Zephyr 2007 art & literary magazine Rye High School Vol. 47
This is a limited edition magazine. You have copy ____ of 800. Thank you for reading Zephyr!
Contents “The Great Caspian Traverse”
by Andy Smith by Aileen Lonergan
by Grace Philipp by Julia Murray
by Simond Edmonds-Langham by Rick Zagorodneva
by Krizia Calmet by Liz Chabot
by Monica Pfister by Maki Nakajima
by Frank Cirillo by Patricia Sganga
by Melanie Chow by Casey Gollan
by Lily Nathanson by Kimmy Thevenet
“Me and the Monsters”
by Will Galperin by Will Galperin
“What is Jazz”
by Adam Kelly by Tori Nicolli
by Alex Morrison by Molly Simonson
“Child Labor in Haiti”
by Julia Fiala by Yui Kawae
by Elise Yannett by Nikita Nath
“Me Thinks They Swear”
S by Elise Yannett
by Chuantong Ma
by Grace Philipp
by Dale Neuringer by Emi Katsuta by Stephanie Hijazi
by Reid Connolly by Liz Chabot by Liz Chabot
“Untitled Rant: APs”
by Veronica Afanasiev by Elizabeth Chabot
by Stephanie Hijazi
by Seira Mori by Tammy Stone
“The Next Great American Novel”
by Cari Heicklen by Stefan Trienekens
by Adam Kelly by Chuantong Ma
“Those Silly Little Girls”
by Liz Peyton by Lily Frolich
by Anna Borgoni by Rick Zagorodneva
“The Street Walker”
by Andy Smith by Chuantong Ma
by Marguerite Ward by Emi Katsuta
by Marguerite Ward by Rachel Munsie
“French Fairy Tale”
by Caitlin Lyons by Liz Chabot
by Tom Casper by Chuantong Ma
Colophon The 47th volume of Zephyr art & literary magazine was produced on Dell computers running Windows XP, Adobe InDesign CS2, and Adobe Photoshop CS2. Headlines, page numbers, and other display text are set in Century Schoolbook. Body text is set in Adobe Garamond Pro. Rye Printing Inc. printed 800 copies on beautiful 80lb matte stock with a 100lb cover. In switching from dull glossy to matte paper we hope to create a better feeling Zephyr while preserving the brilliance of the text and images. Zephyr was made possible by the financial support of Rye City School District and the fabulous individuals who contributed all of their time and effort.
“Plaza Park Oasis”
by Andy Smith by Aiko Akila
“Mr. White’s Snowy Plunge”
by Matt Essert by Mike Schorr
“The Guy in the Snow Plow”
by Andy Smith by Rick Zagorodneva
by Caroline Higgins by Nikita Nath
“Le 11 Octobre 2005”
by Lily Nathanson by Rick Zagorodneva
“On the Hunt”
by Hayley Tobin by Rick Zagorodneva by Janina Lageman-Done
Zephyr Video For the first time Zephyr is including video as an Art Form! Video is a visual record created to reflect ideas and to affect them. The visual elements of video have the universal power of communication. The selections included in the 2007 issue of Zephyr reflect popular entertainment, video as an art form, and a literary effort. The popular entertainment segment came to us via the Garnet Insider, a group of fastidious kids who bring us Serendipiter and its epilogue, and Heroes. The imagination of these students along with state of the art equipment and techniques are a truly serendipitous combination! Zephyr’s presentation of art in video form is another independant effort of creative force. Using dramatic emotion, Baroque lighting and visual atmosphere these students transport the viewer. Finally, there is the production of Antigone. This is an amazing literary acomplishment and we are so enthused about bringing it to DVD in this year’s Zephyr! All of our productions have been edited with Final Cut Pro on a Mac G5.
“The Last Supper”
by Cari Heicklen by Cari Heicklen
“Les Mots Froids”
“Grapefruit Juice and the Don”
by Krizia Calmet by Megan Cindrich
by Alex Morrison by Tori Reed by Kate Manire
by Giulia Biow
by Tori Nicolli
Great Caspian Traverse The current flows across the platform, The dock replete with bobbing heads All urgently flocking the exits, Steady as the patterns of the tides. You weave through this sea Of uniform executives, Contemplating your role in this frenzy, Imbibing such vague importance. But slowly you feel the pull: The riptide helplessly drawing You into the flood. Lost, Indifferent, You drift amidst the wayfarers, Unaware that you, yourself, Have dissolved into the routine, Cast away Unto these faceless hallways.
On this spread: Photograph by Aileen Lonergan ¶ “Great Caspian Traverse” by Andy Smith
She skipped across the parking lot, Body twirling, manic laugh Eyes red, smile ecstatic, Crushed me into a bear hug. Frustrated forehead furrows. “You’re high, aren’t you?” Laugh lines sag, smile muted, “No, I’m not.” Her posture looked offended. I still didn’t believe her, Leaned over, sniffed: Herbal Essences and chocolate.
The Transfiguration Often I visit my church to practice on the organ, ring out of the bells, or sing in the choir. But on those days on which I play the organ are by far the eeriest. I will enter the church grounds: birds singing, gardens beckoning, the sun at my back, the confident tolling from the steeple reminding us that time is passing, hour by hour, just in case we forgot. I feel wanted, I feel that it is the perfect place to come and share my music with the world. But the moment I step into that building, the atmosphere shifts. This large chapel which I know to be bright and cheery and full of women in flowery hats and men in pressed suits handing out leaflets and the rector greeting everyone and people catching up on the weekly news: it’s transformed. I fell unwelcome in an empty church, that someone does not want me there. My sixth grade teacher taught that cathedrals and churches are built to intimidate, to belittle, but certainly not to welcome. The architect had this in mind when he set out building Christ’s Church, it seems. The corners are dark, the pews empty. The massive organ looms overhead. There is not a sound but the echo of my footsteps as I approach the altar. I do not bow. Instead, I turn right towards the organ console and hit the power.
It’s truly difficult starting a song in a situation where I feel more like a trespasser than a musician. To anyone who hasn’t, I strongly recommend visiting an empty church. Once there, imagine trying to lift that fifty ton silence, that silence which is as cold as the marble floor underfoot. Imagine shattering the sacred quiet with notes from an instrument more full in volume than any human could ever achieve even by shouting: the king of instruments. It’s not that easy. There is more to playing that first chord than simply pressing down on the right notes. There is something stronger than the weight of my hand that commands those trumpets to sound and those reeds to quaver. It comes from the soul, from the heart of music itself. Times like these tell me why I truly appreciate music, it requires the full concentration of my mind and body. Next, there is always that moment it takes me to realize what I have done. I have broken the silence, set the world to music, filled the whole place with something more friendly than emptiness. The music has color, it has shape, it fills dark corners. Bach’s lilting melodies flow off my fingers with hardly a thought on my part. I sit back and enjoy the music, what I have brought forth for “God” to hear, so maybe he won’t be so lonely. Time passes, my stomach rumbles. I turn off the organ. It gives a shudder, then the stops reset. The lights turn off. The music fades away. I’m alone again. I walk back down the aisle, leaving the place just as I found it, eerie and cold. The chamber is still dark and unfriendly, but I know I have done my part.
On this spread: drawing by Julia Murray ¶ “Friends” by Grace Philipp ¶ photograph by Rick Zagorodneva ¶ “Thr Transfiguration” by Simon Edmonds-Lnagham
Por la cultura
Les coutumes Les races Le patriotisme Les pays du monde s’unissent Je avais vécu avec ça
los países del mundo se unen
nations of the world unite.
he vivido con esto
I have lived with this.
Puisque j’avais quatre ans
desde que tenía cuatro años
since I was four years old.
Ma naissance en Venezuela
mi nacimiento en Venezuela
my birth in Venezuela.
Le climat tropical est les gens aimables Puis a la grande ville New York La vie rapide
el clima tropical y la gente amable
tropical weather and nice people.
entonces a la grande ciudad
then to the big city.
la vida rápida
A Connecticut depuis
a Connecticut después
then to Connecticut.
La banlieue calmante
los suburbios relajantes
the relaxing suburbs.
Alors pour Brésil Les personnes content et la langue Portugais Puis à gauche a Pérou Ma famille et l’espagnol Miami pour un an La culture Cubaine et les plages tropicale Puis au nord au village de Larchmont
luego a Brasil las personas contentas y el idioma portugués después a la izquierda a Perú mi familia y el español Miami por un año la cultura Cubana y las playas tropicales Al norte a la ciudad de Larchmont
Très petit et froid
muy pequeño y frío
Finalement à Rye
finalmente a Rye
à côté de la mer Tout les pays du monde s’unissent Pour améliorer, on doit voyager On doit apprendre
then to Brazil.
al lado del mar todos los países del mundo se unen para mejorarse uno debe viajar uno debe aprender
On doit apprécier du monde
uno debe apreciar el mundo
Ce grand mélange de cultures
este mixto tremendo de culturas
happy people and portuguese language. then to the left to Peru. my family and the Spanish Language. Miami for a year. Cuban culture and tropical beaches.
then to the north to the village of Larchmont. very small and cold. finally to Rye. next to the ocean. all the nations of the globe unite. to improve, one must travel. one must learn. one must appreciate the world. this tremendous blend of cultures.
On this spread: photo montage by Liz Chabot ¶ “Par...Por...” by Krizia Calmet
Family Friends I am already in my room when Daniela comes home. I hear her fuzzy, red backpack, the one that I like, hit the hardwood floor while my mom asks more and more questions.
Then the lady stopped looking at me and started tapping on the circle part of her brown glasses. Tap, tap, tap while my parents wrote. My parents stopped bringing me to the lady in the room with the blue shoes, and they would leave me alone with babysitters who played games with me and made s’mores in the microwave, letting me press the buttons. My parents always got kind of dressed up, and I liked to watch my mom put on her lipstick while I asked where she was going.
“Dani, how was art today?” she wants to know. I don’t understand why my mom always asks about her day. Dani almost never answers, but if she smiles even just a little bit, my mom’s eyes glow just like that. I don’t know why only Dani gets a nickname that she can answer with her big, brown eyes. I asked one time at dinner, and my mom said that there was no nickname for “Ava.” I said that “Danny” was just a boy’s name anyway. I remember how my mom’s eyes got all slanty and how the lines on her face stood out. She dropped her fork and stared at me. Her words sounded short and cold. “‘Dani is your sister’s name.”
“We’re getting your sister,” she would say, but no one ever came back with them until the day we brought home Dani.
This morning, I tried to show Dani how to do the maze on the back of the Lucky Charms box. Dani laughed like a drop of sweet milk but wouldn’t say a word. She wouldn’t try even when I handed her my favorite green crayon.
When we took off, Dani got scared, and her eyes got really big when she looked out the window. She let go of her bag and held onto my arm. It hurt, but I smiled back. I wanted her to love me, but I didn’t know how to tell her that we were safe. Dani said nothing.
“Look, Dani,” I explained, “Look how this works. You’re one of these kids here at the bottom; you can even be the girl with the pretty hair if you want. I’ll be the boy. It’s okay. Now you just follow this long box, but you can’t go through the lines ’cause that’s cheating. Now you just go through here; follow the box ’till you get to the green man, ’cause that’s Lucky and you wanna get his cereal. See?” She just smiled.
Back at home, I wanted to show Dani how to play dolls and how to pet our cat, but she just looked at me for a long, long time. Then she smiled a little, but Dani was shy like this one girl Chloe in my class who only whispers in the teacher’s ear. Dani made me scared of hurting her.
Afterward, I left for school. I was happy that Dani only had the afternoon session of kindergarten today because my mom is sometimes late to pick me up from second grade if Dani needs to get picked up too. Mom was never late before Dani came. I knew that Dani had afternoon school today because my mom is Dani’s class mom and I helped her fill the car this morning with bags of snacks for a holiday party. Brendan’s mom is throwing my class party this year. Last year, everyone started asking me questions. First, my parents started acting weird, until one day Mom turned to me in the car at a red light on the way home from school. She asked me how I would feel about getting a sister. I felt important because she was staring at me. I had seen sisters in the park and at school and on TV, and they always looked so safe and happy together. A week later, we all drove to a big, gray building; there, a lady in a small office with pointy blue shoes and peppermints on her desk started asking all over again. “Uh-huh,” I answered, “A friend.”
She was small and kind of round with skin like milk chocolate and straight, shiny black hair so different from my yellow curls. She wore funny white shoes and carried a navy blue bag with two zippers and a heart-shaped tag as we walked through the airport. My parents spoke softly until I was whispering too. I remember looking out of the terminal at the rainy, foggy day; later, the plane looked like it was being eaten by smoke.
Today, I didn’t even stop to wait for my mom to come in; I just rushed to our dining room table. I felt more comfortable with the blue snowflake tablecloth underneath my wrist. I looked down at the pile of cards and was happy; I pulled off the one on top. I remembered taking the picture. My dad dressed like always, but he wore a funny red tie, and my mom, Dani, and I wore soft, dark blue dresses. The dresses reminded me of Princess Cinderella, but were itchy during the pictures. My mom told me to smile anyway. Dani smiled too. She smiled like Chloe again. I looked down again at the shiny paper. Someone had written in my fancy red pen. It was messy. This person didn’t even know how to write in script. I imagined my mom leaning over and smiling, helping Dani make her name: Rachel, Brian, Dani. Rachel, Brian, Dani. The words hurt my eyes. I felt mad, but something else: almost a hiss like Coke bubbling up inside my stomach. I hated Dani’s big, brown eyes. I squeezed the pen as hard as I could, but it stayed just the same; it was laughing at me. I threw it down and heard the angry crash as blood-red ink seeped onto the shiny floors. Grabbing the whole
pile of cards, I stomped up to my room, making big, sad steps on the carpeted stairs. Working in his study, my dad didn’t notice. My mom was already gone to pick up Dani. Up in my room, I pull out my box of Ava’s Good Job stickers. Some are so old from chores I did when I was really little. I have never even used one. I pull off the top of the old cookie tin and sit beside the stack of cards. My eyes feel hot. First, I find a green and orange heart sticker, then a star, then a rainbow. I stick each over Dani’s name: Rachel, Brian, Ava. Rachel, Brian, Ava. I keep going and going. I can’t stop. I hear Dani’s tiny feet padding up the stairs until she is outside my door, and I hear her whisper: “Ava?” I pretend not to hear. I am happy that the door is closed. “Ava?” she tries again, only a little louder. “I have a picture.” I swallow and feel the wet on my cheeks. I have a whole wall of my bedroom covered in pictures from when I tried to teach Dani to draw. I hear her shoes scuff in the hall when she tries to push the paper under the door before creeping back downstairs. I pick up a Christmas card, folding it twice, then three times, into perfect little squares, trying not to look. I leave the door closed, but I can see her page from where I sit. I will pick it up and throw it away. I shuffle over. “My Family,” it reads across the top. I can read it all by myself. Dani has drawn all of us together in the snow. Dani has never seen real snow before. I turn the page, and there Dani has drawn a picture of my mom and dad. They are holding hands, and my dad is wearing a blue tie. My mom’s hair looks like it is sprouting straight up out of her head. “My mommy and daddy take care of me,” Dani has scribbled. I know someone helped her spell because the letters are spaced weird. “Mommy takes me at school and Daddy does computer.” I turned the page. There is another crayon picture. Dani and I are on the plane that first day when she thought we were going to fall out of the sky. Her navy blue bag is on the floor, and we sit side by side. She is holding my hand, and we are smiling out the window, into the sun. “My sister helps me not be scared,” Dani has written in green. “She is my favorite friend.” I hear another noise outside my door, then a tiny knock. I open the door. Dani and Ava, Dani and Ava.
