Renee didn’t introduce me to him the summer we met—I’d say he introduced us—but I’d never heard him before she placed the needle on “New Coat of Paint,” and her weight on me. I’m getting ahead of myself. Alice saw the clipping first, and I thought it would be great: spend the summer on the … Continue reading If there is one indisputable rock in this world, it is the genius of Tom Waits
We park our bikes in the woods by Longfellow Pond and walk the rest of the way. We crack leaves and twigs crack, but out here, we’re probably the only ones that can hear them. Why are we doing this, again? A postcard, I say. We enter through the window over the south stairs. He … Continue reading The streets are a dark map we have to remember our way through.
It’s the Harvest Moon and it could be gone in the morning. You really need… whatever this thing is? My elder brother squints and grinds his teeth. Yes. It’s important. I know she has it. How’d it up in Miss Miller’s desk? I don’t know. I just know it’s really important and I need to … Continue reading I know Miss Miller has it.
Not hard, not weathered, just lived-in. I want to tell good stories. I don’t want to be that old lady at the back of the Magos who’s always asking for her eggs over-medium. She waves her hands. I want to throw parties that they talk about in the paper. I want to travel. I don’t … Continue reading I want to get older, I guess… but I want firm skin.
I stretch and pull my book bag from under my head. My head-rush clears, and the woods look down at me golden and warm and teasing, like they’ve moved on. It’s probably almost dinner time. There are voices behind me. Let them do whatever they’re doing, I’m going home. Oh, but they’re right behind me, … Continue reading When I wake up the sun’s moved about half an hour.
It’s really deep in the air, and by the time the bell rings everything is warm and glowing again, but you don’t un-smell winter. Sharon White won’t talk to me anymore. Alice is in a different homeroom, and we sit together every day at lunch, but it’s hard. At least they let us out early … Continue reading It’ll be October in a few days, and I can already smell December.
I’d try the Townsman archives downstairs. There’s a research assistant there now, just tell him you’re with Mr. Gottwald’s class. Thank you, Mrs. Gottwald! It’s cloudy outside and the library basement looks like the bottom of a tomb. But Alice get back tomorrow and I don’t want to meet her empty-handed. Besides, it’s for school. The … Continue reading More than streets, I couldn’t say.
Not the cramps, or the weird angles I can feel myself turning at. Not even my body changing in ways everyone talks about in the bathroom, that I’m supposed to be excited about. It’s the aloneness. I don’t want to suddenly start bleeding after gym class, with everyone around. I know it’s not something I … Continue reading It’s not just the bleeding.
No, you could ‘ve called if that was it. I look Alice in the eye. The ice in her tea is almost melted, and if she doesn’t sip it soon it’ll spill. Don’t make me pry it out of you. Okay. I sigh. I had a dream the night my… flow started. You were in it, sort … Continue reading Of course that’s what I want to talk about.
You’ve been staring at the creek for ten minutes. No I haven’t. What’s bugging you? I keep looking at the water. Now you have to tell me. I’m glad we’re on Alice’s roof for this. I got mine. No! I nod and look down. When?! Last Saturday. What was it like? All of a sudden … Continue reading What?