato and gravy humiliation on the first day of school stands under the basket The other guys run C O L O R I N G OUTSIDE THE LINES drills and pass in to him Brendan reaches up a skinny octopus tentacle and casually drops the ball through the hoop Our Our art room is blooming like a museum full of O Keeffes boys are unbeatable as long as they are the only team on the van Goghs and that French guy who painted flowers with floor tiny dots Mr Freeman is the Vogue Teacher of the Moment There are rumors that he ll be the Teacher of the Year in the The boys coach barks something I don t understand and the yearbook team lines up behind Basketball Pole for free throw practice He dribbles bounce two three He shoots Brick Bounce His room is Cool Central He keeps the radio on We are al two three Brick Brick Brick Can t sink a shot from the lowed to eat as long as we work He bounced a couple of line to save his skinny neck slackers who confused freedom with no rules so the rest of us don t make waves It is too much fun to give up The room is Ms Connors talks to the boys coach while I watch the rest of full of painters sculptors and sketchers during activity pe the team hit a sorry thirty percent Then she blows her whistle riod and some kids stay there until the late late buses are and waves me over The boys clear out of the way and I take ready to roll my place on the line Show em commands M s Connors Trained seal me bounce bounce up swish again and again Mr Freeman s painting is coming along great Some newspa and again until the guys stop bouncing and everyone is per guy heard about it and wrote an article The article watching M s Connors and Basketball Coach talk serious claimed Mr Freeman is a gifted genius who has devoted his 76 77
designated foul-shot shooter, maybe I d consider. The other  frown talk arms on hips, biceps flexing. The boys stare at  t...
designated foul shot shooter maybe I d consider The other frown talk arms on hips biceps flexing The boys stare at team fouls you you get to pay them back Boom But that s me visitor from the Planet Foul Shot W h o is this girl not the way it works in basketball or in life M s Connors punches Coach in the arm Coach punches M s Connors looks so eager I like the sensation of succeeding Ms Connors in the arm They offer me a deal If I volunteer brilliantly at something even if it is just thunking in foul to teach the Basketball Pole how to swish a foul shot I will shots one after another I ll let her dream a few more minutes get an automatic A in gym I shrug my shoulders and they The boys varsity team dribbles in Their record is zero and grin I couldn t say no I couldn t say anything I just won t five Go Wombats show up Basketball Pole aka Brendan Keller the one who contributed to my mashed potato and gravy humiliation on the first day of school stands under the basket The other guys run C O L O R I N G OUTSIDE THE LINES drills and pass in to him Brendan reaches up a skinny octopus tentacle and casually drops the ball through the hoop Our Our art room is blooming like a museum full of O Keeffes boys are unbeatable as long as they are the only team on the van Goghs and that French guy who painted flowers with floor tiny dots Mr Freeman is the Vogue Teacher of the Moment There are rumors that he ll be the Teacher of the Year in the The boys coach barks something I don t understand and the yearbook team lines up behind Basketball Pole for free throw practice He dribbles bounce two three He shoots Brick Bounce His room is Cool Central He keeps the radio on We are al two three Brick Brick Brick Can t sink a shot from the lowed to eat as long as we work He bounced a couple of line to save his skinny neck slackers who confused freedom with no rules so the rest of us don t make waves It is too much fun to give up The room is Ms Connors talks to the boys coach while I watch the rest of full of painters sculptors and sketchers during activity pe the team hit a sorry thirty percent Then she blows her whistle riod and some kids stay there until the late late buses are and waves me over The boys clear out of the way and I take ready to roll my place on the line Show em commands M s Connors Trained seal me bounce bounce up swish again and again Mr Freeman s painting is coming along great Some newspa and again until the guys stop bouncing and everyone is per guy heard about it and wrote an article The article watching M s Connors and Basketball Coach talk serious claimed Mr Freeman is a gifted genius who has devoted his 76 77
designated foul-shot shooter, maybe I d consider. The other  frown talk arms on hips, biceps flexing. The boys stare at  t...
life to education A color picture of the work in progress accompanied the article Someone said a few school board members recognized themselves I bet they sue him POSTER CHILD I wish Mr Freeman would put a tree in his masterpiece I can t figure out how to make mine look real I have already Heather left a note in my locker begging me to go to her ruined six linoleum blocks I can see it in my head a strong house after school She s in trouble She is not meeting Martha old oak tree with a wide scarred trunk and thousands of standards She sobs out the story in her room I listen and pick leaves reaching to the sun There s a tree in front of my lint balls off my sweater house just like it I can feel the wind blow and hear the mockingbird whistling on the way back to her nest But when I try The Marthas held a craft meeting to make Valentine s pillows to carve it it looks like a dead tree toothpicks a child s for little kids who are in the hospital Meg n Emily sewed drawing I can t bring it to life I d love to give it up Quit three sides of the pillows while the others stuffed stitched But I can t think of anything else to do so I keep chipping and glued on hearts and teddy bears Heather was in charge of away at it hearts She was all flustered because a few Marthas didn t like her outfit They yelled at her for gluing hearts crooked Then Principal Principal stormed in yesterday smelling pleasure the top of her glue bottle came off and completely ruined a His mustache moved up and down a radar sweep for all pillow things unruly An unseen hand turned off the radio as he crossed the threshold and bags of potato chips vanished leav At this point in the story she throws a doll across her room I ing the faint scent of salt to mix with vermilion oil paint and move the nail polish out of her reach wet clay Meg demoted Heather to pillow stuffing Once the pillow proHe scanned the room for merriment Found only bowed duction line was again rolling smoothly the meeting began heads graceful pencils dipping brushes Mr Freeman touched Topic the Canned Food Drive The Senior Marthas are in up the dark roots on the head of a lady school board member charge of delivering the food to the needy with a newspaper and asked if Principal Principal needed help Principal Princi photographer present and meeting with the principal to coor pal stalked out of the room in the direction of the Human dinate whatever needs coordinating Waste s smoking haven I zone out She talks about who s in charge of classroom capMaybe I ll be an artist if I grow up 78 tains and who s in charge of publicity and I don t know what 79
life to education. A color picture of the work-in-progress accompanied the article. Someone said a few school board member...
life to education A color picture of the work in progress accompanied the article Someone said a few school board members recognized themselves I bet they sue him POSTER CHILD I wish Mr Freeman would put a tree in his masterpiece I can t figure out how to make mine look real I have already Heather left a note in my locker begging me to go to her ruined six linoleum blocks I can see it in my head a strong house after school She s in trouble She is not meeting Martha old oak tree with a wide scarred trunk and thousands of standards She sobs out the story in her room I listen and pick leaves reaching to the sun There s a tree in front of my lint balls off my sweater house just like it I can feel the wind blow and hear the mockingbird whistling on the way back to her nest But when I try The Marthas held a craft meeting to make Valentine s pillows to carve it it looks like a dead tree toothpicks a child s for little kids who are in the hospital Meg n Emily sewed drawing I can t bring it to life I d love to give it up Quit three sides of the pillows while the others stuffed stitched But I can t think of anything else to do so I keep chipping and glued on hearts and teddy bears Heather was in charge of away at it hearts She was all flustered because a few Marthas didn t like her outfit They yelled at her for gluing hearts crooked Then Principal Principal stormed in yesterday smelling pleasure the top of her glue bottle came off and completely ruined a His mustache moved up and down a radar sweep for all pillow things unruly An unseen hand turned off the radio as he crossed the threshold and bags of potato chips vanished leav At this point in the story she throws a doll across her room I ing the faint scent of salt to mix with vermilion oil paint and move the nail polish out of her reach wet clay Meg demoted Heather to pillow stuffing Once the pillow proHe scanned the room for merriment Found only bowed duction line was again rolling smoothly the meeting began heads graceful pencils dipping brushes Mr Freeman touched Topic the Canned Food Drive The Senior Marthas are in up the dark roots on the head of a lady school board member charge of delivering the food to the needy with a newspaper and asked if Principal Principal needed help Principal Princi photographer present and meeting with the principal to coor pal stalked out of the room in the direction of the Human dinate whatever needs coordinating Waste s smoking haven I zone out She talks about who s in charge of classroom capMaybe I ll be an artist if I grow up 78 tains and who s in charge of publicity and I don t know what 79
life to education. A color picture of the work-in-progress accompanied the article. Someone said a few school board member...
all I don t come back to earth until Heather says I knew delivered our victims on January 1 4 Pickled frogs have a way you wouldn t mind M e l of disappearing from the storage closet so today M s Keen armed us with knives and told us not to gag Me What David Petrakis My Lab Partner is thrilled anatomy at last Heather I knew you wouldn t mind helping I think Emily There are lists to memorize The hopping bone s connected to did it on purpose She doesn t like me I was going to ask you the jumping bone the ribbet bone s connected to the fly to help then say I did it by myself but that would have been catching bone He seriously talks about wearing one of those lying and besides they would have stuck me with all the doctor masks over his face while we operate He thinks it poster work for the rest of the year So I said I have a friend would be good practice who is really artistic and community oriented and could she help with the posters The room does not smell like apple It smells like frog juice a cross between a nursing home and potato salad The Back Me W h o Row pays attention Cutting dead frogs is cool Heather laughing now but I still hold on to the nail polish Our frog lies on her back Waiting for a prince to come and You silly You draw better than me and you have plenty of princessify her with a smooch I stand over her with my knife time Please say you ll do it Maybe they ll ask you to join too M s Keen s voice fades to a mosquito whine My throat closes once they see how talented you are Please please whipped off It is hard to breathe I put out my hand to steady myself cream chopped nuts and cherry on top please If I screw this against the table David pins her froggy hands to the dissec up I know they ll blacklist me and then I ll never be part of tion tray He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet any of the good groups I have to slice open her belly She doesn t say a word She is already dead A scream starts in my gut I can feel the cut H o w could I say no smell the dirt leaves in my hair I don t remember passing out David says I hit my head on the edge of the table on my way down The nurse calls my mom DEAD FROGS because I need stitches The doctor stares into the back of my eyes with a bright light Can she read the thoughts hidden Our biology class has graduated from fruit to frogs We were there If she can what will she do Call the cops Send me to scheduled to do the frog unit in April but the frog company the nuthouse Do I want her to I just want to sleep The 80 81
all. I don t come back to earth until Heather says,  I knew  delivered our victims on January 1 4 . Pickled frogs have a w...
all I don t come back to earth until Heather says I knew delivered our victims on January 1 4 Pickled frogs have a way you wouldn t mind M e l of disappearing from the storage closet so today M s Keen armed us with knives and told us not to gag Me What David Petrakis My Lab Partner is thrilled anatomy at last Heather I knew you wouldn t mind helping I think Emily There are lists to memorize The hopping bone s connected to did it on purpose She doesn t like me I was going to ask you the jumping bone the ribbet bone s connected to the fly to help then say I did it by myself but that would have been catching bone He seriously talks about wearing one of those lying and besides they would have stuck me with all the doctor masks over his face while we operate He thinks it poster work for the rest of the year So I said I have a friend would be good practice who is really artistic and community oriented and could she help with the posters The room does not smell like apple It smells like frog juice a cross between a nursing home and potato salad The Back Me W h o Row pays attention Cutting dead frogs is cool Heather laughing now but I still hold on to the nail polish Our frog lies on her back Waiting for a prince to come and You silly You draw better than me and you have plenty of princessify her with a smooch I stand over her with my knife time Please say you ll do it Maybe they ll ask you to join too M s Keen s voice fades to a mosquito whine My throat closes once they see how talented you are Please please whipped off It is hard to breathe I put out my hand to steady myself cream chopped nuts and cherry on top please If I screw this against the table David pins her froggy hands to the dissec up I know they ll blacklist me and then I ll never be part of tion tray He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet any of the good groups I have to slice open her belly She doesn t say a word She is already dead A scream starts in my gut I can feel the cut H o w could I say no smell the dirt leaves in my hair I don t remember passing out David says I hit my head on the edge of the table on my way down The nurse calls my mom DEAD FROGS because I need stitches The doctor stares into the back of my eyes with a bright light Can she read the thoughts hidden Our biology class has graduated from fruit to frogs We were there If she can what will she do Call the cops Send me to scheduled to do the frog unit in April but the frog company the nuthouse Do I want her to I just want to sleep The 80 81
all. I don t come back to earth until Heather says,  I knew  delivered our victims on January 1 4 . Pickled frogs have a w...
whole point of not talking about it of silencing the memory should worry more about brain retention the way she s diet is to make it go away It won t I ll need brain surgery to cut it ing away her gray matter At last check she was wearing a out of my head Maybe I should wait until David Petrakis is a size one and a half and she just has to get down to a size one doctor let him do it The photo shoot is in a building cold enough to store ice Heather looks like our Thanksgiving turkey wearing a blue bikini Her goose bumps are bigger than her boobs I m shiverMODEL CITIZEN ing and I m wearing my ski jacket and a wool sweater The photographer turns up the radio and starts bossing the girls Heather has landed a modeling job at a department store in around Heather totally gets into it She throws her head back the mall She says she was buying socks with her mother the stares at the camera flashes her teeth The photographer keeps week after her braces came off and some lady asked if she saying Sexy sexy very cute Look this way Sexy think modeled I suspect the fact that her dad works for the mall beach think boys It creeps me out Heather sneezes in the management company had something to do with it middle of a group pose and her mother runs in with tissues It must be catching My throat is killing me I want a nap The modeling gig is paying off in major Martha points They all want to be Heather s New Best Friend But she asks me to I don t buy the gold eyeshadow but I do pick up a bottle of go with her for the bathing suit shoot I think she s afraid to Black Death nail polish It s gloomy with squiggly lines of red screw up in front of them Heather s mother drives us She in it My nails are bitten to the bleeding point so it will look asks if I want to be a model Heather says I am too shy I look natural I need to get a shirt that matches Something in a tu at her mother s eyes watching me in the rearview mirror and bercular gray hide my mouth with my fingers The scabs on my lips are especially gross in that little rectangle mirror Of course I want to be a model I want to paint my eyelids DEATH BY ALGEBRA gold I saw that on a magazine cover and it looked amazing turned the model into a sexy alien that everyone would look Mr Stetman won t give up He is determined to prove once at but nobody dared touch and for all that algebra is something we will use the rest of our lives If he succeeds I think they should give him the I like cheeseburgers too much to be a model Heather has Teacher of the Century Award and a two week vacation in stopped eating and complains about fluid retention She Hawaii all expenses paid 82 83
whole point of not talking about it, of silencing the memory,  should worry more about brain retention, the way she s diet...
whole point of not talking about it of silencing the memory should worry more about brain retention the way she s diet is to make it go away It won t I ll need brain surgery to cut it ing away her gray matter At last check she was wearing a out of my head Maybe I should wait until David Petrakis is a size one and a half and she just has to get down to a size one doctor let him do it The photo shoot is in a building cold enough to store ice Heather looks like our Thanksgiving turkey wearing a blue bikini Her goose bumps are bigger than her boobs I m shiverMODEL CITIZEN ing and I m wearing my ski jacket and a wool sweater The photographer turns up the radio and starts bossing the girls Heather has landed a modeling job at a department store in around Heather totally gets into it She throws her head back the mall She says she was buying socks with her mother the stares at the camera flashes her teeth The photographer keeps week after her braces came off and some lady asked if she saying Sexy sexy very cute Look this way Sexy think modeled I suspect the fact that her dad works for the mall beach think boys It creeps me out Heather sneezes in the management company had something to do with it middle of a group pose and her mother runs in with tissues It must be catching My throat is killing me I want a nap The modeling gig is paying off in major Martha points They all want to be Heather s New Best Friend But she asks me to I don t buy the gold eyeshadow but I do pick up a bottle of go with her for the bathing suit shoot I think she s afraid to Black Death nail polish It s gloomy with squiggly lines of red screw up in front of them Heather s mother drives us She in it My nails are bitten to the bleeding point so it will look asks if I want to be a model Heather says I am too shy I look natural I need to get a shirt that matches Something in a tu at her mother s eyes watching me in the rearview mirror and bercular gray hide my mouth with my fingers The scabs on my lips are especially gross in that little rectangle mirror Of course I want to be a model I want to paint my eyelids DEATH BY ALGEBRA gold I saw that on a magazine cover and it looked amazing turned the model into a sexy alien that everyone would look Mr Stetman won t give up He is determined to prove once at but nobody dared touch and for all that algebra is something we will use the rest of our lives If he succeeds I think they should give him the I like cheeseburgers too much to be a model Heather has Teacher of the Century Award and a two week vacation in stopped eating and complains about fluid retention She Hawaii all expenses paid 82 83
whole point of not talking about it, of silencing the memory,  should worry more about brain retention, the way she s diet...
He comes to class each day with a new Real Life Application Lost Homework Excuse Ever in five hundred words We had It is sweet that he cares enough about algebra and his students one night No one was late to want to bring them together He s like a grandfather who wants to fix up two young kids that he just knows would But now Hairwoman is on a roll Ho w I Would Change make a great couple Only the kids have nothing in common High School Lower the Driving Age to 1 4 The Perfect and they hate each other J o b Her topics are fun but she keeps cranking them out one after the next First she broke our spirits by overwhelming Today s Application has something to do with buying guppies us with work we couldn t really complain about because the at the pet store and calculating how many guppies you could topics are the kind of things we talk about all the time Re breed if you wanted to go into the guppie business Once the cently she s started sneaking grammar shudder into the class guppies turn into x s and y s my contacts fog Class ends in a room One day we worked on verb tenses I surf the Net I debate between the animal rights activists who say it is im surfed the Net I was surfing the Net Then lively adjectives moral to own fish and the red blooded capitalists who know Does it sound better to say Nicole s old lacrosse stick hit me lots of better ways to make money than investing in fish that on the head or Nicole s barf yellow gnarled bloodstained eat their young I watch the snow falling outside lacrosse stick hit me on the head She even tried to teach us the difference between active voice I snarfed the O r e o s and passive voice The Oreos got snarfed WORD WORK Words are hard work I hope they send Hairwoman to a conference or something I m ready to help pay for a sub Hairwoman is torturing us with essays Do English teachers spend their vacations dreaming up these things The first essay this semester was a dud Why America Is NAMING THE MONSTER Great in five hundred words She gave us three weeks Only Tiffany Wilson turned it in on time But the assignment was I work on Heather s posters for two weeks I try to draw them not a complete failure Hairwoman runs the drama club and in the art room but too many people watch me It is quiet in she recruited several new members based on their perfor my closet and the markers smell good I could stay here for mances as to why they needed an extension ever BRING A CAN SAVE A LIFE Heather told me to be direct It is the only way to get what we want I draw posters of bas She has a warped sense of humor as well as a demented beau ketball players shooting cans through a hoop They demon tician The next essay was supposed to be fictional The Best strate very good form 84 85
He comes to class each day with a new Real-Life Application.  Lost Homework Excuse Ever  in five hundred words. We had  It...
He comes to class each day with a new Real Life Application Lost Homework Excuse Ever in five hundred words We had It is sweet that he cares enough about algebra and his students one night No one was late to want to bring them together He s like a grandfather who wants to fix up two young kids that he just knows would But now Hairwoman is on a roll Ho w I Would Change make a great couple Only the kids have nothing in common High School Lower the Driving Age to 1 4 The Perfect and they hate each other J o b Her topics are fun but she keeps cranking them out one after the next First she broke our spirits by overwhelming Today s Application has something to do with buying guppies us with work we couldn t really complain about because the at the pet store and calculating how many guppies you could topics are the kind of things we talk about all the time Re breed if you wanted to go into the guppie business Once the cently she s started sneaking grammar shudder into the class guppies turn into x s and y s my contacts fog Class ends in a room One day we worked on verb tenses I surf the Net I debate between the animal rights activists who say it is im surfed the Net I was surfing the Net Then lively adjectives moral to own fish and the red blooded capitalists who know Does it sound better to say Nicole s old lacrosse stick hit me lots of better ways to make money than investing in fish that on the head or Nicole s barf yellow gnarled bloodstained eat their young I watch the snow falling outside lacrosse stick hit me on the head She even tried to teach us the difference between active voice I snarfed the O r e o s and passive voice The Oreos got snarfed WORD WORK Words are hard work I hope they send Hairwoman to a conference or something I m ready to help pay for a sub Hairwoman is torturing us with essays Do English teachers spend their vacations dreaming up these things The first essay this semester was a dud Why America Is NAMING THE MONSTER Great in five hundred words She gave us three weeks Only Tiffany Wilson turned it in on time But the assignment was I work on Heather s posters for two weeks I try to draw them not a complete failure Hairwoman runs the drama club and in the art room but too many people watch me It is quiet in she recruited several new members based on their perfor my closet and the markers smell good I could stay here for mances as to why they needed an extension ever BRING A CAN SAVE A LIFE Heather told me to be direct It is the only way to get what we want I draw posters of bas She has a warped sense of humor as well as a demented beau ketball players shooting cans through a hoop They demon tician The next essay was supposed to be fictional The Best strate very good form 84 85
He comes to class each day with a new Real-Life Application.  Lost Homework Excuse Ever  in five hundred words. We had  It...
Heather has another modeling job Tennis clothes I think She I watch the Eruptions Mount Dad long dormant now con asks me to hang the posters for her I actually don t mind It s sidered armed and dangerous Mount Saint M o m oozing nice having kids see me do something good Might help my lava spitting flame Warn the villagers to run into the sea Be reputation I m hanging a poster outside the metal shop room hind my eyes I conjugate irregular Spanish verbs when IT creeps up Little flecks of metal slice through my A minor blizzard blows outside The weather lady says it s a veins IT whispers to me lake effect storm the wind from Canada sucks up water Freshmeat That s what IT whispers from Lake Ontario runs it through the freeze machine and dumps it on Syracuse I can feel the wind fighting to break IT found me again I thought I could ignore IT There are four through our storm windows I want the snow to bury our hundred other freshmen in here two hundred female Plus all house the other grades But he whispers to me They keep asking questions like What is wrong with you I can smell him over the noise of the metal shop and I drop my and D o you think this is cute How can I answer I don t poster and the masking tape and I want to throw up and I can have to They don t want to hear anything I have to say They smell him and I run and he remembers and he knows He ground me until the Second Coming I have to come straight whispers in my ear home after school unless M o m arranges for me to meet with a teacher I can t go to Heather s They are going to disconnect I lie to Heather about the masking tape and say I put it back the cable Don t think they ll follow through on that one in the supply box I do my homework and show it to them like a good little girl When they send me to bed I write a runaway note and leave it on my desk M o m finds me sleeping in my bedroom closet RENT ROUND 3 She hands me a pillow and closes the door again No more blah blahs My guidance counselor calls M o m at the store to pave the way for my report card Must remember to send her a thank I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my you note By the time we eat dinner the Battle is roaring at left wrist Pitiful If a suicide attempt is a cry for help then full pitch Grades blah blah blah Attitude blah blah blah what is this A whimper a peep I draw little windowcracks Help around the house blah blah blah Not a kid anymore of blood etching line after line until it stops hurting It looks blah blah blah like I arm wrestled a rosebush 86 87
Heather has another modeling job. Tennis clothes, I think. She  I watch the Eruptions. Mount Dad, long dormant, now con-  ...
Heather has another modeling job Tennis clothes I think She I watch the Eruptions Mount Dad long dormant now con asks me to hang the posters for her I actually don t mind It s sidered armed and dangerous Mount Saint M o m oozing nice having kids see me do something good Might help my lava spitting flame Warn the villagers to run into the sea Be reputation I m hanging a poster outside the metal shop room hind my eyes I conjugate irregular Spanish verbs when IT creeps up Little flecks of metal slice through my A minor blizzard blows outside The weather lady says it s a veins IT whispers to me lake effect storm the wind from Canada sucks up water Freshmeat That s what IT whispers from Lake Ontario runs it through the freeze machine and dumps it on Syracuse I can feel the wind fighting to break IT found me again I thought I could ignore IT There are four through our storm windows I want the snow to bury our hundred other freshmen in here two hundred female Plus all house the other grades But he whispers to me They keep asking questions like What is wrong with you I can smell him over the noise of the metal shop and I drop my and D o you think this is cute How can I answer I don t poster and the masking tape and I want to throw up and I can have to They don t want to hear anything I have to say They smell him and I run and he remembers and he knows He ground me until the Second Coming I have to come straight whispers in my ear home after school unless M o m arranges for me to meet with a teacher I can t go to Heather s They are going to disconnect I lie to Heather about the masking tape and say I put it back the cable Don t think they ll follow through on that one in the supply box I do my homework and show it to them like a good little girl When they send me to bed I write a runaway note and leave it on my desk M o m finds me sleeping in my bedroom closet RENT ROUND 3 She hands me a pillow and closes the door again No more blah blahs My guidance counselor calls M o m at the store to pave the way for my report card Must remember to send her a thank I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my you note By the time we eat dinner the Battle is roaring at left wrist Pitiful If a suicide attempt is a cry for help then full pitch Grades blah blah blah Attitude blah blah blah what is this A whimper a peep I draw little windowcracks Help around the house blah blah blah Not a kid anymore of blood etching line after line until it stops hurting It looks blah blah blah like I arm wrestled a rosebush 86 87
Heather has another modeling job. Tennis clothes, I think. She  I watch the Eruptions. Mount Dad, long dormant, now con-  ...
M o m sees the wrist at breakfast Siobhan N o duh But we found an entire bag of beets in the collection closet They must have come from you M o m I don t have time for this Melinda Heather A neighbor gave them to me They re beets People Me eat them What s the problem She says suicide is for cowards This is an uglynasty Momside The rest of the Marthas sigh on cue Apparently beets are Not She bought a book about it Tough love Sour sugar Barbed Good Enough Real Marthas only collect food that they like velvet Silent talk She leaves the book on the back of the to eat like cranberry sauce dolphin safe tuna or baby peas I toilet to educate me She has figured out that I don t say too can see Heather dig her nails into her palms under the table much It bugs her The peanut butter molds to the roof of my mouth like a retainer Siobhan That s not all Your numbers are abysmal CAN IT Heather What numbers Lunch with Heather starts cold Since winter break she has been sitting at the fringe of the Martha table and I eat on the Siobhan Your can quota You aren t carrying your weight other side of her I can tell something is up as soon as I walk You aren t contributing in All the Marthas are wearing matching outfits navy corduroy miniskirts striped tops and clear plastic purses They Heather We ve only been doing this for a week I know I ll must have gone shopping together Heather doesn t match get more They hadn t invited her Emily It s not just the can quota Your posters are ridicuShe is too cool to be nervous about this I am nervous for her lous my little brother could have done a better j o b It s no I take an enormous bite of my PBJ and try not to choke They wonder no one wants to help us You ve turned this project wait until she has a mouthful of cottage cheese Siobhan puts into a j o k e a can of beets on the table Emily slides her tray across to Heather Heather gets up Siobhan What s this without a word and clears it away Traitor She isn t going Heather swallowing It s a can of beets hardens to stick up for my posters The peanut butter in my mouth 88 89
M o m sees the wrist at breakfast.  Siobhan    N o duh. But we found an entire bag of beets in the collection closet. They...
M o m sees the wrist at breakfast Siobhan N o duh But we found an entire bag of beets in the collection closet They must have come from you M o m I don t have time for this Melinda Heather A neighbor gave them to me They re beets People Me eat them What s the problem She says suicide is for cowards This is an uglynasty Momside The rest of the Marthas sigh on cue Apparently beets are Not She bought a book about it Tough love Sour sugar Barbed Good Enough Real Marthas only collect food that they like velvet Silent talk She leaves the book on the back of the to eat like cranberry sauce dolphin safe tuna or baby peas I toilet to educate me She has figured out that I don t say too can see Heather dig her nails into her palms under the table much It bugs her The peanut butter molds to the roof of my mouth like a retainer Siobhan That s not all Your numbers are abysmal CAN IT Heather What numbers Lunch with Heather starts cold Since winter break she has been sitting at the fringe of the Martha table and I eat on the Siobhan Your can quota You aren t carrying your weight other side of her I can tell something is up as soon as I walk You aren t contributing in All the Marthas are wearing matching outfits navy corduroy miniskirts striped tops and clear plastic purses They Heather We ve only been doing this for a week I know I ll must have gone shopping together Heather doesn t match get more They hadn t invited her Emily It s not just the can quota Your posters are ridicuShe is too cool to be nervous about this I am nervous for her lous my little brother could have done a better j o b It s no I take an enormous bite of my PBJ and try not to choke They wonder no one wants to help us You ve turned this project wait until she has a mouthful of cottage cheese Siobhan puts into a j o k e a can of beets on the table Emily slides her tray across to Heather Heather gets up Siobhan What s this without a word and clears it away Traitor She isn t going Heather swallowing It s a can of beets hardens to stick up for my posters The peanut butter in my mouth 88 89
M o m sees the wrist at breakfast.  Siobhan    N o duh. But we found an entire bag of beets in the collection closet. They...
Siobhan pokes Emily and looks at the door He twirls my ponytail in his fingers Emily s eyes narrow I Siobhan It s him Andy Evans just walked in I think he s lunch into the toilet then wash my face with the ice water looking for you E m that comes out of the Hot faucet Heather does not come mumble something idiotic and run for the bathroom I heave looking for me I turn around They are talking about IT Andy Andy Evans Short stabby name Andy Evans who strolls in carrying a take out bag from Taco Bell He offers the cafeteria monitor a burrito Emily and Siobhan giggle Heather returns her smile DARK ART back in place and asks if Andy is as bad as everyone says Emily blushes the color of canned beets The cement slab sky hangs inches above our heads Which direction is east It has been so long since I ve seen the sun I can t re Siobhan It s just a rumor member Turtlenecks creep out of bottom drawers Turtle faces pull back into winter clothes We won t see some kids until spring Emily Fact he s gorgeous Fact he s rich Fact he s just the itsiest bit dangerous and he called me last night Mr Freeman is in trouble Big time He gave up paperwork when the school board Xed out his supply budget They have Siobhan Rumor he sleeps with anything caught up with him Teachers just handed in the secondmarking period grades and Mr Freeman gave out 2 1 0 As The peanut butter locks my jaws closed Someone smelled a rat Probably the office secretary Emily I don t believe it Rumors are spread by jealous peo I wonder if they called him down to Principal Principal s office ple Hi Andy Did you bring enough lunch for everyone and put this on his Permanent Record He has stopped working on his canvas the painting we all thought was going to be It feels like the Prince of Darkness has swept his cloak over this awesome earth shattering piece of art that would be auc the table The lights dim I shiver Andy stands behind me to tioned for a million dollars The art room is cold Mr Free flirt with Emily I lean into the table to stay as far away from man s face a shade of gray purple If he wasn t so depressed him as I can The table saws me in half Emily s mouth moves I d ask him what the name of that color is He just sits on his the fluorescent lights glittering on her teeth The other girls stool a blue broken cricket husk scootch toward Emily to soak up her Attractiveness Rays Andy must be talking too I can feel deep vibrations in my No one talks to him We blow on our fingers to warm them backbone like a thudding speaker I can t hear the words up and sculpt or draw or paint or sketch or in my case 90 97
Siobhan pokes Emily and looks at the door.  He twirls my ponytail in his fingers. Emily s eyes narrow. I  Siobhan   It s h...