On this spread: “Family Friends” by Monica Pfister ¶ photograph by Maki Nakajina
This afternoon, I didn’t even show my mom my painting when I got home from school because I knew that it was card day. Actually, I knew since yesterday when my mom started putting out envelopes and stamps and the fancy red pen, but she didn’t tell me until we got in the car this morning that today we would sign all the Christmas cards. “I know,” I said, but I was so happy. This year, I could write my name in script. Every year, I wait until my mom sits with me and helps me sign my part on every card, right below our family picture: Rachel, Bria
Serendipity I was walking along Mulberry Street in Chinatown the other day, when I suddenly heard a panicked growl from directly above me. I looked up in time to see a ball of fur plummeting towards me. To my great astonishment, a fully-grown cat landed in my outstretched arms. Now, a falling cat is not exactly an apocalyptic fireball sent from the heavens, but I was awestruck nonetheless. Many questions popped into my head concerning the meaning of life: How did this happen? Why did the cat fall into my hands? Why did I have to be allergic to cats? I pondered these eternal questions as my new companion used my arms as a scratchingpost. Perhaps the whole incident could be explained by scientific logic. You know, the laws of probability and all that. The stuff that doesn’t allow coincidences and chance experiences, but says that everything can be explained by odds. According to probability, a cat was bound to fall on one of the billions of human beings at some point in time. It just happened to fall on me. Was this the answer? Is everything in life just like a lottery that you have a small, precisely calculated chance of winning? I next thought about fate and destiny. Perhaps it was meant for me to catch that cat; maybe I was chosen for a particular reason. After all, there is nothing wrong with thinking that everything happens for a reason. Maybe this cat would cause me to devote my life to animal rights and activism. Maybe I would be inspired to develop a cure for pet allergies. But I did not feel particularly inspired. I was motivated to find a tissue, but that’s about it. Still, maybe the event stopped me from doing something stupid like walking into the street. So are there no coincidences? Is your life mapped out, part of a greater plan? I finally thought about the last possibility: serendipity. Serendipity means simply a chance occasion of good luck. Maybe it was just luck and good fortune that made the cat fall into my lap. All three options were convincing, but I was quickest to write off serendipity. It just seemed too easy to write off what happened as a random coincidence that had no rhyme or reason, or an explanation for that matter. But I came to realize that it is serendipity which binds the other two ideas together. Maybe life goes the way of a series of probabilities, governed by science and skepticism. Maybe life goes the way of destiny, governed by faith and beliefs. But the point of serendipity is that things happen, for whatever reason they may be. Whether it be good luck or bad luck, probability or destiny, our lives are shaped by new and unique experiences. Serendipity is about living life to the fullest, relishing experiences and not worrying about things out of our control. It turns out that the cat had fallen from a window, as I learned when I looked up to find an old woman cursing at me in Chinese from a balcony. But as she came down and took the cat from my bleeding arms with a glare, I smiled. For I had come to realize that human life is serendipity: a continually new experience in which we never know what is just around the corner. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On this spread: “Serendipity” by Frank Cirillo ¶ photograph by Patricia Sganga
Beloved Delirium I remember going to the beach. The sand scintillated. The water was blue sea glass smeared with sunlight. I heard shrieks of happiness as children ran freely along the shore collecting shells, their feet tagged by the water. I sat in the coolness offered by palm trees, the musk of blooming plumeria and hibiscus intoxicating the air. I sat in the sun: warmth on my body, warmth in my soul. I remember plucking mangos from the tree in my backyard. The mangos fell off the branches when nudged gently, and I scrambled to catch them as they sailed through the air before plunking to the ground. Then, I cut them open, nectar exploding all around me, and ate the meat. The juice dripped down my chin; rivulets ran along my neck. I remember the island of Oahu; she cradled me tenderly in her arms for three years. But, I can only travel back to her in my memories. Four years ago, I moved to Rye, New York. I went to the beach in Rye; I saw nothing but silt covered with the murky water of the Long Island Sound. My nose sniffed the air searching for salt, for sea, for sand, but my nose smelled staleness. My skin longed for the touch of sun, but my skin was cold. Desperately, I looked for my life in my memories; Oahu never came back to me. Eventually, I understood that I could not wait passively for happiness to return to me. The only way to find a new life is to create new memories, memories that come from an appreciation of the present. This realization was liberating. Now, I find vitality and joy in literature. I find my breath in writing, in the power to reject prospective words for not fitting into haiku form. I feel the suspense in my fingertips, poised above the keyboard and waiting to make a satisfying clickety-clack. I find warmth in the clinking of china and chopsticks as my family and I relish in our daily feast. I do not need the Pacific Ocean. I do not need the Hawaiian sun. I do not need a mango tree, for my everyday actions can bear ripe fruit for myself and for others to consume. I do not need the past, for I have today and will have tomorrow. In Rye, I have found a home more important to me than the physical comfort Oahu offered me. I found my inner sanctuary; my sanctuary evolved into an outer peace. Now, I hear my life in
the fresh crunch of fallen leaves, leaves of a deep pomegranate red, and leaves imprinted with the color of autumn sunshine. I taste my life in the winter snow, clean and smooth as it slides down my throat. In the frost, I desire a fever; in the heat, I desire cool relief; I desire and I discover and I am delighted. I chase after the beloved delirium of tomorrow. I capture it in my hands. I hold on to this firefly. Today glows as exquisitely as yesterdayâ€™s memories.
Commencements Wintry Hivernaux Beginnings Je me reposais dans mon lit, éveillée. Hors de ma chambre, la lumière de la lune brillait si forte. Je sais qu’un changement émerge. Oui, je le sens dans mes os. Tout autour de moi, les conditions varient. J’entends le sifflotement du vent au loin. La neige légère crépite le sol, Comme j’espère cette année pour un « Noël Blanc. » La terre est fleurie— Les fleurs avaient disparus pour le moment. Le froid me picote la peau, mais aussi Je suis ravie de la nouvelle saison. Mon cœur bat à un nouveau rythme, Et je prévois une ardoise propre, et blanche. Le temps changeant est une inspiration. L’hiver devient un caractère lui-même, Comme il demande aux familles, aux copines, aux amants : De rester ensemble, De trouver le nouvel amour, De découvrir une passion, De vivre heureusement comme le soleil brille. Pour pendant l’hiver, quand L’air est différent ; Plus doux, plus favorable pour l’âme, Je peux chercher un nouveau début.
I rest in my bed, awake. Outside my room, the light of the moon shines so strongly. I know that a change is emerging. Yes, I sense it in my bones. All around me, conditions are varying. I hear the whistling of the wind far away. The soft snow blankets the ground, As I hope this year for a “White Christmas.” The earth is covered— Flowers have disappeared for the moment. The cold tickles my skin, but yet I delight in the new season. My heart beats to a new rhythm, And I foresee a blank, clean slate. The changing weather is an inspiration. Winter becomes a person all its own, As it asks of families, friends, lovers: Stay together, Find new love, Discover a passion, Live as brightly as the sun shines. For during winter, when the air is different; Softer, more favorable for the soul, I can find a new beginning.
On this spread: photograph by Casey Gollan ¶ “Beloved Delirium” by Melanie Chow ¶ drawing by Kimmy Thevenet ¶ “Wintry Beginnings” by Lily Nathanson
Me and the M
(An imagined conversation
between me now and my
self as a kid)
I had this dream last night
I am? Yeah. We are.
Oh? Yeah, you were there. I was? Yeah. What was I doing? I don’t remember. You don’t remember? No, not really
There are these monsters. Monsters? See? What? I knew you’d laugh. I’m not laughing! Yeah you are Just continue.
What happens in your dream? It’s weird. Tell me. You’ll laugh. No I won’t Yeah you will. No I won’t. Promise.
What did we do?
Anyway, there are these monsters. And I don’t really know where I am, But I know I’m there.
Nothing. Nothing? Nothing.
You’re there too.
That’s funny. Why nothing?
We were so happy, But so scared. We were? Yeah. We tried to tell ourselves “it’s okay” but-
On this spread: both photographs by Will Galperin ¶ “Me and the Monsters” by Will Galperin
We couldn’t. I couldn’t tell you what to do. It was too late. Time ran out. We got old. Old? Yeah. It got so scary. We were older and the monsters were everywhere.
We’d run away. Tell ourselves it’ll all be okay.
We don’t know? No.
Well, is it okay?
Then how do we know if there was a happy ending?
Yeah, it’s all okay. They’ll always be there. We’ve just got to ignore them. I’m scared.
Don’t be. We can’t let the monsters hurt us.
How does our dream end?
They’re always gonna be there. We used to try to hide from monsters.
Because we woke up. The monsters were gone. We didn’t believe in them anymore.
It was all okay. It had a happy ending. What happened? We dunno.
We realized That’s it’s all a dream. And the monsters didn’t really seem to scare us anymore.
WHAT IS JAZZ? The tune, a sharp spontaneous sound A chorus of raw emotion and instinct
A song paved by untamed feelings, Not the knowledge of notes and technique, Every tone a separate attack A torrent of colorful language
A universal dialect and cultural agreement The mutual connection between mind and soul
Collections of love, hate, fear, and bliss
The reflection of oneâ€™s personality in a simplistic manner
A riff of self-examination.
Shaggy I was eleven or twelve at the time, and probably looked younger than that. It was summer and in my family summer means one thing: a return to Southern California. Although my dad complains about the cost of living, my mom tires of hosting reunions with what she claims to be an inadequate kitchen, my sister groans over what she’s missing back at home, and I, the youngest, struggle to weather these frustrations, the tradition never suffers. My dad forgets about the hole in his pocket after a few wine tastings, my mom’s stress is alleviated in the mist of the parties that only she can manage, and my sister dismisses her friends once her tan is sufficiently artificial.
Turning around and giving this mystery man an acknowledging smile – as if to tell him, “Yes, I know I look like Shaggy. Thanks for noticing,” – I saw the twinkle of his numerous piercings rise from the ground. At his side was a woman. She too was heavily pierced and had a face that clearly said “f*** the world”.
But Rebecca is a social person, and that means that I eventually have to fill the void. I do my best at this, half-heartedly going along with her strange card games and smoke filled walks on the beach. For if I accompany her enough, she leaves the last night’s activities in my hands.
“Slow down. We just want to talk,” hissed the girl.
This particular summer I wanted to see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. She abided, driving me downtown to the theater and staying to watch the movie. The film was absolutely awful, an attempted mix of past superheroes and present technologies that lead to a ninety minute anachronism. We were discussing its shortcomings on the way back to the car, dodging the occasional grumbling hobo and shady alley, when from the dark of the sidewalk I heard an even darker voice: “That kid looks like Shaggy.” I had hair past my shoulders at the time.
“Did you see that faggotty smile he gave us?” the scary guy asked her. I guess he was mad that I looked happy. “Max, keep walking,” my sister advised.
At that point I started running to the rental while my sister sauntered casually behind, able to stand her ground. We got to the Mustang before the goths, me urging Rebecca to turn the key, her going about her business as usual. At the condo I was still frightened for a while, or at the very least startled. But my fear turned to shame as I lay in bed that night, and shame to disgrace on the plane ride home the next morning. Sometimes I try to replace the image of me turning tail with one of me beating the s*** out of that twenty-something year old. I wish it could have gone down that way.
On this spread: “What is Jazz” by Adam Kelly ¶ drawing by Tori Nicoli ¶ photograph by Molly Simonson ¶ “Shaggy” by Alex Morrison
Child Labor in Haiti: Kinderarbeit in Haiti; Josiméne’s Arbeit Josiméne’s Work “I would rather wash the dishes and clean the house for my mother than for these people,” thought the ten-year-old Josiméne, who had been separated from her family for the last three years. She was unwillingly given away to work as a live-in maid called a restavec. Josiméne was only seven years old when her family, small farmers, walked door to door and asked if anyone would take their daughter as a servant. Josiméne waved to her parents with tears slowly running down her cheek, knowing that she had to say good- bye to her family, possibly even forever. She went to live with a wealthier family with a bigger house in Port-au-prince, which would be her prison for the upcoming years. Her life was a repeating cycle of the same dreadful chores. She woke up early in the morning, slowly crawling out of bed, and began her day by washing the children. She carefully took the soap and gently scrubbed the kids with a wet washcloth from head to toe. Then she sat on the dirty floor with some soap in her hands, rhythmically scrubbing from left to right ignoring the tears that hit the floor. As bubbles appeared she longed so desperately to touch and play with them, but she had to finish her work or she would be brutally beaten. Then she had to wash the laundry, run some other errands and at last hurry to the family’s informal store to sell some small items. In the afternoons, when she heard the footsteps of children outside, she ran into the yard and watched as the kids walked home after school with their books resting on their arms. She longed to be one of these kids walking with their friends, but she wasn’t allowed to play with others. When she walked on the street, she couldn’t even read the street signs; she had never received a formal education. She was never paid a cent and worked long hours every single day. She wished that she could go home to her real family, but her only chance for survival was as a servant and she just had to deal with her life.
