Saturday, May 29, 2010



From early on in my friendship with Luna & Tucker. October, maybe?

I started climbing the steps. Suddenly, Tucker's eyes shifted to my face. I hadn't seen him sitting at the top and, caught unprepared, I did not have the time to shift my eyes to the floor, like I always did. Sweat beaded at the nape of my neck, and I clenched my muscles around the center of my body. I twined my already-crossed legs tighter together and strained under the weight of my heavy, thick hair. He looked tired and riled up in the way that business men on the red-eye do.

He shifted in his seat on the steps, seeming puzzled. Tilting his head, he carefully raised his hand and made as if to--slowly--push my heavy, weighted hair out of its stranglehold on my neck. Sudden hope flared up in me--could he see how much it pressed into my air supply, how it weakened me?

I sucked my bottom lip between my teeth and braced myself. His gaze darted to the movement, only to fasten on my eyes again.

He half-smiled and began, "Wha--"

"Tuck!" He whirled quickly, eagerly towards the slender girl who had produced that exultant exclamation. Luna. I looked at his wide, slender shoulders from behind and saw the muscles in the back of his neck jump.

I felt my own throat tighten. Eagerly, I looked at the way the sunlight struck the high planes of her cheekbones, the way the shadows nestled against the hollows of her cheeks and in the valleys of her neck.

He smiled again, breathlessly. Quickly, he looked at her feet, suppressing his smile. He nodded, dignified, as she approached in a graceful, lithe half-glide.

"Tucker. Oh, god. Some freshman just spilled her cheap body spray all over the locker room, and now I'm a little high."

She threw herself onto the concrete steps, throwing her messenger bag bodily aside.

Smirking, he replied. "I have that effect on people. Don't worry--you'll get used to it." She threw back her head and laughed up at the sun. It was a rich sound, not like the high empty giggles of the girls in the bathroom or the unkind sound of the thick-jointed boys in my Chem class. It was full, inviting, and very real.

"I'm rubbing off on you," she teased. She looked very suddenly at me, crouching against the wall near their seated forms. "Hey, Jenny. How's life?"

My mind ran suddenly blank. Life? She wanted to know how life was? How could she ask me such a general, all-encompassing question without warning, or preparation? How was I to answer it without somehow stumbling, or crossing the line of what you could say in public without those weird glances? What could I say to keep her from dismissing me, to keep her from saying some subtle goodbye or ignoring me until I had to walk away?


"Monday," Tucker cut through, "Did you hear about Jill Louis?" He smiled down at his evenly-laced shoes, as if he knew what it was like to be under that stare, answering her life-determining questions.

She titled her head, carefully. Now that the attention was off me, I could speculate on how small her face was. Truly, it was like a cat's face, tilted and fey. She didn't seem human, half the time.

"Is she the one with Uggs and the brown hair? She has that old Prada backpack she drags everywhere?"

"Luna, they all look like that."

"No, most of them have bags from Bloomingdales or L.L.Bean." James shrugged at this. "Well, it's her," she continued decisively.

"Well, Dave Cohen told me she got tripped at a sweet sixteen last...Saturday? She fell into a table and got soaked."

“Ha, she didn’t get tripped. It’s those clear plastic heels she wears out.”

“Listen, a girl has to advertise somehow. It’s not like she has a lot going for her.” They laughed together, and I laughed with them. They looked at me, as though they had forgotten I was there.

With my fingers suddenly grown cold, I asked, "Do you know why?"

For some reason, it was the right question. Luna looked at Tucker with interest.

"I think it was a catfight. Dave said Julia Madderly did it."

"Oh," Luna said dismissively. "Word on the street is that they're fighting over Billy O'Donnor."

I stared at ladybug on a blade of grass, astonished. Billy O'Donnor was in my Health class, and he was mind-blowingly stupid. His face was covered in acne scars and from my seat near his, I had glimpsed the red blemishes that crawled up from his back, beneath his shirt. He wore too much cologne, but for some reason had a lot of friends among boys who looked exactly like him.

