Chapter 2: The Way We Say Words

The sand of the Sandman weighed heavily on my eyelids, and I could swear my brain had already shut down a while ago, and I was just running on autopilot. The classroom and teacher become part of a gray background, part of the classical music on movies that no one pays any attention to. Sally wasn't even here to make it any less boring, which caused that slice of color become void. I was in math, while Sally was in English, which equaled separation, which added with the square root of absolute mind-dimming boredom, squared into positive brain-fry. Maybe I was learning some math after all.

"I know, it is rude to stop in the middle of a lesson," someone in the back comments for Mr. Lingion to take his time on that interruption, and I could even feel a smile at that. Mr. Lingion, a German descended but an all-American, cheeseburger loving, football devoted, cook-outs on Sunday routinize- teacher, didn't find it as humorous and looked crossed," I will cut it short then, I was going to explain the- class, we have a new student,"

"Is it a chick?" Someone yells from the back, and another beside him asked,"Is it a HOT chick, 'cause if she's ugly just send her back!" They high five, and I feel a angry feeling in my gut, ignorant jerks.

looked somewhat pensive," Well, come in," A boy strides in the door, chest puffed out as if about to come collision into something, and I could see the smile lines on 's face.

"Well, is she as hot as you boys thought she would be?" A few scoff, and others laugh, including me. New kid gets sit in the back and lessons begin again, much to the dismay of the class. I watch the clock, only an hour and five minutes, thirty second to go. Or at least that was my guess, if I was actually good at math, I wouldn't be sitting here with a wall-eyed look, now would I?

It was warm, Sally's shoulder, while the people around here where cold.

"When is that emo cloud that's hovering gonna face the sunshine?" Sally said, angling her left hand to try and get a bite of mashed potatoes. It was lunch, and I wasn't eating, still against myself for eating that velvet cake last night, so I just supported my seemingly ten ton head on Sally's shoulder, because I was so tired. I yawn.

"How is it you're not sleepy?" I complain, glaring as people passed by, just because I could. Luckily I had art next, my favorite class of course. Sally dropped her fork back down into her plate and looked at me sideways as if I was a nuisance. I pretended not to notice, and sat up as if I wasn't pressured, leaning my head on supported hands.

"Remember? I guess I became nocturnal when my parents did their late night spats, so I could find a way to deal with it. That, or maybe I'm half vampire, which would explain why my favorite color is red." I grin, as she gratefully rejoins her hand to fork and start scarfing down bites.

"I guess I'm part sloth."
"Then I must be part giraffe."

"I'm part shrimp."

"I can agree on that."

I was too tired to come up with a snide remark and only yawn again.

"Agreed." Sally nods. I laugh.

It wasn't a bird, not a moose, somewhere between a walrus and a dinosaur mixed together. The art class was suppose to be drawing the random object on the table in the middle without looking back at the paper; our object happened to be a banana, and I got no where near a fruit. Sounded easy enough until you looked at your poor deformed, decapitated, malnourished, and I believe you get it. I flip the paper over embarrassed, until I see no body else in the room was any better. The teacher walked around like the prosecutor, with a calculating view and tight lips. She reminded me of a jail warden, who showed no expression. Most art teachers I've ever had were emphatic and spontaneous, this one was just...Expressionless.

When she rounded my table, she leaned over shoulders like she could smell fear, then she stopped behind me. Here it goes, something about not even trying to connect the dots or something else with artistic, mystic wisdom.

"Honey Westwell, correct?" I turn in my seat and nod, and she seems chaste, eying the tables around.

"I saw you were entering the Art of Your Part Festival, have you created any pieces for it yet?" The way she said it made me feel like that guy on the receiving end of a suspicious suitcase.

"No, I-
"Too bad, I was hoping to see what one of my students would have created." Then she walked away. I look on bewildered, wondering if that meant I was a disappointment as her student. I turn back in my seat and study my drawing.

I changed my mind, it looked like an elongated pickle.

Although I tried not to hear the words people whisper, sometimes I can't help it. I was on my way to outside break to bother Sally when these two girls round a corner. I knew to just look away and stare at my destination, I didn't handle interaction well that wasn't family or Sally. So I usually turn a blind eyes towards then.