Ich würde viel lieber das Besteck und das Haus für meine Mut ter waschen als für diese Leute“, dachte die zehnjährige Josiméne die von ihrer Familie vor drei Jahren getrennt wurde. Sie musste gegen ihren Willen das Elternhaus verlassen weil die Eltern sie zwangen als Dienstmädchen genannt „restavec“ zu arbeiten. Josiméne war nur sieben Jahre alt als ihre Eltern, die arme Bauern sind, von Tür zu Tür gingen um zu fragen ob jemand ihrem Mädchen eine Arbeit geben kann. Josiméne winkte ihren Eltern während die Tränen langsam ihre Backe hinunter rannen. Sie wusste, dass sie Aufwidersehen sagen musste und vielleicht und vielleicht ihre Eltern nie wieder sehen würde. Sie lebte bei einer Familie mit zwei Kindern auf dem Land in Port- au- Prince und machte was immer sie konnte um zu überleben. Ihr Leben war sehr eintönig und bestand lediglich aus schwerer Arbeit. Sie musste sehr früh aufstehen um die Kinder zu waschen. Sie nahm einen Wachschlappen und putzte die Kinder gründlich. Dann saß sie am schmutzigen Boden und musste weinen während sie diesen schrubbte. Sie wollte mit den dabei entstehenden Seifenblasen spielen. Sie wusste aber, dass sie damit in Schwierigkeiten geraten würde. Danach musste sie die Kleidung der Familie waschen, den Haushalt in Ordnung halten und Waren im Geschäft der Familie verkaufen. Am Nachmittag, wenn sie die Schritte der Kinder hörte die gerade von der Schule nach Hause kamen, rannte sie hinaus in den Garten und beneidete sie um ihre Schulbücher. Sie wollte auch so gerne in die Schule gehen, interessante Sachen lernen und mit Freunden spielen. Wenn sie auf die Straßen ging, konnte sie nicht einmal die Straßenzeichen lesen, weil sie noch nie in der Schule war. Sie bekam nie einen Cent für ihre mühvolle und lange Arbeit. Sie wünschte sich, dass sie nach Hause zu ihrer echten Familie gehen könnte, aber ihre einzige Chance um zu überleben war als Dienstmädchen tätig zu sein.
On this spread: “Child Labor in Haiti” by Julia Fiala ¶ painting by Yui Kawae
The vicious waves each took their turn, as if scolding the rock for its very existence.
On this spread: drawing by Nikita Nath ¶ “Whirlwind” by Elise Yannett
The drowsy night sky awoke with the screams of the vociferous wind swirling in all directions. The air never slept. It was always ready, always moving. And as it whipped and lashed, the sea below grew restless, wielding the winds’ power into a life of its own. The waves crashed and slashed, bellowing their way to shore. A particle of sand stirred from its niche on the floor, surrounded by other particles beginning to be swept by the sudden surge of the sea. But these outcries were quite familiar to the grain of sand, as the sand had once been a massive, sturdy rock - a part of a cliff, residing somewhere amongst the sea. But as time wore on, so did the rock. The vicious waves each took their turn, as if scolding the rock for its very existence. The rock was pushed, eroded, and relentlessly smacked until only its bare pieces remained. And as this tiny grain of sand was effortlessly carried throughout the water, somersaulting for hours that seemed like years, it found itself once again, in an entirely new location, amongst yet again more particles. Some were bigger, some smaller, some smoother, some sharper, some made from rocks, some made from shells, but all were sand. However, this particle had a milky clear complexion, with a sparkle of sun appearing on the tip of its carefully crafted side. This one particle was a tiny piece, just barely bigger than the tip of an eyelash that brushes against a cheek, often smothered by the millions of others that lay above, below, and next to it. And this one piece, it smelled of the fresh yet dangerous water that swarmed the atmosphere and permeated throughout. All these tiny particles were sand, and that is all they would be. Thrown all around, blown by the boisterous wind, engulfed by the hungry ocean, and stepped on by careless feet, the sand was just sand. Shoveled up, thrown down, put into buckets, and sculpted into spectacular sandcastles, one grain had its purpose. It was molded together to make a tower that would stand brave and proud, until the waves would come, or the feet would crash, each particle would be separated, and the small piece of sand would find itself in another place. It would be there, but that one piece wouldn’t be noticed. After all, each grain of sand was just sand.
ME THINKS I see them. I swear. They wike me. Gary wikes them too. They visit me everey day. There are others. Sometimes they visit me toos. Me no wike the others. They scary. Gary screams cwoses his eyes go away! Go away! Don’t touch me! Gary not hungry! Don’t touch me! I don’t need nothing! Pwease stop! I be good I swears I swears! They are watching me. They are always watching me. Theyarewatchingmeeverythingidoandsaytheyarewatchingmeidontwikethemtheymeantheytellmetosweepbutidontw ikesweepsweepisbadforGarymethinkstheyaregoingtohurtmetheyareawwayswatchingawwaysgivingmeyuckysouptheywhisperillbeokaybuttimfinetheyarewatchingawwayswatching. I see them. I swear. They wike me. Gary wikes them too. I tell them talk to me. They talk. I wisten. I talk. They wisten. The wights in this room are so bright. Gary cannot sweep That is ok Gary does not want to sweep sweep is bad. If Gary sweeps they will come and get him. Gary wants to stay here right with his friends. They talk to me. I see them. They see me too. Me sad me no have any other friends. Nobody likes Gary. Me hide, me play hide and seek, then maybe nobody can find Gary. They wouldnt know Gary gone. Oh no! They are coming. Whatshouldidotheyarecomingformeohmygoodnesstheyaregoingtogetmeandyellatmeliketheyalwaysdobutgaryisfi negarydoesntneedthemgarydoesntneedhelpgaryisabigboywhatdoidotheywillgetmebutiamabigboyidontweardiapersgarytakecareofhimselfjustlikeeverybodyelse.
He tells Gary about the war I tell him I want to be there with him someday. He tells me maybe thats not a good idea but Gary insists. Gary would love to help George. George is such a good friend. George would never hurt Gary. He tells me about his house its white wike mine! George has gray hair like mine! But Georges cwothes are very not like Garys. George wears tight black pants and a bwue shirt wif buttons. Gary just wears white. Thats all Gary gets. George tells me I look good in white. White is wike the cwouds. Doves are white. Doves are pretty! Georges wife is pretty too! Gary wishes he was pretty then maybe everybody would wove me.
“Gary it’s time to take your medicine”
“Go away! GO AWAY! I HATE YOU! GET OUT GET OUT YOU BITCH!”
“Hello Gary how are you doing today?”
“Gary please don’t raise your voice like that I’m just trying to help you know I love you Gary. Come on now let me just give you your medicine and it will be all done. It’s not going to hurt one bit. I promise.” They promised me but Gary scream. Gary scream and cry. They hurt me they did. Gary has feelings too! But did they wisten, NO! But the others they wisten they wisten to Gary. Wistening is good it makes you smart. Gary very smart because Gary wisten! George Washington very smart because he wistens to Gary too!
“Good thanks I just talked to George! We talked for hours and hours and hours! Hours have many minutes! Days have even more! I wike days! Sometimes I dont. What about you Suzanne?” “Im great Gary thanks for asking! Oh you talked to George today? Thats good tell him I say hello.” “Oh I will don’t you worry!” Gary has one bed. Gary has one white sheet. Maybe the sheet is the ocean. Big and flappy and super wong. I wike the water. Gary hasnt seen water in a wong time but Gary thinks he might wike the water. Water is good. Gary woves to drink water. Water
The baseball was white wike this room. But the baseball was prettier. Just like Georges wife. Garys room isnt pretty. It scares Gary. People play hide and seek. Gary doesnt wike when they pway hide and seek. They jump out and scare him all over and then they whisper. Whisper in my ear that they will get Gary. I tell them no stop! But they will get Gary they swears. They hide. I don’t seek. Gary doesn’t want to find them. Oh geez, I have a big test tomorrow. I didn’t study, boy I hate algebra. Maybe Sean can help me before class! Biology is definitely more my thing, especially the human body, you know, the endocrine system, the immune system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system. Mr. Whitestone is definitely the coolest teacher ever. Way better than Ms. Flinch and her stupid mathematical equations. Only two more years and I’m outta here!
is nice and healthy Suzanne tells me everey day. Gary has one glass. Glass is hard. But it can break. Gary doesnt wike when it breaks. Its so woud it hurts Garys ears. Garys ears are special. The window is made of glass too. Gary has one window. I wove to wook out the window. The birds are so pretty. They fwy and fwy and fwy. They are not stuck. They have wings. They fwy and fwy and fwy. Me wonder where they go. Maybe to a famiwy! Or maybe its a trap! No, no, no, no, no trap, traps are bad, and the birds have winds to fwy so they wouldnt fwy into a trap! Siwwy Gary! Bad Gary! Bad Gary! I told you not to! They would get Gary and they did! Itallhappenedsofastidecidediwantedtobefreelikethosebirdsandgaryisbigandgarydoesntweardiapersanymored iapersareyuckygarytriedtoescapewhennobodywaslookingsoitiptoedsuperreallysoftlyoutthedoorwhenthenursewasemptyingmypeepeebowlbutthentheysawmeandtheyyelledandeveryonecameanditwasscaryandnownowimallalone! Iknewtheywouldgetmeandnowgaryisallalonewithnobodyatallnotevensuzanecomestoseegarygaryissobadimallbymyselfwithnobodytheroomissmallertheroomiswhiterandgarydoesnthavehiswindowgaryonlyhasgeorgebutgarydoes ntliketalkingtogeorgeheismadatgarytoogaryisbadgaryisscaredgarydoesntwanttobeintroublegaryisagoodboyheswearsheswears! Mommy! Look what I can do! I love playing baseball! Watch me Mommy, watch me! Look how good I can swing! You can hear the air swish! I can hit it so far that even Daddy has to run to get it! I can throw too, really far; so far I bet a professional baseball player would be amazed! When I grow up I want to play baseball! Forever and ever!
I reawwy wish I gots a window. Even math had a window. Then I could see the birds. I wike birds really a wot the white ones. Gary forgets the name. But its a pretty name me thinks. The birds were Garys friend but Gary is a bad boy Gary no should be woved. Gary go away. Maybe I meet the beautiful birds and we fwy together. Gary always wants to know how to fwys. Then Gary could be wif his George and his birds and Gary would fwy far away and sing a song. Sing a song Gary heard once maybe… “We’ve only just begun to live white lace and promises…before the rising sun we fly so many roads to choose we start our walking and learn to run and yes we’ve just begun.” Sally looked so beautiful when I walked her down the aisle. In her pure white gown with those hand-embroidered flowers that danced along the edges. Her hair was in curls and went perfectly with her make-up which was done to perfection with her rosy red checks and tintedblue eyes. I felt tears drizzling down my cheek when I first saw her walk out with her father. I loved her. I swear. Today they take Gary aways to a big room with wots of peoples. They say today I get my medicine and I will be good as new! Gary wants to be good as new! Then Gary can fwy away and never come back! He can fwy away! Gary awways wanted to fwy! But me scared me no wikes this room. Is big and bright. Too bright hurts Garys eyes. And the peoples big and weird they put wires on me. They itch. I say take them off me no wikes the wires but they dont wisten. There are big hugungous shiny boxes with buttons. Uh-oh! Gary scared. But Suzanne comes. Gary cries. Suzanne says don’t worry. Gary will be all better soon. Suzanne swears.
On this spread: drawing by Chuatong Ma ¶ “Me Thinks They Swear” by Elise Yannett
Weedwacker Being outside was more comfortable than staying indoors with the heat on full blast, so there I was, alone, waiting for my best friend, Michelle Breslin. There was a slight breeze tousling my bangs and my professionally highlighted chin length bob haircut that now had the roots showing. The blue ribbon, with “School of the Holy Child” embroidered in white, which tied back my fashionable half up pony tail, became loose. I reached back and tightened the knot. I looked down at the classic wooden bench that I was sitting on (Dedicated to Cornelia Connolly, founder of SHC), and noticed my shoes had a scuff on them. The shiny black loafers that one is required to wear when attending this particular school are very easy to scratch. I tried licking my finger and rubbing vigorously to get the scuff out, but to no avail. The delicate ankle length lace fold-over socks, the ultimate badge for a goody-goody, were misaligned. I refolded them, and then checked that they were equally high. I sighed when looking over my legs. My mother had still not given permission for me to shave my legs, and being part Italian, and on the verge of puberty, thick dark hairs had begun to show. The light blue pleated uniform skirt was slightly off kilter. I stood up, rearranged it, folded it under my behind, and sat down again. I brushed some of the crumbs that weren’t there off the skirt, and fingered the collar of my shirt. I was lucky that none of the teachers saw the strip of color on my collar, as it was banned from the uniform short sleeved polo shirt. The reasoning for this was that it was a mark of superiority; not everyone had the slightly more expensive and fashionable stripe. I wasn’t supposed to have one as my mother strictly adhered to all regulations, but I stole one of Michelle’s shirts (six years later neither my mother nor Michelle know I took it).
I began to daydream. Tonight was the night - as in “The Night of the Big Dance” (yes, it is worth capitalizing). Only a select privileged few had spoken to a boy outside of their family in the past two and a half years, and I was not part of that exclusive group. I was going to walk in with the perfect outfit; I had just bought this beautiful black skirt that went down just below my knees, and this new sparkly blue top that accented my breasts. My leg hair would vanish, I would lose about 15 pounds, and my eyebrows were going to magically fall out into those perfect arches I ached for. Everyone’s head would turn and look at me. The boys would say, “Wow, look at her! She’s gorgeous!” All the girls would be jealous of all the attention I was getting and of the model looks I had. I would suddenly become immensely popular. One of the few boys that were taller than the girls would come over to me. He would be really cute and be dressed kind of grunge. He would ask me to dance, and I would be amazing. He would pull me over at the end of the night, ask me out, and after I said yes, he would ask if he could kiss me. His head would lean in, I would smell his clean boyish scent (whatever that smelled like) and then…
I think that the only thing I was proud of were my breasts. Developing early did have some perks to it. I was the only girl in my grade with natural B cup breasts, and they were envied. Granted, that extra bit of body fat helped them along, but still, they were there. Everyone else wore a push up bra to inflate their barely-out-of-training-bra sized breasts, and those who weren’t lucky enough to have something to work with, stuffed, or just accepted their boy-like figure. I smirk and think, “But not me!”