Siobhan pokes Emily and looks at the door He twirls my ponytail in his fingers Emily s eyes narrow I Siobhan It s him Andy Evans just walked in I think he s lunch into the toilet then wash my face with the ice water looking for you E m that comes out of the Hot faucet Heather does not come mumble something idiotic and run for the bathroom I heave looking for me I turn around They are talking about IT Andy Andy Evans Short stabby name Andy Evans who strolls in carrying a take out bag from Taco Bell He offers the cafeteria monitor a burrito Emily and Siobhan giggle Heather returns her smile DARK ART back in place and asks if Andy is as bad as everyone says Emily blushes the color of canned beets The cement slab sky hangs inches above our heads Which direction is east It has been so long since I ve seen the sun I can t re Siobhan It s just a rumor member Turtlenecks creep out of bottom drawers Turtle faces pull back into winter clothes We won t see some kids until spring Emily Fact he s gorgeous Fact he s rich Fact he s just the itsiest bit dangerous and he called me last night Mr Freeman is in trouble Big time He gave up paperwork when the school board Xed out his supply budget They have Siobhan Rumor he sleeps with anything caught up with him Teachers just handed in the secondmarking period grades and Mr Freeman gave out 2 1 0 As The peanut butter locks my jaws closed Someone smelled a rat Probably the office secretary Emily I don t believe it Rumors are spread by jealous peo I wonder if they called him down to Principal Principal s office ple Hi Andy Did you bring enough lunch for everyone and put this on his Permanent Record He has stopped working on his canvas the painting we all thought was going to be It feels like the Prince of Darkness has swept his cloak over this awesome earth shattering piece of art that would be auc the table The lights dim I shiver Andy stands behind me to tioned for a million dollars The art room is cold Mr Free flirt with Emily I lean into the table to stay as far away from man s face a shade of gray purple If he wasn t so depressed him as I can The table saws me in half Emily s mouth moves I d ask him what the name of that color is He just sits on his the fluorescent lights glittering on her teeth The other girls stool a blue broken cricket husk scootch toward Emily to soak up her Attractiveness Rays Andy must be talking too I can feel deep vibrations in my No one talks to him We blow on our fingers to warm them backbone like a thudding speaker I can t hear the words up and sculpt or draw or paint or sketch or in my case 90 97
Siobhan pokes Emily and looks at the door.  He twirls my ponytail in his fingers. Emily s eyes narrow. I  Siobhan   It s h...
carve I start a new linoleum block My last tree looked like it had died from some fungal infection not the effect I wanted at all The cold makes the linoleum stiffer than usual I dig the chisel into the block and push trying to follow the line of a tree trunk I follow the line of my thumb instead and gash myself I swear and stick my thumb in my mouth Everybody looks at me so I take it out again Mr Freeman hurries over with a box of Kleenex It isn t a deep cut and I shake my head when he asks if I want to go to the nurse s office He washes my chisel off in the sink and puts bleach on it Some sort of AIDS regulation When it is germ free and dry he carries it back toward my table but stops in front of his canvas He hasn t finished painting The bottom right corner is empty The prisoners faces are menacing you can t take your eyes off them I wouldn t want a painting like that hanging over my couch It looks like it might come alive at night Mr Freeman steps back as if he has just seen something new in his own picture He slices the canvas with my chisel ruining it with a long ripping sound that makes the entire class gasp MY REPORT CARD Attitude D Social Studies D Spanish C Art A Lunch C Biology Algebra C Clothes C English B C Gym 92 C THIRD MARKING PERIOD
carve. I start a new linoleum block. My last tree looked like it had died from some fungal infection   not the effect I wa...
carve I start a new linoleum block My last tree looked like it had died from some fungal infection not the effect I wanted at all The cold makes the linoleum stiffer than usual I dig the chisel into the block and push trying to follow the line of a tree trunk I follow the line of my thumb instead and gash myself I swear and stick my thumb in my mouth Everybody looks at me so I take it out again Mr Freeman hurries over with a box of Kleenex It isn t a deep cut and I shake my head when he asks if I want to go to the nurse s office He washes my chisel off in the sink and puts bleach on it Some sort of AIDS regulation When it is germ free and dry he carries it back toward my table but stops in front of his canvas He hasn t finished painting The bottom right corner is empty The prisoners faces are menacing you can t take your eyes off them I wouldn t want a painting like that hanging over my couch It looks like it might come alive at night Mr Freeman steps back as if he has just seen something new in his own picture He slices the canvas with my chisel ruining it with a long ripping sound that makes the entire class gasp MY REPORT CARD Attitude D Social Studies D Spanish C Art A Lunch C Biology Algebra C Clothes C English B C Gym 92 C THIRD MARKING PERIOD
carve. I start a new linoleum block. My last tree looked like it had died from some fungal infection   not the effect I wa...
DEATH OF THE WOMBAT The Wombat is dead No assembly no vote Principal Principal made an announcement this morning He said hornets better represent the Merryweather spirit than foreign marsupials plus the Wombat mascot costume was going to suck money from the prom committee s budget We are the Hornets and that is final The seniors support this decision totally They wouldn t be able to hold up their heads if the prom had to be moved from the Holiday Inn Ballroom to the gym That would be so elementary school Our cheerleaders are working on annoying chants that end in lots of buzzing I think this is a mistake I have visions of opposing teams making enormous flyswatters and giant cans of insecticide out of papier mache to humiliate us during halftime programs I m allergic to hornets One sting and my skin bubbles with hives and my throat closes up COLD WEATHE R AND BUSES I miss the bus because I couldn t believe how dark it was when my alarm clock went off I need a clock that will turn on a 95
DEATH OF THE WOMBAT The Wombat is dead. No assembly, no vote. Principal Principal made an announcement this morning. He sa...
DEATH OF THE WOMBAT The Wombat is dead No assembly no vote Principal Principal made an announcement this morning He said hornets better represent the Merryweather spirit than foreign marsupials plus the Wombat mascot costume was going to suck money from the prom committee s budget We are the Hornets and that is final The seniors support this decision totally They wouldn t be able to hold up their heads if the prom had to be moved from the Holiday Inn Ballroom to the gym That would be so elementary school Our cheerleaders are working on annoying chants that end in lots of buzzing I think this is a mistake I have visions of opposing teams making enormous flyswatters and giant cans of insecticide out of papier mache to humiliate us during halftime programs I m allergic to hornets One sting and my skin bubbles with hives and my throat closes up COLD WEATHE R AND BUSES I miss the bus because I couldn t believe how dark it was when my alarm clock went off I need a clock that will turn on a 95
DEATH OF THE WOMBAT The Wombat is dead. No assembly, no vote. Principal Principal made an announcement this morning. He sa...
300 watt bulb when it s time to get up Either that or a won t notice me if I stand still That s how rabbits survive rooster they freeze in the presence of predators When I realize how late it is I decide not to rush Why He sets the coffee on top of his car and fumbles in his pocket bother M o m comes downstairs and I m reading the funnies for the keys Very very adult this coffee car keys cut school and eating oatmeal guy He drops the keys and swears He isn t going to notice me I m not here he can t see me standing here in my purple M o m You missed the bus again marshmallow jacket I nod But of course my luck with this guy sucks So he turns his head and sees me And wolfsmiles showing oh granny what M o m You expect me to drive you again big teeth you have Another nod He steps toward me holding out the doughnut Want a bite he asks M o m You ll need boots It s a long walk and it snowed again last night I m already late BunnyRabbit bolts leaving fast tracks in the snow Getaway getaway getaway Why didn t I run like this before when I was That is unexpected but not harsh The walk isn t that bad a one piece talking girl it s not like she made me hike ten miles through a snowstorm uphill in both directions or anything The streets are quiet and Running makes me feel like I am eleven years old and fast I burn pretty The snow covers yesterday s slush and settles on the a strip up the sidewalk melting snow and ice three feet on either rooftops like powdered sugar on a gingerbread town side When I stop a brand new thought explodes in my head By the time I get to Fayette s the town bakery I m hungry Why go to school again Fayette s makes wicked good jelly doughnuts and I have lunch money in my pocket I decide to buy two doughnuts and call it brunch ESCAPE I cross the parking lot and IT comes out the door Andy Evans with a raspberry dripping jelly doughnut in one hand and a The first hour of blowing off school is great No one to tell me cup of coffee in the other I stop on a frozen puddle Maybe he what to do what to read what to say It s like living in an 96 97
300-watt bulb when it s time to get up. Either that or a  won t notice me if I stand still. That s how rabbits survive   r...
300 watt bulb when it s time to get up Either that or a won t notice me if I stand still That s how rabbits survive rooster they freeze in the presence of predators When I realize how late it is I decide not to rush Why He sets the coffee on top of his car and fumbles in his pocket bother M o m comes downstairs and I m reading the funnies for the keys Very very adult this coffee car keys cut school and eating oatmeal guy He drops the keys and swears He isn t going to notice me I m not here he can t see me standing here in my purple M o m You missed the bus again marshmallow jacket I nod But of course my luck with this guy sucks So he turns his head and sees me And wolfsmiles showing oh granny what M o m You expect me to drive you again big teeth you have Another nod He steps toward me holding out the doughnut Want a bite he asks M o m You ll need boots It s a long walk and it snowed again last night I m already late BunnyRabbit bolts leaving fast tracks in the snow Getaway getaway getaway Why didn t I run like this before when I was That is unexpected but not harsh The walk isn t that bad a one piece talking girl it s not like she made me hike ten miles through a snowstorm uphill in both directions or anything The streets are quiet and Running makes me feel like I am eleven years old and fast I burn pretty The snow covers yesterday s slush and settles on the a strip up the sidewalk melting snow and ice three feet on either rooftops like powdered sugar on a gingerbread town side When I stop a brand new thought explodes in my head By the time I get to Fayette s the town bakery I m hungry Why go to school again Fayette s makes wicked good jelly doughnuts and I have lunch money in my pocket I decide to buy two doughnuts and call it brunch ESCAPE I cross the parking lot and IT comes out the door Andy Evans with a raspberry dripping jelly doughnut in one hand and a The first hour of blowing off school is great No one to tell me cup of coffee in the other I stop on a frozen puddle Maybe he what to do what to read what to say It s like living in an 96 97
300-watt bulb when it s time to get up. Either that or a  won t notice me if I stand still. That s how rabbits survive   r...
M T V video not with the stupid costumes but wearing that I sit by the central elevator where they set up Santa s Work butt strutting I do what I want additood shop after Halloween The air smells like french fries and floor cleaner The sun through the skylight is summer hot and I wander down Main Street Beauty parlor 7 Eleven bank I shed layers jacket hat mittens sweater I lose seven card store The rotating bank sign says it is 22 degrees I wan pounds in half a minute feel like I could float up alongside the der up the other side Appliance store hardware store park elevator Tiny brown birds sing above me No one knows how ing lot grocery store My insides are cold from breathing in they got in but they live in the mall and sing pretty I lie on frozen air I can feel the hairs in my nose crackle My strut the bench and watch the birds weave through the warm air slows to a foot dragging schlump I even think about trudging until the sun burns so bright I m afraid it will make holes in uphill to school At least it s heated my eyeballs I bet kids in Arizona enjoy playing hooky more than kids I should probably tell someone just tell someone Get it over trapped in Central New York No slush No yellow snow with Let it out blurt it out I m saved by a Centro bus It coughs and rumbles and spits I want to be in fifth grade again Now that is a deep dark se out two old women in front of the grocery store I climb on cret almost as big as the other one Fifth grade was easy old Destination The Mall enough to play outside without M o m too young to go off the block The perfect leash length You never think about the mall being closed It s always supposed to be there like milk in the refrigerator or God But it is A rent a cop strolls by He studies the wax women in just opening when I get off the bus Store managers juggle key the Sears window then strolls back the other way He rings and extra large coffees then the cage gates fly up in the doesn t even bother with a fake smile or an Are you lost air Lights wink on the fountains jump music plays behind I m not in fifth grade He starts back for a third pass his fin the giant ferns and the mall is open ger on his radio Will he turn me in Time to find that bus stop White haired grandmas and grandpops powerwalk squeaksqueak going so fast they don t even look at the window dis I spend the rest of the day waiting for it to be 2 4 8 so it s not plays I hunt spring fashions nothing that fit last year fits all that different from school I figure I learned a good lesson now How can I shop with M o m if I don t want to talk to her and set my alarm clock early for the next day I wake up on She might love it no arguing that way But then I d have to time for four days in a row get on the bus four days in a row wear the clothes she picked out Conundrum a three point ride home after school I want to scream I think I ll need to vocab word take a day off every once in a while 98 99
M T V video   not with the stupid costumes, but wearing that  I sit by the central elevator, where they set up Santa s Wor...
M T V video not with the stupid costumes but wearing that I sit by the central elevator where they set up Santa s Work butt strutting I do what I want additood shop after Halloween The air smells like french fries and floor cleaner The sun through the skylight is summer hot and I wander down Main Street Beauty parlor 7 Eleven bank I shed layers jacket hat mittens sweater I lose seven card store The rotating bank sign says it is 22 degrees I wan pounds in half a minute feel like I could float up alongside the der up the other side Appliance store hardware store park elevator Tiny brown birds sing above me No one knows how ing lot grocery store My insides are cold from breathing in they got in but they live in the mall and sing pretty I lie on frozen air I can feel the hairs in my nose crackle My strut the bench and watch the birds weave through the warm air slows to a foot dragging schlump I even think about trudging until the sun burns so bright I m afraid it will make holes in uphill to school At least it s heated my eyeballs I bet kids in Arizona enjoy playing hooky more than kids I should probably tell someone just tell someone Get it over trapped in Central New York No slush No yellow snow with Let it out blurt it out I m saved by a Centro bus It coughs and rumbles and spits I want to be in fifth grade again Now that is a deep dark se out two old women in front of the grocery store I climb on cret almost as big as the other one Fifth grade was easy old Destination The Mall enough to play outside without M o m too young to go off the block The perfect leash length You never think about the mall being closed It s always supposed to be there like milk in the refrigerator or God But it is A rent a cop strolls by He studies the wax women in just opening when I get off the bus Store managers juggle key the Sears window then strolls back the other way He rings and extra large coffees then the cage gates fly up in the doesn t even bother with a fake smile or an Are you lost air Lights wink on the fountains jump music plays behind I m not in fifth grade He starts back for a third pass his fin the giant ferns and the mall is open ger on his radio Will he turn me in Time to find that bus stop White haired grandmas and grandpops powerwalk squeaksqueak going so fast they don t even look at the window dis I spend the rest of the day waiting for it to be 2 4 8 so it s not plays I hunt spring fashions nothing that fit last year fits all that different from school I figure I learned a good lesson now How can I shop with M o m if I don t want to talk to her and set my alarm clock early for the next day I wake up on She might love it no arguing that way But then I d have to time for four days in a row get on the bus four days in a row wear the clothes she picked out Conundrum a three point ride home after school I want to scream I think I ll need to vocab word take a day off every once in a while 98 99
M T V video   not with the stupid costumes, but wearing that  I sit by the central elevator, where they set up Santa s Wor...
I wonder if Hester tried to say no She s kind of quiet We would get along I can see us living in the woods her wearing that A me with an S maybe S for silent for stupid for CODE BREAKING scared S for silly For shame Hairwoman has been buying new earrings One pair hangs all So the code breaking part was fun for the first lesson but a the way down to her shoulders Another has bells in them like little of it goes a long way Hairwoman is hammering it to the pair Heather gave me at Christmas I guess I can t wear death mine anymore There should be a law Hairwoman The description of the house with bits of glass It s Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English Poor Nathaniel embedded in the walls what does it mean Does he know what they ve done to him We are reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time tearing it up and chew Utter silence from the class A fly left over from fall buzzes ing on its bones against the cold window A locker slams in the hall Hairwoman answers her own question It s all about S Y M B O L I S M says Hairwoman Every word chosen by Nathaniel every comma every paragraph break Think of what that would look like a wall with glass em these were all done on purpose To get a decent grade in her bedded in it It would reflect Sparkle Shine on sunny class we have to figure out what he was really trying to say days maybe Come on people I shouldn t have to do this by Why couldn t he just say what he meant Would they pin scar myself Glass in the wall We use that on top of prison walls let letters on his chest B for blunt S for straightforward nowadays Hawthorne is showing us that the house is a prison or a dangerous place maybe It is hurtful Now I I can t whine too much Some of it is fun It s like a code asked you to find some examples of the use of color W h o can breaking into his head and finding the key to his secrets Like list a few pages where color is described the whole guilt thing Of course you know the minister feels guilty and Hester feels guilty but Nathaniel wants us to know The fly buzzes a farewell buzz and dies this is a big deal If he kept repeating She felt guilty she felt guilty she felt guilty it would be a boring book and no one Rachel Rachelle my ex best friend W h o cares what the would buy it So he planted S Y M B O L S like the weather and color means How do you know what he meant to say I the whole light and dark thing to show us how poor Hester mean did he leave another book called Symbolism in My feels Books If he didn t then you could just be making all of this 100 101
I wonder if Hester tried to say no. She s kind of quiet. We would get along. I can see us, living in the woods, her wearin...
I wonder if Hester tried to say no She s kind of quiet We would get along I can see us living in the woods her wearing that A me with an S maybe S for silent for stupid for CODE BREAKING scared S for silly For shame Hairwoman has been buying new earrings One pair hangs all So the code breaking part was fun for the first lesson but a the way down to her shoulders Another has bells in them like little of it goes a long way Hairwoman is hammering it to the pair Heather gave me at Christmas I guess I can t wear death mine anymore There should be a law Hairwoman The description of the house with bits of glass It s Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English Poor Nathaniel embedded in the walls what does it mean Does he know what they ve done to him We are reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time tearing it up and chew Utter silence from the class A fly left over from fall buzzes ing on its bones against the cold window A locker slams in the hall Hairwoman answers her own question It s all about S Y M B O L I S M says Hairwoman Every word chosen by Nathaniel every comma every paragraph break Think of what that would look like a wall with glass em these were all done on purpose To get a decent grade in her bedded in it It would reflect Sparkle Shine on sunny class we have to figure out what he was really trying to say days maybe Come on people I shouldn t have to do this by Why couldn t he just say what he meant Would they pin scar myself Glass in the wall We use that on top of prison walls let letters on his chest B for blunt S for straightforward nowadays Hawthorne is showing us that the house is a prison or a dangerous place maybe It is hurtful Now I I can t whine too much Some of it is fun It s like a code asked you to find some examples of the use of color W h o can breaking into his head and finding the key to his secrets Like list a few pages where color is described the whole guilt thing Of course you know the minister feels guilty and Hester feels guilty but Nathaniel wants us to know The fly buzzes a farewell buzz and dies this is a big deal If he kept repeating She felt guilty she felt guilty she felt guilty it would be a boring book and no one Rachel Rachelle my ex best friend W h o cares what the would buy it So he planted S Y M B O L S like the weather and color means How do you know what he meant to say I the whole light and dark thing to show us how poor Hester mean did he leave another book called Symbolism in My feels Books If he didn t then you could just be making all of this 100 101
I wonder if Hester tried to say no. She s kind of quiet. We would get along. I can see us, living in the woods, her wearin...
up Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all classroom then made a column for each week left of school kinds of hidden meanings into his story It s just a story Each week he evaluates our progress and makes a note on the wall He calls it a necessary compromise Hairwoman This is Hawthorne one of the greatest American novelists He didn t do anything by accident he was a Next to my name he s painted a question mark My tree genius is frozen A kindergartner could carve a better tree I ve stopped counting the linoleum blocks I ruined Mr Freeman Rachel Rachelle I thought we were supposed to have opin has reserved the rest of them for me Good thing too I am ions here My opinion is that it s kind of hard to read but the dying to try a different subject something easy like designing part about how Hester gets in trouble and the preacher guy al an entire city or copying the Mona Lisa but he won t budge most gets away with it well that s a good story But I think He suggested I try a different medium so I used purple finger you are making all this symbolism stuff up I don t believe any paints The paint cooled my hands but did nothing for my o f it tree Trees Hairwoman D o you tell your math teacher you don t believe On a shelf I find a book of landscapes filled with illustrations that three times four equals twelve Well Hawthorne s sym of every stinking tree that grows sycamore linden aspen bolism is just like multiplication once you figure it out it s as willow fir tulip poplar chestnut elm spruce pine Their clear as day bark flowers limbs needles nuts I feel like a regular forester but I can t do what I m supposed to The last time Mr Free The bell rings Hairwoman blocks the door to give out our as man had anything good to say to me was when I made that signment A five hundred word essay on symbolism how to stupid turkey bone thing find hidden meanings in Hawthorne The whole class yells at Rachel Rachelle in the hall Mr Freeman is having his own problems He mostly sits on his stool and stares at a new canvas It is painted one color so That s what you get for speaking up blue it s almost black No light comes out of it or goes in no shadows without light Ivy asks him what it is Mr Freeman snaps out of his funk and looks at her like he just realized the room was full of students STUNTED Mr Freeman It is Venice at night the color of an accounMr Freeman has found a way around the authorities again tant s soul a love rejected I grew mold on an orange this He painted the names of all his students on one wall of the color when I lived in Boston It s the blood of imbeciles Con 102 103
up. Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all  classroom, then made a column for each week left of school. ...
up Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all classroom then made a column for each week left of school kinds of hidden meanings into his story It s just a story Each week he evaluates our progress and makes a note on the wall He calls it a necessary compromise Hairwoman This is Hawthorne one of the greatest American novelists He didn t do anything by accident he was a Next to my name he s painted a question mark My tree genius is frozen A kindergartner could carve a better tree I ve stopped counting the linoleum blocks I ruined Mr Freeman Rachel Rachelle I thought we were supposed to have opin has reserved the rest of them for me Good thing too I am ions here My opinion is that it s kind of hard to read but the dying to try a different subject something easy like designing part about how Hester gets in trouble and the preacher guy al an entire city or copying the Mona Lisa but he won t budge most gets away with it well that s a good story But I think He suggested I try a different medium so I used purple finger you are making all this symbolism stuff up I don t believe any paints The paint cooled my hands but did nothing for my o f it tree Trees Hairwoman D o you tell your math teacher you don t believe On a shelf I find a book of landscapes filled with illustrations that three times four equals twelve Well Hawthorne s sym of every stinking tree that grows sycamore linden aspen bolism is just like multiplication once you figure it out it s as willow fir tulip poplar chestnut elm spruce pine Their clear as day bark flowers limbs needles nuts I feel like a regular forester but I can t do what I m supposed to The last time Mr Free The bell rings Hairwoman blocks the door to give out our as man had anything good to say to me was when I made that signment A five hundred word essay on symbolism how to stupid turkey bone thing find hidden meanings in Hawthorne The whole class yells at Rachel Rachelle in the hall Mr Freeman is having his own problems He mostly sits on his stool and stares at a new canvas It is painted one color so That s what you get for speaking up blue it s almost black No light comes out of it or goes in no shadows without light Ivy asks him what it is Mr Freeman snaps out of his funk and looks at her like he just realized the room was full of students STUNTED Mr Freeman It is Venice at night the color of an accounMr Freeman has found a way around the authorities again tant s soul a love rejected I grew mold on an orange this He painted the names of all his students on one wall of the color when I lived in Boston It s the blood of imbeciles Con 102 103
up. Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all  classroom, then made a column for each week left of school. ...
fusion Tenure The inside of a lock the taste of iron Despair Heather nibbles through her jicama and whole grain roll and A city with the streetlights shot out Smoker s lung The hair blows me off while she eats her baby carrots of a small girl who grows up hopeless The heart of a school board director Heather This is really awkward I mean how do you say something like this No matter w h a t no I don t want to He is warming up for a full fledged rant when the bell rings say that I mean we kind of paired up at the beginning of the Some teachers rumorwhisper he s having a breakdown I think year when I was new and didn t know anyone and that was he s the sanest person I know really really sweet of you but I think it s time for us both to admit that we j u s t are very different She studies her no fat yogurt I try to think of something LUNCH D O O M Nothing good ever happens at lunch The cafeteria is a giant bitchy something wicked and cruel I can t M e You mean we re not friends anymore sound stage where they film daily segments of Teenage Humiliation Rituals And it smells gross Heather smiling with her mouth but not her eyes We were never really really friends were we I mean it s not like I ever I sit with Heather as usual but we are off by ourselves in a slept over at your house or anything We like to do different corner by the courtyard not near the Marthas Heather sits so things I have my modeling and I like to shop her back is to the rest of the cafeteria She can watch the wind shift the drifts of snow trapped in the courtyard behind me I M e I like to shop can feel the wind seep through the glass and penetrate my shirt Heather You don t like anything You are the most depressed person I ve ever met and excuse me for saying this but you I am not listening too closely as Heather ahems her way to are no fun to be around and I think you need professional what is on her mind The noise of four hundred mouths mov help ing consuming pulls me away from her The background pulsing of the dishwashers the squeal of announcements that Up until this very instant I had never seriously thought of no one hears it is a vespiary the Hornet haven I am a small Heather as my one true friend in the world But now I am des ant crouched by the entrance with the winter wind at my perate to be her pal her buddy to giggle with her to gossip back I smother my green beans with mashed potatoes with her I want her to paint my toenails 104 105
fusion. Tenure. The inside of a lock, the taste of iron. Despair.  Heather nibbles through her jicama and whole-grain roll...
fusion Tenure The inside of a lock the taste of iron Despair Heather nibbles through her jicama and whole grain roll and A city with the streetlights shot out Smoker s lung The hair blows me off while she eats her baby carrots of a small girl who grows up hopeless The heart of a school board director Heather This is really awkward I mean how do you say something like this No matter w h a t no I don t want to He is warming up for a full fledged rant when the bell rings say that I mean we kind of paired up at the beginning of the Some teachers rumorwhisper he s having a breakdown I think year when I was new and didn t know anyone and that was he s the sanest person I know really really sweet of you but I think it s time for us both to admit that we j u s t are very different She studies her no fat yogurt I try to think of something LUNCH D O O M Nothing good ever happens at lunch The cafeteria is a giant bitchy something wicked and cruel I can t M e You mean we re not friends anymore sound stage where they film daily segments of Teenage Humiliation Rituals And it smells gross Heather smiling with her mouth but not her eyes We were never really really friends were we I mean it s not like I ever I sit with Heather as usual but we are off by ourselves in a slept over at your house or anything We like to do different corner by the courtyard not near the Marthas Heather sits so things I have my modeling and I like to shop her back is to the rest of the cafeteria She can watch the wind shift the drifts of snow trapped in the courtyard behind me I M e I like to shop can feel the wind seep through the glass and penetrate my shirt Heather You don t like anything You are the most depressed person I ve ever met and excuse me for saying this but you I am not listening too closely as Heather ahems her way to are no fun to be around and I think you need professional what is on her mind The noise of four hundred mouths mov help ing consuming pulls me away from her The background pulsing of the dishwashers the squeal of announcements that Up until this very instant I had never seriously thought of no one hears it is a vespiary the Hornet haven I am a small Heather as my one true friend in the world But now I am des ant crouched by the entrance with the winter wind at my perate to be her pal her buddy to giggle with her to gossip back I smother my green beans with mashed potatoes with her I want her to paint my toenails 104 105
fusion. Tenure. The inside of a lock, the taste of iron. Despair.  Heather nibbles through her jicama and whole-grain roll...
M e I was the only person who talked to you on the first day Me For what of school and now you re blowing me off because I m a little depressed Isn t that what friends are for to help each other Heather L o o k you can t eat lunch with me anymore I m out in bad times sorry Oh and don t eat those potato chips They ll make you break out Heather I knew you would take this the wrong way You are She neatly wraps her trash into a wax paper ball and deposits just so weird sometimes it in the garbage can Then she walks to the Martha table Her I squint at the wall of hearts on the other side of the friends scootch down to make room for her They swallow her room Lovers can spend five dollars to get a red or pink whole and she never looks back at me Not once heart with their initials on it mounted on the wall for Valentine s Day It looks so out of place those red splotches on blue The jocks excuse me the student athletes sit CONJUGATE THIS in front of the hearts to judge the new romances Poor Heather There are no Hallmark cards for breaking up with I cut class you cut class he she it cuts class We cut class friends they cut class We all cut class I cannot say this in Spanish I know what she s thinking She has a choice she can hang because I did not go to Spanish today Gracias a dios Hasta out with me and get the reputation of being a creepy weirdo luego who might show up with a gun someday or she can be a Martha one of the girls who get good grades do nice things and ski well Which would I choose CUTTING OUT HEARTS Heather When you get through this Life Sucks phase I m sure lots of people will want to be your friend But you just When we get off the bus on Valentine s Day a girl with white can t cut classes or not show up to school What s next blond hair bursts into tears I Love You Anjela is spray hanging out with the dopers painted into the snowbank along the parking lot I don t know if Angela is crying because she is happy or because her M e Is this the part where you try to be nice to me heart s desire can t spell Her honey is waiting with a red rose They kiss right there in front of everybody Happy Valentine s Heather You have a reputation 106 Day 107
M e    I was the only person who talked to you on the first day  Me   For what    of school, and now you re blowing me off...