"She's ugly..." Too bad I couldn't turn a deaf ear as well. I walk outside the school building and find myself sitting next to a Sally listening to music and writing something in a journal. When I tap on her shoulder she practically throws herself on the notebook and her head swerves to glare at me, then she sighs relieved.

"Oh, it's you...Sorry, you scared the jelly beans out of me."

"Those are the only kind I won't even try to eat." She smiles as I take my seat next to her on the bench. It was nice outside, sunny but had a small wind just blowing through your hair every once in a while. Students leisurely sit around in the grass or cement benches and chat. It was relaxing, and helped before the last class of the day. Luckily a class I and Sally had together so I wouldn't feel defenseless.

"So, what are you writing?" I ask as I try to lean over her arm blocking the view. She only tsked at me and leaned the notebook at an angle so I could read.

"It's just an essay for English, but I hate for people to see it before it's finished. Your my friend so it's okay. You remember that next time I have ice sickles hanging from my nose." I giggle and drown it with a cough, because I sounded like a broken squeaker. It only makes Sally reciprocate the laugh and I feel my face go hot, like when I giggle in front of people who were strangers. I read the passage she had so far,"What's the topic? This is good, Sally Wally, you should become an author." I was being honest, it truly was amazing how she painted an image with just letters and words. It was poetic.

"I'm your friend, you're suppose to say those things, Honey Bunny. Anyway, the topic was to write about the American way."

"You mean like ? With the hamburger grease still on his chin?" Sally laughs cheerfully, and shakes her head.

"Don't forget everything on his desk is themed red, white, and blue."

"I bet that's the color of his underwear." I snort.

"Please, the man probably has the flag tattooed on his stomach, so when the thing jiggles, it looks like the flag is waving." We were cracking up, I knew this would happen. I knew my day would be okay. I laughed the hardest, trying to get over the girls' words, and it would all become part of a burnt composition, lost into history. Then the bell to go to last period rings, and the joy is cut short. The class me and Sally have together is science, which is my greatest asset and Sally's Achilles heel.

I don't know what I would do without you.

Sally wrote near the corner of the bent paper. We were passing a note back and forth just to see how long we could keep it up before the teacher found it. Every time his back was turned, a piece of paper went flying across a desk. Considering we were way in the back, I don't think we was going to be caught any time soon. I was sitting on my legs sandwiched in my desk, just because it made me feel small, albeit cramped, while pretending o write the notes Ms. Kyle was marking on the board.

I thought I was the one who couldn't do without you. I drew a simple stick man comic of Sally with me, I was okay, but as soon as she left I forgot how to breath. I wait until I see the back of the teacher's brown collar shirt and throw it to Sally while still watching forward. She folds it open carefully and smiles, starting to pencil something down.

How did you predict it so right? Maybe you not so useless after all :P, hey, did you see the new kid?

She draws a picture of a fat panda eating something.

No, wait, did he look like he was about to weight lift while strutting like a chicken?

I draw a picture of a muscular chicken, and I see Sally trying not to laugh out loud.

Sure, him. Do you know him?

A picture of a long nose faced man who's got a pipe in his hand.

No, should I?

A picture of a wall-eyed person, that looked like me.

I'd hope so. Remember Richie? The guy who used to just love talking with his hand instead of face to face? Took the 'talk to the hand' thing to the literal?

No picture. I think back when it was hormonally challenged boys of middle school and scary horny girls, if I had to say yes or no. It'd be a maybe. I remember a Richie, that kind of Richie Sally was referring, though, you would think I would remember something like that. So without a definable answer, I just drew a picture of a lollipop saying," Lick me, for it is what I command."

Sally eyes me weird and when the next reply came, it hit the side of my head.

Well, the new guy was him. He came back from wherever he moved to to finish school here. I talked to him in the period before break. He remembered us both. Though, I think he was coming on to me...

No picture again, and I shrug at the ending. Sally was one of the most attractive person in this school, that would have made sense. I faintly hear something from Ms. Kyle, and mentally note to visit the library after school, because I had no idea what a 'vasopressin' was and had missed it. I write an answer just to write and draw a side doodle of a book coming to life.

Good...? And, what makes you think that?

Another unintended strike to the head, I think I was going to have to get Sally back next time it was my pass.