Michelle wasn’t really a friend, but she was, nevertheless, my best friend. How? I didn’t have many friends, so fortunately for me, Michelle wasn’t very personable. Nobody really liked Michelle, so I was pretty much guaranteed to not be completely alone. As one knows, a friend, even if a loser or bitchy, is better than no friend at all. She stomped over to the bench where I was resting with her fashionable low cut footsy socks and Pumas and plopped down next to me. The look of disgust had lessened considerably enough for her to look like she was now perplexed by me rather than just being completely repulsed. She popped a couple of bubbles; her sugarfree gum made angry sharp cracking sounds. Apparently, she wasn’t satisfied with her company.
I looked down at my watch. 4:25. I bemoaned my lack of a cellphone, as, quite literally, everyone else in the ENTIRE school had one. I took out a portable mirror and looked at my face. My braces were blaring, I regretted asking for five different rainbow colors to decorate my mouth. There was some chicken finger stuck in between my incisors. After giving up trying to pick it out, I began to study my face. As I was too young, my mother deemed I was not allowed to pluck my eyebrows or wear makeup. I run my fingers through the center. The two brows almost met, but there was a good half inch with invisible hair. I stroked the bottom of my right brow against the grain and winced in distaste. According to Seventeen’s Fall Issue, there was not supposed to be any hair there, nor for another half inch up. Looking back on it, I believe that my mother was a major reason why I wasn’t part of the popular clique, which happened to include Michelle’s fraternal twin, Christine.
A door slammed. Apparently Michelle just got out of her Japanese class and she didn’t have a good time. She looked like the Irish version of me, except with a shorter skirt, a cellphone, freckles, and shaved legs. She gave me that once over look. The one where she looks at your face, scans your body, gives a disapproving look, and pans up, only for the look of distaste to increase because of the face that had just come into focus.
Seeing her mood, I decided to go for the friendly approach. After all, even though I might not be a social ladder climber, I could still be amiable. “Hey Michelle! How was your Japanese class?” She opened her perfectly manicured “Rose Pink” Maybellined mouth to respond and clipped each word perfectly. “Grace? You should pluck your eyebrows for tonight. You know?” I still wish I could master that cold-hearted-bitch voice. “Oh, I don’t know… My mom would be really mad at me if I did.”
“Michelle, I really appreciate your opinion. But I think it will hurt, and also, if a boy asks me out, I don’t want it to be because of my eyebrows. I want him to like me for who I am.” The epitome of coolness, Christine, opened the same door Michelle had just came out of and presented her blessed self within hearing range. Michelle realized this and voiced the snickers of the cool crowd in hope of upping her social status. She vocalized loudly and articulately so Christine could hear her telling off the social outcast. “Grace? I’m telling you this as a friend. Your eyebrows are disgusting. You can come over and I’ll pluck them for you, or you can do it, but it is revolting. I can understand your legs, you can wear pants, but your face needs to CHANGE. You need to take tweezers and pluck out half of what you have going on up there.” Christine’s presence was unbeknownst to me before, and my mouth dropped when I realized that she had witnessed this horrific event. Christine looked at the scene before her and declared with that perfect timing that only someone on top of the social food chain can procure, “She doesn’t need tweezers; she needs a weedwacker.” Finally, their mother came to pick us up. I got in the back seat with Michelle and I sat in silence. Michelle on the other hand had no problem filling the silence by complaining about her day. “The Call”, by the Backstreet Boys blared. Of course their mother listens to good music. I was close to tears. Thankfully, for my sake, nobody in the car noticed or said anything to bring attention to my flushed face and pink eyes. I decided right then, when the Backstreet Boys were pulling off that harmonized bridge that I had to do something. That ride from hell was finally over. I got out of the car with a muffled “ThanksfortherideMs.Breslin” I trudged up to my front porch gaining confidence and swagger with every foot their shiny new Honda Accord moved farther from me. I opened the door with purpose - this was going to be MY night. I marched up the stairs. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad to pluck. No, it would hurt too much and mom forbade it. I stopped and examined myself at the mirror that was on the landing. I tried a few “sexy” dance moves that some of the girls had been practicing all day. It was satisfactory. I turned to profile and sucked in. I wasn’t too bad, though I admitted that I wouldn’t be able to lose fifteen pounds by tonight. I opened the bathroom door. Maybe I could Nair it? I opened the bottom left hand drawer that held my mother’s forbidden items. I read the label. It said “For a Sexy Bikini Line, add to pubic area, wait ten minutes, and wipe off with a warm towel. WARNING: Burning- Do NOT leave on longer than ten minutes or use on other parts of the
body. Use a test patch first.” That was scarier than tweezing. I was not going to use Nair.
I opened the mirror, and found my fathers razor. My mother didn’t say anything about shaving my eyebrows, just plucking them. Perfect. I positioned the razor above the center of my eyebrow. There was no backing down now. One. She doesn’t need a tweezer. Two. She needs a…THREE…WEEDWACKER. And with that act last word, I jolted the razor down and shaved off any possibility of a unibrow. I looked at my new face, and smiled. I took the razor (this was easier than I thought) and ran it underneath where the arches should be to the center. Sh*t-sh*t-sh*t-sh*t-sh*t… I took off too much. I tried to even it out on the other side GODDAMNIT! I took off even more. I finally evened out the two, now quite distinct, brows. All that was left were two rectangular patches of hair that stopped about three inches before where they were supposed to stop. I looked at my face and started crying. I ran to my room and flopped on the bed defeated. Something poked my ribs, and I took it out to examine it. It was a brown sharpie that I used for my poster project. An idea struck me.
On On this this spread: spread: “Weedwacker” “Weedwacker” by by Grace Grace Philipp Philipp
“Seriously Grace? You need to forget what your mom says. You know? You would look so much better without those caterpillars on your forehead.”
Two hours later, I was clean, my eyebrows were intact, and my perfect outfit that I had been dying to wear clung to me just the way I imagined. The conservative black skirt was too small for my ass, so it highlighted the other feature of which I was proud. I put some makeup in my pocket that I had bought at the Rye Beach Pharmacy. I could apply there. I jammed on my crocheted hat that I had made myself the previous year and adjusted it to cover my eyebrows. I actually thought I looked good, and I was excited for the Big Dance. I was sure that my dream would come true. It just had to. My mother drove me. She was preoccupied with other things, I think she and my brother had gotten into an argument. She voiced a distracted, “You look nice, have fun” before speeding off. I was ready. I walked in through the Arch Street doors. You had to sign in, so it wasn’t quite the entrance I had imaged. Everyone was already there, so nobody was in that first room. I went to the bathroom downstairs, put on generic blue eyeshadow, blush, and Princess Pink lip gloss. I took off the hat. The eyebrows were still there, or not there, in all their glory. I readjusted my marvelous skirt and pulled down my glittery shirt for maximum effect. I couldn’t wait to see everyone’s faces. I walked up the stairs and heard the pulsing music. “The Call” by the Backstreet Boys was playing. I put my hand on the doors and took a deep breath before pushing. The music overpowered me. The DJ was obnoxious and fat. Nobody was looking at me. Everyone was wearing jeans.
A gentle mist drapes itself over my slack skin. It is rather cold, but not uncomfortable. I roll over and feel a strange airy shifting beneath me. Did mom remove my bed springs? Is it my sleep-encrusted imagination, or does it feel like I am floating on my bed? Must be new sheets. I smile and sink my face into a deliciously firm pillow. As I move about my unusually comfortable bed, the mist continually resettles over the visible curves of my body. Did I leave the window open last night? I drearily sit up, eyes still closed, preparing myself to brave today’s trivialities. And I stumble across my floor to where my dresser is, or should be. All I can find is empty humid air. And the floor feels like it is shifting, moving, sliding, pillowing around my bare feet. I open my eyes and scream Because I wasn’t aware that I was capable of walking on a cloud.
On this spread: photograph by Emi Katsuta ¶ photo montage by Stephanie Hijazi ¶ “Aerie” by Dale Neuringer
Scalpel, Please I go in for the pre-op And sit waiting in the lobby. I stare across the room To see a woman and a baby. I wonder why she is there â€“ this mother with her child. Will he recognize his mommy? Will it matter if she smiles? Would it make a difference if she left Her face this soft and mild? Will there be a change of heart For this newborn child? I guess it is too late now To stop her from transforming. It is not the face her son will know It is only for performing. She goes in and then comes out. Her face is all a mess. They call me up to see the doctor And tell me I am next.
(RANT AGAINST THE APS)
It’s nine o’clock, you’re sitting at your desk in the humid gym taking an AP English exam. You have forty minutes to whip out a fabulous essay and impress colleges everywhere with your “5.” Staring at your page, you think, “O.K., literary devices, look for metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, etc.” But maybe those three words that began with the letter “a” in the same sentence really don’t mean anything. You’re pretty sure William Golding is making some profound statement about human nature, but hey, you find some more literary devices. Your hands tremble, pencil breaks, and fifteen minutes later, you are still trying to figure out what colossal impact those three words made on the novel. You’re pretty well prepared, you’ve only written this essay a hundred times between your freshman and senior year, teachers have taught you every trick in the book, so when forty minutes is over your essay is like everyone else’s in the room. Biggest let down? You still have no idea what the Lord of the Flies is about. But that’s okay, pat yourself on the back. You found three words in the same sentence starting with “a.” Frank Herbert once wrote, “Truth suffers from too much analysis,” and he was absolutely right. Go into any classroom,
most likely the AP ones (where kids prize themselves as being “the best”), and you’ll find that most students are so clueless and unprepared for the real world, it is ridiculous. Give them Herbert’s quote, they’ll analyze it for twenty minutes, give you their response and look at you like you owe them the Nobel Peace Prize. At school, we’re taught to delve into the depths, think outside the box, and look for the unknown. But what it comes down to is that we’re missing the true point. Especially in literature, most novels are about the story, the impact the story has and what its purpose is, not the literary devices. Granted, there are the Shakespeares, and the iambic pentameter is to be noted, but not for an entire semester. It’s about the words on the page, plain and simple. We should focus on the characters, places, issues, social criticisms. More importantly, we should just enjoy the novel. It’s easy to miss the truth by smothering it under loads of insignificance and minute details. After all this, parents wonder with amazement why their kids don’t like to read, maybe it’s the movies, maybe the video games, or maybe its just that we cant read a paragraph without highlighting, “post –it-noting”, and making notes in the margins. It could be a phenomenon of our time, or it could be a wonder of human nature. Why we over analyze and obsess with the minutia is inexplicable to me. And at times we’re so caught up with it, that we miss the truth that’s staring us in the face.
On this spread: drawing by Liz Chabot ¶ “Scalpel, Please” by Reid Connolly ¶ photograph by Liz Chabot ¶ drawing by Liz Chabot ¶ “Untitled Essay” Veronica Afanasiev
On this spread: drawing by Stephanie Hijazi
*The word “aratamano” is used to show a connection with the word “spring” in a tanka; a Japanese short song-poem
On this spread: “Aratamano” by Seira Mori ¶ photograph by Tammy Stone
The Next Great American Novel “Sometimes you meet people that change you forever. I know how corny that sounds, but maybe if you don’t meet someone that has the ability to change you, than you haven’t lived. I am someone who is particularly open to change…
with me. In high school my weirdness was semi-respected, and all of the girls who wished to be “different” wanted to sleep with me. Some of those girls were even pretty, so don’t feel too bad for me. It’s just important that you know how my life was before I turned eighteen.
My name is Lucienne Wolff. That is a tough name to bear on the playground. I bet your wondering how someone comes across the unlucky misfortune of being named Lucienne. Well, I was always my mother’s son. My mother’s name was Miranda Flower Wolff; she added the ‘Flower’ after my father was sent off to war. “Flower” probably didn’t come about because he was shipped off, but I have always associated these two changes in my life together.
So as I was saying, that was how I grew up. With Flower, and books, and being different and isolated. Most people listening to me are expecting me to start talking about how I found Jesus, or how I found some form of salvation. That is because most people are deathly afraid of human mortality and are searching for absolution from their fear. Meeting Jesus, I suppose, seems to have a very transforming effect on people. Guess what, I did find salvation, but it definitely wasn’t in Jesus. And it definitely wasn’t in fear.
As I said, I had a tough playground name. I was the kid who didn’t even try to stand in the kickball line; we all knew I would get picked last before I got there. So I read. I read a lot. I read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in fourth grade (to be fair I reread it in tenth grade and it made a lot more sense to me). Now, when your name is Lucienne, and your mother begins to go by ‘Flower’, and when she drops you off at school she blows your nose (even though you’re 10) and calls you ‘Lucy,’ and you’re the quiet kid who reads while the other kids play football, you probably wouldn’t be too surprised when the name “Lucy” sticks…or that you get beat up a lot. “Lucy” is actually an understatement; they used to call me “Lucy Goosey” and pulled my underwear up over my head. Of course, as with any small child whose mother goes by ‘Flower,’ you can guess that my underwear had ponies and hearts or something of the sort, and this did not help the wedgies. Even worse were the days when I just didn’t wear any underwear. My father’s funeral was actually on my thirteenth birthday. They say that when you turn thirteen you become a man, or at least that’s what Mrs. Bloom says; she was the sweet old Jewish woman who lived across the street. After we got back from burying an empty coffin, (well not empty but one that had some of my dad’s things instead of his body) Mrs. Bloom made me matzo ball soup and sat with me at her house so I wouldn’t have to go to the reception. Why do they have funeral receptions? To me that is such a messed up time to pack everyone into your house and feed them. I wasn’t going to attend the party of my Father’s death, even if he did allow my mother to name me Lucienne. A few years later I would take Mrs. Bloom’s granddaughter’s virginity, and that would be the end of matzo ball soup. It would, however, be a really good high school graduation present. I haven’t summarized the beginning of my life in order to evoke sympathy from any of you. Hell, lets be honest. If you weren’t the one giving me the wedgies, you were probably the one getting them
The first time I met Eric, he was wearing a “legalize heroine” tee shirt he had most likely fashioned on his own with Crayola washable markers. “Legalize heroine, huh?” I called out to him. “Yeah!” he replied, “why the f*** not?!” Eric became my best friend immediately. He was the first person to call me Wolff instead of Lucienne or Lucy. Because of him, Wolff stuck and before long, most people I knew didn’t even know that Lucienne had ever existed. So this one night Eric and I are so far gone that we decide to just walk around the block a couple of times. It was less of a decision, it more just happened and we didn’t realize it. So maybe it was the booze, or bad shellfish or maybe walking in circles a couple of hundred times making us dizzy, but all of a sudden we just stop walking and look at each other. We both know we’re gonna blow. And then, as if Godsend, we realize we are standing in front of someone’s silver Mercedes. I don’t think I have ever vomited so much in my life. I probably didn’t even need to throw up as much as I did, but the adrenaline rush of caking someone’s German luxury car in barf was beyond exhilarating. As if that wasn’t good enough, Eric scribbled something on a piece of paper and tucked it into the windshield wiper. That guy must have been really peeved when he woke up the next morning to a crustyvomited on car and a note reading YOU HAVE BEEN SLIMED. “Why do you read so many books?” Eric asked me one day. “Because unlike you, I know how to read” “Screw you, I can read,” then there was that long pause that Eric took between kidding around and asking me something important. He used to ask me all of these philosophical questions. I guess I should have been really flattered that he thought I was smart enough to have the answers; but being smart doesn’t necessarily cover all the bases. Then he took a long breath, and I knew it was coming, “Hey Wolff, if God is supposed to be good than why is the world so damn evil?”