M e I was the only person who talked to you on the first day Me For what of school and now you re blowing me off because I m a little depressed Isn t that what friends are for to help each other Heather L o o k you can t eat lunch with me anymore I m out in bad times sorry Oh and don t eat those potato chips They ll make you break out Heather I knew you would take this the wrong way You are She neatly wraps her trash into a wax paper ball and deposits just so weird sometimes it in the garbage can Then she walks to the Martha table Her I squint at the wall of hearts on the other side of the friends scootch down to make room for her They swallow her room Lovers can spend five dollars to get a red or pink whole and she never looks back at me Not once heart with their initials on it mounted on the wall for Valentine s Day It looks so out of place those red splotches on blue The jocks excuse me the student athletes sit CONJUGATE THIS in front of the hearts to judge the new romances Poor Heather There are no Hallmark cards for breaking up with I cut class you cut class he she it cuts class We cut class friends they cut class We all cut class I cannot say this in Spanish I know what she s thinking She has a choice she can hang because I did not go to Spanish today Gracias a dios Hasta out with me and get the reputation of being a creepy weirdo luego who might show up with a gun someday or she can be a Martha one of the girls who get good grades do nice things and ski well Which would I choose CUTTING OUT HEARTS Heather When you get through this Life Sucks phase I m sure lots of people will want to be your friend But you just When we get off the bus on Valentine s Day a girl with white can t cut classes or not show up to school What s next blond hair bursts into tears I Love You Anjela is spray hanging out with the dopers painted into the snowbank along the parking lot I don t know if Angela is crying because she is happy or because her M e Is this the part where you try to be nice to me heart s desire can t spell Her honey is waiting with a red rose They kiss right there in front of everybody Happy Valentine s Heather You have a reputation 106 Day 107
M e    I was the only person who talked to you on the first day  Me   For what    of school, and now you re blowing me off...
It s caught me by surprise Valentine Day s was a big hairy going to break lab equipment or faint again Sometimes he deal in elementary school because you had to give cards to smiles at me an anxious smile the kind you use on a dog that everyone in your class even the kid who made you step in dog might bite All I have to do is open the envelope I can t stand poop Then the class mom brought in pink frosted cupcakes it I walk past my locker and go straight to biology and we traded those little candy hearts that said Hot Baby M s Keen decided it would be cute to review birds and bees in and B e Mine honor of Valentine s Day Nothing practical of course no inThe holiday went underground in middle school No parties formation about why hormones can make you crazy or why No shoe boxes with red cutout hearts for your drugstore your face only breaks out at the worst time or how to tell if valentines To tell someone you liked them you had to use somebody really gave you a Valentine s card on your locker layers and layers of friends as in Janet told me to tell you No she really teaches us about the birds and the bees Notes that Steven told me that Dougie said Carom was talking to of love and betrayal are passed hand over hand as if the lab April and she hinted that Sara s brother M a r k has a friend tables were lanes on Cupid s Highway M s Keen draws a pic named Tony who might like you What are you going to d o ture of an egg with a baby chick inside it It is easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like some David Petrakis is fighting to stay awake Does he like me I one in middle school make him nervous He thinks I m going to ruin his grade But maybe I m growing on him Do I want him to like me I chew I go with the flow toward my locker We are all dressed in my thumbnail No I just want anyone to like me I want a down jackets and vests so we collide and roll like bumper note with a heart on it I pull the edge of my thumbnail back cars at the state fair I notice envelopes taped to some lockers too far and it bleeds I squeeze my thumb so the blood gathers but don t really think about it until I find one on mine It says in a perfect sphere before it collapses and slides toward the Melinda It has to be a joke Someone put it there to make palm of my hand David hands me a tissue I press it into the me look stupid I peer over my left shoulder then my right for cut The white cells of paper dissolve as the red floods them It groups of evil kids pointing at me All I see are the backs of doesn t hurt Nothing hurts except the small smiles and heads blushes that flash across the room like tiny sparrows What if it is real What if it s from a boy My heart stops I open my notebook and write a note to David Thanks I then stutters and pumps again No not Andy His style is def slide the notebook over to him He swallows hard his Adam s initely not romantic Maybe David Petrakis My Lab Partner apple bouncing to the bottom of his neck and back up again He watches me when he thinks I can t see him afraid I m He writes back You are welcome Now what I squeeze the 108 109
It s caught me by surprise. Valentine Day s was a big hairy  going to break lab equipment or faint again. Sometimes he  de...
It s caught me by surprise Valentine Day s was a big hairy going to break lab equipment or faint again Sometimes he deal in elementary school because you had to give cards to smiles at me an anxious smile the kind you use on a dog that everyone in your class even the kid who made you step in dog might bite All I have to do is open the envelope I can t stand poop Then the class mom brought in pink frosted cupcakes it I walk past my locker and go straight to biology and we traded those little candy hearts that said Hot Baby M s Keen decided it would be cute to review birds and bees in and B e Mine honor of Valentine s Day Nothing practical of course no inThe holiday went underground in middle school No parties formation about why hormones can make you crazy or why No shoe boxes with red cutout hearts for your drugstore your face only breaks out at the worst time or how to tell if valentines To tell someone you liked them you had to use somebody really gave you a Valentine s card on your locker layers and layers of friends as in Janet told me to tell you No she really teaches us about the birds and the bees Notes that Steven told me that Dougie said Carom was talking to of love and betrayal are passed hand over hand as if the lab April and she hinted that Sara s brother M a r k has a friend tables were lanes on Cupid s Highway M s Keen draws a pic named Tony who might like you What are you going to d o ture of an egg with a baby chick inside it It is easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like some David Petrakis is fighting to stay awake Does he like me I one in middle school make him nervous He thinks I m going to ruin his grade But maybe I m growing on him Do I want him to like me I chew I go with the flow toward my locker We are all dressed in my thumbnail No I just want anyone to like me I want a down jackets and vests so we collide and roll like bumper note with a heart on it I pull the edge of my thumbnail back cars at the state fair I notice envelopes taped to some lockers too far and it bleeds I squeeze my thumb so the blood gathers but don t really think about it until I find one on mine It says in a perfect sphere before it collapses and slides toward the Melinda It has to be a joke Someone put it there to make palm of my hand David hands me a tissue I press it into the me look stupid I peer over my left shoulder then my right for cut The white cells of paper dissolve as the red floods them It groups of evil kids pointing at me All I see are the backs of doesn t hurt Nothing hurts except the small smiles and heads blushes that flash across the room like tiny sparrows What if it is real What if it s from a boy My heart stops I open my notebook and write a note to David Thanks I then stutters and pumps again No not Andy His style is def slide the notebook over to him He swallows hard his Adam s initely not romantic Maybe David Petrakis My Lab Partner apple bouncing to the bottom of his neck and back up again He watches me when he thinks I can t see him afraid I m He writes back You are welcome Now what I squeeze the 108 109
It s caught me by surprise. Valentine Day s was a big hairy  going to break lab equipment or faint again. Sometimes he  de...
tissue harder on my thumb to concentrate M s Keen s baby forgotten holiday has unveiled every knife that sticks inside bird hatches on the board I draw a picture of M s Keen as a me every cut No Rachel no Heather not even a silly geeky robin David smiles He draws a branch under her feet and boy who would like the inside girl I think I am slides the notebook back to me I try to connect the branch to a tree It looks pretty good better than anything I have drawn so far in art The bell rings and David s hand brushes against mine as he picks up his books I bolt from my seat I m afraid OUR LADY OF THE WAITING ROOM to look at him What if he thinks I already opened his card and I hate his guts which was why I didn t say anything But I find Lady of Mercy Hospital by accident I fall asleep on the I can t say anything because the card could be a joke or from bus and miss the mall completely The hospital is worth a try some other silent watcher who blends in with the blur of lock Maybe I can learn some pre med stuff for David ers and doors In a sick kind of way I love it There are waiting rooms on alMy locker The card is still there a white patch of hope with most every floor I don t want to attract too much attention to my name on it I tear it off and open it Something falls to my myself so I stay on the move checking my watch constantly feet The card has a picture of two cutesy teddy bears sharing trying to look as if I have a reason for being here I m afraid a pot of honey I open it Thanks for understanding You re I ll get caught but the people around me have other things to the sweetest It is signed with a purple pen Good Luck worry about The hospital is the perfect place to be invisible Heather and the cafeteria food is better than the school s I bend down to find what dropped from the card It was the The worst waiting room is on the heart attack floor It is friendship necklace I had given Heather in a fit of insanity crowded with gray faced women twisting their wedding rings around Christmas Stupid stupid stupid How stupid could I and watching the doors for a familiar doctor One lady just be I hear a cracking inside me my ribs are collapsing in on sobs she doesn t care that total strangers watch her nose drip my lungs which is why I can t breathe I stumble down the or that people can hear her as soon as they get off the elevator hall down another hall down another hall till I find my very Her cries stop just short of screaming They make me shiver I own door and slip inside and throw the lock not even bother snag a couple of copies of People magazine and I am out of ing to turn on the lights just falling falling a mile downhill to there the bottom of my brown chair where I can sink my teeth into the soft white skin of my wrist and cry like the baby I am I The maternity ward is dangerous because people there are rock thumping my head against the cinder block wall A half happy They ask me questions who am I waiting for when is 110 111
tissue harder on my thumb to concentrate. M s . Keen s baby  forgotten holiday has unveiled every knife that sticks inside...
tissue harder on my thumb to concentrate M s Keen s baby forgotten holiday has unveiled every knife that sticks inside bird hatches on the board I draw a picture of M s Keen as a me every cut No Rachel no Heather not even a silly geeky robin David smiles He draws a branch under her feet and boy who would like the inside girl I think I am slides the notebook back to me I try to connect the branch to a tree It looks pretty good better than anything I have drawn so far in art The bell rings and David s hand brushes against mine as he picks up his books I bolt from my seat I m afraid OUR LADY OF THE WAITING ROOM to look at him What if he thinks I already opened his card and I hate his guts which was why I didn t say anything But I find Lady of Mercy Hospital by accident I fall asleep on the I can t say anything because the card could be a joke or from bus and miss the mall completely The hospital is worth a try some other silent watcher who blends in with the blur of lock Maybe I can learn some pre med stuff for David ers and doors In a sick kind of way I love it There are waiting rooms on alMy locker The card is still there a white patch of hope with most every floor I don t want to attract too much attention to my name on it I tear it off and open it Something falls to my myself so I stay on the move checking my watch constantly feet The card has a picture of two cutesy teddy bears sharing trying to look as if I have a reason for being here I m afraid a pot of honey I open it Thanks for understanding You re I ll get caught but the people around me have other things to the sweetest It is signed with a purple pen Good Luck worry about The hospital is the perfect place to be invisible Heather and the cafeteria food is better than the school s I bend down to find what dropped from the card It was the The worst waiting room is on the heart attack floor It is friendship necklace I had given Heather in a fit of insanity crowded with gray faced women twisting their wedding rings around Christmas Stupid stupid stupid How stupid could I and watching the doors for a familiar doctor One lady just be I hear a cracking inside me my ribs are collapsing in on sobs she doesn t care that total strangers watch her nose drip my lungs which is why I can t breathe I stumble down the or that people can hear her as soon as they get off the elevator hall down another hall down another hall till I find my very Her cries stop just short of screaming They make me shiver I own door and slip inside and throw the lock not even bother snag a couple of copies of People magazine and I am out of ing to turn on the lights just falling falling a mile downhill to there the bottom of my brown chair where I can sink my teeth into the soft white skin of my wrist and cry like the baby I am I The maternity ward is dangerous because people there are rock thumping my head against the cinder block wall A half happy They ask me questions who am I waiting for when is 110 111
tissue harder on my thumb to concentrate. M s . Keen s baby  forgotten holiday has unveiled every knife that sticks inside...
the baby due is it my mother a sister If I wanted people to beds and sleep It is getting harder to sleep at home How long ask me questions I would have gone to school I say I have to would it take for the nurses to figure out I don t belong here call my father and flee Would they let me rest for a few days The cafeteria is cool Huge Full of people wearing doctor A stretcher pushed by a tall guy with muscles sweeps down nurse clothes with college degree posture and beepers I al the hall One woman walks beside it a nurse I have no idea ways thought hospital people would be real health nuts but what is wrong with the patient but his eyes are closed and a these guys eat junk food like it s going out of style Big piles of thin line of blood seeps through a bandage on his neck nachos cheeseburgers as wide as plates cherry pie potato chips all the good stuff One lone cafeteria worker named I put the gown back There is nothing wrong with me These Lola stands by the steamed fish and onion tray I feel bad are really sick people sick that you can see I head for the ele for her so I buy the fish platter I also buy a plate of mashed vator The bus is on its way potatoes and gravy and a yogurt I find a seat next to a table of serious frowning silver haired men who use words so long I m surprised they don t choke Very official Nice to hang around people who sound like they know what they re CLASH OF THE TITANS doing We have a meeting with Principal Principal Someone has noAfter lunch I wander up to the fifth floor to an adult surgery ticed that I ve been absent And that I don t talk They figure wing where waiting family members concentrate on the televi I m more a head case than a criminal so they call in the guid sion I sit where I can watch the nurses station and beyond ance counselor too that a couple of hospital rooms It looks like a good place to get sick The doctors and nurses seem smart but they smile Mother s mouth twitches with words she doesn t want to say every once in a while in front of strangers Dad keeps checking his beeper hoping someone will call A laundry room worker pushes an enormous basket of green hospital gowns the kind that shows your butt if you don t I sip water from a paper cup If the cup were lead crystal I hold it closed to a storage area I follow him If anyone asks would open my mouth and take a bite Crunch crunch swal I m looking for a water fountain No one asks I pick up a low gown I want to put it on and crawl under the white knobbly blanket and white sheets in one of those high off the ground 112 They want me to speak 113
the baby due, is it my mother, a sister  If I wanted people to  beds and sleep. It is getting harder to sleep at home. How...
the baby due is it my mother a sister If I wanted people to beds and sleep It is getting harder to sleep at home How long ask me questions I would have gone to school I say I have to would it take for the nurses to figure out I don t belong here call my father and flee Would they let me rest for a few days The cafeteria is cool Huge Full of people wearing doctor A stretcher pushed by a tall guy with muscles sweeps down nurse clothes with college degree posture and beepers I al the hall One woman walks beside it a nurse I have no idea ways thought hospital people would be real health nuts but what is wrong with the patient but his eyes are closed and a these guys eat junk food like it s going out of style Big piles of thin line of blood seeps through a bandage on his neck nachos cheeseburgers as wide as plates cherry pie potato chips all the good stuff One lone cafeteria worker named I put the gown back There is nothing wrong with me These Lola stands by the steamed fish and onion tray I feel bad are really sick people sick that you can see I head for the ele for her so I buy the fish platter I also buy a plate of mashed vator The bus is on its way potatoes and gravy and a yogurt I find a seat next to a table of serious frowning silver haired men who use words so long I m surprised they don t choke Very official Nice to hang around people who sound like they know what they re CLASH OF THE TITANS doing We have a meeting with Principal Principal Someone has noAfter lunch I wander up to the fifth floor to an adult surgery ticed that I ve been absent And that I don t talk They figure wing where waiting family members concentrate on the televi I m more a head case than a criminal so they call in the guid sion I sit where I can watch the nurses station and beyond ance counselor too that a couple of hospital rooms It looks like a good place to get sick The doctors and nurses seem smart but they smile Mother s mouth twitches with words she doesn t want to say every once in a while in front of strangers Dad keeps checking his beeper hoping someone will call A laundry room worker pushes an enormous basket of green hospital gowns the kind that shows your butt if you don t I sip water from a paper cup If the cup were lead crystal I hold it closed to a storage area I follow him If anyone asks would open my mouth and take a bite Crunch crunch swal I m looking for a water fountain No one asks I pick up a low gown I want to put it on and crawl under the white knobbly blanket and white sheets in one of those high off the ground 112 They want me to speak 113
the baby due, is it my mother, a sister  If I wanted people to  beds and sleep. It is getting harder to sleep at home. How...
Why won t you say anything For the love of God open grades down the toilet I golf with the school board president your mouth This is childish Melinda Say something you know You are only hurting yourself by refusing to cooperate I don t know why she s doing this to us Mother We don t care who you know Jack We have to get Melinda to talk The Principal ha hums loudly and gets in the middle Guidance Counselor leaning forward looking at M o m and Principal Principal We all agree we are here to help Let s Dad D o the two of you have marriage issues start with these grades They are not what we expected from you Melissa Mother responds with unladylike language Father suggests that the guidance counselor visit that hot scary underground Dad Melinda world The guidance counselor grows quiet Maybe she understands why I keep it zipped Principal Principal sits back in Principal Principal Melinda Last year you were a straight B his chair and doodles a hornet student no behavioral problem few absences But the reports I ve been getting well what can we say Tickticktick I m missing study hall for this Nap time How many days until graduation I lost track Have to find a calendar Mother That s the point she won t say anything I can t get a word out of her She s mute Mother and Father apologize They sing a show tune What Guidance Counselor I think we need to explore the family two What oh what are we supposed to d o are we to do What are we to do She s so blue we re just dynamics at play here In my headworld they jump on Principal Principal s desk and Mother She s jerking us around to get attention perform a tap dance routine A spotlight flashes on them A chorus line joins in and the guidance counselor dances M e inside my head Would you listen Would you believe around a spangled cane I giggle me Fat chance Zap Back in their world Dad Well something is wrong What have you done to her I had a sweet loving little girl last year but as soon as she Mother You think this is funny We are talking about your comes up here she clams up skips school and flushes her future your life Melinda 114 115
 Why won t you say anything    For the love of God, open  grades down the toilet. I golf with the school board president, ...
Why won t you say anything For the love of God open grades down the toilet I golf with the school board president your mouth This is childish Melinda Say something you know You are only hurting yourself by refusing to cooperate I don t know why she s doing this to us Mother We don t care who you know Jack We have to get Melinda to talk The Principal ha hums loudly and gets in the middle Guidance Counselor leaning forward looking at M o m and Principal Principal We all agree we are here to help Let s Dad D o the two of you have marriage issues start with these grades They are not what we expected from you Melissa Mother responds with unladylike language Father suggests that the guidance counselor visit that hot scary underground Dad Melinda world The guidance counselor grows quiet Maybe she understands why I keep it zipped Principal Principal sits back in Principal Principal Melinda Last year you were a straight B his chair and doodles a hornet student no behavioral problem few absences But the reports I ve been getting well what can we say Tickticktick I m missing study hall for this Nap time How many days until graduation I lost track Have to find a calendar Mother That s the point she won t say anything I can t get a word out of her She s mute Mother and Father apologize They sing a show tune What Guidance Counselor I think we need to explore the family two What oh what are we supposed to d o are we to do What are we to do She s so blue we re just dynamics at play here In my headworld they jump on Principal Principal s desk and Mother She s jerking us around to get attention perform a tap dance routine A spotlight flashes on them A chorus line joins in and the guidance counselor dances M e inside my head Would you listen Would you believe around a spangled cane I giggle me Fat chance Zap Back in their world Dad Well something is wrong What have you done to her I had a sweet loving little girl last year but as soon as she Mother You think this is funny We are talking about your comes up here she clams up skips school and flushes her future your life Melinda 114 115
 Why won t you say anything    For the love of God, open  grades down the toilet. I golf with the school board president, ...
Father I don t know where you picked up that slacker atti me to write an essay so I took another day off school and tude but you certainly didn t learn it at home Probably from Bingo I earned a trip to M I S S the bad influences up here It s a classroom painted white with uncomfortable chairs and G C Actually Melinda has some very nice friends I ve seen a lamp that buzzes like an angry hive The inmates of MISS are her helping that group of girls who volunteer so much Meg commanded to sit and stare at the empty walls It is supposed Harcutt Emily Briggs Siobhan Falon to bore us into submission or prepare us for an insane asylum Principal Principal Stops doodling Very nice girls They Our guard dog today is Mr Neck He curls his lip and growls all come from good families He looks at me for the first at me I think this is part of his punishment for that bigoted time and tilts his head to crap he pulled in class There are two other convicts with me one side Those are your One has a cross tattooed on his shaved skull He sits like a friends graniteboy waiting for a chisel so he can carve himself out of Do they choose to be so dense Were they born that way I the mountainside The other kid looks completely normal His have no friends I have nothing I say nothing I am nothing I clothes are a little freaky maybe but that s a misdemeanor wonder how long it takes to ride a bus to Arizona here not a felony When Mr Neck gets up to greet a late arival the normal looking kid tells me he likes to start fires Our last companion is Andy Evans My breakfast turns to hy MISS Merryweather In School Suspension This is my Consequence drochloric acid He grins at Mr Neck and sits down next to me Mr Neck Cutting again Andy It is in my contract It s true what they tell you about not signing anything without reading it carefully Even better pay a Andy Beast N o sir One of your colleagues thinks I have an lawyer to read it carefully authority problem Can you believe i t The guidance counselor dreamed up the contract after our Mr Neck N o more talking cozy get together in the principal s office It lists a million things I m not supposed to do and the consequences I ll suffer I am BunnyRabbit again hiding in the open I sit like I have if I do them The consequences for minor offenses like being an egg in my mouth One move one word and the egg will late to class or not participating were stupid they wanted shatter and blow up the world 116 117
Father   I don t know where you picked up that slacker atti-  me to write an essay   so I took another day off school and ...
Father I don t know where you picked up that slacker atti me to write an essay so I took another day off school and tude but you certainly didn t learn it at home Probably from Bingo I earned a trip to M I S S the bad influences up here It s a classroom painted white with uncomfortable chairs and G C Actually Melinda has some very nice friends I ve seen a lamp that buzzes like an angry hive The inmates of MISS are her helping that group of girls who volunteer so much Meg commanded to sit and stare at the empty walls It is supposed Harcutt Emily Briggs Siobhan Falon to bore us into submission or prepare us for an insane asylum Principal Principal Stops doodling Very nice girls They Our guard dog today is Mr Neck He curls his lip and growls all come from good families He looks at me for the first at me I think this is part of his punishment for that bigoted time and tilts his head to crap he pulled in class There are two other convicts with me one side Those are your One has a cross tattooed on his shaved skull He sits like a friends graniteboy waiting for a chisel so he can carve himself out of Do they choose to be so dense Were they born that way I the mountainside The other kid looks completely normal His have no friends I have nothing I say nothing I am nothing I clothes are a little freaky maybe but that s a misdemeanor wonder how long it takes to ride a bus to Arizona here not a felony When Mr Neck gets up to greet a late arival the normal looking kid tells me he likes to start fires Our last companion is Andy Evans My breakfast turns to hy MISS Merryweather In School Suspension This is my Consequence drochloric acid He grins at Mr Neck and sits down next to me Mr Neck Cutting again Andy It is in my contract It s true what they tell you about not signing anything without reading it carefully Even better pay a Andy Beast N o sir One of your colleagues thinks I have an lawyer to read it carefully authority problem Can you believe i t The guidance counselor dreamed up the contract after our Mr Neck N o more talking cozy get together in the principal s office It lists a million things I m not supposed to do and the consequences I ll suffer I am BunnyRabbit again hiding in the open I sit like I have if I do them The consequences for minor offenses like being an egg in my mouth One move one word and the egg will late to class or not participating were stupid they wanted shatter and blow up the world 116 117
Father   I don t know where you picked up that slacker atti-  me to write an essay   so I took another day off school and ...
I am getting seriously weird in the head on plucking a mandolin Why not draw naked guys just to be fair Naked women is art naked guys a no no I bet Prob When Mr Neck isn t looking Andy blows in my ear ably because most painters are men I want to kill him I don t like the first chapters Besides all the naked women he painted these blue pictures like he ran out of red and green for a few weeks He painted circus people and some dancers who look like they are standing in smog He should have PICASSO made them cough I can t do anything not even in art class Mr Freeman a pro The next chapter steals my breath away It takes me out of the at staring out the window himself thinks he knows what s room It confuses me while one little part of my brain jumps wrong Your imagination is paralyzed he declares You up and down screaming I get it I get it Cubism Seeing need to take a trip Ears perk up all over the classroom and beyond what is on the surface Moving both eyes and a nose someone turns down the radio A trip Is he planning a field to the side of the face Dicing bodies and tables and guitars as trip You need to visit the mind of a Great One continues if they were celery sticks and rearranging them so that you Mr Freeman Papers flutter as the class sighs The radio sings have to really see them to see them Amazing What did the louder again world look like to him He pushes my pitiful linoleum block aside and gently sets I wish he had gone to high school at Merryweather I bet down an enormous book Picasso He whispers like a we could have hung out I search the whole book and never priest Picasso W h o saw the truth W h o painted the truth see one picture of a tree Maybe Picasso couldn t do trees molded it ripped from the earth with two angry hands He either Why did I get stuck with such a lame idea I sketch pauses But I m getting carried away I nod See Picasso a Cubist tree with hundreds of skinny rectangles for branches he commands I can t do everything for you You must walk They look like lockers boxes glass shards lips with tri alone to find your soul angle brown leaves I drop the sketch on Mr Freeman s desk Blah blah yeah Looking at pictures would be better than thumbs up N o w you re getting somewhere he says He gives me a watching snow drift I open the book Picasso sure had a thing for naked women Why not draw them with their clothes on W h o sits around without a shirt 118 119
I am getting seriously weird in the head.  on, plucking a mandolin  Why not draw naked guys, just to be fair  Naked women ...
I am getting seriously weird in the head on plucking a mandolin Why not draw naked guys just to be fair Naked women is art naked guys a no no I bet Prob When Mr Neck isn t looking Andy blows in my ear ably because most painters are men I want to kill him I don t like the first chapters Besides all the naked women he painted these blue pictures like he ran out of red and green for a few weeks He painted circus people and some dancers who look like they are standing in smog He should have PICASSO made them cough I can t do anything not even in art class Mr Freeman a pro The next chapter steals my breath away It takes me out of the at staring out the window himself thinks he knows what s room It confuses me while one little part of my brain jumps wrong Your imagination is paralyzed he declares You up and down screaming I get it I get it Cubism Seeing need to take a trip Ears perk up all over the classroom and beyond what is on the surface Moving both eyes and a nose someone turns down the radio A trip Is he planning a field to the side of the face Dicing bodies and tables and guitars as trip You need to visit the mind of a Great One continues if they were celery sticks and rearranging them so that you Mr Freeman Papers flutter as the class sighs The radio sings have to really see them to see them Amazing What did the louder again world look like to him He pushes my pitiful linoleum block aside and gently sets I wish he had gone to high school at Merryweather I bet down an enormous book Picasso He whispers like a we could have hung out I search the whole book and never priest Picasso W h o saw the truth W h o painted the truth see one picture of a tree Maybe Picasso couldn t do trees molded it ripped from the earth with two angry hands He either Why did I get stuck with such a lame idea I sketch pauses But I m getting carried away I nod See Picasso a Cubist tree with hundreds of skinny rectangles for branches he commands I can t do everything for you You must walk They look like lockers boxes glass shards lips with tri alone to find your soul angle brown leaves I drop the sketch on Mr Freeman s desk Blah blah yeah Looking at pictures would be better than thumbs up N o w you re getting somewhere he says He gives me a watching snow drift I open the book Picasso sure had a thing for naked women Why not draw them with their clothes on W h o sits around without a shirt 118 119
I am getting seriously weird in the head.  on, plucking a mandolin  Why not draw naked guys, just to be fair  Naked women ...
It seems like a good idea until I m standing at the bus stop in front of school as a blizzard rips through the county The wind chill must be twenty below and I don t have a hat or RIDING SHOTGUN mittens I try keeping my back to the wind but my rear end I am a good girl I go to every single class for a week It feels eyelids and fills my ears That s why I don t hear the car pull good to know what the teachers are talking about again My up next to me When the horn blows I nearly jump out of my parents get the news flash from the guidance counselor They skin It s Mr Freeman Need a ride freezes Facing it is impossible The snow blows up under my aren t sure how to react happy because I m behaving or angrier still that they have to be happy about such a minor thing Mr Freeman s car shocks me It is a blue Volvo a safe Swedish as a kid who goes to class every day box I had him figured for an old VW bus It is clean I had visions of art supplies posters and rotting fruit everywhere When The guidance counselor convinces them I need a reward a I get in classical music plays quietly Will wonders never cease chew toy or something They settle on new clothes I m outHe says dropping me off in the city is only a little out of his growing everything I own way He d love to meet my mother My eyes widen in fear But shopping with my mother Just shoot me and put me out Maybe not he says I brush the melting snow from my of my misery Anything but a shopping trip with M o m She head and hold my hands in front of the heating vent He turns hates shopping with me At the mall she stalks ahead chin the fan up full blast high eyelids twitching because I won t try on the practical stylish clothes she likes Mother is the rock I am the ocean As I thaw I count the mileage markers on the side of the road I have to pout and roll my eyes for hours until she finally keeping an eye out for interesting roadkill We get a lot of wears down and crumbles into a thousand grains of beach dead deer in the suburbs Sometimes poor people take the sand It takes a lot of energy I don t think I have it in me venison for their winter s meat but most of the time the carcasses rot until their skin hangs like ribbons over their bones Apparently M o m isn t up to the drag n whine mall gig ei We head west to the big city ther When they announce I ve earned new clothes they add that I have to get them at Effert s so M o m can use her dis You did a good job with that Cubist sketch he says I don t count I m supposed to take the bus after school and meet her know what to say We pass a dead dog It doesn t have a col at the store In a way I m glad Get in buy get out like rip lar I m seeing a lot of growth in your work You are learning ping off a Band Aid more than you know 120 121
It seems like a good idea until I m standing at the bus stop in front of school as a blizzard rips through the county. The...
It seems like a good idea until I m standing at the bus stop in front of school as a blizzard rips through the county The wind chill must be twenty below and I don t have a hat or RIDING SHOTGUN mittens I try keeping my back to the wind but my rear end I am a good girl I go to every single class for a week It feels eyelids and fills my ears That s why I don t hear the car pull good to know what the teachers are talking about again My up next to me When the horn blows I nearly jump out of my parents get the news flash from the guidance counselor They skin It s Mr Freeman Need a ride freezes Facing it is impossible The snow blows up under my aren t sure how to react happy because I m behaving or angrier still that they have to be happy about such a minor thing Mr Freeman s car shocks me It is a blue Volvo a safe Swedish as a kid who goes to class every day box I had him figured for an old VW bus It is clean I had visions of art supplies posters and rotting fruit everywhere When The guidance counselor convinces them I need a reward a I get in classical music plays quietly Will wonders never cease chew toy or something They settle on new clothes I m outHe says dropping me off in the city is only a little out of his growing everything I own way He d love to meet my mother My eyes widen in fear But shopping with my mother Just shoot me and put me out Maybe not he says I brush the melting snow from my of my misery Anything but a shopping trip with M o m She head and hold my hands in front of the heating vent He turns hates shopping with me At the mall she stalks ahead chin the fan up full blast high eyelids twitching because I won t try on the practical stylish clothes she likes Mother is the rock I am the ocean As I thaw I count the mileage markers on the side of the road I have to pout and roll my eyes for hours until she finally keeping an eye out for interesting roadkill We get a lot of wears down and crumbles into a thousand grains of beach dead deer in the suburbs Sometimes poor people take the sand It takes a lot of energy I don t think I have it in me venison for their winter s meat but most of the time the carcasses rot until their skin hangs like ribbons over their bones Apparently M o m isn t up to the drag n whine mall gig ei We head west to the big city ther When they announce I ve earned new clothes they add that I have to get them at Effert s so M o m can use her dis You did a good job with that Cubist sketch he says I don t count I m supposed to take the bus after school and meet her know what to say We pass a dead dog It doesn t have a col at the store In a way I m glad Get in buy get out like rip lar I m seeing a lot of growth in your work You are learning ping off a Band Aid more than you know 120 121
It seems like a good idea until I m standing at the bus stop in front of school as a blizzard rips through the county. The...