It's great, we have an old friend back. Well, it could have been the lame pick-up lines, or the fact he tried to kiss me. Of course, I could just be overreacting, I mean, that's what I hear most of the time. Right, he was talking to the invisible girl behind me, and the almost kiss was him testing out lip size against mine. Woo awkward situations. Gotta love 'em.

A picture of a girl with her hands in her pockets whistling away with DUNCE stamped on a cap sitting on her head. I end the note.

After finding out that the V word had something to do with love chemicals (scared to find out what she was really talking about) I start the drive home. I turn on some music while weaving through traffic. Although Dalton wasn't that large, traffic clogged up the roads and made road-rage the number one candidate for 'accidents'. I don't take my eyes off the road ever, because I become so nervous I would cause my own accident by my hand having a spasm and thowing me off the road, so I play the radio and try to relax. I knew I get too stressed because of the knots I had all over my back at just eighteen, sometimes Margarita's willing to work them out on a good day, and it helped, but usually I'm left clinging to a pillow for dear life trying to 'relax'. This relaxing thing just didn't agree with me.

It being a Thursday, I was the only one of three who didn't work today. Mom worked as a bartender, and Margarita worked at another bar as a bartender as well. Both not lavish paying jobs, but it was enough to support some of us. Then, I brought home the rest, working at Laddy's Lobster on the weekends through Tuesday. It was fun actually, but took tenacity to pull it off because it's such a busy place on weekdays. Pulling into our driveway, I notice Margarita standing arms crossed and looking as if dagger glaring the world, with Lucky besides her playing the "he loves me, he loves me not..." game with a dandelion. When I pull in and step out of the car, Margarita immediately plants herself into the driver's seat, unlocking the doors so Lucky could get in.

"I'm going to work, Lucky's going to dance practice, don't burn the house down and make sure to make extra fun of Scott's puberty voice to make up for my lack of being there. Got it? Got it." Her platinum hair bounced as she turned dramatically to go in reverse, and she speed off in a cloud of gravel and dust.

"What did she say?" I hear a high pitched voice squeak before lowering to a lower octave, I shrug and smile. Scott was peaking out of the front door like Margarita was a monster hunting him down, which in some cases she did act like.

"It's safe, trust me." I assure opening the door a bit wider and he slid out like as if on a secret mission, then whispered secretively,"I'm going over to Chris's, okay? Call me before Mom or Margarita comes back so they won't know." I couldn't help, but snicker, his entire beginning speech was deep, then he switched back and forth from low to high. He only turns as apple red as his hair and glares.

"I will, I will, have fun." I don't watch him scurry off, and I walk inside the house, blinking back the light spots from my eyes. When I see no one in the kitchen, I lean out the door and yell at Scott before he reached out of earshot,"Hey, where's Di Ego, Marco, Polo, and Rosashia? I hear no crying, baths, or bickering!" I yell. Scott momentarily stops mid-stride in his walk down street and calls back.

"Di Ego stayed over for extra school studying (Damn, the genius was trying to get smarter?), Marco and Polo are having swimming lessons (am I going to hear what I think I'm going to hear next? Angel chorus, get ready), and Rosashia's being taken care of by Madre' (Mom) today!" (and, release the angels! Sing my pretties!) I don't answer back, closing the door and locking it was a satisfying 'clink', and look into the fortress that was all mine for half a day, yes. I rub my hands together evilly, all mine.

I laugh out loud at the comedy, purple soda coming out of my nose and chips being rattled around. Mom would have never let me eat in the living room, man I am just getting started, and I've already broken one rule. I'm just getting too wild for a leash. By the time I had watched Ellen DeGeneres enough to have memorized every line, I decided to check on my computer account again.

I grab a bite of carrots from a kitchen cabinet and head upstairs to my room on the far left of the top floor. It amazed me how a small top floor could hold three kids and a parent, the other four live downstairs in their own bedrooms, which we each had custom built. Mom knew a carpenter, who had a friend, who harbored a cupid-shot crush on Mom, so he discounted every room by something like half off.

The benefits of others hopelessly in love with you, must be nice.

Jumping on the bed eagle-spread, I finish my bag or carrots and put the computer in front of me. I remember the last comment I read and wondered how I should answer, then thought I could just skip it. Until.

3 new comments

Wow, everyone got busy while I was gone. I clicked on the link and started reading.