So Marissa feeds us this bull for months about how we are all trapped in Arcata. She keeps repeating that Republican fumes are choking her, that her father is driving her insane, and all she wants is to be set free. When a hot red head tells you that all she wants is to be liberated, there isn’t really a limit to what a smart straight guy is going to do to get on her good side. So Eric and I started to sell a little bit, hopefully to get some money together to buy a car and eventually leave. We had a plan. “I hope they never legalize heroine,” I said to Eric one day. “Why not?” “’Cause then we wouldn’t make as much as money as we do” “You’re a d***.” But it was true, in a matter of months we had pulled together enough cash to go to Portland. Eric started sampling our product a little too much around this time. At some points he was just too much of an a**hole for me to deal with. It was alright though; I had Bright Eyes to get me through the long drive. Marissa had Eric, they started shacking up around San Francisco and then turned into a giant mess of PDA by the time we hit Salem. So there we sat with our devices of entertainment; I with the radio and the caffeinated green tea to keep me awake while we drove, Eric with the needles in his arm, and Marissa with Eric all over her. I don’t regret going to Portland at all. Well, maybe I regret going, but I don’t regret getting there. It was in Portland that I met Parker. After enough of listening to Marissa and Eric in the backseat, I pulled the van over to take a piss and there she was, squatting against a tree. She didn’t even get embarrassed when I walked up, she just said “Hey buddy, got any toilet paper in that van of yours?” Love at first sight. Parker was an aspiring writer. Most of what she wrote was crap, but sometimes she would have fits of inspiration and write the most incredible pieces. It was a perfect relationship, she loved to write and I loved to read. When we first arrived in Portland, Marissa, Eric and I got a little apartment outside of the center of town. But after awhile I was staying over at Parker’s place most of the week, so she told me to just move my stuff in and live with her.
So I left Eric and Marissa across town and got a job as a newspaper copy editor’s assistant. For a living, I got to read and edit article write ups that my boss didn’t feel like sorting through. He claimed to “check them over after I finished” but I knew he was full of it. Just to bust his chops I would insert words like “boobs” and others that would make twelve year old boys giggle, into the articles I knew no one was reading. He was a nice guy though. Sometimes he would let me publish some of Parker’s pieces in the Arts section. Flower even came up to visit us once. Parker and Flower got along really well, maybe even too well. The two of them would bond all day while I went to work. This was the first time in my entire life that I wasn’t embarrassed of my mother. Parker was the first person I was comfortable in her meeting. Parker was the only person who didn’t laugh when Flower called me Lucy. “Hey Wolff, where do you think we go when we die?” Eric asked me for the fiftieth time. I never had an answer to satisfy him. He also really freaked me out when he would ask this question. His eyes would get glossy and he would sort of daze off, getting ready to plunge that f***ing needle into his arm. “You and me,” I said out of routine, “We’re gonna live forever.” “God, I hope not,” he groaned. It was times like these when I wished I had a better answer. “…But we are really here today, to talk about Eric,” I said to the amassed crowd of people that I barely knew. I supposed it was funny that his funeral was on my thirtieth birthday. “Like I said, you haven’t lived until you’ve met someone that has the ability to change you. Eric made me, Wolff. I owe him a lot, I’ve always owed him a lot, yet I never answered his questions. I just never had the answers for him.” I looked around for a familiar face; Marissa didn’t even show up to the funeral, what a b****. Parker waited in the car, she hated funerals because she thought all they did was celebrate death. After the funeral, Parker and I ate matzo ball soup in our apartment. I wondered where people like Eric go when they die. I wondered if matzo ball soup with Parker could last forever. She agreed to SLIME a car with me, and I was never more in love with her.
On this spread: “The Next Great American Novel” by Cari Heicklen ¶ photograph by Stefan Trienekens
“To thicken the plot,” I said to cover up lacking the real answer. I didn’t know, at the time that I was answering Eric’s question, that evil was actually named Marissa Hawkins. She sat on her red porch swing and smoothed out the wrinkles in her white sundress that whole summer, waiting for us to make our way past her lawn. One of her neighbor’s had a jam band that summer, Eric was good friends with him, so we’d go listen to them practice. Red ringlets fell to her shoulders, past the pearl earrings that dotted her earlobes. Her bangs, hidden mostly by her straw hat, levitated just above her emerald eyes. Beautiful, spice, and everything nice. Those who walked by her often confused her for a life sized porcelain doll.
If... Si... If I could live my life over again First I would study more in school I would be nicer to my parents I would get my driver’s license sooner I would go to a college to study economics I wouldn’t smoke cigarettes I would run everyday for three hours I wouldn’t drink I would listen to my father more I wouldn’t fight with my brothers I would cook dinner for my love I would eat new foods I would learn to play an instrument I would give money to the poor…
Si pudiera vivir nuevamente mi vida Primero estudiaría más en el colegio Sería más simpático con mis padres Sacaría mi permiso de conducir más rápido Asistiría una universidad para estudiar la economía No empezaría a fumar los cigarrillos Correría todos los días para tres horas No tomaría las bebidas alcohólicas Escucharía a mi papá más No pelearía con mis hermanos Haría cana para mi amor Comería las comidas nuevas Aprendería tocar un instrumento Daría limosnas a los pobres…
Those Silly Little Girls I know I probably shouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. But as I sat by the brook staring at my reflection and noticed that small something in the water twinkling up at me, I just couldn’t help it. I mean, it was like fate or something. It was a wedding band, and a nice one at that. I could see even through the shallow water that those pink stones would perfectly match the pink cardigan over the completely unsullied white sundress and Hadley Pollett headband I was donning. This ring was gorg to say the least. It had to be circa 1925 at least judging by the platinum setting that reeked of extravagance. I could almost see that Era of Indulgence within those tiny voids between the pink sapphires that had been filled in with diamond dust. I looked at the band and it screamed at me, “I REJECT FRUGALITY FOR BEAUTY” and “WHERE’S THE F***ING GIN?” Only a certain type of woman could wear this ring and have everything that it represented. This ring was for a Daisy, never a Myrtle. Not even a Jordan Baker could pull off such a luxury that may have screamed feminine frailty, but was made of the strongest rock in the world. How it had ended up in our tiny brook, I had no idea. I took no time in putting it on my left ring finger as best I could, and admiring it, while simultaneously imagining my future. An uber expensive dress, a band playing all of my favorite songs and a huge cake, with plastic versions of me and Mr. Oh-So-Right, has existed for little girls and little girls at heart since the beginning of time. And then, just like those little girls and little girls at heart, I
stood up on the rock that I’d sat on for all of my brook-brooding sessions since I was little and started to dance: imagining my first dance…well our first dance, I guess. Round and round I went on my tiny rock in a mock waltz, the ring gleaming halfway down my fourth finger, glistening in the setting sun. Round and round I went, all of the prospects that the future held as my partner. But I suddenly lost my footing. I started to lose my balance and teeter forward into the calm waters. And almost surprisingly, there was no one there to catch me as I grabbed and flailed. I was too frightened to scream. I barely felt myself hitting the shallow water, or the smooth rocks that lined the bottom. The ring and the future that had never really been mine, slipped off and landed in approximately the same place that I’d found them both. Had I not hit my head on a nearby rock as I went down, I would’ve just been another little girl at heart who lost herself in a dream, but in the end, had been able to come up and face the music. They found my body about a day and a half later. It had floated one hundred yards down the brook from my original rock, the closest thing to an aisle I’d ever get to. By that time, the water had stopped rippling and my cardigan was ruined; my dress underneath had gone from pure to putrid with mud and dirty water. And who would ever want a girl who looks like that?
On this spread: collage by Chuantong Ma ¶ “If...Si...” by Adam Kelly ¶ photograph by Lily Frolich ¶ “Those Silly Little Girls” by Liz Peyton
Gefunden Found Ich ging im Walde So fuer mich hin, Und nichts zu suchen, Das war mein Sinn.
I was walking in the forest Alone I went, And seeking nothing, That was my intention.
Im Schatten sah ich Ein Bluemchen Stehn, Wie Sterne leuchtend Wie Aeuglein schoen.
In the shadow I saw A little flower blooming Like stars glittering Like beautiful little eyes.
Ich wollt es brechen, Da sagtâ€™ es fein: Soll ich zum Welken, Gebrochen sein?
I wanted to pick it When it said delicately: Should I just wilt and Be picked?
Ich grubs mit allen Den Wuerzeln aus, Zum Garten trug ichs Am huebschen Haus.
I dug it out with all Its roots. To the garden I carried it By the lovely house.
Und pflanzt es wieder Am stillen Ort; Nun zweigt es immer Und blueht so fort.
And planted it again In this quiet spot; Now it branches out And keeps blossoming.
The Street Walker The street walker can only Peer down at his path, Tracing the footprints Of the faint silhouettes Which callously Streak across the sidewalk. He knows no faces, Just distant shadows Sullen with pity; He detests their stares, Piercing, Needles in the vestiges
Of his spine. So he renounces God, Life’s joys, The blue horizon, And wails in contempt For his misguided fateAn incoherent mutter To all somber passersby. He trudges on, Begrudgingly, Leaving his wake On the endless city boulevards.
On this spread: photo by Rick Zagorodneva ¶ “Gefunden” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe trans. by Anna Borgoni ¶ art by Chuantong Mah ¶ “The Street Walker” by Andy Smith
Morning’s Call The voice, on creaky wooden wheels, rolls From the room, Past chairs and conversations Right between the threads of the carpet The vibrato, echoing off walls, seeps quickly into eardrums--rattles them, illuminates the incandescent tone The pitch, so embellished, like a gypsy’s tent Sways in the dim light, slowly awakens Those in nocturnal-lizard living and carries Across the desert trails of sunrise This is morning’s call By the window pane I listen
The pending stars hung Above in infinite Darkness of the sky I ventured out, telescope in arm Into blank field and searched for Grand, dazzling revelations to fall from Orion or Leo But in shrouded vain Not a single speck of stardust slipped Into my outstretched hand Only a fast teardrop had escaped Many detached days later I was shuffling across cold sidewalk Noticing how breath puffed and coiled Into thin air and then Saw a flash The pending stars above let go And poured across the black canvas Of sky and soul and Mine was no exception It too was spun – swung – thrown into A calm midnight gale Orion and Leo know no time No petty position of clock that marks Moment for revelation Pending stars will simply Fall
On this spread: photograph by Emi Katsuta ¶ “Morning’s Call” by Marguerite Ward ¶ drawing by Rachel Munsie ¶ “Searching” by Marguerite Ward
French Fairy Tale Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived in an enormous palace, but she was not happy. Her name was Colette Vouloir. She lived with her family in Toulouse, France. She had three younger sisters: Margot, Yvette, and Isabelle. Her sisters were beautiful, but very mean. Colette was nice, but she was not much to look at. Her sisters were all married. Colette had never even had a boyfriend. She was very jealous of her sisters. The only boy that she had ever spoken to was her servant. His name was Dimitri. She liked to speak to him and he seemed to adore it.
Il était une fois une princesse qui habitait dans un palais énorme. Mais, elle n’était pas heureuse. Elle s’appelait Colette Vouloir. Elle vivait avec sa famille à Toulouse France. Elle avait trois soeurs plus jeune; Margot, Yvette, et Isabelle. Ses soeurs étaient belles mais méchantes. Colette était sympathique, mais elle était laide. Elles étaient toutes mariées. Elle n’avait jamais eu de copain. Elle était très jalouse de ses sœurs. Le seul garçon à qui elle avait jamais parlé était son domestique. Il s’appelait Dimitri. Elle aimait lui parler et il semblait l’adorer.
Colette was walking with Dimitri one day in the village when she found a jewel. The jewel was a magnificent red and exceptionally large. The jewel had attracted Colette’s attention because it sparkled brilliantly in the light. Dimitri collected the jewel for her. Colette was very enchanted. She returned to her palace with joy, clasping her new treasure. That night, she swore that she would never leave the palace without the jewel. She went to sleep happy.
Elle faisait une promenade avec lui dans la ville quand elle a trouvé un bijou. Le bijou était de couleur rouge magnifique et très grand. Il avait attiré son attention parce qu’il a brillé admirablement dans la lumière. Dimitri a ramassé le bijou pour elle. Elle était très enchantée. Elle est revenue à son palais avec joie; saisissant son nouveau trésor. Cette nuit-là, elle a juré qu’elle ne partirait jamais de son palais sans bijou. Elle s’est couchée heureuse.
The next day, she was walking in the village again when all of a sudden the jewel began to glow in her pocket. She was very astonished. Colette began to feel ill. She fainted. When she woke up, she was on the sidewalk. There were lots of men standing over her. They were very concerned. Colette was confused. Why were these men here? They were calling her beautiful. She had never had this much joy. Two days later, Colette had a lot of men wanting to visit her. They were all very handsome. Colette decided to host a ball. She invited tons of men. She hoped they would come. On the day of the ball the guests started arriving at 7 o’clock. All the men said nice things to Colette. She was very happy. Colette had never before gotten this much attention. All the men wanted to dance with her. All was going well when all of a sudden the jewel fell out of her pocket and broke. The jewel no longer glowed. Colette was very sad. Everyone at the ball stopped and the men retreated. Colette was no longer beautiful in their eyes. She remained motionless while all the guests left. What had happened? Colette began to cry when a man put his arm around her. It was Dimitri. Colette looked into his affectionate eyes. Dimitri said, “I have always loved you!” Together, they left the palace and walked away, hand in hand. They lived happily ever after.
