erupture no.9
music reviews
media reviews
mel's rant
he's big! he's huge! he's
david foster wallace!

he's big! he's huge!
he's mungo!

the dusty archives
write me, baby

Chemistry Class

fiction by Mel W.

Jimmy was kneeling on the damp sidewalk, head bent, hands in a sort of open prayer position, something that looked like worship. "My god! They're so beautiful! Are they silk?"

"You must be on acid. They're just ballet slippers!" I swished my coffee around in its big starbucks cup. Jenny's stuff was all over the sidewalk because she'd thrown it all down to play with a dog. "Tulip! Tulip!," she exclaimed over and over as she rubbed the dog vigorously around the head. The dog's owner was trying to pull the dog away, tugging furiously on the leash, muttering sharply, "C'mon Seraphin, I have to go to work!"

"Seraphin! This dog should clearly be named Tulip!" Seraphin almost peed on Jimmy before the woman dragged the French Bulldog away. I took a swig of my coffee and my face twisted from the sharpness of the cheap whiskey we'd poured into the cups after we left the store. "You can't drink. You're such an NA." Jimmy was still worshipping my feet. "C'mon Jenny," I muttered, mocking the dog woman, "I gotta go to class!"

Outside of school we met Toni, who was sitting on the sidewalk next to the fence. The morning sun bounced off her hair, still wet and smelling like Aussie. She was smiling and squinting and looking up at us, shading her eyes from the sun.

"Heyyyyy! You guys! I got a whole sheet of acid! You want in?"

"What's it like? Is it speedy?" Jenny was partial to speedier acid, not wanting to be immobilized during a six hour trip.

"Uhhh, I think so. Maybe. I dunno. It's acid! Isn't that the important part?"

I tried to drag Jenny and Jimmy into school with me. It's sad that somehow I became the responsible one, because believe me, in any other peer group I'd be the fuck-up. "Can we get back to you on this acid thing? We sort of have to get to Spanish class..."

"Oh yeah! OK! Cool! I'll, like, see you guys around like fourth period, ok?"

In the hall, Jimmy said, "You know, I think Toni's cool and all, but I think that someday she's just gonna go off like Mt. St. Helen's or something."

In class Tia Elena called on me to translate something. I was a little distracted by the sirens outside and I could feel my brow knitting as I struggled to figure out what the hell the sentence said. Even sober, Spanish was not my forte.

"Uh, The little boy took out his language?"

The whole class erupted, even Tia, whose fat frame shook and threatened to break the fragile wood chair she was poised in. "Anyone else?" Despite the uproarious laughter, none of the other geniuses could translate the sentence either, and finally Bernard raised his hand. He was from Cuba, so it was totally unfair.

"The little boy stuck out his tongue?"

After class we went to the park to looked for Toni but we couldn't find her. Jenny threw her back pack on the grass and plopped herself down, using the backpack as a pillow. "I love my bed."

"Uh, that's grass."

She sat up and rummaged through her bag. "It's almost my bed. I sleep here enough. God, you're so literal." She pulled out a Charles Bukowski book. I couldn't read what it was; it was upside down and I was drunk, but something about it reminded me of my cousin's cousin, who at age 9 hung himself from the big tree in the backyard. Jenny started to read.

I sat down beside her. "I don't know how you can read stuff like that when you're drunk."

"You idiot!" She laughed and smacked me. "This is meant to be read drunk! He wrote it drunk! Dag! Go back to your silly wampyre books, little Morticia..."

Jimmy showed up 40 minutes later. I suddenly remember we forgot to go back to school for Chem lab. Oh well, another cut card sent home, another mailbox interception. It's not like I couldn't pass the tests at the end of the semester. "Hey girls," he kneeled behind us, arms around both of us. "How 'bout a threeway?" This was Jimmy's standard line.

"Well, you get us some acid and maybe we'll tripping too hard to care."

"Yeah?" He seemed genuinely hopeful for a second. Then his face kinda dropped. "Oh, we can't get acid. Toni stabbed a guard and they came and took her away. Maybe Carlos can get us some X..." He stood up. "I'm gonna go see if I can find Carlos and get some X. Or special K. Oh wait, we can't have sex on special K..."

back to the home planet...