M e I don t know anything My trees suck storm sewer I chew off a scab on my thumb The Effert s sign Mr Freeman puts on his turn signal looks in the rearview can drop me off in front We sit for a moment the snow hid mirror pulls into the left lane and passes a beer truck Don t ing the other side of the street a cello solo thrumming from be so hard on yourself Art is about making mistakes and the speakers Um thanks I say Don t mention it he an learning from them He pulls back into the right lane swers I f you ever need to talk you know where to find me blinks in the middle of the block Over there I say You I unbuckle the seat belt and open the door I watch the beer truck fade into the snowstorm in the side mirror Part of me thinks maybe he is driving a bit too fast Melinda Mr Freeman says Snow filters into the car and what with all the snow but the car is heavy and doesn t slip melts on the dashboard You re a good kid I think you have The snow that had caked on my socks melts into my sneakers a lot to say I d like to hear it M e All right but you said we had to put emotion into our I close the door art I don t know what that means I don t know what I m supposed to feel My fingers fly up and cover my mouth What am I doing HALL OF M I R R O R S Mr Freeman Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar It makes you gag He sticks his finger down I stop by the manager s office and the secretary says my his throat The next time you work on your trees don t mother is on the phone Just as well It will be easier to find a think about trees Think about love or hate or joy or rage pair of jeans without her around I head for the Young whatever makes you feel something makes your palms sweat Ladies section of the store Another reason they don t make or your toes curl Focus on that feeling When people don t any money W h o wants to be called a young lady express themselves they die one piece at a time You d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside walking I need a size ten as much as it kills me to admit that Every through their days with no idea who they are just waiting for thing I own is an eight or a small I look at my canoe feet and a heart attack or cancer or a M a c k truck to come along and my wet obnoxious anklebones Aren t girls supposed to stop finish the job It s the saddest thing I know growing at this age He pulls off the exit and stops at the light at the bottom of the When I was in sixth grade my mom bought me all these ramp Something small and furry and dead is crumpled by the books about puberty and adolescence so I would appreciate 122 123
M e    I don t know anything. My trees suck.   storm sewer. I chew off a scab on my thumb. The Effert s sign  Mr. Freeman ...
M e I don t know anything My trees suck storm sewer I chew off a scab on my thumb The Effert s sign Mr Freeman puts on his turn signal looks in the rearview can drop me off in front We sit for a moment the snow hid mirror pulls into the left lane and passes a beer truck Don t ing the other side of the street a cello solo thrumming from be so hard on yourself Art is about making mistakes and the speakers Um thanks I say Don t mention it he an learning from them He pulls back into the right lane swers I f you ever need to talk you know where to find me blinks in the middle of the block Over there I say You I unbuckle the seat belt and open the door I watch the beer truck fade into the snowstorm in the side mirror Part of me thinks maybe he is driving a bit too fast Melinda Mr Freeman says Snow filters into the car and what with all the snow but the car is heavy and doesn t slip melts on the dashboard You re a good kid I think you have The snow that had caked on my socks melts into my sneakers a lot to say I d like to hear it M e All right but you said we had to put emotion into our I close the door art I don t know what that means I don t know what I m supposed to feel My fingers fly up and cover my mouth What am I doing HALL OF M I R R O R S Mr Freeman Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar It makes you gag He sticks his finger down I stop by the manager s office and the secretary says my his throat The next time you work on your trees don t mother is on the phone Just as well It will be easier to find a think about trees Think about love or hate or joy or rage pair of jeans without her around I head for the Young whatever makes you feel something makes your palms sweat Ladies section of the store Another reason they don t make or your toes curl Focus on that feeling When people don t any money W h o wants to be called a young lady express themselves they die one piece at a time You d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside walking I need a size ten as much as it kills me to admit that Every through their days with no idea who they are just waiting for thing I own is an eight or a small I look at my canoe feet and a heart attack or cancer or a M a c k truck to come along and my wet obnoxious anklebones Aren t girls supposed to stop finish the job It s the saddest thing I know growing at this age He pulls off the exit and stops at the light at the bottom of the When I was in sixth grade my mom bought me all these ramp Something small and furry and dead is crumpled by the books about puberty and adolescence so I would appreciate 122 123
M e    I don t know anything. My trees suck.   storm sewer. I chew off a scab on my thumb. The Effert s sign  Mr. Freeman ...
what a beautiful and natural and miraculous transfor over eighty percent of her body and they had to wash all mation I was going through Crap That s what it is She com the dead skin off They wrapped her in bandages kept her plains all the time about her hair turning gray and her butt drugged and waited for skin grafts They actually sewed her sagging and her skin wrinkling but I m supposed to be grate into a new skin ful for a face full of zits hair in embarrassing places and feet that grow an inch a night Utter crap I push my ragged mouth against the mirror A thousand bleeding crusted lips push back What does it feel like to walk in a No matter what I try on I know I ll hate it Effert s has new skin Was she completely sensitive like a baby or numb cornered the market on completely unfashionable clothes without nerve endings just walking in a skin bag I exhale Clothes that grandmas buy for your birthday It s a fashion and my mouth disappears in a fog I feel like my skin has been graveyard Just get a pair that fits I tell myself One pair burned off I stumble from thornbush to thornbush my that s the goal I look around No M o m I carry three pairs of mother and father who hate each other Rachel who hates me the least offensive jeans into the dressing room I am the only a school that gags on me like I m a hairball And Heather person trying anything on The first pair is way too small I can t even get them over my butt I don t bother with the sec I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft ond pair they are a smaller size The third pair is huge Ex Mr Freeman thinks I need to find my feelings How can I not actly what I m looking for find them They are chewing me alive like an infestation of thoughts shame mistakes I squeeze my eyes shut Jeans that I scurry out to the three way mirror With an extra large fit that s a good start I have to stay away from the closet go sweatshirt over the top you can hardly tell that they are Ef to all my classes I will make myself normal Forget the rest of fert s jeans Still no M o m I adjust the mirror so I can see re it flections of reflections miles and miles of me and my new jeans I hook my hair behind my ears I should have washed it My face is dirty I lean into the mirror Eyes after eyes after eyes stare back at me Am I in there somewhere A thousand GERMINATION eyes blink No makeup Dark circles I pull the side flaps of the mirror in closer folding myself into the looking glass and We ve finished the plant unit in biology M s Keen drops ten blocking out the rest of the store pound hints that the test will focus on seeds I study My face becomes a Picasso sketch my body slicing into dis How seeds get planted This is actually cool Some plants spit secting cubes I saw a movie once where a woman was burned their seeds into the wind Others make seeds yummy enough 124 125
what a  beautiful  and  natural  and  miraculous  transfor-  over eighty percent of her body and they had to wash all  mat...
what a beautiful and natural and miraculous transfor over eighty percent of her body and they had to wash all mation I was going through Crap That s what it is She com the dead skin off They wrapped her in bandages kept her plains all the time about her hair turning gray and her butt drugged and waited for skin grafts They actually sewed her sagging and her skin wrinkling but I m supposed to be grate into a new skin ful for a face full of zits hair in embarrassing places and feet that grow an inch a night Utter crap I push my ragged mouth against the mirror A thousand bleeding crusted lips push back What does it feel like to walk in a No matter what I try on I know I ll hate it Effert s has new skin Was she completely sensitive like a baby or numb cornered the market on completely unfashionable clothes without nerve endings just walking in a skin bag I exhale Clothes that grandmas buy for your birthday It s a fashion and my mouth disappears in a fog I feel like my skin has been graveyard Just get a pair that fits I tell myself One pair burned off I stumble from thornbush to thornbush my that s the goal I look around No M o m I carry three pairs of mother and father who hate each other Rachel who hates me the least offensive jeans into the dressing room I am the only a school that gags on me like I m a hairball And Heather person trying anything on The first pair is way too small I can t even get them over my butt I don t bother with the sec I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft ond pair they are a smaller size The third pair is huge Ex Mr Freeman thinks I need to find my feelings How can I not actly what I m looking for find them They are chewing me alive like an infestation of thoughts shame mistakes I squeeze my eyes shut Jeans that I scurry out to the three way mirror With an extra large fit that s a good start I have to stay away from the closet go sweatshirt over the top you can hardly tell that they are Ef to all my classes I will make myself normal Forget the rest of fert s jeans Still no M o m I adjust the mirror so I can see re it flections of reflections miles and miles of me and my new jeans I hook my hair behind my ears I should have washed it My face is dirty I lean into the mirror Eyes after eyes after eyes stare back at me Am I in there somewhere A thousand GERMINATION eyes blink No makeup Dark circles I pull the side flaps of the mirror in closer folding myself into the looking glass and We ve finished the plant unit in biology M s Keen drops ten blocking out the rest of the store pound hints that the test will focus on seeds I study My face becomes a Picasso sketch my body slicing into dis How seeds get planted This is actually cool Some plants spit secting cubes I saw a movie once where a woman was burned their seeds into the wind Others make seeds yummy enough 124 125
what a  beautiful  and  natural  and  miraculous  transfor-  over eighty percent of her body and they had to wash all  mat...
drink cranberry apricot juice Too bad I can t buy stock in the juice company I am watching a trend in the making Are they talking about me They re certainly laughing SNOW D A Y S C H O O L AS USUAL enough I chomp my sandwich and it barfs mustard on my shirt Maybe they re planning the next Project They could We had eight inches of snow last night In any other part of mail snowballs to the weather deprived children in Texas the country that would mean a snow day Not in Syracuse They could knit goat hair blankets for shorn sheep I imagine We never get snow days It snows an inch in South Carolina what Heather might look like in ten years after two children everything shuts down and they get on the six o clock news and seventy pounds It helps a little In our district they plow early and often and put chains on the bus tires Rachel Rachelle takes a seat at the end of my table with Hana the exchange student from Egypt Rachel Rachelle is now ex Hairwoman tells perimenting with Islam She wears a scarf on her head and week back in the seventies because of the energy crisis It some brown and red gauzy harem pants Her eyes are ringed was wicked cold and would have cost too much to heat with black eyeliner thick as crayon I think I see her looking at the school She looks wistful Wistful one point vocab us they canceled school for a whole me but I m probably wrong Hana wears jeans and a Gap word She blows her nose loudly and pops another smelly T shirt They eat hummus and pita and titter in French green cough drop The wind blasts a snowdrift against the window There is a sprinkling of losers like me scattered among the happy teenagers prunes in the oatmeal of school The others Our teachers need a snow day They look unusually pale The have the social power to sit with other losers I m the only men aren t shaving carefully and the women never remove one sitting alone under the glowing neon sign which reads their boots They suffer some sort of teacherflu Their noses Complete and Total Loser Not Quite Sane Stay Away Do drip their throats gum up their eyes are rimmed with red Not Feed They come to school long enough to infect the staff room then go home sick when the sub shows up I go to the rest room to turn my shirt around so the mustard stain is hidden under my hair Hairwoman Open your books now W h o can tell me what snow symbolized to Hawthorne Class Groan 128 129
drink cranberry-apricot juice. Too bad I can t buy stock in the juice company   I am watching a trend in the making. Are  ...
drink cranberry apricot juice Too bad I can t buy stock in the juice company I am watching a trend in the making Are they talking about me They re certainly laughing SNOW D A Y S C H O O L AS USUAL enough I chomp my sandwich and it barfs mustard on my shirt Maybe they re planning the next Project They could We had eight inches of snow last night In any other part of mail snowballs to the weather deprived children in Texas the country that would mean a snow day Not in Syracuse They could knit goat hair blankets for shorn sheep I imagine We never get snow days It snows an inch in South Carolina what Heather might look like in ten years after two children everything shuts down and they get on the six o clock news and seventy pounds It helps a little In our district they plow early and often and put chains on the bus tires Rachel Rachelle takes a seat at the end of my table with Hana the exchange student from Egypt Rachel Rachelle is now ex Hairwoman tells perimenting with Islam She wears a scarf on her head and week back in the seventies because of the energy crisis It some brown and red gauzy harem pants Her eyes are ringed was wicked cold and would have cost too much to heat with black eyeliner thick as crayon I think I see her looking at the school She looks wistful Wistful one point vocab us they canceled school for a whole me but I m probably wrong Hana wears jeans and a Gap word She blows her nose loudly and pops another smelly T shirt They eat hummus and pita and titter in French green cough drop The wind blasts a snowdrift against the window There is a sprinkling of losers like me scattered among the happy teenagers prunes in the oatmeal of school The others Our teachers need a snow day They look unusually pale The have the social power to sit with other losers I m the only men aren t shaving carefully and the women never remove one sitting alone under the glowing neon sign which reads their boots They suffer some sort of teacherflu Their noses Complete and Total Loser Not Quite Sane Stay Away Do drip their throats gum up their eyes are rimmed with red Not Feed They come to school long enough to infect the staff room then go home sick when the sub shows up I go to the rest room to turn my shirt around so the mustard stain is hidden under my hair Hairwoman Open your books now W h o can tell me what snow symbolized to Hawthorne Class Groan 128 129
drink cranberry-apricot juice. Too bad I can t buy stock in the juice company   I am watching a trend in the making. Are  ...
Hawthorne wanted snow to symbolize cold that s what I onds like it s New Year s Eve then explode from the stands think Cold and silence Nothing quieter than snow The sky like angry hornets at the sound of the buzzer We won beating screams to deliver it a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the Coatesville Cougars 5 1 5 0 The cheerleaders weep The the blizzard But once the snow covers the ground it hushes coaches embrace I get caught up in the excitement and clap as still as my heart like a little girl This is my mistake thinking I belong I should have bolted for home immediately But I don t I hang around I want to be a STUPID STUPID part of it all I sneak into my closet after school because I can t face the idea David Petrakis pushes toward the doors in the middle of a of riding home on a busful of sweaty smiling teeth sucking up group of friends He sees me looking at him and detaches him my oxygen I say hello to my poster of Maya and my Cubist self from his pod tree My turkey bone scupture has fallen down again I prop it up on the shelf next to the mirror It slides back down and lies David Melinda Where were you sitting Did you see flat I leave it there and curl up in my chair The closet is warm that last shot Unbelievable Unbefreakinglievable He drib and I m ready for a nap I ve been having trouble sleeping at bles an imaginary ball on the ground fakes left right then home I wake up because the covers are on the floor or be pulls up for a shot David should stick to human rights cause I m standing at the kitchen door trying to get out It abuses He goes on and on a loose ball racing downhill feels safer in my little hideaway I doze off To hear him talk you d think they just won the NBA championship Then he invites me back to his house for celebratory I wake to the sound of girls screaming B e Aggressive B E B E pizza Aggressive B E A G G R E S S I V E David Come on Mel You gotta come with us My dad told For a minute there I think that I ve tripped into the land of me to bring anyone I wanted We can give you a ride home the truly insane but then a crowd roars It is a basketball after if you want It ll be fun You do remember fun don t game last game of the season I check my watch 8 45 I ve you been asleep for hours I grab my backpack and fly down the hall Nope I don t do parties No thanks I trot out excuses homework strict parents tuba practice late night dentist appoint The noise of the gym pulls me in I stand by the door for the ment have to feed the warthogs I don t have a good track last minute of the game The crowd chants down the last sec record with parties 130 131
Hawthorne wanted snow to symbolize cold, that s what I  onds like it s New Year s Eve, then explode from the stands  think...
Hawthorne wanted snow to symbolize cold that s what I onds like it s New Year s Eve then explode from the stands think Cold and silence Nothing quieter than snow The sky like angry hornets at the sound of the buzzer We won beating screams to deliver it a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the Coatesville Cougars 5 1 5 0 The cheerleaders weep The the blizzard But once the snow covers the ground it hushes coaches embrace I get caught up in the excitement and clap as still as my heart like a little girl This is my mistake thinking I belong I should have bolted for home immediately But I don t I hang around I want to be a STUPID STUPID part of it all I sneak into my closet after school because I can t face the idea David Petrakis pushes toward the doors in the middle of a of riding home on a busful of sweaty smiling teeth sucking up group of friends He sees me looking at him and detaches him my oxygen I say hello to my poster of Maya and my Cubist self from his pod tree My turkey bone scupture has fallen down again I prop it up on the shelf next to the mirror It slides back down and lies David Melinda Where were you sitting Did you see flat I leave it there and curl up in my chair The closet is warm that last shot Unbelievable Unbefreakinglievable He drib and I m ready for a nap I ve been having trouble sleeping at bles an imaginary ball on the ground fakes left right then home I wake up because the covers are on the floor or be pulls up for a shot David should stick to human rights cause I m standing at the kitchen door trying to get out It abuses He goes on and on a loose ball racing downhill feels safer in my little hideaway I doze off To hear him talk you d think they just won the NBA championship Then he invites me back to his house for celebratory I wake to the sound of girls screaming B e Aggressive B E B E pizza Aggressive B E A G G R E S S I V E David Come on Mel You gotta come with us My dad told For a minute there I think that I ve tripped into the land of me to bring anyone I wanted We can give you a ride home the truly insane but then a crowd roars It is a basketball after if you want It ll be fun You do remember fun don t game last game of the season I check my watch 8 45 I ve you been asleep for hours I grab my backpack and fly down the hall Nope I don t do parties No thanks I trot out excuses homework strict parents tuba practice late night dentist appoint The noise of the gym pulls me in I stand by the door for the ment have to feed the warthogs I don t have a good track last minute of the game The crowd chants down the last sec record with parties 130 131
Hawthorne wanted snow to symbolize cold, that s what I  onds like it s New Year s Eve, then explode from the stands  think...
David doesn t bother to analyze my reluctance If he were a girl maybe he would have pleaded or whined more Guys don t do that Yes no Stay go Suit yourself See you Monday A NIGHT TO R E M E M B E R I think it s some kind of psychiatric disorder when you have more than one personality in your head That s what it feels I can t sleep after the game Again I spend a couple hours tun like when I walk home The two Melindas fight every step of ing AM radio to the weird bounces of night I listen to jabber the way Melinda One is pissed that she couldn t go to the jabber from Quebec a farm report from Minnesota and a party country station in Nashville I crawl out my window onto the porch roof and wrap myself in all my blankets Melinda One Get a life It was just pizza He wasn t going to try anything His parents were going to be there You worry A fat white seed sleeps in the sky too much You re never going to let us have any fun are you You re going to turn into one of those weird old ladies who Slush is frozen over People say that winter lasts forever but has a hundred cats and calls the cops when kids cut across her it s because they obsess over the thermometer North in the back yard I can t stand you mountains the maple syrup is trickling Brave geese punch through the thin ice left on the lake Underground pale seeds Melinda Two waits for One to finish her tantrum Two care roll over in their sleep Starting to get restless Starting to fully watches the bushes along the sidewalk for a lurking bo dream green geyman or worse The moon looked closer back in August Melinda Two The world is a dangerous place You don t know what would have happened What if he was just saying Rachel got us to the end of summer party a cheerleader party his parents were going to be there He could have been lying with beer and seniors and music She blackmailed her brother You can never tell when people are lying Assume the worst Jimmy to drive us We were all sleeping over at Rachel s Plan for disaster N o w hurry up and get us home I don t like house Her mother thought Jimmy was taking us roller it out here It s too dark skating If I kick both of them out of my head who would be left It was at a farm a couple of miles from our development The kegs were in the barn where the speakers were set up Most people hung at the edge of the lights They looked like models 132 133
David doesn t bother to analyze my reluctance. If he were a girl, maybe he would have pleaded or whined more. Guys don t d...
David doesn t bother to analyze my reluctance If he were a girl maybe he would have pleaded or whined more Guys don t do that Yes no Stay go Suit yourself See you Monday A NIGHT TO R E M E M B E R I think it s some kind of psychiatric disorder when you have more than one personality in your head That s what it feels I can t sleep after the game Again I spend a couple hours tun like when I walk home The two Melindas fight every step of ing AM radio to the weird bounces of night I listen to jabber the way Melinda One is pissed that she couldn t go to the jabber from Quebec a farm report from Minnesota and a party country station in Nashville I crawl out my window onto the porch roof and wrap myself in all my blankets Melinda One Get a life It was just pizza He wasn t going to try anything His parents were going to be there You worry A fat white seed sleeps in the sky too much You re never going to let us have any fun are you You re going to turn into one of those weird old ladies who Slush is frozen over People say that winter lasts forever but has a hundred cats and calls the cops when kids cut across her it s because they obsess over the thermometer North in the back yard I can t stand you mountains the maple syrup is trickling Brave geese punch through the thin ice left on the lake Underground pale seeds Melinda Two waits for One to finish her tantrum Two care roll over in their sleep Starting to get restless Starting to fully watches the bushes along the sidewalk for a lurking bo dream green geyman or worse The moon looked closer back in August Melinda Two The world is a dangerous place You don t know what would have happened What if he was just saying Rachel got us to the end of summer party a cheerleader party his parents were going to be there He could have been lying with beer and seniors and music She blackmailed her brother You can never tell when people are lying Assume the worst Jimmy to drive us We were all sleeping over at Rachel s Plan for disaster N o w hurry up and get us home I don t like house Her mother thought Jimmy was taking us roller it out here It s too dark skating If I kick both of them out of my head who would be left It was at a farm a couple of miles from our development The kegs were in the barn where the speakers were set up Most people hung at the edge of the lights They looked like models 132 133
David doesn t bother to analyze my reluctance. If he were a girl, maybe he would have pleaded or whined more. Guys don t d...
in a blue jeans ad thinthinthin big lips big earrings white He tilted my face up to his He kissed me man kiss smiles I felt like such a little kid hard sweet and deep Nearly knocked me off my feet that kiss And I thought for just a minute there that I had a Rachel found a way to fit in of course She knew a lot of peo boyfriend I would start high school with a boyfriend older ple because of Jimmy I tasted a beer It was worse than cough and stronger and ready to watch out for me He kissed me medicine I gulped it down Another beer and one more then again His teeth ground hard against my lips It was hard to I worried I would throw up I walked out of the crowd to breathe ward the woods The moon shone on the leaves I could see the lights like stars strung in the pines Somebody giggled A cloud cloaked the moon Shadows looked like photo nega hidden beyond the dark quiet boygirl whispers I couldn t see tives them D o you want t o he asked A step behind me A senior And then he was talking to me flirting with me This gorgeous cover model guy His hair was What did he say I didn t answer I didn t know I didn t way better than mine his every inch a tanned muscle and speak he had straight white teeth Flirting with me Where was Rachel she had to see this We were on the ground When did that happen N o No I did not like this I was on the ground and he was on top of Greek God Where did you come from You re too beautiful me My lips mumble something about leaving about a friend to hide in the dark Come dance with me who needs me about my parents worrying I can hear my He took my hand and pulled me close to him I breathed in mine and I can t say anything I twist my head away He is so cologne and beer and something I couldn t identify I fit in heavy There is a boulder on me I open my mouth to breathe against his body perfectly my head level with his shoulder I to scream and his hand covers it In my head my voice is as was a little dizzy I laid my cheek on his chest He wrapped clear as a bell NO I DON T WANT T O But I can t spit it out one arm around my back His other hand slid down to my I m trying to remember how we got on the ground and where self I m mumbling like a deranged drunk His lips lock on butt I thought that was a little rude but my tongue was thick the moon went and wham shirt up shorts down and the with beer and I couldn t figure out how to tell him to ground smells wet and dark and NO I m not really here slow down The music was sweet This was what high school I m definitely back at Rachel s crimping my hair and gluing was supposed to feel like Where was Rachel She had to see on fake nails and he smells like beer and mean and he hurts this me hurts me hurts me and gets up 134 135
in a blue-jeans ad, thinthinthin, big lips, big earrings, white  He tilted my face up to his. He kissed me, man kiss,  smi...
in a blue jeans ad thinthinthin big lips big earrings white He tilted my face up to his He kissed me man kiss smiles I felt like such a little kid hard sweet and deep Nearly knocked me off my feet that kiss And I thought for just a minute there that I had a Rachel found a way to fit in of course She knew a lot of peo boyfriend I would start high school with a boyfriend older ple because of Jimmy I tasted a beer It was worse than cough and stronger and ready to watch out for me He kissed me medicine I gulped it down Another beer and one more then again His teeth ground hard against my lips It was hard to I worried I would throw up I walked out of the crowd to breathe ward the woods The moon shone on the leaves I could see the lights like stars strung in the pines Somebody giggled A cloud cloaked the moon Shadows looked like photo nega hidden beyond the dark quiet boygirl whispers I couldn t see tives them D o you want t o he asked A step behind me A senior And then he was talking to me flirting with me This gorgeous cover model guy His hair was What did he say I didn t answer I didn t know I didn t way better than mine his every inch a tanned muscle and speak he had straight white teeth Flirting with me Where was Rachel she had to see this We were on the ground When did that happen N o No I did not like this I was on the ground and he was on top of Greek God Where did you come from You re too beautiful me My lips mumble something about leaving about a friend to hide in the dark Come dance with me who needs me about my parents worrying I can hear my He took my hand and pulled me close to him I breathed in mine and I can t say anything I twist my head away He is so cologne and beer and something I couldn t identify I fit in heavy There is a boulder on me I open my mouth to breathe against his body perfectly my head level with his shoulder I to scream and his hand covers it In my head my voice is as was a little dizzy I laid my cheek on his chest He wrapped clear as a bell NO I DON T WANT T O But I can t spit it out one arm around my back His other hand slid down to my I m trying to remember how we got on the ground and where self I m mumbling like a deranged drunk His lips lock on butt I thought that was a little rude but my tongue was thick the moon went and wham shirt up shorts down and the with beer and I couldn t figure out how to tell him to ground smells wet and dark and NO I m not really here slow down The music was sweet This was what high school I m definitely back at Rachel s crimping my hair and gluing was supposed to feel like Where was Rachel She had to see on fake nails and he smells like beer and mean and he hurts this me hurts me hurts me and gets up 134 135
in a blue-jeans ad, thinthinthin, big lips, big earrings, white  He tilted my face up to his. He kissed me, man kiss,  smi...
and zips his jeans and smiles MY REPORT CARD The next thing I saw was the telephone I stood in the middle Social Life F Social Studies F Spanish D of a drunken crowd and I called 9 1 1 because I needed help Lunch D Biology D Algebra F All those visits from Officer Friendly in second grade paid off Clothes F English D Gym A lady answered the phone Police state your emergency and I saw my face in the window over the kitchen sink and no words came out of my mouth W h o was that girl I had never seen her before Tears oozed down my face over my bruised lips pooling on the handset It s O K said the nice lady on the phone We have your location Officers are on the way Are you hurt Are you being threatened Someone grabbed the phone from my hands and listened A scream the cops were coming Blue and cherry lights flashing in the kitchensink window Rachel s face so angry in mine Someone slapped me I crawled out of the room through a forest of legs Outside the moon smiled goodbye and slipped away I walked home to an empty house Without a word It isn t August The moon is asleep and I m sitting on my porch roof like a frozen gargoyle wondering if the sun is going to blow off the world today and sleep in There is blood on the snow I bit my lip clear through It needs stitches M o m will be late again I hate winter I ve lived in Syracuse my whole life and I hate winter It starts too early and ends too late No one likes it Why does anyone stay here 136 137 D Art A
and zips his jeans and smiles.  MY REPORT CARD   The next thing I saw was the telephone. I stood in the middle  Social Lif...
and zips his jeans and smiles MY REPORT CARD The next thing I saw was the telephone I stood in the middle Social Life F Social Studies F Spanish D of a drunken crowd and I called 9 1 1 because I needed help Lunch D Biology D Algebra F All those visits from Officer Friendly in second grade paid off Clothes F English D Gym A lady answered the phone Police state your emergency and I saw my face in the window over the kitchen sink and no words came out of my mouth W h o was that girl I had never seen her before Tears oozed down my face over my bruised lips pooling on the handset It s O K said the nice lady on the phone We have your location Officers are on the way Are you hurt Are you being threatened Someone grabbed the phone from my hands and listened A scream the cops were coming Blue and cherry lights flashing in the kitchensink window Rachel s face so angry in mine Someone slapped me I crawled out of the room through a forest of legs Outside the moon smiled goodbye and slipped away I walked home to an empty house Without a word It isn t August The moon is asleep and I m sitting on my porch roof like a frozen gargoyle wondering if the sun is going to blow off the world today and sleep in There is blood on the snow I bit my lip clear through It needs stitches M o m will be late again I hate winter I ve lived in Syracuse my whole life and I hate winter It starts too early and ends too late No one likes it Why does anyone stay here 136 137 D Art A
and zips his jeans and smiles.  MY REPORT CARD   The next thing I saw was the telephone. I stood in the middle  Social Lif...
FOURTH MARKING PERIOD
FOURTH  MARKING  PERIOD
FOURTH MARKING PERIOD
FOURTH  MARKING  PERIOD
EXTERMINATORS The PTA has started a petition to get rid of the Hornet as our school mascot It was the cheer that got to them They heard it at the last basketball game W E ARE THE HORNETS HORNY HORNY HORNETS EVERYWHERE WE GO OH PEOPLE WANT TO KNO OOW WHO WE ARE SO WE TELL THEM WE ARE THE HORNETS HORNY HORNY HORNETS and on and on and on The wiggles and shakes that accompany the cheer freaked out the Merryweather PTA Freaked out PTAs all over the city when the Horny Hornet cheer was televised The TV sports guy thought the song was cute so he did a segment showing the Hornet Hustle with the cheerleaders shaking their stingers and the crowd bumping and grinding their horny Hornet heinies The student council started a counterpetition The Honor Society wrote it It describes the psychological harm we have all suffered from this year s lack of identity It pleads for consistency stability It s pretty good We the students of Merryweather High have become proud of our Hornet selves We 141
EXTERMINATORS The PTA has started a petition to get rid of the Hornet as our school mascot. It was the cheer that got to t...