Le jour suivant, elle marchait en ville quand tout à coup, le bijou a commencé à briller dans sa poche. Elle était étonnée. Colette a commencé à se sentir malade. Elle s’est évanouie. Quand elle s’est réveillée, elle était sur le trottoir. Il y avait beaucoup d’hommes se tenant au-dessus d’elle. Ils étaient très inquiets. Colette était confondue. Pourquoi les garçons étaient-ils là-bas? Ils l’appelaient jolie. Elle n’avait jamais tant joie. Deux jours après, Colette avait beaucoup de garçons voulant la visiter. Ils étaient tous très beaux. Colette a décidé de donner un bal. Elle a invité un tas de garçons. Elle espérait qu’ils viendraient. C’était le jour du bal. Les invités ont commencé à arriver à sept heures. Tous les garçons ont dit des choses gentilles à Colette. Elle était très heureuse. Colette n’avait jamais tant d’attention. Tous les hommes voulaient danser avec Colette. Tout allait bien quand, tout à coup, le bijou est tombé hors de sa poche et il a cassé. Le bijou n’a pas brillé maintenant. Colette était très triste. Chaque personne au bal s’est arrêtée et les hommes se sont retirés. Ils n’ont pas vu Colette comme belle maintenant. Colette était immobile tandis que tous les invités partaient. Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé? Colette commençait à pleurer quand un homme a mis ses bras autour d’elle. C’était Dimitri. Colette a regardé dans ses yeux affectueux. Dimitri a dit affectueusement, “je t’ai toujours aimée!” Ils sont partis du palais et se sont promenés ensemble, se tenant les mains… Et ils ont vécu heureusement à jamais.
On this spread: drawing by Liz Chabot ¶ “French Fairy Tale” by Caitlin Lyons
Plaza Park Oasis
It’s hard outside to be an ant. I try to picture a life like you, but I can’t. Every step I take, I trepidate the sneaker shape Or fear getting caught in that blue jean cape.
I came to this spot To savor its serenity, Where the rhythm of the city Seemed to dissipate Behind limestone gates.
It’s like a maze. I figured out Nike is the sneaker craze. I weave in and out, the concrete floor. To find that spot, that open door.
I crawl around, working for the mound, And gather supplies for the anthill pound. Every day we trek the concrete crack, Waiting for the sneaker smack. Until it comes along, And we see black.
Sitting in the cool shadow Of a gentle sapling, I discovered a flowering oasis Nestled between the imposing height Of the East Midtown Plaza.
Yet soon I heard my sanctuary Moaning with remorse, Pleading for forgiveness; Her ephemeral peace Molested by the shrill Of urban development. I can now only convey But a hazy memory Of that forgotten lot, For I am distracted, Surrounded, Enveloped By the street’s relentless noise.
On this spread: drawing by Chuantong Ma ¶ watercolor by Aiko Akila ¶ “Ant” by Tom Casper ¶ “Plaza Park Oasis” by Andy Smith
Mr. White’s Snowy Plunge “Whoa bro-han, I almost killed you there,” said the young snowboarding punk who nearly did kill him. That was the only thing about skiing that Roger White hated: these young “dudes” with no respect for their elders. It’s not that he was an old man from Ancient China, but Roger had frequented these trails for the past twenty years of his life and thought that he deserved some respect. The kid was probably one of those punks who dropped out of college to become “one with the mountain” and listened to bands with misspelled animal names like “kow” or “phrog.” Mr. White continued down the slope until he became fed up with how many people were on the trail. Not being able to stand it any more, he turned off onto some opening in the forest. “I’ve never been down this trail before…have I?” thought Roger. “I don’t remember ever seeing this place before.” And Roger knew the mountain well. He had been sure of his total knowledge of the mountain up to this point. But now, with no one in sight, everything seemed completely foreign. “Maybe I slipped onto another mountain,” Roger mumbled to himself. “Maybe I…” Before he could finish his thought, the snow-covered ground beneath Roger gave out and he suddenly felt his heart in his throat as he fell down, down, down through a frozen ring of peril into some sort of opening in the mountain. On his way down, Roger hit his head on the side of the opening and blacked out. Several hours later Roger came to. “Am I in heaven? No, everything would be white in heaven. I can’t even see my nose on my face. Actually I usually can’t see my nose. That was a bad example. Okay, I admit it, but it’s hard to think in the dark. I can’t see my hand. There, that’s a better example.” Roger said, aloud. Actually, Mr. White had fallen off the face of the earth, so to speak. The Morian Caverns were often discussed by the old men of the mountain, but most people agreed that they were just a myth, like the Bermuda Triangle or Atlantis. Of course, Roger did not realize this and came to the only reasonable conclusion; he had fallen into the center of the earth. Upon further consideration, Roger decided that he probably hadn’t fallen into the center of the earth, because he would have burned up. Instead, Roger decided he was simply in some cave under the mountain.
Reaching into his backpack, Roger pulled out his hand-powered flashlight and flicked it on. He had been right. Looking around, Roger saw typical stalactites and stalagmites. Roger also heard faint dripping in the distance, taking it as a sign of an outside source of water and possibly a way out. Roger stood up and with his light in hand, and he began to explore the cave. Unsure of what might lie ahead, Roger brought one of his ski poles with him thinking that he could use it in case something “came up,” whatever that meant. And Roger walked. He walked and walked and walked. He stopped at one point to eat an energy bar that he had brought with him for his day of skiing. At this thought, Roger’s heart sank as he realized how much he wanted to feel the wind fly past him as he swooped down the mountain with the winter sun beating down on his face. Roger White walked for what seemed like an eternity until he thought his luck changed. Down at the far end of a tunnel in the cave he saw light. He rushed towards it in the hopes of salvation. However, in lieu of salvation, Roger found an enormous empty cavern with a small beam of light coming from the ceiling landing in the middle of the room. At first he thought that he might be able to somehow climb up to the source of the light, but quickly realized that it was impossible due to its height and distance from any other object. Roger walked toward the light and was surprised to see some sort of object in the middle of the illumination. At first he thought it was a just a rock, but Roger picked it up to see that it was actually a small book. Many of the pages seemed to be filled with strange markings, but on the first page was written in English: To whom it may concern: If you are reading this, then you have found yourself in the Morian Caverns. I will not bore you with any stories of my life in some sort of attempt to pass on any bit of my legacy knowing that I will probably die soon. Instead I will tell you this. Never stop. I did, and I think that I will die soon. Press on, reader, and find yourself passage out of here. But beware, for other creatures inhabit these caves, creatures that will not allow you to pass unnoticed. Sincerely, I. P. Phrealy P.S. This note might have sounded sort of cliché, sorry!? P.P.S. I have followed this note with a translation of it on the following pages in as many languages as possible (including some I made up)
Roger continued his walking in the abyss when his flashlight began to dim. Roger felt so smart that he had brought his hand-powered flashlight and could simply shake it to recharge the batteries. However, as he shook it, the light did not rejuvenate itself and Roger became very worried very quickly. All this time, he had been keeping his hope based on the fact that he could light his path. Roger thought things could not get any worse, but as in any story when those few words are said, things suddenly got a lot worse. Mr. White’s ears were filled with a roar that would bother a deaf man. “Hello? Who’s out there?” Roger thought that whatever beast was out there probably couldn’t speak English, but he tried to reason with it any way. “I am not very big and probably do not taste very good. I can give you an energy bar instead. I think I still have the chocolate flavored one, but then again, they all taste like tree bark, but hey, maybe that’s what you like.” Another roar. “I was just kidding. It was a joke. Here’s another one. So a priest and a rabbi…” Yet another roar. But this time, Roger also felt a great force hit him across the back. Roger flew across the abyss, and knew how lucky he was not to be impaled on a stalagmite. Roger quickly got to his feet and tried to battle this invisible monster. Gripping his ski pole tightly in his hands he thought to himself, “How am I supposed to defend myself. It’s like I am fighting a ghost. But ghosts are just made-ups things, they are just childish ideas.”
Another roar. “Maybe this idea isn’t so childish. But how am I supposed to fight an idea? That seems impossible!” Roger took three swings with his ski pole in the darkness hoping to get lucky, but each time he only caught air. Roger’s ears were pierced by one last roar before he was once again hit across his back and went flying into the abyss. Flying through the air Roger thought to himself, “Is this it?” With pressure in his chest and wet heat in his hands, Roger fell to the ground and screamed. Then… “Hello down there?” “Yes, thank God. Down here, please help.” “No problem! But how did you know who it was?” And Mr. Roger White saw a very bright light.
On this spread: “Mr. White’s Snowy Plunge” by Matt Essert ¶ mixed media by Mike Schorr
Strangely, Roger was just thinking how cliché it sounded as he finished reading the letter and laughing at the author’s name. But he realized that there was no time for laughing now and instead pressed on with a new knowledge that other creatures were in those caves and a new fear resulting from that knowledge.
The Guy In The Snow Plow saying. But in my tin trailer, in my cold distaste, I can’t help but notice that this cheery homeliness has forgotten me, the unsung backbone of Millford. I make everything click around here. Yeah, I’m divine scum. I am the Godly bitch of this forsaken town. I plow the roads, you see. I conquer winter.
“Sir, you have to get a hold of yourself, you need to take me through what happened.” It wasn’t my fault. Anyone could have done it. Did you see the roads? Did you see the white? It wasn’t my fault. “Mr. McReynolds, you need to respond. Mr. McReynolds?” What? What do you want? I never did anything. I didn’t. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my fault! “I think he’s passing out.” Everything was white! “He’s passing out!” I just couldn’t see! “Get him in the ambulance!” Just another snow. Not a blizzard, just a hefty snow that stopped around 12. This wasn’t unusual. No disaster. It was a weekly phenomenon. Coming from Millford, Vermont, you expected snow, you had too. We pride ourselves here on our perseverance. We overcome nature. We’ll swallow the harsh conditions and we’ll bear the elements. What a life. What a motto. What a cozy
And for what? For what? A measly government salary? My own downtrodden truck? Tire chains? A giant f***ing plow? For what? I can’t mess up. I can’t get an extra hour of sleep. I can’t, even on Christmas, get a few morning drinks and huddle under a blanket if our streets are glazed. Kids don’t go to school when it snows. Adults barely go to work. And yet there I am, out in my plow, my eyes yet to open. This was different though. This was serious. I was just doing my job, just going through my route: Fenton Street, then Hurly Avenue, then Church Road, and on and on and on until all the roads were clear. I took my usual break around two at an all night diner. I couldn’t stay long, so I grabbed breakfast and grabbed yesterday’s paper, the headline of which read “City Likely to Cut Down on Spending.” Bulls***. I was safe. But I only had a few hours before Millford would start to stir, and if I didn’t finish again, maybe my ass would be on the line. I bundled up and labored back to my ugly plow to get a move on. I could feel the cold biting against my face, searing through my layers. The temperature seemed to have dropped since I stopped; a sign another swell was moving in. Why was I even out if three more inches were going to fall? Whatever, just get it over with, I kept telling myself. Finish. You’ll be able to go home, be able to sleep. Be able to sleep, hallelujah. I needed some sort of jolt. You’d think that driving around would get you up, but man, it was as if my blood was stiff, stiff as ice. I knew I should have gotten coffee at the damn diner, but I didn’t want to have to stop and piss. I kept a flask in my glove compart-
So I approached the kneeling man, assuming he was her husband.
What would anyone do in that situation? I unscrewed the cap and took a few swigs. It was lovely, therapeutic; alcohol streaming down my throat, thawing my lazy flesh, seeping into my veins, and finally finding refuge in the dizzied atmosphere of my mind. I was starting to enjoy my job plowing the roads, drinking to winter, and I continued on blissfully like that for hours until the snow came. You should have seen the flurry; a universe of tiny white stars that scattered past my windshield, adrift on the curb, inviting snow angels, inviting snow men, inviting snowball fights that were relics of a time before strict pensions, before loneliness.
“Umm, excuse me, but I think you need to talk to your-” I started. But I could hear that he was crying too. It was a softened cry. More like a whimper.
And once 3:30 seemed to dance before my eyes, I could hear them in the distance. I could hear their play, their laughter. Children draped in white curtains, singing, enamored by the snow, themselves. For once I felt the allure of Millford. I knew I was part of this charming community. I was one of the children playing. I was a parent laughing by the fire. I was the guy in the snow plow and I was adored. Everything was white. Everything was perfect. And then I saw it flutter in front of my truck. It was just a blur, just a shadow, but I knew it was an angel, an angel blessing me. An angel preaching to me that happiness lay just around the bend. And my truck rocked and thudded, as if it were itself moved by the chorus of answered prayers and future hopes. I couldn’t have been more grateful. Yet soon I was slowing down, gradually coming to a halt, easing into my driveway. My work was finished. I had been enlightened. I leaned on my steering wheel and knew that I could finally rest. I didn’t know what was going on. It was just a scream that pierced my skull. My ears were ringing. How much did I drink? Was I still in my truck? “Relax, stop yelling, God,” I kept saying to this deranged shriek which woke me up. I saw my console. 5 o’clock? I looked around and it was still night, but there was no snow anymore. Just darkness and it was cold again. Really cold. My head was killing me. I wasn’t in my driveway at all. I was in the middle of a street. A snow covered street. I could barely move. I somehow got my legs out the door and the rest of my body followed. There was a man crouching near my plow, and a woman who just kept sobbing. “Are you alright?” I hoarsely asked her. She helplessly stared at me, swollen with tears.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you like that. I’m sorry,” he just kept repeating into the ground. His words muffled by his sleeve. I moved closer, realizing the seriousness of the situation. “Sir?” I almost tapped him on the shoulder but I saw the figure he was leaning over, the ice around him stained in blood. It was a small powdered body, a child’s body, which lay in his father’s arms, unconscious. I doubted whatever happened on my ride just hours ago. This certainly wasn’t in my memory. This never happened. I didn’t do this. I didn’t hit this kid. I knew what happened. No. There was singing and, and, there was snow. There were angels. I was happy. No. This didn’t happen. I didn’t remember this. No. I heard sirens. I looked back. I saw flashers. The man didn’t even bother to glance at me. But I could hear him growling, his mumbling ever more enraged. “You did this,” he struggled, “You did this to my son. You did this to my son.” I quailed away as the sirens moved closer, the mother still hysterical. It wasn’t my fault. I knew it wasn’t my fault. But as I looked around doors flew opened. Paramedics leapt from an ambulance. Cops swarmed. It wasn’t me. I’m not- I didn’t- No. An officer walked towards me. Oh God. It was an angel. It was a blessing. “Mr. McReynolds, I’m Detective Conroy” It wasn’t my fault! Anyone could have done it! “Mr. McReynolds? Mr. McReynolds, please. You have to take me through what happened.” But I couldn’t see! Anyone could have done it! Everything was white! “Mr. McReynolds? Mr. McReynolds?”
