Conspiracy Theory Author: Aftertaste of a Razorblade

            "Hey." She sits right behind me. She leans over, poking me in the back. "You wanna know what I think?"

            "No, sweetie…I don't, not right now. I'm trying to do the assignmen – "

            "I think it's a conspiracy!" I don't know why my girlfriend asks me what I want or don't want. She never listens to the answer.

            Trying to ignore her, I keep my eyes on the chalkboard. "That's nice." I can't read the teacher's chicken scratch. Is that a five or a seven? God…

            Then she gives my braid a good yank. "Ow!" I'm going to turn around and give her what for. That hurt. Before I can even open my mouth, though, she interrupts me.

            "It's those bastards in the White House," she says positively.

            "What do you mean, the White House?"

            She rolls her eyes like I've just ask the single dumbest possible question ever. In her world, maybe I have. "The conspiracy. It's all the president's fault."

            "Honey, everything is the president's fault."

            "I know that and you know that! But does he know that?" She's pointing at our teacher. He's gone to sleep and is drooling all over the desk.

            "Does he know what?"

            She rolls her eyes again. "About the conspiracy!" This is what I get for dating a blonde.

            "Oh. Yes, I'm sure he does. Matter of fact, I think he's prob'ly in on it." I turn around and try to get back to what I was doing. The operative word there is "try."

            She whispers in my ear, "You think so?"

            "Yeah. Sure. Absolutely." I think that's a two. A three? An eight? I can't tell.

            "Ooooh." She sits back in her chair. "Wait till I tell Number One about this…"

            I'm not going to ask who Number One is. I'm just not.

            "Number One is the head of the Agency," she explains. I guess it doesn't matter if I ask or not. So I don't bother asking about the Agency, and of course she says, "We're working to uncover the conspiracy."

            "Hmm. That's nice, dear." Don't look at me like that. I felt obligated to say something. Is that a four? Sheesh.

            "I know it's nice. It's for the good of mankind." From the sound of her voice, she's probably crossing her arms triumphantly over her chest, but I can't see.


            "And d'you know what?"


            "I think I know why your brother hates me!" she says.

            I risk taking a guess. "Because he's a homophobic moron?"

            "No," she says, "because he works for the enemy. And he knows…"

            "Knows what, sweetie?" I know, I know. I'm asking for it. Literally.

            "He knows I work for the Agency," she whispers. I actually turn around at look at her again. "I'm screwed," she says.

            "So am I," I tell her, "I don't know if that's a six or a two."

            She rolls her eyes again. "It's a zebra, silly."

            Of course. It probably works for the Agency.

            Or maybe it's in league with my brother and the president.