EXTERMINATORS The PTA has started a petition to get rid of the Hornet as our school mascot It was the cheer that got to them They heard it at the last basketball game W E ARE THE HORNETS HORNY HORNY HORNETS EVERYWHERE WE GO OH PEOPLE WANT TO KNO OOW WHO WE ARE SO WE TELL THEM WE ARE THE HORNETS HORNY HORNY HORNETS and on and on and on The wiggles and shakes that accompany the cheer freaked out the Merryweather PTA Freaked out PTAs all over the city when the Horny Hornet cheer was televised The TV sports guy thought the song was cute so he did a segment showing the Hornet Hustle with the cheerleaders shaking their stingers and the crowd bumping and grinding their horny Hornet heinies The student council started a counterpetition The Honor Society wrote it It describes the psychological harm we have all suffered from this year s lack of identity It pleads for consistency stability It s pretty good We the students of Merryweather High have become proud of our Hornet selves We 141
EXTERMINATORS The PTA has started a petition to get rid of the Hornet as our school mascot. It was the cheer that got to t...
are tenacious stinging clever We are a hive a community of I ve been going to most of my classes Good girl Mellie Roll students Don t take away our Hornetdom We are Hornets over Mellie Sit Mellie No one has patted me on the head though I passed an algebra test I passed an English test I It won t be a real issue until football starts up again Our passed a biology test Well hallelujah It is all so profoundly baseball team always stinks stupid Maybe this is why kids join clubs to give them something to think about during class Andy Beast joined the International Club I hadn t figured him THE WET SEASON for a deep interest in Greek cooking or French museums He has abandoned the Martha table and hangs around and onto Spring is on the way The winter rats rusty brown 7 0 0 cars Rachel Rachelle and Greta Ingrid and all the other resident that everyone with sense drives from November until April aliens Rachel Rachelle flutters her purple eyelashes at him are rolling back into storage The snow is melting for good like he s some kind of Uberdude You d think she d have more and the pretty baby shiny cars glitter in the senior parking lot sense There are other signs of spring Front lawns cough up the Easter came and went without much notice I think it caught shovels and mittens that were gobbled by snowdrifts in Janu my mother by surprise She doesn t like Easter because the ary My mother moved the winter coats up to the attic Dad s date keeps shifting and it s not a big shopping holiday When I been mumbling about the storm windows but hasn t taken was a kid M o m used to hide colored eggs for me all over the them down From the bus I saw a farmer walking his field house The last egg was inside a big basket of chocolate rab waiting for the mud to tell him when to plant bits and yellow marshmallow chicks Before my grandparents died they would take me to church and I would wear stiff April Fool s Day is when most seniors get their acceptance or dresses with itchy lace rejection letters from college Thumbs up or thumbs down It s a sick piece of timing Tensions are running high Kids drink This year we celebrated by eating lamb chops I made pink stomach medicine from the bottle David Petrakis My hard boiled eggs for lunch and drew little faces on them Lab Partner is writing a database program to track who got with in where He wants to analyze which advanced placement yard work has to be done M o m didn t say much I said classes the seniors took their standardized test scores ex less In heaven my grandparents frowned I sort of wished tracurricular and GPAs to figure out what he needs to do to we had gone to church Some of the Easter songs are get into Harvard pretty 142 a black pen Dad complained 143 about how much
are tenacious, stinging, clever. We are a hive, a community of  I ve been going to most of my classes. Good girl, Mellie. ...
are tenacious stinging clever We are a hive a community of I ve been going to most of my classes Good girl Mellie Roll students Don t take away our Hornetdom We are Hornets over Mellie Sit Mellie No one has patted me on the head though I passed an algebra test I passed an English test I It won t be a real issue until football starts up again Our passed a biology test Well hallelujah It is all so profoundly baseball team always stinks stupid Maybe this is why kids join clubs to give them something to think about during class Andy Beast joined the International Club I hadn t figured him THE WET SEASON for a deep interest in Greek cooking or French museums He has abandoned the Martha table and hangs around and onto Spring is on the way The winter rats rusty brown 7 0 0 cars Rachel Rachelle and Greta Ingrid and all the other resident that everyone with sense drives from November until April aliens Rachel Rachelle flutters her purple eyelashes at him are rolling back into storage The snow is melting for good like he s some kind of Uberdude You d think she d have more and the pretty baby shiny cars glitter in the senior parking lot sense There are other signs of spring Front lawns cough up the Easter came and went without much notice I think it caught shovels and mittens that were gobbled by snowdrifts in Janu my mother by surprise She doesn t like Easter because the ary My mother moved the winter coats up to the attic Dad s date keeps shifting and it s not a big shopping holiday When I been mumbling about the storm windows but hasn t taken was a kid M o m used to hide colored eggs for me all over the them down From the bus I saw a farmer walking his field house The last egg was inside a big basket of chocolate rab waiting for the mud to tell him when to plant bits and yellow marshmallow chicks Before my grandparents died they would take me to church and I would wear stiff April Fool s Day is when most seniors get their acceptance or dresses with itchy lace rejection letters from college Thumbs up or thumbs down It s a sick piece of timing Tensions are running high Kids drink This year we celebrated by eating lamb chops I made pink stomach medicine from the bottle David Petrakis My hard boiled eggs for lunch and drew little faces on them Lab Partner is writing a database program to track who got with in where He wants to analyze which advanced placement yard work has to be done M o m didn t say much I said classes the seniors took their standardized test scores ex less In heaven my grandparents frowned I sort of wished tracurricular and GPAs to figure out what he needs to do to we had gone to church Some of the Easter songs are get into Harvard pretty 142 a black pen Dad complained 143 about how much
are tenacious, stinging, clever. We are a hive, a community of  I ve been going to most of my classes. Good girl, Mellie. ...
me she s a tiger She s crying about ice cream and she wipes her tears Her tiger paint smears and her mom yells at her SPRING BREAK It is the last day of Spring Break My house is shrinking and I What a zoo I turn Ivy is sitting on the edge of the fountain a giant sketch feel like Alice in Wonderland Afraid that my head might burst book balanced on her knees She nods toward the line of through the roof I head for the mall I have ten bucks in my whiners and the face painters furiously coloring stripes spots pocket what to spend it on French fries ten dollars worth and whiskers of french fries ultimate fantasy If Alice in Wonderland were written today I bet she d have a supersized order of fries that I feel bad for them I say What are you drawing said Eat me instead of a small cake On the other hand we re rushing toward summer which means shorts and Ivy moves so I can sit next to her and hands me the sketch T shirts and maybe even a bathing suit now and then I walk book She s drawing the kids faces Half of each face is plain past the deep fat fryers and sad the other half is plastered with thick clown makeup that is fake happy She hasn t painted any tigers or leopards N o w that spring is past the fall fashions are in the store windows I keep waiting for the year when the fashions catch up The last time I was here they were doing clown faces No to the seasons A couple of stores have performance artists such luck today Ivy explains hanging at the front door One guy keeps flying a stupid loopthe loop airplane a plastic faced woman keeps tying and re Looks good though I say It s kind of spooky Not creepy tying a shawl No now it s a skirt Now it s a halter top No w but unexpected I hand back the sketchbook it s a head scarf People avoid looking at her as if they aren t sure if they should applaud or tip her I feel bad for her I Ivy pokes her pencil into her bun Good That s what I m wonder what her grades were in high school I want to give trying for That turkey bone thing you did was creepy too her a tip only it would be rude to ask if she has change for a Creepy in a good way good creepy It s been months and I m ten still thinking about it I ride the escalator down to the central fountain where to What am I supposed to say now I bite my lip then release it I day s entertainment is face painting The line is long and pull a roll of Life Savers from my pocket Want a piece She loud six year olds and their mothers A little girl walks past takes one I take three and we suck in silence for a moment 144 145
me   she s a tiger. She s crying about ice cream and she wipes her tears. Her tiger paint smears and her mom yells at her....
me she s a tiger She s crying about ice cream and she wipes her tears Her tiger paint smears and her mom yells at her SPRING BREAK It is the last day of Spring Break My house is shrinking and I What a zoo I turn Ivy is sitting on the edge of the fountain a giant sketch feel like Alice in Wonderland Afraid that my head might burst book balanced on her knees She nods toward the line of through the roof I head for the mall I have ten bucks in my whiners and the face painters furiously coloring stripes spots pocket what to spend it on French fries ten dollars worth and whiskers of french fries ultimate fantasy If Alice in Wonderland were written today I bet she d have a supersized order of fries that I feel bad for them I say What are you drawing said Eat me instead of a small cake On the other hand we re rushing toward summer which means shorts and Ivy moves so I can sit next to her and hands me the sketch T shirts and maybe even a bathing suit now and then I walk book She s drawing the kids faces Half of each face is plain past the deep fat fryers and sad the other half is plastered with thick clown makeup that is fake happy She hasn t painted any tigers or leopards N o w that spring is past the fall fashions are in the store windows I keep waiting for the year when the fashions catch up The last time I was here they were doing clown faces No to the seasons A couple of stores have performance artists such luck today Ivy explains hanging at the front door One guy keeps flying a stupid loopthe loop airplane a plastic faced woman keeps tying and re Looks good though I say It s kind of spooky Not creepy tying a shawl No now it s a skirt Now it s a halter top No w but unexpected I hand back the sketchbook it s a head scarf People avoid looking at her as if they aren t sure if they should applaud or tip her I feel bad for her I Ivy pokes her pencil into her bun Good That s what I m wonder what her grades were in high school I want to give trying for That turkey bone thing you did was creepy too her a tip only it would be rude to ask if she has change for a Creepy in a good way good creepy It s been months and I m ten still thinking about it I ride the escalator down to the central fountain where to What am I supposed to say now I bite my lip then release it I day s entertainment is face painting The line is long and pull a roll of Life Savers from my pocket Want a piece She loud six year olds and their mothers A little girl walks past takes one I take three and we suck in silence for a moment 144 145
me   she s a tiger. She s crying about ice cream and she wipes her tears. Her tiger paint smears and her mom yells at her....
How s the tree coming she asks David draws a chart in his notebook I snap my pencil point and walk to the front of the room to sharpen it I figure the I groan Stinks It was a mistake to sign up for art I just walk will do me good M s Keen sputters on We get half our couldn t see myself taking wood shop genes from our mother and half from our father I thought my jeans came from Effert s Ha ha biology joke You re better than you think you are Ivy says She opens to an empty page in the sketchbook I don t know why you Mom says I take after Dad s side of the family They re mostly keep using a linoleum block If I were you I d just let it out cops and insurance salesmen who bet on football games and draw Here try a tree smoke disgusting cigars Dad says I take after Mom s side of We sit there trading pencils I draw a trunk Ivy adds a branch They don t say much visit dentists or read the family They re farmers who grow rocks and poison ivy I extend the branch but it is too long and spindly I start to erase it but Ivy stops me It s fine the way it is it just needs When I was a little kid I used to pretend I was a princess who some leaves Layer the leaves and make them slightly different had been adopted when my kingdom was overrun by bad sizes and it will look great You have a great start there guys Any day my real parents Mr King and Mrs Queen She s right a seven year old heart attack when my dad took a limo to would send the royal limo to pick me up I just about had the airport the first time I thought they had really come to take me away and I didn t want to go Dad took taxis after that GENETICS I look out the window No limos No chariots or carThe last unit of the year in biology is genetics It s impossible riages Now when I really want to leave no one will give me to listen to M s Keen Her voice sounds like a cold engine that a ride won t turn over The lecture starts with some priest named Greg who studied vegetables and ends up with an argument I sketch a willow tree drooping into the water I won t show it about blue eyes I think I missed something how did we leap to Mr Freeman This one is for my closet I ve been taping from veggies to eye color I ll copy David s notes some of my drawings on the walls Any more classes as boring as this one and I ll be ready to move back in there full time I flip ahead in the textbook There s an interesting chapter My leaves are good natural The trick is to make them differ about acid rain Nothing about sex We aren t scheduled to ent sizes and then crowd them one on top of another Ivy was learn about that until eleventh grade right 146 147
 How s the tree coming   she asks.  David draws a chart in his notebook. I snap my pencil point and walk to the front of t...
How s the tree coming she asks David draws a chart in his notebook I snap my pencil point and walk to the front of the room to sharpen it I figure the I groan Stinks It was a mistake to sign up for art I just walk will do me good M s Keen sputters on We get half our couldn t see myself taking wood shop genes from our mother and half from our father I thought my jeans came from Effert s Ha ha biology joke You re better than you think you are Ivy says She opens to an empty page in the sketchbook I don t know why you Mom says I take after Dad s side of the family They re mostly keep using a linoleum block If I were you I d just let it out cops and insurance salesmen who bet on football games and draw Here try a tree smoke disgusting cigars Dad says I take after Mom s side of We sit there trading pencils I draw a trunk Ivy adds a branch They don t say much visit dentists or read the family They re farmers who grow rocks and poison ivy I extend the branch but it is too long and spindly I start to erase it but Ivy stops me It s fine the way it is it just needs When I was a little kid I used to pretend I was a princess who some leaves Layer the leaves and make them slightly different had been adopted when my kingdom was overrun by bad sizes and it will look great You have a great start there guys Any day my real parents Mr King and Mrs Queen She s right a seven year old heart attack when my dad took a limo to would send the royal limo to pick me up I just about had the airport the first time I thought they had really come to take me away and I didn t want to go Dad took taxis after that GENETICS I look out the window No limos No chariots or carThe last unit of the year in biology is genetics It s impossible riages Now when I really want to leave no one will give me to listen to M s Keen Her voice sounds like a cold engine that a ride won t turn over The lecture starts with some priest named Greg who studied vegetables and ends up with an argument I sketch a willow tree drooping into the water I won t show it about blue eyes I think I missed something how did we leap to Mr Freeman This one is for my closet I ve been taping from veggies to eye color I ll copy David s notes some of my drawings on the walls Any more classes as boring as this one and I ll be ready to move back in there full time I flip ahead in the textbook There s an interesting chapter My leaves are good natural The trick is to make them differ about acid rain Nothing about sex We aren t scheduled to ent sizes and then crowd them one on top of another Ivy was learn about that until eleventh grade right 146 147
 How s the tree coming   she asks.  David draws a chart in his notebook. I snap my pencil point and walk to the front of t...
M s Keen writes Dominant Recessive on the board I look at now she follows after him panting like a bichon frise 1 fl David s notes He s drawing a family tree David got his hair wears her buddy Greta Ingrid draped around his neck like a gene from his dad and his eye gene from his mom I draw a white scarf When he spits I bet Rachel Rachelle catches it in family tree A family stump There aren t that many of us I can a cup and saves it barely remember their names Uncle Jim Uncle Thomas Aunt Mary Aunt Kathy there s another aunt she is very recessive Rachel Rachelle and some other twit natter about the She recessed herself all the way to Peru I think I have her eyes movie date before Mr Stetman starts class I want to puke I got my I don t want to know about it gene from my dad Rachel Rachelle is just Andythis and Andythat Could and my I ll think about it tomorrow gene from my mom she be more obvious I close my ears to her stupid asthmatic laugh and work on the homework that was due yesterday M s Keen says we ll have a quiz the next day I wish I had paid attention during class I wish I were adopted I wish David It is usually easy to do homework in class because Mr Stet would quit sighing when I ask to copy his notes man s voice creates a gentle white noise sound barrier I can t do it today I can t escape the arguments circling my head T E N M O R E LIES T H E Y T E L L Y O U I N H I G H S C H O O L Why worry about Rachel Rachelle He ll hurt her Had she 1 You will use algebra in your adult lives done a single decent thing for me the whole year She was my 2 Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away best friend through middle school that counts for something 3 Students must stay on campus for lunch No she s a witch and a traitor She didn t see what hap 4 The new textbooks will arrive any day now pened Let her lust after the Beast I hope he breaks her heart 5 Colleges care about more than your SAT scores What if he breaks something else 6 We are enforcing the dress code 7 We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon When class is over I slide into the middle of the pack pushing 8 Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals out the door before Mr Stetman can bust me for the home 9 There is nothing wrong with summer school work Rachel Rachelle shoves past me to where Greta Ingrid 10 We want to hear what you have to say and a short kid from Belgium are waiting I tail them always keeping two bodies between us like the detectives on television They re on their way to the foreign language wing MY LIFE AS A SPY That s no surprise The foreign kids are always there like they need to breathe air scented with their native language a Rachel Rachelle has lost her mind She has flipped She went couple times a day or they ll choke to death on too much to the movies with Andy Beast and her exchange friends and American 148 149
M s . Keen writes  Dominant Recessive  on the board. I look at  now she follows after him, panting like a bichon frise. 1 ...
M s Keen writes Dominant Recessive on the board I look at now she follows after him panting like a bichon frise 1 fl David s notes He s drawing a family tree David got his hair wears her buddy Greta Ingrid draped around his neck like a gene from his dad and his eye gene from his mom I draw a white scarf When he spits I bet Rachel Rachelle catches it in family tree A family stump There aren t that many of us I can a cup and saves it barely remember their names Uncle Jim Uncle Thomas Aunt Mary Aunt Kathy there s another aunt she is very recessive Rachel Rachelle and some other twit natter about the She recessed herself all the way to Peru I think I have her eyes movie date before Mr Stetman starts class I want to puke I got my I don t want to know about it gene from my dad Rachel Rachelle is just Andythis and Andythat Could and my I ll think about it tomorrow gene from my mom she be more obvious I close my ears to her stupid asthmatic laugh and work on the homework that was due yesterday M s Keen says we ll have a quiz the next day I wish I had paid attention during class I wish I were adopted I wish David It is usually easy to do homework in class because Mr Stet would quit sighing when I ask to copy his notes man s voice creates a gentle white noise sound barrier I can t do it today I can t escape the arguments circling my head T E N M O R E LIES T H E Y T E L L Y O U I N H I G H S C H O O L Why worry about Rachel Rachelle He ll hurt her Had she 1 You will use algebra in your adult lives done a single decent thing for me the whole year She was my 2 Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away best friend through middle school that counts for something 3 Students must stay on campus for lunch No she s a witch and a traitor She didn t see what hap 4 The new textbooks will arrive any day now pened Let her lust after the Beast I hope he breaks her heart 5 Colleges care about more than your SAT scores What if he breaks something else 6 We are enforcing the dress code 7 We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon When class is over I slide into the middle of the pack pushing 8 Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals out the door before Mr Stetman can bust me for the home 9 There is nothing wrong with summer school work Rachel Rachelle shoves past me to where Greta Ingrid 10 We want to hear what you have to say and a short kid from Belgium are waiting I tail them always keeping two bodies between us like the detectives on television They re on their way to the foreign language wing MY LIFE AS A SPY That s no surprise The foreign kids are always there like they need to breathe air scented with their native language a Rachel Rachelle has lost her mind She has flipped She went couple times a day or they ll choke to death on too much to the movies with Andy Beast and her exchange friends and American 148 149
M s . Keen writes  Dominant Recessive  on the board. I look at  now she follows after him, panting like a bichon frise. 1 ...
Andy Beast swoops over their heads folds his wings and sets Greta Ingrid My Swedish isn t good enough I could talk to himself between the girls as they start up the stairs He tries to Rachel Yeah right I could say I d heard bad things about kiss Greta Ingrid s cheek but she turns away He kisses Andy It would only make him more attractive I could Rachel Rachelle s cheek and she giggles He does not kiss the maybe tell her what happened As if she d listen What if she cheek of the short Belgian The Belgian and the Swede wave told Andy What would he do c i a o at the office of the Foreign Language Department Rumor has it that there is an espresso maker in there There isn t much room for pacing I take two steps turn two steps back I bang my shin against the chair Stupid room The friendly momentum keeps Rachel Rachelle and Andy What a dumb idea sitting in a closet like this I flop in the walking all the way to the end of the hall I face a corner and chair It whooshes out old janitor smells feet beef jerky pretend to study algebra I figure that s enough to make me shirts left in the washer too long The turkey bone sculpture unrecognizable They sit on the floor Rachel Rachelle in a full gives off a faint rotting odor Three baby food jars of pot lotus Andy steals Rachel Rachelle s notebook She whines like pourri don t make a dent in the stink Maybe there s a dead a baby and throws herself across his lap to get it back I shiver rat decomposing in the wall right near the hot air vent with goose bumps He tosses the notebook from one hand to the other always keeping it just out of her reach Then he says Maya Angelou watches me two fingers on the side of her something to her I can t hear it The hall sounds like a packed face It is an intelligent pose Maya wants me to tell Rachel football stadium His lips move poison and she smiles and then she kisses him wet Not a Girl Scout kiss He gives her I take off my sweatshirt My T shirt sticks to me They still the notebook His lips move Lava spills out my ears She is have the heat running full blast even though it s warm enough not any part of a pretend Rachelle chick I can only see third to crack open the windows That s what I need a window As grade Rachel who liked barbecue potato chips and who much as I complain about winter cold air is easier to breathe braided pink embroidery thread into my hair that I wore for slipping like silver mercury down my lungs and out again months until my mom made me cut it out I rest my forehead April is humid with slush evaporating or rain drizzling A against the prickly stucco warm moldy washcloth of a month The edges of my pictures curl in the damp There has been some progress in this whole tree project I guess Like Picasso THIN ATMOSPHERE I ve gone through different phases There s the Confused Period when I wasn t sure what the assignment really was The The best place to figure this out is my closet my throne room Spaz Period when I couldn t draw a tree to save my life The my foster home I want a shower Maybe I should tell Dead Period when all my trees looked like they had been 150 151
Andy Beast swoops over their heads, folds his wings, and sets  Greta-Ingrid.  My Swedish isn t good enough.  I could talk ...
Andy Beast swoops over their heads folds his wings and sets Greta Ingrid My Swedish isn t good enough I could talk to himself between the girls as they start up the stairs He tries to Rachel Yeah right I could say I d heard bad things about kiss Greta Ingrid s cheek but she turns away He kisses Andy It would only make him more attractive I could Rachel Rachelle s cheek and she giggles He does not kiss the maybe tell her what happened As if she d listen What if she cheek of the short Belgian The Belgian and the Swede wave told Andy What would he do c i a o at the office of the Foreign Language Department Rumor has it that there is an espresso maker in there There isn t much room for pacing I take two steps turn two steps back I bang my shin against the chair Stupid room The friendly momentum keeps Rachel Rachelle and Andy What a dumb idea sitting in a closet like this I flop in the walking all the way to the end of the hall I face a corner and chair It whooshes out old janitor smells feet beef jerky pretend to study algebra I figure that s enough to make me shirts left in the washer too long The turkey bone sculpture unrecognizable They sit on the floor Rachel Rachelle in a full gives off a faint rotting odor Three baby food jars of pot lotus Andy steals Rachel Rachelle s notebook She whines like pourri don t make a dent in the stink Maybe there s a dead a baby and throws herself across his lap to get it back I shiver rat decomposing in the wall right near the hot air vent with goose bumps He tosses the notebook from one hand to the other always keeping it just out of her reach Then he says Maya Angelou watches me two fingers on the side of her something to her I can t hear it The hall sounds like a packed face It is an intelligent pose Maya wants me to tell Rachel football stadium His lips move poison and she smiles and then she kisses him wet Not a Girl Scout kiss He gives her I take off my sweatshirt My T shirt sticks to me They still the notebook His lips move Lava spills out my ears She is have the heat running full blast even though it s warm enough not any part of a pretend Rachelle chick I can only see third to crack open the windows That s what I need a window As grade Rachel who liked barbecue potato chips and who much as I complain about winter cold air is easier to breathe braided pink embroidery thread into my hair that I wore for slipping like silver mercury down my lungs and out again months until my mom made me cut it out I rest my forehead April is humid with slush evaporating or rain drizzling A against the prickly stucco warm moldy washcloth of a month The edges of my pictures curl in the damp There has been some progress in this whole tree project I guess Like Picasso THIN ATMOSPHERE I ve gone through different phases There s the Confused Period when I wasn t sure what the assignment really was The The best place to figure this out is my closet my throne room Spaz Period when I couldn t draw a tree to save my life The my foster home I want a shower Maybe I should tell Dead Period when all my trees looked like they had been 150 151
Andy Beast swoops over their heads, folds his wings, and sets  Greta-Ingrid.  My Swedish isn t good enough.  I could talk ...
through a forest fire or a blight I m getting better Don t more than I belong in the Marthas or in my little girl pink know what to call this phase yet All these drawings make the iK iiroom This is where the real artists belong like Ivy I closet seem smaller Maybe I should bribe a janitor to haul all i i n y the linoleum block to the garbage can and throw it this stuff to my house make my bedroom more like this more in hard enough to make everyone look at me Ivy frowns like home through her wire sculpture I sit back down and lay my head on the table Mr Freeman retrieves the block from the gar Maya taps me on the shoulder I m not listening I know I Mge He brings back the Kleenex box too How could he tell know I don t want to hear it I need to do something about 1 was crying Rachel something for her Maya tells me without saying anything I stall Rachel will hate me She already hates me She Mr Freeman You are getting better at this but it s not good won t listen I have to try I groan and rip out a piece of enough This looks like a tree but it is an average ordinary notebook paper I write her a note a left handed note so she everyday boring tree Breathe life into it M a k e it bend trees won t know it s from me are flexible so they don t snap Scar it give it a twisted branch perfect trees don t exist Nothing is perfect Flaws Andy Evans will use you He is not what he pretends to be I are interesting Be the tree heard he attacked a ninth grader Be very very careful A Friend R S Tell Greta Ingrid t o o He has this ice cream voice like a kindergarten teacher If he thinks I can do it then I ll try one more time My fingers tip I didn t want the Swedish supermodel on my conscience either tip over to the linoleum knife Mr Freeman pats my shoulder once then turns to make someone else miserable I wait until he isn t watching then try to carve life into my flat linoleum square G R O W I N G PAINS Maybe I could carve off all the linoleum and call it Empty Mr Freeman is a jerk Instead of leaving me alone to find my Block If a famous person did that it would probably be muse a real quote I swear he lands on the stool next to me really popular and sell for a fortune If I do it I ll flunk B e and starts criticizing What is wrong with my tree He over the tree What kind of advice is that Mr Freeman has been flows with words describing how bad it sucks It s stiff unnat hanging out with too many New Age weirdos I was a tree in ural it doesn t flow It is an insult to trees everywhere the second grade play because I made a bad sheep I stood there with my arms outstretched like branches and my head I agree My tree is hopeless It isn t art it s an excuse not to drooping in the breeze It gave me sore arms I doubt trees are take sewing class I don t belong in Mr Freeman s room any ever told to be the screwed up ninth grader 152 153
through a forest fire or a blight. I m getting better. Don t  more than I belong in the Marthas or in my little-girl pink ...
through a forest fire or a blight I m getting better Don t more than I belong in the Marthas or in my little girl pink know what to call this phase yet All these drawings make the iK iiroom This is where the real artists belong like Ivy I closet seem smaller Maybe I should bribe a janitor to haul all i i n y the linoleum block to the garbage can and throw it this stuff to my house make my bedroom more like this more in hard enough to make everyone look at me Ivy frowns like home through her wire sculpture I sit back down and lay my head on the table Mr Freeman retrieves the block from the gar Maya taps me on the shoulder I m not listening I know I Mge He brings back the Kleenex box too How could he tell know I don t want to hear it I need to do something about 1 was crying Rachel something for her Maya tells me without saying anything I stall Rachel will hate me She already hates me She Mr Freeman You are getting better at this but it s not good won t listen I have to try I groan and rip out a piece of enough This looks like a tree but it is an average ordinary notebook paper I write her a note a left handed note so she everyday boring tree Breathe life into it M a k e it bend trees won t know it s from me are flexible so they don t snap Scar it give it a twisted branch perfect trees don t exist Nothing is perfect Flaws Andy Evans will use you He is not what he pretends to be I are interesting Be the tree heard he attacked a ninth grader Be very very careful A Friend R S Tell Greta Ingrid t o o He has this ice cream voice like a kindergarten teacher If he thinks I can do it then I ll try one more time My fingers tip I didn t want the Swedish supermodel on my conscience either tip over to the linoleum knife Mr Freeman pats my shoulder once then turns to make someone else miserable I wait until he isn t watching then try to carve life into my flat linoleum square G R O W I N G PAINS Maybe I could carve off all the linoleum and call it Empty Mr Freeman is a jerk Instead of leaving me alone to find my Block If a famous person did that it would probably be muse a real quote I swear he lands on the stool next to me really popular and sell for a fortune If I do it I ll flunk B e and starts criticizing What is wrong with my tree He over the tree What kind of advice is that Mr Freeman has been flows with words describing how bad it sucks It s stiff unnat hanging out with too many New Age weirdos I was a tree in ural it doesn t flow It is an insult to trees everywhere the second grade play because I made a bad sheep I stood there with my arms outstretched like branches and my head I agree My tree is hopeless It isn t art it s an excuse not to drooping in the breeze It gave me sore arms I doubt trees are take sewing class I don t belong in Mr Freeman s room any ever told to be the screwed up ninth grader 152 153
through a forest fire or a blight. I m getting better. Don t  more than I belong in the Marthas or in my little-girl pink ...
in your face ideas They got arrested and thrown in jail but nothing shut them up They fought and fought until they earned the rights they should have had all along GAG ORDER I write the best report ever Anything I copy from a book I David Petrakis s lawyer had a meeting with Mr Neck and put in quotes and footnotes feetnote I use books magazine some kind of teacher lawyer Guess who won I bet David articles and a videotape I think about looking for an old suf could skip class the rest of the year if he wanted and still get fragette in a nursing home but they are probably all dead an A Which he would never do But you better believe that whenever David raises his hand Mr Neck lets him talk as I even hand it in on time Mr Neck scowls He looks down on much as he wants David quiet David is full of long drawn me and says To get credit for the report you have to deliver out rambling opinions about social studies The rest of the it orally Tomorrow At the beginning of class class is grateful We bow down to the Almighty David W h o Keeps the Neck Off Our Backs Me Unfortunately Mr Neck still gives tests and most of us fail them Mr Neck makes an announcement anyone who is flunking can write an extra credit report on a Cultural Influ NO JUSTICE NO PEACE ence at the Turn of the Century He skipped the Industrial Revolution so he could drag our class past the year 1 9 0 0 He There is no way I m reading my suffragette report in front of does not want all of us in summer school the class That wasn t part of the original assignment Mr Neck changed it at the very last second because he wants to I don t want to see him in summer school either I write about flunk me or hates me or something But I ve written a really the suffragettes Before the suffragettes came along women good report and I m not going to let an idiot teacher jerk me were treated like dogs around like this I ask David Petrakis for advice We come up with a Plan Women could not vote W6men could not own property I get to class early when Mr Neck is still in the lounge I write Women were not allowed in many schools what I need to on the board and cover the words with a suffragette protest sign My box from the copy shop is on the They were dolls with no thoughts or opinions or voices of floor Mr Neck walks in He grumbles that I can go first I their own Then the suffragettes marched in full of loud stand suffragette tall and calm It is a lie My insides feel like 154 155
in-your-face ideas. They got arrested and thrown in jail, but nothing shut them up. They fought and fought until they earn...
in your face ideas They got arrested and thrown in jail but nothing shut them up They fought and fought until they earned the rights they should have had all along GAG ORDER I write the best report ever Anything I copy from a book I David Petrakis s lawyer had a meeting with Mr Neck and put in quotes and footnotes feetnote I use books magazine some kind of teacher lawyer Guess who won I bet David articles and a videotape I think about looking for an old suf could skip class the rest of the year if he wanted and still get fragette in a nursing home but they are probably all dead an A Which he would never do But you better believe that whenever David raises his hand Mr Neck lets him talk as I even hand it in on time Mr Neck scowls He looks down on much as he wants David quiet David is full of long drawn me and says To get credit for the report you have to deliver out rambling opinions about social studies The rest of the it orally Tomorrow At the beginning of class class is grateful We bow down to the Almighty David W h o Keeps the Neck Off Our Backs Me Unfortunately Mr Neck still gives tests and most of us fail them Mr Neck makes an announcement anyone who is flunking can write an extra credit report on a Cultural Influ NO JUSTICE NO PEACE ence at the Turn of the Century He skipped the Industrial Revolution so he could drag our class past the year 1 9 0 0 He There is no way I m reading my suffragette report in front of does not want all of us in summer school the class That wasn t part of the original assignment Mr Neck changed it at the very last second because he wants to I don t want to see him in summer school either I write about flunk me or hates me or something But I ve written a really the suffragettes Before the suffragettes came along women good report and I m not going to let an idiot teacher jerk me were treated like dogs around like this I ask David Petrakis for advice We come up with a Plan Women could not vote W6men could not own property I get to class early when Mr Neck is still in the lounge I write Women were not allowed in many schools what I need to on the board and cover the words with a suffragette protest sign My box from the copy shop is on the They were dolls with no thoughts or opinions or voices of floor Mr Neck walks in He grumbles that I can go first I their own Then the suffragettes marched in full of loud stand suffragette tall and calm It is a lie My insides feel like 154 155
in-your-face ideas. They got arrested and thrown in jail, but nothing shut them up. They fought and fought until they earn...