On this spread: photograph by Rick Zagorodneva ¶ “The Guy in the Snowplow” by Andy Smith
ment for times like these, nothing like whisky to warm the soul.
Slip through the door into the night Keep your movements ever slight Seen by only the dull light Of silver, suburban, stars. Leave all behind and make it last Little footprints in the grass Your breath on a skinny pane of glass The painful power of passion. As fingers trail along the fence You see me waiting in suspense Weâ€™ve given up on common sense And wish to warm the winter.
Le 11 Octobre 2005 Le lit qu’elle a fait La chambre qu’elle a rangé Les vêtements qu’elle a organisé Le bureau qu’elle a nettoyé La douche qu’elle a lavée Le sandwich qu’elle a préparé Le sol qu’elle a balayé Les tâches qu’elle a faites La porte de la salle de bains qu’elle a ouverte Le miroir qu’elle a frappé Le mur qu’elle a battu Le savon qu’elle a jeté Les yeux qui ont pleuré
The bed she made The room she cleaned up The clothes she organized The desk she cleaned The shower she washed The sandwich she prepared The floor she swept The tasks she did The bathroom door she opened The mirror she struck The wall she hit The soap she threw The eyes which cried
On this spread: drawing by Nikita Nath ¶ “Eskimo Kisses” by Caroline Higgins ¶ photograph by Rick Zagorodneva ¶ “Le 11 Octobre 2005” by Lily Nathanson
On The Hunt Noise. Dark. Night. Lights? No. Rats? No. Wait, rats? Feet. Running. Pitter-patter. Like a rat. Rats!!!!! Holy s**t! Rat! Rats! In the room! Under the bed? Behind the desk? Lights. Turn on lights. No, wait! Don’t put your feet down. Human toe for rat dinner. Toe roast? Baked toe? Grilled toe? Toe lightly broiled in a delicate wine sauce? Turn on the light. Thank god! Light! Where’s the rat? Not at the desk. Not under the chair. Not in the corner. Not in the other corner. Not in the other one either. Oh crap! Under the bed. It’s gotta be under the bed. Please no. Not under the bed. Not under. How do you see a rat under a bed? Can you see it from on the bed? Not from on the floor. No way! Not leaving the bed. Rats.
kers! Fur! Rats right behind you! How the hell did they get there?! Woof! Dog. Just a dog. Breath. In, out, in, out, in, out. Slowly. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Again. In through the nostrils. Count to four. One. Two. Three. Four. Out through the mouth. Count to four. One. Two. Three. Four. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Okay. It’s all good. Couch, blanket, pillow, two dogs. All safe. Guard dogs…one at your feet, one across your stomach. Breath in, breath out.
Noise. Dark. Night. Pitter-patter. Rats! No, wait. Dad went over the entire room after last time. No holes…no way for rats to get in. Desk, chair, closet, corners, bed…all clear. No rats. Pitterpatter. Pitter-patter. Running rats! Wait. Still no rats. None last time. None this time. It’s an attic, not a barn, Dad said. No rats. Just something on the roof. The roof! The old roof. The leaking roof. The roof that needed to be redone two years ago. Crash!!! Vlrooosh! Vrlomp! Sphruesh! Crack! Shingles in the room! Plywood splinters flying, insulation exploding into pink snow! It must be in the room! Oh—just kidding. Roof ’s still there. White Blanket, pillow, alarm clock—run!!! Go, go, go! They’re right beceiling, masked in a dark night but definitely still there, keeping hind! Faster! Come on, keep going! Rip the door open, slam it shut the creature at bay. What’s keeping it up! What if it falls! Get out! behind, tumble down the stairs—pillows are good for more than Escape! Don’t get trapped! It’s coming! It’ll get you! Toe soufflé… just sleeping on. Into the living room, pull the door shut. Jam the ha! More like BBQ brain with gut salad and a side order of lung. couch pillows under the door…don’t let them in! Ahhhh!!! WhisRunnnnnn!!!! Out! Out! Out!
No. It’s up there. It is! Out of the living room, around the kitchen table, through the front hall, into the garage. Boots, jacket, spotlight, batteries, spare flashlight, camera, box of gold fish. The front lawn? Against a tree? Behind the bush? Up by the fence? It’s not a tall roof. Just on top of the garage. One story. Not angled enough…find a clear view! The tree…tighten the draw string at the waist of the jacket and dump everything down the front. Jump for the lowest branch, and swing up, right leg first, pull yourself on top of the branch, grasp the next one with your finger tips, pull yourself up, slide towards the trunk, stand up, hoist yourself into the V of the tree; nature’s gift to nighttime watchers. Waiting. Nothing on the roof. Ten minutes—nada. Twenty minutes—zero. Thirty minutes—zip. An hour—empty. Two hours—as much activity as a goldfish’s brain. Help! There’s something there. It’s on the roof! It’s running! Wait! Where’d it go? Were you asleep? What happened? Why didn’t you see it? Where’d it come from? Where’d it go? What was it? What is it? There it is! Where’s the spotlight? Turn it on! Come on! Stop fumbling! This is it! Lets go! Thud. Nice. Great job. Drop the camera. Be a genius why don’t you. Finally! Light! Brown. Fury. Bushy tail. White stomach. Squirrel. A squirrel! Wait, hold on, what’s that? Two! There’s two! Siblings trying to push each other off the roof? A third! A fourth! How many could there possibly be!!! Five!! No more! Please, no more! Five squirrels!!! Ahhhh! It’s going to run right off the edge! No! It jumped! Branch…bigger branch…this branch…move! Where’s the lower branch? Drop the toe a little more…it has to be right down there. Slide down a little, find the branch! Where’d the branch go? The squirrel’s coming! Hey! Ah! Help! Thud. Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Ow! That hurt. That’s definitely gonna leave a bruise. Just squirrels. No rats. No monsters. No scary roof creatures. Just squirrels. Back into the garage, through the kitchen, up the stairs, call the dogs…just in case. Back to bed. Simply cut off the last few feet of the branches tomorrow and it’ll be all better. Right? Squirrels aren’t heavy enough to fall through the ceiling, are they? Pitter-patter.
It’s called a nightmare. Deal. Try being normal for once.
On this spread: photograph by Rick Zagaorodneva ¶ “On the Hunt” by Hayley Tobin ¶ photograph by Katie Meehan ¶ Drawing by Janina Lageman-Done
Out the door, down the stairs, into the living room. Wait. Hold on. Last time they laughed. Rats in your room? Ha. Yeah right. It’s called a nightmare. Deal. Try being normal for once. They’ll laugh again. Monsters on the roof? Do you want a night light? How about a teddy bear and a glass of warm milk before you go to bed? A lullaby too, to help you fall asleep?
The Last Supper “You see, Jesus Christ was betrayed by a kiss,” Robby explained to me, as he tucked my frazzled hair behind my left ear. It wouldn’t be long in this conversation before we’d start talking about the prophets. To Robby Parsons, there has only been one prophet and his name is Bob Dylan. In fact, he can play almost every song Bob Dylan has ever written. In my opinion, Robby does it better than Mr. Dylan. Perhaps it is his insightful and enthralling conversations that make people fall in love with Robby or maybe it’s just because he is so much smarter than the rest of the world. Everything is “the world according to Robby.” Like if you’re in the process of stealing a car and you go, “Hey Robby, do you think this is a good idea?” he’d probably just answer, “If it makes you happy.” When you talk to Robby, you get high. I don’t know any other way to describe the sensation. He doesn’t use any drugs, maybe he did at one point but I didn’t know him then, so your high doesn’t come from any substance. Robby helps you find something deep inside yourself so you can sit back and be like “wow, I’m a great person because Robby thinks it’s worth showing me that I am.” For some reason, I couldn’t tell you, Robby seems to think that I make him feel like a great person, so he keeps me around a lot. Of course, if he knew that I hung on every word that came out of his mouth, he’d probably stop. Right now Robby and his buddy Ross live in a tan Hyundai they frequently park on Thayer or Wickenden Street. This one time they parked in a church parking lot with fifty or so other cars. When they woke up they were the only ones left in the parking lot. Headlights from cars whizzing by on the highway behind them reflected off of the beautiful stained glass window depicting Jesus Christ on the cross. Robby thought he saw aliens when Jesus lit up. Everyone he told the story to believed he did also. Anyway, Robby makes people feel great. He says he is going to
find me when I turn eighteen and marry me. Because it’s Robby who says it, I believe him. It’s important to note, however, that I’m only talking about Robby as we know him now. I’ve heard stories about how he used to not be so great. I choose to not listen to those stories because it ruins my image of him. What I hear is that he is married, but his wife is in jail for possession…possession of her husband’s stash. But I don’t judge, I didn’t know him way back when. I know she calls him everyday though and leaves a message. His phone is never on whenever she tries to call. There is a group of twelve kids who live in the area that can always be found hovering around Robby as he plays the guitar by the abandoned wooden staircase on Thayer Street. If you sit on the stairs you will be arrested for trespassing on private property, so everyone stands. Sometimes people stand for days at a time to listen to him play. Those aren’t the only ones who listen to him though. There are always girls around him; it makes me jealous. I got so mad at him once because he had this giant hickey on his neck. “Baby, I just fell asleep on my Kapo” he reassured me. I knew he wouldn’t do that to me. Ross sings the harmonies; he is just as good as Robby except he hates Providence so he is never in the best mood. So this one night we’re all going to go over to Café Zog on Wickenden Street because Robby and Ross have a little gig there. They’re not getting paid but they get free beer. Robby doesn’t drink anymore and Ross can’t drink because he takes a lot of medication. Basically, they get nothing out of playing tonight except they just love playing. They’re letting my best friend, Dave, play with them. He is pretty good at the bass. Anyway, since we’re walking and we don’t want to carry the bass and amp and all of that good stuff, we put it in Ross’s car and we walk their dog, Waya, over to Wickenden. On the walk over (we were walking pretty fast in order to get there on time) this cop blares his siren (or maybe just flashed his lights, I don’t know, it was pretty intimidating) and stops at the curb next to Dave and me. He writes our names down in a little notebook “for security reasons, you see.” It seems we have been hanging out with suspicious characters. We’re not used to cops, so we answer truthfully about where we are going and how we’re going to listen to Robby and Ross play and how Dave is going to play with them. The cop kind of freaked us out. When we get there, everyone is in a bad mood; everyone is
Desperation turns to panic when he starts talking about how someone in the group has betrayed him. “I think we have a mole in the clan guys.” Everyone looks around nervously. We all feel guilty because we don’t know who the mole is, but it must be our fault for being friends with that person. It’s our fault for not protecting Robby.
smoking. The guy who owns Café Zog starts going off about bad Karma and how it will follow you everywhere if you have it. He keeps looking over at Ross while he says this stuff. Heroine destroyed the owner’s life; he lost is wife and daughter and now runs this little café with his twenty-something girlfriend. He is at least sixty. The man who owns Café Zog runs inside and puts a jester’s cap on his head and then brings out some coffee cake for everyone to eat. Now he refuses to make eye contact with Ross. I sit on Robby’s lap and tell him what happened with the cop. He strokes my back and has a look on his face that lets me know his feelings are hurt. I start talking about other stuff, I try to be funny, but all he does is focus on the “f***ing cops. I’m a great human being, why can’t they just leave me alone.” I begin to get desperate that I won’t be able to get him to cheer up. It’s supposed to be my job; it’s why he keeps me around. All he talks about is suing the city, about showing up the cops, about taking down the
He keeps ranting about betrayal and it makes me uneasy so I kiss him. Just then, like five or six cop cars come reeling into the parking lot with their sirens blaring and their lights blazing. “F***!” punctures my eardrums as Robby yelps and predicts what is about to happen. This is my fault, I told them—the cops—we’d be here. The next thing I know, the cop has Robby’s arms spread against the wall of Café Zog and he is searching him. We all light up a cigarette and look away from the scene. This is his moment of martyrdom and if any of us cry, we’ll take it away from him. We all choke back our tears. As the cop searches Robby, I can feel Dave’s anger building up from the chair next to me. Finally, he explodes and punches the cop square in the nose. Robby pushes Dave into a chair and flips out on him for being “a f***ing a**hole.” Then Robby holds a bag of ice to the police man’s nose for almost ten minutes. After his nose stops bleeding, he is the one to put the handcuffs on Robby and load him into the backseat of one of the cars. From the car, Robby yells out to me, “Hey Baby, you know I love you, right?” It makes me smile. No one cries. Ross, however, does cry as the cop shakes his hand and thanks him for calling in the mistakes Robby has made in the past. Ross did this, how could I not have seen it coming? “The Robby who made those mistakes is a different person,” I try to tell the cop. “Yeah, except for the guy he hit in the head with a brick and robbed last week,” retorts the cop. I know Robby didn’t do that, they’ll realize it soon enough. He is a different person now. “How old are you?” the cop asks me as he opens up his notebook, prepared to write the stuff I say down. I don’t answer; instead I look down and replay Robby’s words in my head. “You see, Jesus Christ was betrayed by a kiss.”
On this spread: painting by Cari Heicklen ¶ “The Last Supper” by Cari Heicklen
system. Then he lights up another cigarette.
