photo of journal decoupaged by Jonathan Zap
These three little stories, which were written in one sitting as notebook sketches, were composed around 1990 when I was teaching at public high school in Long Island New York .
Copyright 1990, Jonathan Zap
“Life sucks.” Marc said in a flat, quiet voice while passing a joint to his friend, Andrew. It was late August and the two boys were reclining on the slopping walls of dusty grass and tangled weeds leading to the bottom of the sump where they frequently went to smoke.
“You always say that.” said Andrew
“Because it’s true.” replied Marc. There wasn’t much that could be added to this since they both felt it so strongly, and they lapsed into silence passing the dwindling joint back and forth, staring up at a sky that was darkly hazed by the smoke that nightly rose from the power station. Delicate swirls of marijuana smoke spiraled about them in a small, private atmosphere that floated upwards toward diffusion into the heavy canopy of dark smoke above.
That fucking bitch whore. Susan said to herself taking out her three ring binder at the start of Math Concepts II. That bitch, that fucking bitch. She felt nauseous, her body slumped and the white pages and thin blue lines blurred before her. What the fuck was that bitch doing with him? James…. That bitch, that fucking little bitch. She saw them fifth period in the cafeteria laughing and looking into each other’s eyes. He’d bought her a red rose and everyone knew they’d been with each other last night. Fucking… That evil little bitch… James… Evil whore-bitch.. I’ll fuckin’ gouge my fingernails into your cuntly little eyeballs you greasy little bitch…
The teacher was passing out a ditto and Anthony Accavino, the boy in front, was forgetting to pass it back to her. You never pass anything back you fat fuck. I’ll kick you right in your fat ass, you fat fuck, you stupid fat fuck…
James… James… You’re too beautiful for her, for anyone…James Why did you do it James? Why did you do it with her? That little fuck-bitch. Why did you do it to me, James? I know you hate me. You think I’m nothing….
It’s because she’s skinny isn’t it? That little bitch.
She felt her hips squirming against the wooden school chair. She hated the way her thighs swelled out when she sat on a chair. I’ll go on a diet till I’m ten times skinnier than that little bitch. I’ll show them… I’ll show them all…
Tommy lay on his bed in the early morning dark. He could feel something happening. Something behind his forehead, in his brain, or was it in his body? Energy flowed up his spine and in his head tingling right through his scalp like invisible wires. The wires went through the walls and past the air outside his house. Where were the wires going? Could other people feel those wires, feel him? His heart beat was pulsing blood into the electricity. Please God, let this energy go somewhere .
Led Zepplin, on auto repeat, played recurrently on the stereo and he flowed with it, rippling musically. He felt himself as a current, a wake of aliveness rippling above his bed, three feet or so above his body, flowing in a sea of energy. Tommy felt his friends, sleeping alone in their rooms, flowing in the same sea, but he could never wake them to his presence. One day it would be different .