I m caught in a tornado My toes curl inside my sneak planned out and timed their protests too Mr Neck has other ers trying to grip the floor so I won t get sucked out the plans He gives me a D and escorts me to the authorities I for window got about how the suffragettes were hauled off to jail Duh I Mr Neck nods at me I pick up my report as if I m going to cipal s and wind up back in M I S S I am back to being a Dis read it out loud I stand there papers trembling as if a breeze cipline Problem again go on a tour of the guidance counselor s office Principal Prin is blowing through the closed door I turn around and rip my poster off the blackboard I need a lawyer I showed up every day this semester sat my butt in every class did some homework and didn t cheat on T H E SUFFRAGETTES F O U G H T F O R T H E RIGHT T O SPEAK tests I still get slammed in M I S S There is no way they can T H E Y W E R E ATTACKED A R R E S T E D AND T H R O W N I N JAIL punish me for not speaking It isn t fair What do they know F O R DARING T O D O W H A T T H E Y W A N T E D LIKE T H E Y W E R E about me What do they know about the inside of my head I AM W I L L I N G TO STAND UP F O R W H A T I B E L I E V E NO O N E Flashes of lightning children crying Caught in an avalanche SHOULD BE F O R C E D TO GIVE S P E E C H E S I C H O O S E TO STAY pinned by worry squirming under the weight of doubt guilt SILENT Fear The class reads slowly some of them moving their lips Mr The walls in MISS are still white Andy Beast isn t here Neck turns around to see what everyone is staring at I nod at Thank God for small favors A boy with lime colored hair David He joins me at the front of the room and I hand him who looks like he s channeling for an alien species dozes two Goths in black velvet dresses and artfully torn pantyhose my box trade M o n a Lisa smiles They cut school to stand in line for David Melinda has to deliver her report to the class as part killer concert tickets MISS is a small price to pay for Row 1 0 of the assignment She made copies everyone can read seats 21 and 2 2 He passes out the copies They cost me 6 7 2 at the office I simmer Lawyers on TV always tell their clients not to say supply store I was going to make a cover page and color it anything The cops say that thing Anything you say will be but I haven t gotten much allowance recently so I just put the used against you Self incrimination I looked it up Three title at the top of the first page point vocab word So why does everyone make such a big hairy deal about me not talking Maybe I don t want to in My plan is to stand in front of the class for the five minutes I criminate myself Maybe I don t like the sound of my voice was given for my presentation The suffragettes must have Maybe I don t have anything to say 156 157
I m caught in a tornado. My toes curl inside my sneak-  planned out and timed their protests, too. Mr. Neck has other  ers...
I m caught in a tornado My toes curl inside my sneak planned out and timed their protests too Mr Neck has other ers trying to grip the floor so I won t get sucked out the plans He gives me a D and escorts me to the authorities I for window got about how the suffragettes were hauled off to jail Duh I Mr Neck nods at me I pick up my report as if I m going to cipal s and wind up back in M I S S I am back to being a Dis read it out loud I stand there papers trembling as if a breeze cipline Problem again go on a tour of the guidance counselor s office Principal Prin is blowing through the closed door I turn around and rip my poster off the blackboard I need a lawyer I showed up every day this semester sat my butt in every class did some homework and didn t cheat on T H E SUFFRAGETTES F O U G H T F O R T H E RIGHT T O SPEAK tests I still get slammed in M I S S There is no way they can T H E Y W E R E ATTACKED A R R E S T E D AND T H R O W N I N JAIL punish me for not speaking It isn t fair What do they know F O R DARING T O D O W H A T T H E Y W A N T E D LIKE T H E Y W E R E about me What do they know about the inside of my head I AM W I L L I N G TO STAND UP F O R W H A T I B E L I E V E NO O N E Flashes of lightning children crying Caught in an avalanche SHOULD BE F O R C E D TO GIVE S P E E C H E S I C H O O S E TO STAY pinned by worry squirming under the weight of doubt guilt SILENT Fear The class reads slowly some of them moving their lips Mr The walls in MISS are still white Andy Beast isn t here Neck turns around to see what everyone is staring at I nod at Thank God for small favors A boy with lime colored hair David He joins me at the front of the room and I hand him who looks like he s channeling for an alien species dozes two Goths in black velvet dresses and artfully torn pantyhose my box trade M o n a Lisa smiles They cut school to stand in line for David Melinda has to deliver her report to the class as part killer concert tickets MISS is a small price to pay for Row 1 0 of the assignment She made copies everyone can read seats 21 and 2 2 He passes out the copies They cost me 6 7 2 at the office I simmer Lawyers on TV always tell their clients not to say supply store I was going to make a cover page and color it anything The cops say that thing Anything you say will be but I haven t gotten much allowance recently so I just put the used against you Self incrimination I looked it up Three title at the top of the first page point vocab word So why does everyone make such a big hairy deal about me not talking Maybe I don t want to in My plan is to stand in front of the class for the five minutes I criminate myself Maybe I don t like the sound of my voice was given for my presentation The suffragettes must have Maybe I don t have anything to say 156 157
I m caught in a tornado. My toes curl inside my sneak-  planned out and timed their protests, too. Mr. Neck has other  ers...
The boy with the lime colored hair wakes up when he falls David But you got it wrong The suffragettes were all about out of his chair The Gothgirls whinny Mr Neck picks his speaking up screaming for their rights You can t speak up nose when he thinks we aren t looking I need a lawyer for your right to be silent That s letting the bad guys win If the suffragettes did that women wouldn t be able to vote yet ADVICE FROM A SMART MOUTH I blow a bubble in his face He folds the gum wrappers into tiny triangles David Petrakis sends me a note in social studies Typed He thinks it s horrible that my parents didn t videotape Mr Neck s David Don t get me wrong I think what you did was class or stick up for me the way his folks did It feels so good to kind of cool and getting stuck in MISS wasn t fair But have someone feel sorry for me I don t mention that my parents don t expect to make a difference unless you speak up for don t know what happened They ll figure out what happened yourself soon enough at the next meeting with the guidance counselor Me D o you lecture all your friends like this I think David should be a judge His latest career goal is to be a quantum physics genius I don t know what that means but David Only the ones I like he says his father is furious His dad is right David was made for the law deadly calm turbo charged brain and a We both chew on this for a minute T h e bell rings I good eye for weakness keep looking in my locker for a book that I already know isn t there David checks his watch a hundred He stops by my locker I tell him Mr Neck gave me a D for times We hear Principal Principal bellow Let s move it the suffragette report people David He has a point David Maybe I ll call you M e It was a great report You read it I wrote a bibliography Me Maybe I won t answer Chew chew Blowbubblepop and I didn t copy from the encyclopedia It was the best report Maybe I will ever It s not my fault Mr Neck doesn t get performance art Is he asking me out I don t think so But he kind of is I guess David pauses to offer me a stick of gum It s a delaying tactic I ll answer if he calls But if he touches me I ll explode so a the kind that juries love date is out of the question No touching 158 159
The boy with the lime-colored hair wakes up when he falls  David   But you got it wrong. The suffragettes were all about  ...
The boy with the lime colored hair wakes up when he falls David But you got it wrong The suffragettes were all about out of his chair The Gothgirls whinny Mr Neck picks his speaking up screaming for their rights You can t speak up nose when he thinks we aren t looking I need a lawyer for your right to be silent That s letting the bad guys win If the suffragettes did that women wouldn t be able to vote yet ADVICE FROM A SMART MOUTH I blow a bubble in his face He folds the gum wrappers into tiny triangles David Petrakis sends me a note in social studies Typed He thinks it s horrible that my parents didn t videotape Mr Neck s David Don t get me wrong I think what you did was class or stick up for me the way his folks did It feels so good to kind of cool and getting stuck in MISS wasn t fair But have someone feel sorry for me I don t mention that my parents don t expect to make a difference unless you speak up for don t know what happened They ll figure out what happened yourself soon enough at the next meeting with the guidance counselor Me D o you lecture all your friends like this I think David should be a judge His latest career goal is to be a quantum physics genius I don t know what that means but David Only the ones I like he says his father is furious His dad is right David was made for the law deadly calm turbo charged brain and a We both chew on this for a minute T h e bell rings I good eye for weakness keep looking in my locker for a book that I already know isn t there David checks his watch a hundred He stops by my locker I tell him Mr Neck gave me a D for times We hear Principal Principal bellow Let s move it the suffragette report people David He has a point David Maybe I ll call you M e It was a great report You read it I wrote a bibliography Me Maybe I won t answer Chew chew Blowbubblepop and I didn t copy from the encyclopedia It was the best report Maybe I will ever It s not my fault Mr Neck doesn t get performance art Is he asking me out I don t think so But he kind of is I guess David pauses to offer me a stick of gum It s a delaying tactic I ll answer if he calls But if he touches me I ll explode so a the kind that juries love date is out of the question No touching 158 159
The boy with the lime-colored hair wakes up when he falls  David   But you got it wrong. The suffragettes were all about  ...
ing nightmares where you keep falling but never hit the floor Only I feel like I just smacked into the ground at a hundred miles an hour THE BEAST PROWLS IT You seen Rachelle Rachelle Bruin I stay after school to work on tree sketches Mr Freeman helps me for a while He gives me a roll of brown paper and a I sit completely still Maybe I can blend in with the metal ta piece of white chalk and shows me how to draw a tree in bles and crumbling clay pots He walks toward me long slow three sweeping lines He doesn t care how many mistakes I strides The smell chokes me I shiver make just one two three like a waltz he says Over and over I use up a mile of the paper but he doesn t care This IT She s supposed to meet me but I can t find her anywhere may be the root of his budget problem with the school board You know who she is God crackles over the intercom and tells Mr Freeman he s late Me for a faculty meeting Mr Freeman says the kind of words you don t usually hear from teachers He gives me a new piece of IT sits on my table ITs leg smears my chalk drawing blurring chalk and tells me to draw roots You can t grow a decent tree the roots into a mossy fog without roots IT Hello Anyone home Are you deaf The art room is one of the places I feel safe I hum and don t worry about looking stupid Roots Ugh But I try One two IT stares at my face I crush my jaws together so hard my three one two three I don t worry about the next day or teeth crumble to dust minute One two three I am a deer frozen in the headlights of a tractor trailer Is he Somebody flicks the lights off My head snaps up IT is there going to hurt me again He couldn t not in school Could he Andy Beast Little rabbit heart leaps out of my chest and Why can t I scream say something do anything Why am I so scampers across the paper leaving bloody footprints on my afraid roots He turns the lights back on Andy I ve been waiting outside Rachel sweeps into the I smell him Have to find out where he gets that cologne I room wearing an artsy fartsy gypsy scarf skirt and a necklace think it s called Fear This is turning into one of those repeat of eye sized mirrors She pouts and Andy leaps off the table 160 161
ing nightmares where you keep falling but never hit the floor. Only I feel like I just smacked into the ground at a hundre...
ing nightmares where you keep falling but never hit the floor Only I feel like I just smacked into the ground at a hundred miles an hour THE BEAST PROWLS IT You seen Rachelle Rachelle Bruin I stay after school to work on tree sketches Mr Freeman helps me for a while He gives me a roll of brown paper and a I sit completely still Maybe I can blend in with the metal ta piece of white chalk and shows me how to draw a tree in bles and crumbling clay pots He walks toward me long slow three sweeping lines He doesn t care how many mistakes I strides The smell chokes me I shiver make just one two three like a waltz he says Over and over I use up a mile of the paper but he doesn t care This IT She s supposed to meet me but I can t find her anywhere may be the root of his budget problem with the school board You know who she is God crackles over the intercom and tells Mr Freeman he s late Me for a faculty meeting Mr Freeman says the kind of words you don t usually hear from teachers He gives me a new piece of IT sits on my table ITs leg smears my chalk drawing blurring chalk and tells me to draw roots You can t grow a decent tree the roots into a mossy fog without roots IT Hello Anyone home Are you deaf The art room is one of the places I feel safe I hum and don t worry about looking stupid Roots Ugh But I try One two IT stares at my face I crush my jaws together so hard my three one two three I don t worry about the next day or teeth crumble to dust minute One two three I am a deer frozen in the headlights of a tractor trailer Is he Somebody flicks the lights off My head snaps up IT is there going to hurt me again He couldn t not in school Could he Andy Beast Little rabbit heart leaps out of my chest and Why can t I scream say something do anything Why am I so scampers across the paper leaving bloody footprints on my afraid roots He turns the lights back on Andy I ve been waiting outside Rachel sweeps into the I smell him Have to find out where he gets that cologne I room wearing an artsy fartsy gypsy scarf skirt and a necklace think it s called Fear This is turning into one of those repeat of eye sized mirrors She pouts and Andy leaps off the table 160 161
ing nightmares where you keep falling but never hit the floor. Only I feel like I just smacked into the ground at a hundre...
ripping my paper scattering bits of chalk Ivy walks through enjoying TrashTV You have to plan ahead for a mental the door bumping Rachel accidentally She hesitates she has health day I learned this from a conversation my mom to feel that something is going on then she takes her sculp had with her friend Kim M o m always starts acting sick ture off the shelf and sits at the table next to me Rachel looks forty eight hours ahead of time She and Kim take mental at me but she doesn t say anything She must have gotten health days together They buy shoes and go to the my note I mailed it over a week ago I stand up Rachel gives movies Cutting edge adult delinquency What is the world us a half wave and says C i a o Andy puts his arm around coming to her waist and pulls her close to his body as they float out the door I don t eat any dinner or dessert and I cough so much during the news my dad tells me to take some cough medicine In the Ivy is talking to me but it takes a while before I can hear her morning I smear some mascara under my eyes so it looks like What a jerk she says She pinches the clay I can t believe I haven t slept at all M o m takes my temperature turns out I she s going out with him Can you It s like I don t know her have a fever Surprises even me Her hand is cool an island on anymore And he s trouble She slaps a hunk of clay on the my forehead table Believe me that creep is trouble with a capital T The words tumble out before I can stop them I d love to stay and chat but my feet won t let me I walk home instead of taking the bus I unlock the front door and Me I don t feel well walk straight up to my room across the rug and into my closet without even taking off my backpack When I close the Mom pats my back closet door behind me I bury my face into the clothes on the left side of the rack clothes that haven t fit for years I stuff Mom You must be sick You re talking my mouth with old fabric and scream until there are no sounds left under my skin Even she can hear how bitchy that sounds She clears her throat and tries again Mom I m sorry It s nice to hear your voice Go back to bed HOME SICK I ll bring up a tray before I leave Do you want some ginger ale It is time for a mental health day I need a day in pajamas eating ice cream from the carton painting my toenails and 162 I nod 163
ripping my paper, scattering bits of chalk. Ivy walks through  enjoying TrashTV. You have to plan ahead for a mental-  the...
ripping my paper scattering bits of chalk Ivy walks through enjoying TrashTV You have to plan ahead for a mental the door bumping Rachel accidentally She hesitates she has health day I learned this from a conversation my mom to feel that something is going on then she takes her sculp had with her friend Kim M o m always starts acting sick ture off the shelf and sits at the table next to me Rachel looks forty eight hours ahead of time She and Kim take mental at me but she doesn t say anything She must have gotten health days together They buy shoes and go to the my note I mailed it over a week ago I stand up Rachel gives movies Cutting edge adult delinquency What is the world us a half wave and says C i a o Andy puts his arm around coming to her waist and pulls her close to his body as they float out the door I don t eat any dinner or dessert and I cough so much during the news my dad tells me to take some cough medicine In the Ivy is talking to me but it takes a while before I can hear her morning I smear some mascara under my eyes so it looks like What a jerk she says She pinches the clay I can t believe I haven t slept at all M o m takes my temperature turns out I she s going out with him Can you It s like I don t know her have a fever Surprises even me Her hand is cool an island on anymore And he s trouble She slaps a hunk of clay on the my forehead table Believe me that creep is trouble with a capital T The words tumble out before I can stop them I d love to stay and chat but my feet won t let me I walk home instead of taking the bus I unlock the front door and Me I don t feel well walk straight up to my room across the rug and into my closet without even taking off my backpack When I close the Mom pats my back closet door behind me I bury my face into the clothes on the left side of the rack clothes that haven t fit for years I stuff Mom You must be sick You re talking my mouth with old fabric and scream until there are no sounds left under my skin Even she can hear how bitchy that sounds She clears her throat and tries again Mom I m sorry It s nice to hear your voice Go back to bed HOME SICK I ll bring up a tray before I leave Do you want some ginger ale It is time for a mental health day I need a day in pajamas eating ice cream from the carton painting my toenails and 162 I nod 163
ripping my paper, scattering bits of chalk. Ivy walks through  enjoying TrashTV. You have to plan ahead for a mental-  the...
Jerry Was it love No Was it lust No Was it tenderness sweetness the First Time they talk about in magazines No no no no no Speak up Meatilda ah Melinda I can t hear you OPRAH SALLY JESSY J E R R Y AND ME My head is killing me my throat is killing me my stomach My fever is 1 0 2 2 Sounds like a radio station M o m calls to bubbles with toxic waste I just want to sleep A coma would remind me to drink a lot of fluids I say Thank you even be nice Or amnesia Anything just to get rid of this these though it hurts my throat It s nice of her to call me She thoughts whispers in my mind Did he rape my head too promises to bring home Popsicles I hang up and snuggle into my couch nest with the remote Click Click Click I take two Tylenol and eat a bowl of pudding Then I watch Mister Rogers Neighborhood and fall asleep A trip to the If my life were a TV show what would it be If it were an Neighborhood of Make Believe would be nice Maybe I could After School Special I would speak in front of an auditorium stay with Daniel Striped Tiger in his tree house of my peers on How Not to Lose Your Virginity Or Why Seniors Should Be Locked Up Or My Summer Vacation A Drunken Party Lies and Rape REAL SPRING Was I raped May is finally here and it has stopped raining Good thing Oprah Let s explore that You said no He covered your too the mayor of Syracuse was about to put out a call for a mouth with his hand You were thirteen years old It doesn t guy named Noah The sun appears butter yellow and so warm matter that you were drunk Honey you were raped What a it coaxes tulips out of the crusty mud A miracle horrible horrible thing for you to live though Didn t you ever think of telling anyone You can t keep this inside forever Can Our yard is a mess All our neighbors have these great maga someone get her a tissue zine cover yards with flowers that match their shutters and expensive white rocks that border fresh mounds of mulch Sally Jessy I want this boy held responsible He is to blame Ours has green bushes that just about cover the front win for this attack You do know it was an attack don t you dows and lots of dead leaves It was not your fault I want you to listen to me listen to me listen to me It was not your fault This boy was an M o m is already gone Saturday is the biggest selling day of the animal week at Effert s Dad snores upstairs I put on old jeans and 164 165
Jerry   Was it love  No. Was it lust  No. Was it tenderness, sweetness, the First Time they talk about in magazines  No, n...
Jerry Was it love No Was it lust No Was it tenderness sweetness the First Time they talk about in magazines No no no no no Speak up Meatilda ah Melinda I can t hear you OPRAH SALLY JESSY J E R R Y AND ME My head is killing me my throat is killing me my stomach My fever is 1 0 2 2 Sounds like a radio station M o m calls to bubbles with toxic waste I just want to sleep A coma would remind me to drink a lot of fluids I say Thank you even be nice Or amnesia Anything just to get rid of this these though it hurts my throat It s nice of her to call me She thoughts whispers in my mind Did he rape my head too promises to bring home Popsicles I hang up and snuggle into my couch nest with the remote Click Click Click I take two Tylenol and eat a bowl of pudding Then I watch Mister Rogers Neighborhood and fall asleep A trip to the If my life were a TV show what would it be If it were an Neighborhood of Make Believe would be nice Maybe I could After School Special I would speak in front of an auditorium stay with Daniel Striped Tiger in his tree house of my peers on How Not to Lose Your Virginity Or Why Seniors Should Be Locked Up Or My Summer Vacation A Drunken Party Lies and Rape REAL SPRING Was I raped May is finally here and it has stopped raining Good thing Oprah Let s explore that You said no He covered your too the mayor of Syracuse was about to put out a call for a mouth with his hand You were thirteen years old It doesn t guy named Noah The sun appears butter yellow and so warm matter that you were drunk Honey you were raped What a it coaxes tulips out of the crusty mud A miracle horrible horrible thing for you to live though Didn t you ever think of telling anyone You can t keep this inside forever Can Our yard is a mess All our neighbors have these great maga someone get her a tissue zine cover yards with flowers that match their shutters and expensive white rocks that border fresh mounds of mulch Sally Jessy I want this boy held responsible He is to blame Ours has green bushes that just about cover the front win for this attack You do know it was an attack don t you dows and lots of dead leaves It was not your fault I want you to listen to me listen to me listen to me It was not your fault This boy was an M o m is already gone Saturday is the biggest selling day of the animal week at Effert s Dad snores upstairs I put on old jeans and 164 165
Jerry   Was it love  No. Was it lust  No. Was it tenderness, sweetness, the First Time they talk about in magazines  No, n...
unearth a rake from the back of the garage I start on the Me leaves suffocating the bushes I bet Dad hasn t cleaned them out for years They look harmless and dry on top but under We both stand there with our arms crossed staring at the lit that top layer they re wet and slimy White mold snakes from tle baby plants trying to grow in the shade of the house eating one leaf to the next The leaves stick together like floppy pages bushes The sun goes behind a cloud and I shiver I should in a decomposing book I rake a mountain into the front yard have worn a sweatshirt The wind rustles dead leaves still and there are still more like the earth pukes up leaf gunk clinging to the oak branches by the street All I can think of is when I m not looking I have to fight the bushes They snag that the rest of the leaves are going to drop and I ll have to the tines of the rake and hold them they don t like me clean keep raking ing out all that rot Dad Looks a lot better Cleaned out like that I mean It takes an hour Finally the rake scrapes its metal fingernails along damp brown dirt I get down on my knees to reach be The wind blows again The leaves tremble hind and drag out the last leaves M s Keen would be proud of me I observe Worms caught in the sun squirm for cover Pale Dad I suppose I should trim back the bushes Of course green shoots of something alive have been struggling under then you d see the shutters and they need paint And if I paint the leaves As I watch they straighten to face the sun I swear these shutters I ll have to paint all the shutters and the trim I can see them grow needs work too And the front door The garage door opens and Dad backs out the Jeep He stops Me in the driveway when he sees me He turns off the engine and gets out I stand up and brush the dirt off my jeans My palms Tree Hush rustle chitachita shhhh are blistered and my arms are already sore from the raking I can t tell if he s angry or not Maybe he likes the front of his Dad turns to listen to the tree I m not sure what to do house looking like crap Dad And that tree is sick See how the branches on the left Dad That s a lot of work don t have any buds I should call someone to take a look at it Don t want it crashing into your room during a storm Me Thanks Dad Like I m not already having a hard time sleepDad I ll get some leaf bags at the store 166 ing Worry 6 4 flying tree limbs I shouldn t have raked any 167
unearth a rake from the back of the garage. I start on the  Me   leaves suffocating the bushes. I bet Dad hasn t cleaned t...
unearth a rake from the back of the garage I start on the Me leaves suffocating the bushes I bet Dad hasn t cleaned them out for years They look harmless and dry on top but under We both stand there with our arms crossed staring at the lit that top layer they re wet and slimy White mold snakes from tle baby plants trying to grow in the shade of the house eating one leaf to the next The leaves stick together like floppy pages bushes The sun goes behind a cloud and I shiver I should in a decomposing book I rake a mountain into the front yard have worn a sweatshirt The wind rustles dead leaves still and there are still more like the earth pukes up leaf gunk clinging to the oak branches by the street All I can think of is when I m not looking I have to fight the bushes They snag that the rest of the leaves are going to drop and I ll have to the tines of the rake and hold them they don t like me clean keep raking ing out all that rot Dad Looks a lot better Cleaned out like that I mean It takes an hour Finally the rake scrapes its metal fingernails along damp brown dirt I get down on my knees to reach be The wind blows again The leaves tremble hind and drag out the last leaves M s Keen would be proud of me I observe Worms caught in the sun squirm for cover Pale Dad I suppose I should trim back the bushes Of course green shoots of something alive have been struggling under then you d see the shutters and they need paint And if I paint the leaves As I watch they straighten to face the sun I swear these shutters I ll have to paint all the shutters and the trim I can see them grow needs work too And the front door The garage door opens and Dad backs out the Jeep He stops Me in the driveway when he sees me He turns off the engine and gets out I stand up and brush the dirt off my jeans My palms Tree Hush rustle chitachita shhhh are blistered and my arms are already sore from the raking I can t tell if he s angry or not Maybe he likes the front of his Dad turns to listen to the tree I m not sure what to do house looking like crap Dad And that tree is sick See how the branches on the left Dad That s a lot of work don t have any buds I should call someone to take a look at it Don t want it crashing into your room during a storm Me Thanks Dad Like I m not already having a hard time sleepDad I ll get some leaf bags at the store 166 ing Worry 6 4 flying tree limbs I shouldn t have raked any 167
unearth a rake from the back of the garage. I start on the  Me   leaves suffocating the bushes. I bet Dad hasn t cleaned t...
thing Look what I started I shouldn t have tried something too much Tennis is more civilized Only two people have to new I should have stayed in the house Watched cartoons play unless you play doubles which I would never do The with a double sized bowl of Cheerios Should have stayed in rules are simple you get to catch your breath every few min my room Stayed in my head utes and you can work on your tan Dad I guess I m going to the hardware store Want to I actually learned to play a couple of summers ago when my come parents had a trial membership at a fitness club M o m signed me up for lessons and I played with Dad a few times before The hardware store Seven acres of unshaven men and bright they figured the monthly dues were too expensive Since I m eyed women in search of the perfect screwdriver weed killer not a total spaz with the racket M s Connors pairs me off volcanic gas grills Noise Lights Kids running down the aisle with J o c k Goddess Nicole to demonstrate the game to the rest with hatchets and axes and saw blades People fighting about of the class the right color to paint the bathroom No thank you I serve first a nice shot with a little speed on it Nicole hits it I shake my head I pick up the rake and start making the right back to me with a great backhand We volley a bit back dead leaf pile neater A blister pops and stains the rake handle and forth Then M s Connors blows her whistle to stop and like a tear Dad nods and walks to the Jeep keys jangling in explain the retarded scoring system in tennis where the num his fingers A mockingbird lands on a low oak branch and bers don t make sense and love doesn t count for anything scolds me I rake the leaves out of my throat Nicole serves next She aces it a perfect serve at about ninety M e Can you buy some seeds Flower seeds miles an hour that kisses the court just inside the line before I can move Ms Connors tells Nicole she s awesome and Nicole smiles I do not smile FAULT I m ready for her second serve and I hit it right back down her Our gym teacher M s Connors is teaching us to play tennis throat M s Connors says something nice to me and Nicole Tennis is the only sport that comes close to not being a total adjusts the strings on her racket My serve waste of time Basketball would be great if all you had to do was shoot foul shots but most of the time you re on the court I bounce the ball a few times Nicole bounces on the balls of with nine other people bumping and shoving and running way her feet She isn t fooling around anymore Her pride is at 168 169
thing. Look what I started. I shouldn t have tried something  too much. Tennis is more civilized. Only two people have to ...