Luna hopped off the step then, and helped Tucker up. Hitching his bag over his shoulder, Tucker pulled his keys out and jerked his head toward the parking lot. Luna skipped down the steps, prancing and leaping like a child, Tucker descended, chuckling, and I followed them both, helpless.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

siren song


It's late at night like this when I wish I could do femme fatale.
Why is the girl with the power to draw men in always the she-demon? I'd launch into the Misogynist Accusation Spiel, but you've heard it before. I guess historically, women had no other recourse and men wanted them to know their place.
It's probably wrong, in the days of Equal Rights, to want to know how to wield that kind of power. Still, I wish I knew how to be a maneater. It'd make life simpler.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hiss [Spit&Grit]


The water I swallowed was dry, hard in my mouth. It was cool and smooth and pure, but it had no relief to me, as though I was already sated. My mouth felt dry and thick, and my tongue had the bouncy sensation of rubber sneakers pressing against the roof of my mouth. Running the unlikely shoe sole along my teeth, I realized they tasted sour and sweaty. I could feel the plaque, the gritty particles lodged on the austere stone sides of my little calcium bones.

Trying to wash the feeling and the grit out, I took another sip from the 3o% reduced-plastic bottle. I finished that bottle, wondering what the difference between saliva and water was. Some enzymes, I know, but there must be something else, too. Something to make it sticky thick. Bacteria, sugar, protein? Everyone's heard that the last sip of a bottle is mostly backwash. But why does it taste different from the bottle--still a beverage--then it does in your mouth?

Do other people's saliva, the flavor of their lips and mouth, taste any different from my own? I'm not talking about the food or aftertaste left in their mouths, I'm speaking literally, their saliva. Do I have a special blend of enzyme and bacteria, unique among all others?

I read somewhere that each person has a marginally different mix of bacteria in their mouths. So, kissing another person could marginally boost you immunity. The irony of this is obvious--loose girls are normally the ones who get the colds, mono...and worse. But according to this little tidbit, they have higher immunity, and I have very little.

But I don't care about this. I think. I just want to know; does it change the taste? The texture? Does pure, unadulterated Jenny taste different, better or worse, sweeter or more bitter than Luna saliva?

It's just not something people normally check for. I can't even imagine Luna possessing anything as inglorious as spit and grit. But if we all do taste different, I think my flavor would be kind of bland. Like unseasoned mashed potatoes, congee, or yogurt.

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"Silent Ground." From here.

Well, I liked the colors.

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this guy's blog consists of literally only him running from the camera. if only capture were so easy to resist.

maybe he's as flighty as Luna.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the immortal jellyfish


I guess dying scares me as much as the next person. The very act of going peacefully into death is a leap of faith. There is no proof that there’s something waiting for you when you close your eyes. Who can ever prove that we aren’t a mess of nerves and neurons, to rot and fall to dust? To you this may be blasphemy; to me, it’s just an acknowledgement of my fear.

This jellyfish, the Turritopsi nutricula, is all but immortal. Unless it dies when it’s eaten, or killed accidentally, it will never die of old age. It just keeps cycling round, young to old, old to young. Scientists are studying it to understand how this happens.

They shouldn’t. More than stem cell research and abortions and all that medical “playing God” business Christian fundamentalists get upset about, immortality is an offense against…if not God, then the natural order of things.

How wrong to live forever! Already I’m tired and to chase that into infinity? With no death, the human capability for intrigue and plotting grows boundless. How wearisome. Not to mention limited resources. How will we sustain an ever-burgeoning population?

I’m scared, but not that cowardly. Don’t sell me your fountain of youth, I know where the line is. And all you vampire fanatics can take their romantic illusions of immortality and shove ‘em. Edward Cullen’s not worth your humanity.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Lying Shirts


There was this girl, who used to sit in front of me in History. She was...perfection in the eyes of her peers, though not in my eyes. I didn't understand it. Her hair was neat and clean and shiny, but it always had wisps over it, as though a subtle wind had blown precisely over her tightly bound hair, some tangent to the perfect circle of her skull.

I spent the long minutes of John Adams's presidency--the lonely parts of it--wondering what her luster was. I looked at the lint and the little piece of paper, torn from the edge of some looseleaf, stuck to the back of her light lavender unbuttoned button-up cardigan. I could see the black and white stripes of the shirt she wore underneath, to shyly peek between the somber brown buttons; that is to say, I could see through her back.

How strange that she had a black and white striped shirt, with the opposites lined up with perfectly straight, even borders. Did she know how wrong she was? The borders should be jagged, blurred, gray. They were all wrong. It was awful, disturbing. Why would she wear a shirt that would lie like that?

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

nitely & spritely


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