Les Mots The Cold Froids Words Un flocon de neige atterrit doucement sur son nez Pendant qu’elle rencontre les bras ouverts de son père. La sensation d’hiver traîne tout près. Comme un ami familier qui attend patiemment. Elle marche dans sa maison. Prenant fermement la grande main de son père. L’odeur de pâtes faite à la maison est évoquante. Il la fait penser à la cuisine charmante de maman. Le jour va rapidement par le tourbillon d’activité. Le Noël est tout près. Tout le monde est occupé. Presque trop occupé pour plus d’amour. Mais alors un jour le temps s’arrete. Elle entre dans sa maison. C’est si silencieux comme une funeraille. Elle entend le son de sa mère criant. Le pleurant son s’infiltre sous la porte. Elle entre nerveusement dans la chambre. Dehors la neige tombe doucement. Elle a posé une couverture par-dessus le voisinage. L’extérieur blanc est contagieux. Comme sa peau pâlissent et ses bras commencent à trembler. Et puis les mots sortent. Les mots que personne ne devrait jamais être obligé d’entendre. Ils échappent les lèvres de sa mère comme un poison mortel. Elle fait semblant qu’elle ne les avait pas entendus. Les mots; « père » et « cancer » ne correspondent pas. Ils sont comme l’été et l’hiver. Noir et blanc, La Mort et la vie, Le médecin dit six mois, Six mois de plus qu’elle peut rencontrer les bras de son père, Six mois de plus pour l’entendre rire, Six mois de plus pour prendre ses grandes mains, Six mois de plus pour vivre à côté de lui, Soudainement, son monde est mis à l’envers. L’hiver n’est plus optimiste ou paisible. L’hiver est le désespoir. C’est un temps de changement et des fins. C’est le temps de dire au-revoir.
A single snowflake gently lands on her nose As she runs into her father’s open arms. The feeling of winter lingers nearby, Like a familiar friend waiting patiently She walks into her home Firmly gripping her father’s strong hand. The scent of homemade pasta is reminiscent, reminding her of mom’s lovely cooking the day swiftly goes by like hurried commuters. Christmas is just around the corner Everyone is busy, Almost too busy for any more love. But then one day time stands still She enters the house It is as quiet as a church She hears the sounds of her mother’s tears The weeping sound seeps under the door She nervously walks into the room Outside the snow is gently falling It has laid a blanket over the neighborhood The white outside is contagious As her skin turns pale and arms start shaking And then the words come out The words no one would ever want nor need to hear They escape her mother’s lips like a deadly poison She pretends she hadn’t heard those two at once “father” and “cancer” don’t match they are like summer and winter black and white death and life the doctor says six months six more months she can run into her father’s arms six more months to hear him laugh six more months to hold his strong hands six more months to live beside him suddenly her world is turned upside down winter is no longer hopeful nor peaceful winter is despair it is a time of change and endings it is time to say good-bye
On this spread: “Les Mots Froids” by Krizia Calmet ¶ photograph by Megan Cindrich
Grapefruit Juice and the Don
“I can’t believe Trump makes a vodka.”
“Fine. Go get some glasses.”
“Supposedly he just bought the rights to some farm in Holland and stole their recipe.”
Hayden ran to the cupboard under the sink, of all inappropriate places, and opened it to find nothing but cleaning products. He disappeared from my view, checking the cabinets on the other side of the kitchen, but judging from the hurried opening and closing of doors, no glasses were found. I was just about to leave Donald and help look when, from around the corner, I heard a shriek of triumph.
“I wouldn’t be surprised. Since when has the guy ever done anything original? He made his money in Real Estate. Real Estate itself is unoriginal. And look at the bottle. It’s shaped like one of his goddamn towers.” The container was thin at its base, but grew wider as it stretched taller, finally collapsing into some elaborately embroidered cap with the letter T on it. A golden hue flowed from the liquid inside as it reflected off of the tinted glass and mingled with the light of the room. Stamped slightly above the middle of the bottle, just as the thing was at its thickest, was his logo – “Trump” – in a garish font. I placed the vodka in the center of the table, directly under the dangling chandelier, and reached up to spin the fixture. As the lights twirled, their shadows danced around the glass like an expensive carousel, each horse chasing the next until disappearing behind the painted label. “Stop staring and crack it open. I want a shot.”
“You found them?” “What?” “You found the shot glasses?” “Oh that. No. But come check this out.” I approached the kitchen with excitement, wondering what could have Hayden so enthused. He met me halfway, his hands outstretched in the doorway, presenting me with a small toy like a child would a bored parent. It was a miniature yellow maze encased in glass with a small silver sphere inside. “See,” he said, demonstrating. “You move it back and forth and try to get the ball in the center.”
“I don’t know. I’m high.” “Yeah. Me too. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. Put that s*** away. Come on man, it’s your dad’s house and you don’t know where the cups are?” “I was looking when you came in to yell at me.” “You called me in here. And you call that looking? Seriously Hayden. Under the sink? Go sit down before you hurt yourself. I’ll get the shots.” I found glasses in the cabinet by the fridge, but most were for red and white wine. Mr. Walsh was obviously a collector, and had little time for liquor. It took some serious navigation in the back of the cupboard to locate an old, pewter shot glass. I took it back with me to the dining room, resting cold and soft against ‘“Only one?” “Yeah only one. It’s not my fault your dad drinks nothing but wine. Give me Donald so we can do this.” The first few shots were rough – heady and alcoholic. After that I don’t really recall. As far as I could tell there wasn’t some special taste that justified the ridiculous price. But I was certainly psyched to have scored it for free. “Can you believe Mr. Johnson? The guy’s like ninety. We tell him we were fishing with his grandson this morning and the old man whips out Donald. ‘Drink it straight’ he says. What a nut.” “Yeah he was the man. Fun party too.” I agreed and took the pewter shot glass Hayden passed me. It had warmed in his hands. “That’s the thing about this place. Some WASPy motherf***er throws a party at his decked out hunting lodge and all three generations of members show up to have a good time. College grads like us up here at their parents’ place. Divorced parents looking to get laid. And the old crowd getting
tanked, remembering what it was like to be young. That’s what Forest Lake is man. Timeless.”
“Hell yeah,” Hayden responded. I was surprised to see such passion. He usually tuned me out whenever I had anything important to say.
On this spread: photograph by Tori Reed ¶ drawing by Kate Manire ¶ “Grapefruit Juice and the Don” by Alex Morrison
“Are you that easily amused?”
But when I turned to say this I saw the little toy on the table in front of him and realized what had invoked his animated reaction. The stupid ball was balanced in the center of the maze. He had been playing with it in his lap so I wouldn’t notice. And now as I sat and stared at the yellow piece of plastic it stared back at me, the metal eye in the middle refusing to falter, daring me to confront my lover. I couldn’t. Instead I suggested that we save the rest of the booze for the morning. “Nice call,” agreed Hayden. “A few shots might help. Otherwise I’ll be dead at breakfast. Sunday it’s is an hour back right?” “Half hour. First bell rings at 8:30. Kitchen closes at 9:30.” “Ok let’s shoot for nine.” “Sounds good. Goodnight.” We went upstairs one after the other and crawled into our bed. I woke up at ten of nine to the alarm on my watch. The smell of old wood and feel of the breeze through the window reminded me that I was at Forest Lake. Last nights events came flooding back. Cocktails at the clubhouse. Party at the Johnson’s. Poker, pool, and darts. That old lady who fell on her head. Mr. Johnson’s gift. Shots back at the house. I was sore all over. But the desire for a hot breakfast was stronger than my hangover. I snuck out of bed and threw on some nice clothes, then turned to see Hayden snoring where I had left him. “Hayden!” I yelled, “HAYDEN!” “Whoa whoa what’s going on,” he mumbled. “Breakfast man you gotta get dressed. It’s almost nine.” He garbled something I couldn’t understand. “What?” “Vodka. Dresser.” “Right.” I grabbed it and handed him the bottle. Hayden brought Donald to his lips and reduced him to his dregs. “Care if I kill it?” “Go for it,” I said, impressed. “I’m driving anyway.” I waited in the kitchen while Hayden dressed. A few minutes before nine he came tripping down the stairs. We grabbed our bags and loaded the car, ready to leave after a hot meal. It’s a few hundred yards from Hayden’s house to the main club where breakfast is served, which was nice because I think I was still
drunk from the night before. Once inside the dining room, we took a plate and got on line, bleary-eyed but eager. The first tray was overflowing with fluffy scrambled eggs littered with shredded cheddar and scallions. I took two spoonfuls and moved on to the bacon, which gave way to golden-brown sausage links and soft slices of pink ham. Next were banana pancakes sprinkled with powdered sugar. Realizing that I had a real estate problem, I forked one and dropped it on the eggs. After the pancakes were hash browns, which I just dumped over everything. Finally came Hayden’s favorite tray, corned beef hash, a cardiologist’s nightmare. Ground corn beef, potatoes, onions, and peppers all fried in an inch of oil. It’s the kind of food that sits in your stomach for days. Remembering other occasions on which I drank the night before and than inhaled a full helping of hash, I decided to pass. We found our table – “Walsh and Wilson” – and relieved ourselves of our plates, returning once more to the dining room to get some drinks. Hayden claimed two tall glasses of cranberry cocktail and I took one small cup of grapefruit juice, astonishing my counterpart. “Ew man,” he said. “Grapefruit juice? You hate that stuff. I hate that stuff. Who even drinks it? It’s disgusting.” “I know, but every time I come here I drink about a gallon of cranberry juice. I always have to get up and get more because it’s so damn good. This way, if I’m drinking something I don’t like, I’ll only take a sip if I’m real thirsty. I won’t have to keep worrying about going back to fill my glass while my food gets cold. Plus, you learn to like it after a while.”
or decided to finish what was left of Hayden’s corned beef hash. We digested for some time, talking about last night and fishing the morning before. At a quarter to ten we left the club, saying goodbye to the Johnsons and wishing the manager, Ken, a happy birthday. Halfway through Pennsylvania, my favorite Dylan album, Blonde on Blonde, ended with the last wailed note of “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”. Rock music at its peak. Best CD in the world. “That had to be the worst f***en album I’ve ever heard,” Hayden said as soon as the harmonica waned. “I know how much you like him, but seriously, it sounds like he’s singing underwater. I could play a kazoo better than that guy sings.” “I’m so sick of hearing people say that. Listen to his first few albums when he still had some range. And Nashville Skyline when he quit smoking.” “He sounds like he’s dying.” “So what if he does? The voice is all just a part of it.” “A part of what? Him being overrated? Whatever man. It’s my turn to pick the music anyway. Check this out.” He pulled a CD out of his bag. The cover was six angry black men standing in a circle. It was N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton. I couldn’t believe it. “Hayden! Every other word these guys say is the F word!”
“Interesting theory. Why not just have some coffee?”
“Which F word?” “Very funny. Come on, it’s offensive. Toward us and women! I won’t listen to it.”
“I don’t feel like dealing with a stomach ache the whole way home.”
“Well I don’t feel like dealing with a sleepy driver. Have some coffee.” “I’ll be fine. Let’s eat.” About ten minutes later, my stomach was full to the point of pain and I was wondering why I ate so quickly, or had so many eggs,
“Whatt?” “The music. Think grapefruit juice. Its bitter after taste, the way it stings as it goes down. Take little sips, and like you said, you might learn to like it.”
Lily Nathanson Krizia Calmet
F L E
George Krajca Andrew Pease Kim Mooney
M A F L A
Zephyr Music 4:14 3:39 3:38 4:43 2:50 2:19 2:33 2:16 7:37 5:15 2:48 4:41 4:20 1:01 1:45 0:45 1:01 2:12 1:05 5:09 4:51
Don’t Forget Me (Chili Peppers) - Brandon O’Sullivan Dust Angels - Jesseca Turner Warm Winters - Brandon O’ Sullivan Waves – Driftwood: David Pilla, Tammy Stone, Brandon O’Sullivan, Travis LaBella, Michael Sterling, Sam Malin Don’t Know Why (Jones) – Dale Neuringer Across the Pond - Peter Segura Wasteside (Spektor) - Grace Philipp, David Pilla I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face (Loewe/Montgomery) - Stefan Trienekens Night Train (Forrest/Washington/Simpkins)– RHS Jazz Combo Honk (Jarvis) – RHS Jazz Band A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie) - Julian Trienekens, Stefan Trienekens, Sam Malin Keep the Beat - P.A.C. Where Do We Go From Here? - P.A.C. News Theme - Brandon O’Sullivan, Tammy Stone News Theme – Tiffany Bartlett ABA - Afif Mashlahul, David Hara, Arthur Litvinoff ABA - Duke Allman, Erik Morque Blues - Peter Zar, Luke O’Malley Two Voices - Esteban Soto, John Santoro Sinfonia in F (Vivaldi) - RHS String Orchestra Smile – Tammy Stone, Dave Pilla, Sam Malin
Zephyr Video 15:00 08:00 70:00 3:57 2:54 3:30 4:03 1:49 0:67 0:65 1:35
Heroes Serendipity Antigone: An American Tragedy Illusion Basho Me and the Monsters Anatomica Silk Lullaby Texture Winter at the shore- 1981
Introduction to Antigone: An American Tragedy. Antigone: An American Tragedy began in the middle of March 2006 as a series of improvisation exercises. The Experiments in Classical Theater Club used a classic, well-structured play to focus our efforts. At the time, I would not have believed that a cohesive three-act play would emerge from the relatively informal process. As always, the students in the program exceeded my expectations. They diligently studied the Greek original and Anouilh’s 1940’s adaptation. Through discussion, they made real connections between themes in the original play and their own lives here in Rye. The writing work began when students improvised a new version of the play beat by beat. (Actors and directors use the term beat to describe a unit of dialogue within a scene). Then students wrote independently, and many
of them continued writing through the spring break. When the troupe reconvened, we acted out the scenes as written and began the long process of revising the play. I made the final revisions for continuity, with generous help from Jess Bowman, Ashley Hufford, Lindy Smalt, Grace Phillip, and Molly Lyons. Any errors that remain in the final script are my own. I’d like to single out Grace Phillip & Molly Lyons for special recognition. Molly’s newscasts helped frame the play and added much needed comic relief. The power of Grace’s scene between Eurydice and Creon is undeniable; she has created a vital character whose presence informs the entire play where Sophocles himself only created a name. Mr. George Krajca, The Experimental Theater Club Advisor
The Art & Literary Magazine of Rye High School, Vol. 47.