thing Look what I started I shouldn t have tried something too much Tennis is more civilized Only two people have to new I should have stayed in the house Watched cartoons play unless you play doubles which I would never do The with a double sized bowl of Cheerios Should have stayed in rules are simple you get to catch your breath every few min my room Stayed in my head utes and you can work on your tan Dad I guess I m going to the hardware store Want to I actually learned to play a couple of summers ago when my come parents had a trial membership at a fitness club M o m signed me up for lessons and I played with Dad a few times before The hardware store Seven acres of unshaven men and bright they figured the monthly dues were too expensive Since I m eyed women in search of the perfect screwdriver weed killer not a total spaz with the racket M s Connors pairs me off volcanic gas grills Noise Lights Kids running down the aisle with J o c k Goddess Nicole to demonstrate the game to the rest with hatchets and axes and saw blades People fighting about of the class the right color to paint the bathroom No thank you I serve first a nice shot with a little speed on it Nicole hits it I shake my head I pick up the rake and start making the right back to me with a great backhand We volley a bit back dead leaf pile neater A blister pops and stains the rake handle and forth Then M s Connors blows her whistle to stop and like a tear Dad nods and walks to the Jeep keys jangling in explain the retarded scoring system in tennis where the num his fingers A mockingbird lands on a low oak branch and bers don t make sense and love doesn t count for anything scolds me I rake the leaves out of my throat Nicole serves next She aces it a perfect serve at about ninety M e Can you buy some seeds Flower seeds miles an hour that kisses the court just inside the line before I can move Ms Connors tells Nicole she s awesome and Nicole smiles I do not smile FAULT I m ready for her second serve and I hit it right back down her Our gym teacher M s Connors is teaching us to play tennis throat M s Connors says something nice to me and Nicole Tennis is the only sport that comes close to not being a total adjusts the strings on her racket My serve waste of time Basketball would be great if all you had to do was shoot foul shots but most of the time you re on the court I bounce the ball a few times Nicole bounces on the balls of with nine other people bumping and shoving and running way her feet She isn t fooling around anymore Her pride is at 168 169
thing. Look what I started. I shouldn t have tried something  too much. Tennis is more civilized. Only two people have to ...
stake her womynhood She is not about to be beat by some weirdo hushquiet delinquent who used to be her friend M s Connors tells me to hit the ball YEARBOOKS I slam into the ball sending it right to Nicole s mouth grinning behind her custom purple mouth guard She twists out of The yearbooks have arrived Everyone seems to understand the way this ritual but me You hunt down every person who looks vaguely familiar and get them to write in your yearbook that M s Connors Fault Giggles from the class the two of you are best friends and you ll never forget each other and remember A foot fault Wrong foot forward toe over the line I get a sec class fill in the blank and have a great summer Stay sweet ond chance Another civilized aspect of tennis I watch some kids ask the cafeteria ladies to sign their books I bounce the yellow ball one two three Up in the air like re What do they write Hope your chicken patties never leasing a bird or an apple then arcing my arm rotate shoul bleed Or maybe M a y your Jell O always wiggle der bring down the power and the anger and don t forget to aim My racket takes on a life of its own a bolt of energy It The cheerleaders have obtained some sort of special exemption crashes down on the ball bulleting it over the net The ball to roam the hall in a pack with pens in hand to seek out auto explodes on the court leaving a crater before Nicole can graphs of staff and students I catch a whiff of competitive blink It blows past her and hits the fence so hard it rattles juices when they float past me They are counting signatures No one laughs The appearance of the yearbook clears up another high school No fault I score a point Nicole wins eventually but not by mystery why all the popular girls put up with the disgusting much Everybody else whines about their blisters I have cal habits of Todd Ryder He is a pig Greasy sleazy foul mouthed luses on my hands from yard work I m tough enough to play and unwashed he ll make a great addition to a state college fra and strong enough to win Maybe I can get Dad to practice ternity But the popular kids kissed up to him all year Why with me a few times It would be the only glory of a really sucky year if I could beat someone at something Todd Ryder is the yearbook photographer Flip through the pages and see who is in his favor Be nice to Todd and he ll take pictures of you that should have a model 170 171
stake, her womynhood. She is not about to be beat by some weirdo hushquiet delinquent who used to be her friend. M s . Con...
stake her womynhood She is not about to be beat by some weirdo hushquiet delinquent who used to be her friend M s Connors tells me to hit the ball YEARBOOKS I slam into the ball sending it right to Nicole s mouth grinning behind her custom purple mouth guard She twists out of The yearbooks have arrived Everyone seems to understand the way this ritual but me You hunt down every person who looks vaguely familiar and get them to write in your yearbook that M s Connors Fault Giggles from the class the two of you are best friends and you ll never forget each other and remember A foot fault Wrong foot forward toe over the line I get a sec class fill in the blank and have a great summer Stay sweet ond chance Another civilized aspect of tennis I watch some kids ask the cafeteria ladies to sign their books I bounce the yellow ball one two three Up in the air like re What do they write Hope your chicken patties never leasing a bird or an apple then arcing my arm rotate shoul bleed Or maybe M a y your Jell O always wiggle der bring down the power and the anger and don t forget to aim My racket takes on a life of its own a bolt of energy It The cheerleaders have obtained some sort of special exemption crashes down on the ball bulleting it over the net The ball to roam the hall in a pack with pens in hand to seek out auto explodes on the court leaving a crater before Nicole can graphs of staff and students I catch a whiff of competitive blink It blows past her and hits the fence so hard it rattles juices when they float past me They are counting signatures No one laughs The appearance of the yearbook clears up another high school No fault I score a point Nicole wins eventually but not by mystery why all the popular girls put up with the disgusting much Everybody else whines about their blisters I have cal habits of Todd Ryder He is a pig Greasy sleazy foul mouthed luses on my hands from yard work I m tough enough to play and unwashed he ll make a great addition to a state college fra and strong enough to win Maybe I can get Dad to practice ternity But the popular kids kissed up to him all year Why with me a few times It would be the only glory of a really sucky year if I could beat someone at something Todd Ryder is the yearbook photographer Flip through the pages and see who is in his favor Be nice to Todd and he ll take pictures of you that should have a model 170 171
stake, her womynhood. She is not about to be beat by some weirdo hushquiet delinquent who used to be her friend. M s . Con...
ing agency calling your house any day now Snub Todd and you ll look like a trailer park refugee having a bad hair day If I ran a high school I would include stuff like this in the LITTLE W R I T I N G ON THE WALL first day indoctrination I hadn t understood the Power of Todd He snapped one picture of me walking away from the Ivy is sitting at my art table with four uncapped colored markers camera wearing my dumpy winter coat my shoulders up sticking out of her bun I stand up she turns her head and around my ears bingo I ve got a rainbow on my shirt She apologizes a hundred million times If it were anyone else I would figure they did it on purpose But Ivy and me have sort of been friendly the last few I will not be buying a yearbook weeks I don t think she was trying to be mean Mr Freeman lets me go to the bathroom where I try to scrub the HAIRWOMAN NO MORE stains I must look like a dog chasing its tail twisting and twirling trying to see the stains on my back in the mirror The door swings Hairwoman got a buzz cut Her hair is half an inch long a open It s Ivy I raise my hand as she opens her mouth Don t say new crop of head fur short and spiky It s black no fake or it anymore I know you re sorry It was an accident ange at all And she got new glasses purple rimmed bifocals that hang from a beaded chain She points to the pens still stuck in her bun I put the caps on Mr Freeman made me Then he sent me in here to see I don t know what caused this Has she fallen in love Did she how you re doing get a divorce Move out of her parents basement You never think about teachers having parents but they must He s worried about m e Some kids say she did it to confuse us while we are working He wants to make sure you don t pull a disappearing act on our final essay I m not sure We have a choice We can You have been known to wander off write about Symbolism in the Comics or H o w Story Changed My Life I think something else is going on I m Not in the middle of class thinking she found a good shrink or maybe she published that novel she s been writing since the earth cooled I wonder There s a first time for everything Go in the stall and hand if she ll be teaching summer school over your shirt You can t wash it while you re wearing it 172 173
ing agency calling your house any day now. Snub Todd and you ll look like a trailer-park refugee having a bad hair day. If...
ing agency calling your house any day now Snub Todd and you ll look like a trailer park refugee having a bad hair day If I ran a high school I would include stuff like this in the LITTLE W R I T I N G ON THE WALL first day indoctrination I hadn t understood the Power of Todd He snapped one picture of me walking away from the Ivy is sitting at my art table with four uncapped colored markers camera wearing my dumpy winter coat my shoulders up sticking out of her bun I stand up she turns her head and around my ears bingo I ve got a rainbow on my shirt She apologizes a hundred million times If it were anyone else I would figure they did it on purpose But Ivy and me have sort of been friendly the last few I will not be buying a yearbook weeks I don t think she was trying to be mean Mr Freeman lets me go to the bathroom where I try to scrub the HAIRWOMAN NO MORE stains I must look like a dog chasing its tail twisting and twirling trying to see the stains on my back in the mirror The door swings Hairwoman got a buzz cut Her hair is half an inch long a open It s Ivy I raise my hand as she opens her mouth Don t say new crop of head fur short and spiky It s black no fake or it anymore I know you re sorry It was an accident ange at all And she got new glasses purple rimmed bifocals that hang from a beaded chain She points to the pens still stuck in her bun I put the caps on Mr Freeman made me Then he sent me in here to see I don t know what caused this Has she fallen in love Did she how you re doing get a divorce Move out of her parents basement You never think about teachers having parents but they must He s worried about m e Some kids say she did it to confuse us while we are working He wants to make sure you don t pull a disappearing act on our final essay I m not sure We have a choice We can You have been known to wander off write about Symbolism in the Comics or H o w Story Changed My Life I think something else is going on I m Not in the middle of class thinking she found a good shrink or maybe she published that novel she s been writing since the earth cooled I wonder There s a first time for everything Go in the stall and hand if she ll be teaching summer school over your shirt You can t wash it while you re wearing it 172 173
ing agency calling your house any day now. Snub Todd and you ll look like a trailer-park refugee having a bad hair day. If...
I think Principal Principal should have his office in the She rinses the soap from the shirt He has such a reputation rest room Maybe then he d hire somebody to keep it clean or He s only after one thing and if you believe the rumors he ll an armed guard to stop people from plugging up the toilet get it no matter what She wrings the water out of the shirt smoking or writing on the walls The sound of dripping water echoes off the tiles W h o is Alexandra I ask Rachel is going out with him I say I don t know any Alexandras Ivy s voice says above the I know Just add that to the list of stupid things she s done rush of water in the sink There might be an Alexandra in this year What does she say about him tenth grade W h y We don t really talk I say According to this she has pissed off a whole bunch of people One person wrote in huge letters that she s a whore She s a bitch that s what you mean She thinks she s too and all these others added on little details She slept with good for the rest of us this guy she slept with that guy she slept with those guys all at the same time For a tenth grader she sure gets Ivy punches the silver button on the hand dryer and holds up around the shirt I reread the graffiti I luv Derek Mr Neck bites I hate this place Syracuse rocks Syracuse sucks Lists Ivy doesn t answer I peer through the crack between the door of hotties lists of jerks list of ski resorts in Colorado everyone and the wall She opens the soap container and dips my shirt dreams about Phone numbers that have been scratched out in it Then she scrubs the stains I shiver I m standing in a bra with keys Entire conversations scroll down the bathroom stall not a terribly clean bra and it is freezing in here Ivy holds the It s like a community chat room a metal newspaper shirt up to the light frowns and scrubs some more I want to take a deep breath but it smells too bad I ask Ivy to hand over one of her pens She does I think you re going to have to bleach this thing she says and hands Remember what you said about Andy Evans being big over the shirt as well I pull it over my head It s still damp trouble What did you want the marker for I hold the cap in my teeth I start another subject thread on Yeah the wall Guys to Stay Away From The first entry is the Beast himself Andy Evans Why did you say that 174 175
I think Principal Principal should have his office in the  She rinses the soap from the shirt.  He has such a reputation. ...
I think Principal Principal should have his office in the She rinses the soap from the shirt He has such a reputation rest room Maybe then he d hire somebody to keep it clean or He s only after one thing and if you believe the rumors he ll an armed guard to stop people from plugging up the toilet get it no matter what She wrings the water out of the shirt smoking or writing on the walls The sound of dripping water echoes off the tiles W h o is Alexandra I ask Rachel is going out with him I say I don t know any Alexandras Ivy s voice says above the I know Just add that to the list of stupid things she s done rush of water in the sink There might be an Alexandra in this year What does she say about him tenth grade W h y We don t really talk I say According to this she has pissed off a whole bunch of people One person wrote in huge letters that she s a whore She s a bitch that s what you mean She thinks she s too and all these others added on little details She slept with good for the rest of us this guy she slept with that guy she slept with those guys all at the same time For a tenth grader she sure gets Ivy punches the silver button on the hand dryer and holds up around the shirt I reread the graffiti I luv Derek Mr Neck bites I hate this place Syracuse rocks Syracuse sucks Lists Ivy doesn t answer I peer through the crack between the door of hotties lists of jerks list of ski resorts in Colorado everyone and the wall She opens the soap container and dips my shirt dreams about Phone numbers that have been scratched out in it Then she scrubs the stains I shiver I m standing in a bra with keys Entire conversations scroll down the bathroom stall not a terribly clean bra and it is freezing in here Ivy holds the It s like a community chat room a metal newspaper shirt up to the light frowns and scrubs some more I want to take a deep breath but it smells too bad I ask Ivy to hand over one of her pens She does I think you re going to have to bleach this thing she says and hands Remember what you said about Andy Evans being big over the shirt as well I pull it over my head It s still damp trouble What did you want the marker for I hold the cap in my teeth I start another subject thread on Yeah the wall Guys to Stay Away From The first entry is the Beast himself Andy Evans Why did you say that 174 175
I think Principal Principal should have his office in the  She rinses the soap from the shirt.  He has such a reputation. ...
I swing open the door with a flourish Ta da I point to my maladjusted daughter I pry Heather out of Mom s claws and handiwork we retreat to my room My stuffed rabbits crawl out of their Ivy grins ham bunny from my grandma They are as excited as my burrows noses awiggling pink bunny purple bunny a gingmother Company I can see the room through Heather s green tinted contacts She doesn t say anything but I know she thinks it looks stupid a baby room all those toy rabbits PROM PREPARATION there must be a hundred of them M o m knocks on the door She has cookies for us I want to ask if she s feeling sick I The climax of mating season is nearly upon us the Senior hand the bag to Heather She takes one cookie and nibbles at Prom They should cancel school this week The only things its edges I snarf five just to spite her I lie on my bed trapping we re learning are who is going with who whom must ask the bunnies next to the wall Heather delicately pushes a pile Hairwoman who bought a dress in Manhattan which limo of dirty clothes off my chair and perches her skinny butt on it company won t tell if you drink the most expensive tux place I wait and on and on and on The gossip energy alone could power the building s electricity for the rest of the marking period She launches into a sob story about how much she hates The teachers are pissed Kids aren t handing in homework be being a Marthadrone Indentured servitude would be bet cause they have appointments at the tanning salon ter They are just taking advantage of her bossing her around Her grades are all the way down to Bs because of Andy Beast asked Rachel to go with him I can t believe her the time she has to spend waiting on her Senior Marthas mother is letting her go but maybe she agreed because they re Her father is thinking about taking a job in Dallas and going to double with Rachel s brother and his date Rachel is she wouldn t mind moving again nope not one bit be one of the rare ninth graders invited to the Senior Prom her cause she s heard kids in the South aren t as stuck up as they social stock has soared She must not have gotten my note or are here maybe she decided to ignore it Maybe she showed it to Andy and they had a good laugh Maybe she won t get in the trou I eat more cookies I m fighting the shock of having a guest in ble I did maybe he ll listen to her Maybe I had better stop my room I almost kick her out because it s going to hurt too thinking about it before I go nuts much when my room is empty again Heather says I was smart so smart Mel to blow off this stupid group This Heather has come bellycrawling for help My mother can t be whole year has been horrible I hated every single day but I lieve it a living breathing friend on the front porch for her didn t have the guts to get out like you did 176 177
I swing open the door with a flourish.  Ta-da   I point to my  maladjusted daughter  I pry Heather out of Mom s claws and ...
I swing open the door with a flourish Ta da I point to my maladjusted daughter I pry Heather out of Mom s claws and handiwork we retreat to my room My stuffed rabbits crawl out of their Ivy grins ham bunny from my grandma They are as excited as my burrows noses awiggling pink bunny purple bunny a gingmother Company I can see the room through Heather s green tinted contacts She doesn t say anything but I know she thinks it looks stupid a baby room all those toy rabbits PROM PREPARATION there must be a hundred of them M o m knocks on the door She has cookies for us I want to ask if she s feeling sick I The climax of mating season is nearly upon us the Senior hand the bag to Heather She takes one cookie and nibbles at Prom They should cancel school this week The only things its edges I snarf five just to spite her I lie on my bed trapping we re learning are who is going with who whom must ask the bunnies next to the wall Heather delicately pushes a pile Hairwoman who bought a dress in Manhattan which limo of dirty clothes off my chair and perches her skinny butt on it company won t tell if you drink the most expensive tux place I wait and on and on and on The gossip energy alone could power the building s electricity for the rest of the marking period She launches into a sob story about how much she hates The teachers are pissed Kids aren t handing in homework be being a Marthadrone Indentured servitude would be bet cause they have appointments at the tanning salon ter They are just taking advantage of her bossing her around Her grades are all the way down to Bs because of Andy Beast asked Rachel to go with him I can t believe her the time she has to spend waiting on her Senior Marthas mother is letting her go but maybe she agreed because they re Her father is thinking about taking a job in Dallas and going to double with Rachel s brother and his date Rachel is she wouldn t mind moving again nope not one bit be one of the rare ninth graders invited to the Senior Prom her cause she s heard kids in the South aren t as stuck up as they social stock has soared She must not have gotten my note or are here maybe she decided to ignore it Maybe she showed it to Andy and they had a good laugh Maybe she won t get in the trou I eat more cookies I m fighting the shock of having a guest in ble I did maybe he ll listen to her Maybe I had better stop my room I almost kick her out because it s going to hurt too thinking about it before I go nuts much when my room is empty again Heather says I was smart so smart Mel to blow off this stupid group This Heather has come bellycrawling for help My mother can t be whole year has been horrible I hated every single day but I lieve it a living breathing friend on the front porch for her didn t have the guts to get out like you did 176 177
I swing open the door with a flourish.  Ta-da   I point to my  maladjusted daughter  I pry Heather out of Mom s claws and ...
She completely ignores the fact that I was never in and that Me she dumped me banished me from even the shadows of Martha glory I feel like any minute a guy in a lavender suit Heather Didn t you tell me once how much you hated yom will burst into the room with a microphone and bellow An room Well now I see why It would be so depressing just to other alternate reality moment brought to you by Adoles wake up here every morning We ll clear out all this junk cence She kicks a chenille bunny who was sleeping in my robe on the floor And get rid of those curtains Maybe you could go I still can t figure out why she s here She licks a crumb off her shopping with me can you get your mom s American Ex cookie and gets to the point She and the other Junior Marthas press She yanks my curtains to one side Let s not forget to are required to decorate the Route 11 Holiday Inn ballroom wash those windows Sea foam green and sage that s what for the prom Meg n Emily n Siobhan can t assist of you should look for classic and feminine course they have to get their nails painted and their teeth whitened The privileged the few the Junior Marthas have Me N o been laid waste by mononucleosis leaving Heather all by herself She is desperate Heather You want something richer like an eggplant or cobalt M e You have to decorate the whole thing By Saturday night Me N o I haven t decided on colors yet That s not what I mean I mean no I won t help you Heather Actually we can t start until three o clock Saturday afternoon because of some stupid meeting of Chrysler sales She collapses into the chair again You have to help me men But I know we can do it I m asking other kids too Do you know anyone who could help Me N o I don t Frankly no I don t but I chew and try to look thoughtful Heather But whiii iiiiy Heather takes this to mean that yes I d be happy to help her She bounces out of the chair I bite my lip Does she want to know the truth that she s selfcentered and cold That I hope all the seniors yell at her That Heather I knew you would help You re great Tell you I hate sea foam green and besides it s none of her business if what I owe you I owe you a big one How about next week my windows are dirty I feel tiny button noses against my I come over and help you redecorate back Bunnies say to be kind Lie 178 179
She completely ignores the fact that I was never in, and that  Me   she dumped me, banished me from even the shadows of Ma...
She completely ignores the fact that I was never in and that Me she dumped me banished me from even the shadows of Martha glory I feel like any minute a guy in a lavender suit Heather Didn t you tell me once how much you hated yom will burst into the room with a microphone and bellow An room Well now I see why It would be so depressing just to other alternate reality moment brought to you by Adoles wake up here every morning We ll clear out all this junk cence She kicks a chenille bunny who was sleeping in my robe on the floor And get rid of those curtains Maybe you could go I still can t figure out why she s here She licks a crumb off her shopping with me can you get your mom s American Ex cookie and gets to the point She and the other Junior Marthas press She yanks my curtains to one side Let s not forget to are required to decorate the Route 11 Holiday Inn ballroom wash those windows Sea foam green and sage that s what for the prom Meg n Emily n Siobhan can t assist of you should look for classic and feminine course they have to get their nails painted and their teeth whitened The privileged the few the Junior Marthas have Me N o been laid waste by mononucleosis leaving Heather all by herself She is desperate Heather You want something richer like an eggplant or cobalt M e You have to decorate the whole thing By Saturday night Me N o I haven t decided on colors yet That s not what I mean I mean no I won t help you Heather Actually we can t start until three o clock Saturday afternoon because of some stupid meeting of Chrysler sales She collapses into the chair again You have to help me men But I know we can do it I m asking other kids too Do you know anyone who could help Me N o I don t Frankly no I don t but I chew and try to look thoughtful Heather But whiii iiiiy Heather takes this to mean that yes I d be happy to help her She bounces out of the chair I bite my lip Does she want to know the truth that she s selfcentered and cold That I hope all the seniors yell at her That Heather I knew you would help You re great Tell you I hate sea foam green and besides it s none of her business if what I owe you I owe you a big one How about next week my windows are dirty I feel tiny button noses against my I come over and help you redecorate back Bunnies say to be kind Lie 178 179
She completely ignores the fact that I was never in, and that  Me   she dumped me, banished me from even the shadows of Ma...
M e I have plans The tree guy is coming to work on the oak Me Homework out front I have to dig in my garden and besides I know what I want to do in here and it doesn t include eggplant Rachel Kind of She taps her pencil on the table I m go Most of it is half true half planned Heather scowls I open have to do a report to prove we re serious ing to France this summer with the International Club We the dirty window to let in fresh air It brushes my hair back off my face I tell Heather she has to leave I need to clean She Me That s great I mean you ve always talked about travel crams her cookie in her mouth and does not say goodbye to ing ever since we were kids Remember when we were in my mother What a snot fourth grade and we read Heidi and we tried to melt cheese in vour fireplace We laugh a little too loudly It s not really that funny COMMUNICATION 101 but we re both nervous A librarian points his finger at us Bad students bad bad students No laughing I look at her I m on a roll I m rocking I don t know what it is standing up notes They are lousy a few facts about Paris decorated with to Heather planting marigold seeds or maybe the look on an Eiffel Tower doodle hearts and the initials R B A E Mom s face when I asked if she would let me redecorate my Gack room The time has come to arm wrestle some demons Too much sun after a Syracuse winter does strange things to your Me S o you re really going out with him With Andy I heard head makes you feel strong even if you aren t about the prom I must talk to Rachel I can t do it in algebra and the Beast Rachel grins honey slow She stretches like the mention of his waits for her outside English But we have study hall at the name wakes her muscles and makes her tummy jump He s same time Bingo I find her squinting at a book with small great she says He is just so awesome and gorgeous and type in the library She s too vain for glasses I instruct my yummy She stops She is talking to the village leper heart not to bolt down the hall and sit next to her No nuclear bombs detonate A good start Me What are you going to do when he goes to college She looks at me without expression I try on a smile sizi Argh an arrow to her soft spot Clouds across the sun I medium Hey I say H m m she responds No lip curling can t think about that It hurts too much He said he was go no rude hand gestures So far so good I look at the book ing to get his parents to let him transfer back here He could she s copying word for word from It s about France go to La Salle or Syracuse I ll wait for him 180 181
M e    I have plans. The tree guy is coming to work on the oak  Me   Homework    out front, I have to dig in my garden, an...
M e I have plans The tree guy is coming to work on the oak Me Homework out front I have to dig in my garden and besides I know what I want to do in here and it doesn t include eggplant Rachel Kind of She taps her pencil on the table I m go Most of it is half true half planned Heather scowls I open have to do a report to prove we re serious ing to France this summer with the International Club We the dirty window to let in fresh air It brushes my hair back off my face I tell Heather she has to leave I need to clean She Me That s great I mean you ve always talked about travel crams her cookie in her mouth and does not say goodbye to ing ever since we were kids Remember when we were in my mother What a snot fourth grade and we read Heidi and we tried to melt cheese in vour fireplace We laugh a little too loudly It s not really that funny COMMUNICATION 101 but we re both nervous A librarian points his finger at us Bad students bad bad students No laughing I look at her I m on a roll I m rocking I don t know what it is standing up notes They are lousy a few facts about Paris decorated with to Heather planting marigold seeds or maybe the look on an Eiffel Tower doodle hearts and the initials R B A E Mom s face when I asked if she would let me redecorate my Gack room The time has come to arm wrestle some demons Too much sun after a Syracuse winter does strange things to your Me S o you re really going out with him With Andy I heard head makes you feel strong even if you aren t about the prom I must talk to Rachel I can t do it in algebra and the Beast Rachel grins honey slow She stretches like the mention of his waits for her outside English But we have study hall at the name wakes her muscles and makes her tummy jump He s same time Bingo I find her squinting at a book with small great she says He is just so awesome and gorgeous and type in the library She s too vain for glasses I instruct my yummy She stops She is talking to the village leper heart not to bolt down the hall and sit next to her No nuclear bombs detonate A good start Me What are you going to do when he goes to college She looks at me without expression I try on a smile sizi Argh an arrow to her soft spot Clouds across the sun I medium Hey I say H m m she responds No lip curling can t think about that It hurts too much He said he was go no rude hand gestures So far so good I look at the book ing to get his parents to let him transfer back here He could she s copying word for word from It s about France go to La Salle or Syracuse I ll wait for him 180 181
M e    I have plans. The tree guy is coming to work on the oak  Me   Homework    out front, I have to dig in my garden, an...
No I guess not It was a long time ago She stops and drawl Give me a break a spiraling circle I stand on the edge and wonder if I m g M e You ve been going out for like what two weeks to fall in The party was a little wild she continues But it wtU Three dumb to call the cops We could have just left She slides t h e notebook over to me A cold front blows across the library She straightens up an snaps shut the cover of her notebook I draw a spiraling circle in the opposite direction to Rachel s I could leave it like this stop in the middle of the highway She s Rachel What do you want anyway talking to me again All I have to do is keep the dirt hidden and walk arm in arm with her into the sunset She reaches Before I can answer the librarian pounces We are welcome to back to fix her hair scrunchie R B A E is written in red continue our conversation in the principal s office or we can pen on the inside of her forearm Breathe in one two three stay and be quiet Our choice I take out my notebook and Breathe out one two three I force my hand to relax write to Rachel didn t call the cops to break up the party I write I called I It s nice to talk to you again I m sorry we couldn t be friends put the pencil down I pick it up again them because some this year I pass the notebook to her She melts a bit around guy raped me Under the trees I didn t know what to do She watches as I carve out the words She leans closer to me I the edges and writes back write more was stupid and drunk and I didn t know what Yeah I know So who do you like was happening and then he hurt I scribble that o u t r a p e d me When the police No one really My lab partner is kinda nice but like a friend was just too scared friend walked not a boyfriend or anything came everyone was screaming so I cut through some back and I yards and home Rachel nods wisely She s dating a senior She is so beyond I push the notebook back to her She stares at the words She these freshman friend friend relationships She s in charge pulls her chair around to my side of the table again Time for me to suck up Oh my God I am so sorry she writes Are you still mad at me I write me She doodles a quick lightning bolt I 182 couldn t tell anybody 183 Why didn t you tell
No, I guess not. It was a long time ago. She stops and drawl  Give me a break.  a spiraling circle. I stand on the edge an...
No I guess not It was a long time ago She stops and drawl Give me a break a spiraling circle I stand on the edge and wonder if I m g M e You ve been going out for like what two weeks to fall in The party was a little wild she continues But it wtU Three dumb to call the cops We could have just left She slides t h e notebook over to me A cold front blows across the library She straightens up an snaps shut the cover of her notebook I draw a spiraling circle in the opposite direction to Rachel s I could leave it like this stop in the middle of the highway She s Rachel What do you want anyway talking to me again All I have to do is keep the dirt hidden and walk arm in arm with her into the sunset She reaches Before I can answer the librarian pounces We are welcome to back to fix her hair scrunchie R B A E is written in red continue our conversation in the principal s office or we can pen on the inside of her forearm Breathe in one two three stay and be quiet Our choice I take out my notebook and Breathe out one two three I force my hand to relax write to Rachel didn t call the cops to break up the party I write I called I It s nice to talk to you again I m sorry we couldn t be friends put the pencil down I pick it up again them because some this year I pass the notebook to her She melts a bit around guy raped me Under the trees I didn t know what to do She watches as I carve out the words She leans closer to me I the edges and writes back write more was stupid and drunk and I didn t know what Yeah I know So who do you like was happening and then he hurt I scribble that o u t r a p e d me When the police No one really My lab partner is kinda nice but like a friend was just too scared friend walked not a boyfriend or anything came everyone was screaming so I cut through some back and I yards and home Rachel nods wisely She s dating a senior She is so beyond I push the notebook back to her She stares at the words She these freshman friend friend relationships She s in charge pulls her chair around to my side of the table again Time for me to suck up Oh my God I am so sorry she writes Are you still mad at me I write me She doodles a quick lightning bolt I 182 couldn t tell anybody 183 Why didn t you tell
No, I guess not. It was a long time ago. She stops and drawl  Give me a break.  a spiraling circle. I stand on the edge an...
Does your mom know through the conversation with Rachel that was my mistake It was like smelling the perfect Christmas feast and having the I shake my head Tears pop up from some hidden spring door slammed in your face leaving you alone in the cold Damn I sniff and wipe my eyes on my sleeve Melinda I hear my name Great N o w I m hearing things Did you get pregnant Did he have a Are you disease Oh my God OK Maybe I should ask the guidance counselor for a therapist or a nosy shrink I don t say anything and I feel awful I tell somebody and I feel worse I m having trouble finding a mid No I don t think so Yes I m OK Well kinda Rachel writes in a heavy fast hand WHO DID IT dle ground Someone touches my arm gently Melinda It s Ivy Can you take the late bus I want to show you something We walk to I turn the page gether She leads me to the bathroom the one where she washed my shirt which by the way still has traces of her markers even Andy Evans ifter the bleach She points to the stall Take a look Liar She stumbles out of her chair and grabs her books off GUYS TO STAY AWAY F R O M the table I can t believe you You re jealous You re a twisted little freak and you re jealous that I m popular and I m going Andy Evans to the prom and so you lie to me like this And you sent me that note didn t you You are so sick He s a creep She spins to take on the librarian I m going to the nurse He s a bastard she states I think I m going to throw up Stay away He should be locked up CHAT R O O M He thinks he s all that I m standing in the lobby looking at the buses I don t want to go home I don t want to stay here I got my hopes up halfway 184 Call the cops 185
Does  your mom  know   through the conversation with Rachel   that was my mistake. It was like smelling the perfect Christ...
