Think G-D Would Have Given you Hair Like That if He Loved You?
head is bleeding profusely from being pushed off the monkey bars
by Thandie Gross, whose nose is bleeding as a result of my having
socked her in the face, the sock itself the result of being pushed
off the monkey bars in the first place.
in pain at the front of the administration desk in an attempt to
be noticed by Miss Sherry, who is in charge of handing out passes
which are needed for EVERYTHING. Right now, I need to get to the
infirmary. I can feel the blood running down the back of my head
in a rivulet, snaking its way underneath my dirt-stained collar.
Miss Sherry has already told me to stand quietly and wait my turn,
but there are no other turns for which to wait. I stand alone. I
Stoll, I will attend to you once you have obeyed the rules -- remain
quiet and stand behind the dotted line."
to look behind me -- a dotted line painted like a highway stretches
along the floor from one end of the front counter to the other.
I move behind it. And wait. Miss Sherry continues to read whatever
it is she's reading with the kind of intent usually reserved for
Members of The President's Cabinet when deciding whether or not
to invade, you know, Whoever. I start to have what must be an acid
flashback. My two older brothers often spend the night with their
friends sneaking booze out of our parents' liquor cabinet (called
the White Piece for some reason -- the thing is red) talking about
all the awesome times they've had, almost always involving acid
flashbacks. I believe that I've caught one because that's what happens
sometimes and it is called a "contact high".
The delicate sound of a blood droplets hitting the linoleum floor.
Stoll, I can feel you moving. If you continue to fidget, you will
have to wait even longer."
is no one around. There is nothing Miss Sherry has to do that can
possibly be as important as attending to a child's bleeding head.
I am nine years old and I know more about prioritizing than she
Miss Cherrier," she snarls, pronouncing it as if it were French,
which I know it's not.
head is bleeding."
when you're spoken to."
you won't speak to me!"
the most apathetic look possible she glances up. "You are a
spoiled brat with no respect for your superiors." She is saying
this and staring straight at me. She can see my bleeding head. She
can see the pool of blood congealing beneath my feet and she doesn't
care! She continues, "So when you stand behind the dotted line
and I decide that I am good and ready, I will attend to you."
line?!!! The pain has grown so intense that everything looks dotted
to me! The pool of blood swirls around like a riptide and turns
into a mess of snakes. I hate snakes! I start shaking, which has
an immediately contagious effect on Miss Sherry. "IF YOU SAY
ONE MORE WORD, I WILL HAVE YOU THROWN RIGHT OUT OF HERE!" On
the wall behind her is a poster of a bunch of happy girls holding
hands and singing around a campfire. It says, "Where girls
Become Strong, Independent, and Courageous Young Women".
pay phone is just off to the side of the front desk -- a stone's
throw from where I stand. I glance toward Miss Sherry, hunkered
into her Very Important Papers. I hope they're divorce papers. No
way! Who'd marry her? They're probably death papers. Yeah! I hope
someone she knows died! I hope her house has caught on fire and
all her cats are burning! And because I am a Strong, Independent
and Courageous Young Woman, I make a mad dash for the phone.
second my feet leave the dotted line Miss Sherry is up, her arms
made of rubber like that guy Gumby, and she reaches out to envelop
me in her stretchy green globules.
HOW MUCH TROUBLE COULD A SEVENTY-POUND-SHORT-SHORTS- WEARING-LOPSIDED-PIG-TAILED-HEAD-BLEEDING-GIRL
BE? I'm no Firestarter! I'm no Nancy Spungen (having just last month
snuck the book about her, And I Don't Want to Live This Life:
A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder, out of my brother's
room and reading it cover to cover, swore off forever having children
or getting involved in punk rock). Miss Sherry drags me away from
the telephone. The receiver clinks violently against the plastic
side five times before settling into a gentle swing, and then, it
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