Does your mom know through the conversation with Rachel that was my mistake It was like smelling the perfect Christmas feast and having the I shake my head Tears pop up from some hidden spring door slammed in your face leaving you alone in the cold Damn I sniff and wipe my eyes on my sleeve Melinda I hear my name Great N o w I m hearing things Did you get pregnant Did he have a Are you disease Oh my God OK Maybe I should ask the guidance counselor for a therapist or a nosy shrink I don t say anything and I feel awful I tell somebody and I feel worse I m having trouble finding a mid No I don t think so Yes I m OK Well kinda Rachel writes in a heavy fast hand WHO DID IT dle ground Someone touches my arm gently Melinda It s Ivy Can you take the late bus I want to show you something We walk to I turn the page gether She leads me to the bathroom the one where she washed my shirt which by the way still has traces of her markers even Andy Evans ifter the bleach She points to the stall Take a look Liar She stumbles out of her chair and grabs her books off GUYS TO STAY AWAY F R O M the table I can t believe you You re jealous You re a twisted little freak and you re jealous that I m popular and I m going Andy Evans to the prom and so you lie to me like this And you sent me that note didn t you You are so sick He s a creep She spins to take on the librarian I m going to the nurse He s a bastard she states I think I m going to throw up Stay away He should be locked up CHAT R O O M He thinks he s all that I m standing in the lobby looking at the buses I don t want to go home I don t want to stay here I got my hopes up halfway 184 Call the cops 185
Does  your mom  know   through the conversation with Rachel   that was my mistake. It was like smelling the perfect Christ...
What s the name of that drug they give perverts so they can t off at the end of a thick rope He sets to work pruning the get it up deadwood like a sculptor Brrrrr rrrrowww The chain saw gnaws through the oak branches crashing to the ground Diprosomething The air swirls with sawdust Sap oozes from the open sores on He should get it every morning in his orange juice I went out the trunk He is killing the tree He ll only leave a stump The with him to the movies he tried to get his hands down my tree is dying There s nothing to do or say We watch in silence pants during the P R E V I E W S as the tree crashes piece by piece to the damp ground There s more Different pens different handwriting conversa The chain saw murderer swings down with a grin He doesn t tions between some writers arrows to longer paragraphs It s even care A little kid asks my father why that man is chop better than taking out a billboard ping down the tree I feel like I can fly Dad He s not chopping it down He s saving it Those branches were long dead from disease All plants are like that By cutting off the damage you make it possible for the tree to grow again You watch by the end of summer this tree will PRUNING be the strongest on the block I wake the next morning Saturday to the sound of a chain I hate it when my father pretends to know more than he does saw the noise biting right through my ears and splintering my He sells insurance He is not a forest ranger wise in the way plans of sleeping in I peer out the window The arborists the of the woods The arborist fires up the mulcher at the back of tree guys Dad called to trim the oak s dead branches stand at their truck I ve seen enough I grab my bike and take off the base of the tree one guy revving up the chain saw like it s a sports car the other giving the tree the once over I go down The first stop is the gas station to pump up my tires I can t stairs for breakfast remember the last time I rode The morning is warm a lazy slow Saturday The parking lot at the grocery store is full A Watching cartoons is out of the question I make a cup of tea couple of softball games are being played behind the elemen and join Dad and a group of neighborhood kids watching the tary school but I don t stop to watch I ride up the hill past show from the driveway One arborist monkeys his way into Rachel s house past the high school The down side is a fast the pale green canopy then hauls up the chain saw turned easy coast I dare myself to lift my hands off the handlebars 186 187
What s the name of that drug they give perverts so they can t  off  at the end of a thick rope. He sets to work pruning th...
What s the name of that drug they give perverts so they can t off at the end of a thick rope He sets to work pruning the get it up deadwood like a sculptor Brrrrr rrrrowww The chain saw gnaws through the oak branches crashing to the ground Diprosomething The air swirls with sawdust Sap oozes from the open sores on He should get it every morning in his orange juice I went out the trunk He is killing the tree He ll only leave a stump The with him to the movies he tried to get his hands down my tree is dying There s nothing to do or say We watch in silence pants during the P R E V I E W S as the tree crashes piece by piece to the damp ground There s more Different pens different handwriting conversa The chain saw murderer swings down with a grin He doesn t tions between some writers arrows to longer paragraphs It s even care A little kid asks my father why that man is chop better than taking out a billboard ping down the tree I feel like I can fly Dad He s not chopping it down He s saving it Those branches were long dead from disease All plants are like that By cutting off the damage you make it possible for the tree to grow again You watch by the end of summer this tree will PRUNING be the strongest on the block I wake the next morning Saturday to the sound of a chain I hate it when my father pretends to know more than he does saw the noise biting right through my ears and splintering my He sells insurance He is not a forest ranger wise in the way plans of sleeping in I peer out the window The arborists the of the woods The arborist fires up the mulcher at the back of tree guys Dad called to trim the oak s dead branches stand at their truck I ve seen enough I grab my bike and take off the base of the tree one guy revving up the chain saw like it s a sports car the other giving the tree the once over I go down The first stop is the gas station to pump up my tires I can t stairs for breakfast remember the last time I rode The morning is warm a lazy slow Saturday The parking lot at the grocery store is full A Watching cartoons is out of the question I make a cup of tea couple of softball games are being played behind the elemen and join Dad and a group of neighborhood kids watching the tary school but I don t stop to watch I ride up the hill past show from the driveway One arborist monkeys his way into Rachel s house past the high school The down side is a fast the pale green canopy then hauls up the chain saw turned easy coast I dare myself to lift my hands off the handlebars 186 187
What s the name of that drug they give perverts so they can t  off  at the end of a thick rope. He sets to work pruning th...
As long as I m moving fast enough the front wheel holds quiet Melindagirl I haven t seen in months That is the seed I steady I turn left and left again following the hills down will care for without realizing where I m heading Some part of me has planned this a devious internal compass pointed to the past The lane isn t familiar until I glimpse the PROWLING barn I squeeze the brakes hard and struggle to control the bike on the gravel shoulder A wind rips through the phone When I get home it s time for lunch I make two egg salad wires overhead A squirrel fights to retain her balance sandwiches and drink an enormous glass of milk I eat an apple and put my dishes in the dishwasher It s only one o clock There are no cars in the driveway Rodgers is painted on the I suppose I should clean the kitchen and vacuum but the win mailbox A basketball hoop hangs off the side of the barn I dows are open and robins sing on the front lawn where a pile don t remember that but it would have been hard to see it in of mulch with my name on it is waiting the dark I walk my bike along the back edge of the property to where the trees swallow the sun My bike leans into a col Mom is impressed when she drives up at dinnertime The front lapsing fence I sink to the shade cold ground lawn is raked edged mowed and the bushes are mulched I m not even breathing hard M o m helps me carry the plastic deck My heart thuds as if I were still pedaling up the hill My hands furniture up from the basement and I scrub it with bleach Dad shake It is a completely normal place out of sight of the barn brings home pizza and we eat on the deck M o m and Dad and house close enough to the road that I can hear cars pass drink iced tea and there is no biting or snarling I clear the ing Fragments of acorn shells litter the ground You could dishes and throw the pizza box in the trash bring a kindergarten class here for a picnic I lie down on the couch to watch TV but my eyes close and I think about lying down No that would not do I crouch by I m out When I wake up it s past midnight and someone has the trunk my fingers stroking the bark seeking a Braille code covered me with an afghan The house is quiet dark Cool a clue a message on how to come back to life after my long breeze slides in between the curtains undersnow dormancy I have survived I am here Confused screwed up but here So how can I find my way Is there a I am wide awake I feel itchy inside my skin antsy that s chain saw of the soul an ax I can take to my memories or what my mother would call it I can t sit still I have to do fears I dig my fingers into the dirt and squeeze A small clean something My bike is still leaning against the pruned tree in part of me waits to warm and burst through the surface Some the front yard I ride 188 189
As long as I m moving fast enough, the front wheel holds  quiet Melindagirl I haven t seen in months. That is the seed I  ...
As long as I m moving fast enough the front wheel holds quiet Melindagirl I haven t seen in months That is the seed I steady I turn left and left again following the hills down will care for without realizing where I m heading Some part of me has planned this a devious internal compass pointed to the past The lane isn t familiar until I glimpse the PROWLING barn I squeeze the brakes hard and struggle to control the bike on the gravel shoulder A wind rips through the phone When I get home it s time for lunch I make two egg salad wires overhead A squirrel fights to retain her balance sandwiches and drink an enormous glass of milk I eat an apple and put my dishes in the dishwasher It s only one o clock There are no cars in the driveway Rodgers is painted on the I suppose I should clean the kitchen and vacuum but the win mailbox A basketball hoop hangs off the side of the barn I dows are open and robins sing on the front lawn where a pile don t remember that but it would have been hard to see it in of mulch with my name on it is waiting the dark I walk my bike along the back edge of the property to where the trees swallow the sun My bike leans into a col Mom is impressed when she drives up at dinnertime The front lapsing fence I sink to the shade cold ground lawn is raked edged mowed and the bushes are mulched I m not even breathing hard M o m helps me carry the plastic deck My heart thuds as if I were still pedaling up the hill My hands furniture up from the basement and I scrub it with bleach Dad shake It is a completely normal place out of sight of the barn brings home pizza and we eat on the deck M o m and Dad and house close enough to the road that I can hear cars pass drink iced tea and there is no biting or snarling I clear the ing Fragments of acorn shells litter the ground You could dishes and throw the pizza box in the trash bring a kindergarten class here for a picnic I lie down on the couch to watch TV but my eyes close and I think about lying down No that would not do I crouch by I m out When I wake up it s past midnight and someone has the trunk my fingers stroking the bark seeking a Braille code covered me with an afghan The house is quiet dark Cool a clue a message on how to come back to life after my long breeze slides in between the curtains undersnow dormancy I have survived I am here Confused screwed up but here So how can I find my way Is there a I am wide awake I feel itchy inside my skin antsy that s chain saw of the soul an ax I can take to my memories or what my mother would call it I can t sit still I have to do fears I dig my fingers into the dirt and squeeze A small clean something My bike is still leaning against the pruned tree in part of me waits to warm and burst through the surface Some the front yard I ride 188 189
As long as I m moving fast enough, the front wheel holds  quiet Melindagirl I haven t seen in months. That is the seed I  ...
Up and down across and diagonal I pedal my sore legs through the streets of a suburb mostly sleeping Some They ll be much sweeter to her than a swarm of angry Marthas late night T V s flicker from bedroom windows A few cars are parked in front of the grocery store I imagine people Rachel is in her glory She ditched Andy in the middle of the mopping the floors restacking loaves of bread I coast by prom I m trying to piece the story together from grapevine the houses of people I used to know Heather Nicole Turn gossip They say she and Andy argued during a slow song the corner downshift and pedal harder up the hill to They say he was all over her with his hands and his mouth Rachel s house The lights are on her parents waiting for While they danced he was grinding against her and she the fairy prom goers to come home I could knock on the backed off The song ended and she swore at him They say door and ask them if they want to play cards or something she was ready to slap him but she didn t He looked around Nah all innocent like and she stomped over to her exchangestudent buddies Ended up dancing the night away with a kid I ride like I have wings I am not tired I don t think I ll ever from Portugal They say Andy s been really pissed off ever have to sleep again since He got wicked drunk at a party and passed out in a bowl of bean dip Rachel burned everything he ever gave her and left the ashes in front of his locker His friends laughed at him POSTPROM Except for the gossip there is no real point in coming to By Monday morning the prom is legend The drama The school Well there are final exams but it s not like they are tears The passion Why hasn t anyone made a television going to make any difference to my grades We have what show out of this yet The total damage included one stomach Two more weeks of classes Sometimes I think high school is pumped three breakups of long term relationships one lost one long hazing activity if you are tough enough to survive diamond earring four outrageous hotel room parties and five this they ll let you become an adult I hope it s worth it matching tattoos allegedly decorating the behinds of the senior class officers The guidance counselors are celebrating the lack of fatal accidents PREY Heather is not at school today Everybody is griping about her lame decorations I bet she calls in sick the rest of the year I m waiting for the clock to end the daily torture by algebra Heather should run away and join the Marines immediately session when W H A M M O a thought slams into my head I 190 191
Up  and  down,  across  and  diagonal,  I pedal  my  sore  legs through the streets of a suburb mostly sleeping. Some  The...
Up and down across and diagonal I pedal my sore legs through the streets of a suburb mostly sleeping Some They ll be much sweeter to her than a swarm of angry Marthas late night T V s flicker from bedroom windows A few cars are parked in front of the grocery store I imagine people Rachel is in her glory She ditched Andy in the middle of the mopping the floors restacking loaves of bread I coast by prom I m trying to piece the story together from grapevine the houses of people I used to know Heather Nicole Turn gossip They say she and Andy argued during a slow song the corner downshift and pedal harder up the hill to They say he was all over her with his hands and his mouth Rachel s house The lights are on her parents waiting for While they danced he was grinding against her and she the fairy prom goers to come home I could knock on the backed off The song ended and she swore at him They say door and ask them if they want to play cards or something she was ready to slap him but she didn t He looked around Nah all innocent like and she stomped over to her exchangestudent buddies Ended up dancing the night away with a kid I ride like I have wings I am not tired I don t think I ll ever from Portugal They say Andy s been really pissed off ever have to sleep again since He got wicked drunk at a party and passed out in a bowl of bean dip Rachel burned everything he ever gave her and left the ashes in front of his locker His friends laughed at him POSTPROM Except for the gossip there is no real point in coming to By Monday morning the prom is legend The drama The school Well there are final exams but it s not like they are tears The passion Why hasn t anyone made a television going to make any difference to my grades We have what show out of this yet The total damage included one stomach Two more weeks of classes Sometimes I think high school is pumped three breakups of long term relationships one lost one long hazing activity if you are tough enough to survive diamond earring four outrageous hotel room parties and five this they ll let you become an adult I hope it s worth it matching tattoos allegedly decorating the behinds of the senior class officers The guidance counselors are celebrating the lack of fatal accidents PREY Heather is not at school today Everybody is griping about her lame decorations I bet she calls in sick the rest of the year I m waiting for the clock to end the daily torture by algebra Heather should run away and join the Marines immediately session when W H A M M O a thought slams into my head I 190 191
Up  and  down,  across  and  diagonal,  I pedal  my  sore  legs through the streets of a suburb mostly sleeping. Some  The...
don t want to hang out in my little hidy hole anymore I look behind me half expecting to see a sniggering back row guy who beaned me with an eraser Nope the back row is struggling to stay awake It was definitely an idea that hit me I don t feel like hiding anymore A breeze from the open window blows my hair back and tickles my shoulders This is the first day warm enough for a sleeveless shirt Feels like summer After class I trail behind Rachel Andy is waiting for her She I don t know what to do with the comforter It s really too ratty to take home I should have gone to my locker first and gotten my backpack I forgot about the books that are in here I fold the comforter and set it on the floor turn out the light and head out the door for my locker Somebody slams into my chest and knocks me back into the closet The light flicks on and the door closes I am trapped with Andy Evans won t even look at him The kid from Portugal is now Rachel s numero uno HA Double HA Serves you right you scum Kids stare at Andy but nobody stops to talk He follows Greta Ingrid and Rachel down the hall I am a few steps behind him Greta Ingrid spins around and tells Andy exactly what he should do to himself Impressive Her language skills He stares at me without talking He is not as tall as my memories but is still loathsome The lightbulb throws shadows under his eyes He is made out of slabs of stone and gives off a smell that makes me afraid I ll wet my pants He cracks his knuckles His hands are enormous have really improved this year I m ready to do a victory Andy Beast You have a big mouth you know it Rachel dance blew me off at the prom giving me some bullshit story I head for my closet after school I want to take the poster of Maya Angelou home and I d like to keep some of my tree pictures and my turkey bone sculpture The rest of the stuff can stay as long as it doesn t have my name on it W h o knows some other kids may need a safe place to run to next year about how I raped you You know that s a lie I never raped anybody I don t have to You wanted it just as bad as I did But your feelings got hurt so you started spreading lies and now every girl in school is talking about me like I m some kind of pervert You ve been spreading that bullshit story for weeks What s wrong ugly you jealous Can t get a Haven t been able to get rid of the smell I leave the door date cracked open a bit so I can breathe It s hard to get the tree pictures off the walls without tearing them The day is getting hotter and there s no circulation in here I open the door wider who s going to come by now By this point in the year teachers take off faster than students when the final bell rings The only people left are a few teams scattered on the practice fields 192 The words fall like nails on the floor hard pointed I try to walk around him He blocks my way Oh no You re not going anywhere You really screwed things up for me He reaches behind and locks the door Click Me 193
don t want to hang out in my little hidy-hole anymore. I look behind me, half expecting to see a sniggering back-row guy w...
don t want to hang out in my little hidy hole anymore I look behind me half expecting to see a sniggering back row guy who beaned me with an eraser Nope the back row is struggling to stay awake It was definitely an idea that hit me I don t feel like hiding anymore A breeze from the open window blows my hair back and tickles my shoulders This is the first day warm enough for a sleeveless shirt Feels like summer After class I trail behind Rachel Andy is waiting for her She I don t know what to do with the comforter It s really too ratty to take home I should have gone to my locker first and gotten my backpack I forgot about the books that are in here I fold the comforter and set it on the floor turn out the light and head out the door for my locker Somebody slams into my chest and knocks me back into the closet The light flicks on and the door closes I am trapped with Andy Evans won t even look at him The kid from Portugal is now Rachel s numero uno HA Double HA Serves you right you scum Kids stare at Andy but nobody stops to talk He follows Greta Ingrid and Rachel down the hall I am a few steps behind him Greta Ingrid spins around and tells Andy exactly what he should do to himself Impressive Her language skills He stares at me without talking He is not as tall as my memories but is still loathsome The lightbulb throws shadows under his eyes He is made out of slabs of stone and gives off a smell that makes me afraid I ll wet my pants He cracks his knuckles His hands are enormous have really improved this year I m ready to do a victory Andy Beast You have a big mouth you know it Rachel dance blew me off at the prom giving me some bullshit story I head for my closet after school I want to take the poster of Maya Angelou home and I d like to keep some of my tree pictures and my turkey bone sculpture The rest of the stuff can stay as long as it doesn t have my name on it W h o knows some other kids may need a safe place to run to next year about how I raped you You know that s a lie I never raped anybody I don t have to You wanted it just as bad as I did But your feelings got hurt so you started spreading lies and now every girl in school is talking about me like I m some kind of pervert You ve been spreading that bullshit story for weeks What s wrong ugly you jealous Can t get a Haven t been able to get rid of the smell I leave the door date cracked open a bit so I can breathe It s hard to get the tree pictures off the walls without tearing them The day is getting hotter and there s no circulation in here I open the door wider who s going to come by now By this point in the year teachers take off faster than students when the final bell rings The only people left are a few teams scattered on the practice fields 192 The words fall like nails on the floor hard pointed I try to walk around him He blocks my way Oh no You re not going anywhere You really screwed things up for me He reaches behind and locks the door Click Me 193
don t want to hang out in my little hidy-hole anymore. I look behind me, half expecting to see a sniggering back-row guy w...
You are one strange bitch know that A freak I can t believe bowl I throw it at him it bounces to the floor My anyone listened to you He grabs my wrists I try to pull books He swears again The door is locked the door is them back and he squeezes so tight it feels like my bones are locked He grabs me pulls me away from the door one splintering He pins me against the closed door Maya An hand over my mouth one hand around my throat He gelou looks at me She tells me to make some noise I open my leans me against the sink My fists mean nothing to him mouth and take a deep breath little rabbit paws thumping harmlessly His body crushes me Beast You re not going to scream You didn t scream before You liked it You re jealous that I took out your friend and not My fingers wave overhead looking for a branch a limb you I think I know what you want something to hang on to A block of wood the base of my turkey bone sculpture I slam it against Maya s poster I hear a His mouth is on my face I twist my head His lips are wet his crunch IT doesn t hear IT breathes like a dragon ITs hand teeth knock against my cheekbone I pull my arms again and leaves my throat attacks my body I hit the wood against the he slams his body against mine I have no legs My heart wob poster and the mirror under it again bles His teeth are on my neck The only sound I can make is a whimper He fumbles to hold both my wrists in one hand Shards of glass slip down the wall and into the sink IT pulls He wants a free hand I remember I remember Metal hands away from me puzzled I reach in and wrap my fingers hot knife hands around a triangle of glass I hold it to Andy Evans s neck He freezes I push just hard enough to raise one drop of blood No He raises his arms over his head My hand quivers I want to insert the glass all the way through his throat I want to hear A sound explodes from me him scream I look up I see the stubble on his chin a fleck of white in the corner of his mouth His lips are paralyzed He NNNOOO cannot speak That s good enough I follow the sound pushing off the wall pushing Andy Evans M e I said no off balance stumbling into the broken sink He curses and turns his fist coming coming An explosion in my head He nods Someone is pounding on the door I unlock it and and blood in my mouth He hit me I scream scream Why the door swings open Nicole is there along with the lacrosse aren t the walls falling I m screaming loud enough to make team sweaty angry their sticks held high Someone peels off the whole school crumble I grab for anything my potpourri and runs for help 194 195
 You are one strange bitch, know that  A freak. I can t believe  bowl   I throw it at him, it bounces to the floor. My  an...
You are one strange bitch know that A freak I can t believe bowl I throw it at him it bounces to the floor My anyone listened to you He grabs my wrists I try to pull books He swears again The door is locked the door is them back and he squeezes so tight it feels like my bones are locked He grabs me pulls me away from the door one splintering He pins me against the closed door Maya An hand over my mouth one hand around my throat He gelou looks at me She tells me to make some noise I open my leans me against the sink My fists mean nothing to him mouth and take a deep breath little rabbit paws thumping harmlessly His body crushes me Beast You re not going to scream You didn t scream before You liked it You re jealous that I took out your friend and not My fingers wave overhead looking for a branch a limb you I think I know what you want something to hang on to A block of wood the base of my turkey bone sculpture I slam it against Maya s poster I hear a His mouth is on my face I twist my head His lips are wet his crunch IT doesn t hear IT breathes like a dragon ITs hand teeth knock against my cheekbone I pull my arms again and leaves my throat attacks my body I hit the wood against the he slams his body against mine I have no legs My heart wob poster and the mirror under it again bles His teeth are on my neck The only sound I can make is a whimper He fumbles to hold both my wrists in one hand Shards of glass slip down the wall and into the sink IT pulls He wants a free hand I remember I remember Metal hands away from me puzzled I reach in and wrap my fingers hot knife hands around a triangle of glass I hold it to Andy Evans s neck He freezes I push just hard enough to raise one drop of blood No He raises his arms over his head My hand quivers I want to insert the glass all the way through his throat I want to hear A sound explodes from me him scream I look up I see the stubble on his chin a fleck of white in the corner of his mouth His lips are paralyzed He NNNOOO cannot speak That s good enough I follow the sound pushing off the wall pushing Andy Evans M e I said no off balance stumbling into the broken sink He curses and turns his fist coming coming An explosion in my head He nods Someone is pounding on the door I unlock it and and blood in my mouth He hit me I scream scream Why the door swings open Nicole is there along with the lacrosse aren t the walls falling I m screaming loud enough to make team sweaty angry their sticks held high Someone peels off the whole school crumble I grab for anything my potpourri and runs for help 194 195
 You are one strange bitch, know that  A freak. I can t believe  bowl   I throw it at him, it bounces to the floor. My  an...
shade of sunrise Tires squeal out of the parking lot another sober student farewell I m staring summer school in the face so there s no real hurry But I want to finish this tree FINAL CUT A couple of seniors stroll in Mr Freeman hugs them carefully Mr Freeman is refusing to hand his grades in on time They either because of the paint on him or because teachers hugging should have been in four days before the end of school but he students can make for big trouble I shake my bangs down in didn t see the sense in that So I m staying after school on the front of my face and watch through my hair They chat about very very last day for one last try at getting my tree right New York City where the girls are going to college Mr Freeman writes down some phone numbers and names of restau Mr Freeman is covering the grade wall with a mural He rants He says he has plenty of friends in Manhattan and that hasn t touched the line with my name but he eliminated they should meet for brunch some Sunday The girls the everything else with a roller brush and fast drying white paint women hop up and down and squeal I can t believe it s He hums as he mixes colors on his palette He wants to paint really happening One of them is Amber Cheerleader Go a sunrise figure Summer vacation voices bubble through the open window The seniors look my way before they leave One girl not the School is nearly over The hall echoes with slamming lockers cheerleader nods her head and says Way to go I hope and shrieks of I m gonna miss you got my number I turn you re O K With hours left in the school year I have sud up the radio denly become popular Thanks to the big mouths on the lacrosse team everybody knew what happened before sun My tree is definitely breathing little shallow breaths like it down M o m took me to the hospital to stitch up the cut on just shot up through the ground this morning This one is not my hand When we got home there was a message on the ma perfectly symmetrical The bark is rough I try to make it look chine from Rachel She wants me to call her as if initials had been carved in it a long time ago One of the lower branches is sick If this tree really lives someplace that My tree needs something I walk over to the desk and take a branch better drop soon so it doesn t kill the whole thing piece of brown paper and a finger of chalk Mr Freeman talks Roots knob out of the ground and the crown reaches for the about art galleries and I practice birds little dashes of color sun tall and healthy The new growth is the best part on paper It s awkward with the bandage on my hand but I keep trying I draw them without thinking flight flight Lilac flows through the open windows with a few lazy bees I feather wing Water drips on the paper and the birds bloom in carve and Mr Freeman mixes orange and red to get the right the light their feathers expanding promise 296 297
shade of sunrise. Tires squeal out of the parking lot, another sober student farewell. I m staring summer school in the fa...
shade of sunrise Tires squeal out of the parking lot another sober student farewell I m staring summer school in the face so there s no real hurry But I want to finish this tree FINAL CUT A couple of seniors stroll in Mr Freeman hugs them carefully Mr Freeman is refusing to hand his grades in on time They either because of the paint on him or because teachers hugging should have been in four days before the end of school but he students can make for big trouble I shake my bangs down in didn t see the sense in that So I m staying after school on the front of my face and watch through my hair They chat about very very last day for one last try at getting my tree right New York City where the girls are going to college Mr Freeman writes down some phone numbers and names of restau Mr Freeman is covering the grade wall with a mural He rants He says he has plenty of friends in Manhattan and that hasn t touched the line with my name but he eliminated they should meet for brunch some Sunday The girls the everything else with a roller brush and fast drying white paint women hop up and down and squeal I can t believe it s He hums as he mixes colors on his palette He wants to paint really happening One of them is Amber Cheerleader Go a sunrise figure Summer vacation voices bubble through the open window The seniors look my way before they leave One girl not the School is nearly over The hall echoes with slamming lockers cheerleader nods her head and says Way to go I hope and shrieks of I m gonna miss you got my number I turn you re O K With hours left in the school year I have sud up the radio denly become popular Thanks to the big mouths on the lacrosse team everybody knew what happened before sun My tree is definitely breathing little shallow breaths like it down M o m took me to the hospital to stitch up the cut on just shot up through the ground this morning This one is not my hand When we got home there was a message on the ma perfectly symmetrical The bark is rough I try to make it look chine from Rachel She wants me to call her as if initials had been carved in it a long time ago One of the lower branches is sick If this tree really lives someplace that My tree needs something I walk over to the desk and take a branch better drop soon so it doesn t kill the whole thing piece of brown paper and a finger of chalk Mr Freeman talks Roots knob out of the ground and the crown reaches for the about art galleries and I practice birds little dashes of color sun tall and healthy The new growth is the best part on paper It s awkward with the bandage on my hand but I keep trying I draw them without thinking flight flight Lilac flows through the open windows with a few lazy bees I feather wing Water drips on the paper and the birds bloom in carve and Mr Freeman mixes orange and red to get the right the light their feathers expanding promise 296 297
shade of sunrise. Tires squeal out of the parking lot, another sober student farewell. I m staring summer school in the fa...
IT happened There is no avoiding it no forgetting No running away or flying or burying or hiding Andy Evans raped me in August when I was drunk and too young to know what was happening It wasn t my fault He hurt me It wasn t my fault And I m not going to let it kill me I can grow I look at my homely sketch It doesn t need anything Even through the river in my eyes I can see that It isn t perfect and that makes it just right The last bell rings Mr Freeman comes to my table Mr Freeman Time s up Melinda Are you ready I hand over the picture He takes it in his hands and studies it I sniff again and wipe my eyes on my arm The bruises are vivid but they will fade Mr Freeman N o crying in my studio It ruins the supplies Salt you know saline Etches like acid He sits on the stool next to me and hands back my tree You get an A You worked hard at this He hands me the box of tissues You ve been through a lot haven t you The tears dissolve the last block of ice in my throat I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor Words float up M e Let me tell you about it
IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding. Andy Evans raped m...
IT happened There is no avoiding it no forgetting No running away or flying or burying or hiding Andy Evans raped me in August when I was drunk and too young to know what was happening It wasn t my fault He hurt me It wasn t my fault And I m not going to let it kill me I can grow I look at my homely sketch It doesn t need anything Even through the river in my eyes I can see that It isn t perfect and that makes it just right The last bell rings Mr Freeman comes to my table Mr Freeman Time s up Melinda Are you ready I hand over the picture He takes it in his hands and studies it I sniff again and wipe my eyes on my arm The bruises are vivid but they will fade Mr Freeman N o crying in my studio It ruins the supplies Salt you know saline Etches like acid He sits on the stool next to me and hands back my tree You get an A You worked hard at this He hands me the box of tissues You ve been through a lot haven t you The tears dissolve the last block of ice in my throat I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor Words float up M e Let me tell you about it
IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding. Andy Evans raped m...