You have received 3 comments on Attractiveness Is The next Deadly Plague

Stick Shift Sally replied to Overthrow The King9/15 4:37 P.M. Ew, I would never step on you, you crazy King Overthrower, you'll just stick to the bottom of it. XD

J CKDIDDLYSQU T replied to Overthrow The King 9/15 2:47 P.M. you sleep walk too?

SmokingFists posted a comment 9/15 4:38 A.M. Thanks for accepting my friend request.

Oh, yeah, I guess I should go and answer that SmokingFist comment real quick before I did anything else. I click on the reply button after scrolling down to find the comment and type.

I guess justice left its cape on the rack today, huh?

I guessed it would work, so I start to write another blog, when I see a mail signal pop on the bottom corner of the screen with another red one.

SmokingFists

4:56 P.M. Justice does seem to be having a case of Alzheimer's lately.

I could almost feel elated, although it was just coincidence, it felt like they had been waiting. They were talking just my language, too.

Overthrow The King

4:59 P.M. Did you ever think it's lost like equality?

SmokingFists

5:03 P.M. Or hiding.

I look around my room, trying to come up with something impressive. I looked at the mounds of socks piled at the corners of my room. I could hardly dig out a shirt half the time, but I had an infinite amount of socks, because they were all I seem to have found in every nook and cranny of my room.

SmokingFists has requested a private chat. Would you like to allow Skype?

I think I hear a car door shut in the distance and crawl off my bed to look out my window, seeing no car, I figure it was the neighbor and I go back to the laptop. Another private chat request? What's so important it required private interaction? I think of my options, Ellen or ice cream...Funny or joyful thighs...I click no to Skype and click yes to private chat. Suddenly a white box pops up, with a list of emoticons at the bottom, and a typing square. I was not going first, no matter how long I waited. Luckily, that wasn't long.

Hello? Did YOU get lost this time?

Why don't we talk about something that can be found.

No reply for a while. For a minute I thought they had logged out.

Sorry. Had to do something, anyway, what do you want to find?

I thought, okay, it'll seem as if I was desperate for some human contact if I answer instantly, so I wonder how long it should take me to answer.

I want to find someone.

Okay, they must be just as humanity deprived as me, I decided what would it matter anyway.

I'm trying to find somewhere.

You can use a map for that.

Smart?

Just saying.

Why did you want to talk?

-shrug- Thought your blog thing was cool.

And the friend request?

I don't need permission to have friends.

Oh.

A few minutes pass by, and I think this was beginning to be pointless, it was hard to talk to someone that was a stranger.

I like movies too, I don't know if I'd like black and white ones.

I like them because they're classical. Today's movies...I stop typing, I didn't want to tell them how I hated movie today because of how they constantly use pretty people, instead of normal ones. In the old ones people could be normal or different and still be praised. What to say then? I back space on what I had written.

What kind of movies? I only like horror themed black and white ones.

Any kind in a theater. I like the darkness and popcorn. I like horror, still, black and white? I think I would be bored with those.

Theaters are too crowded, at least I can watch the black an white ones at peaceful home.

Crowded? Hm.

Yeah.

This was getting tedious, and was getting no where, if anything, this was just a ploy of distraction for them.

You like any sports?

Playing them? If only this person knew when I play...Everything jiggled.

Play them no, actually liking the game? I like swimming.

Swimming isn't a sport.

It is to me.

I stared at the screen for a while, without no avail. They must have gotten bored and left, so I signed out, and seeing it was only around five in the afternoon, decided to go and visit Margarita at her bar and bring her something solid to eat. Right after eating ice cream and watching another Ellen show.

Convincing Sally to let me borrow her Hummer was always an interesting task, but she withheld saying anything too harsh, because her parents would have circled her like vultures. I got the keys with a mild pained smile and I promised to bring her 'precious child' home within the hour.

I look at the barely legible directions on the sticky note, which had a picture of a chicken and a talk bubble saying,"Cluck about it!" was the translucent background. Margarita was forced to at least draw a map to her work in case of emergency, which had a few lines, street names and a picture of an angry face. It was all the way in Calhoun, which made me have a 'oh boy' moment, but I was all ready on the road and wasting gas, so I decided this would be my one time wild choice and that was it. I wondered about the angry face, but was amused at turning around a corner near the border of Calhoun, I was greeted to a tawny billboard sign saying 'stop obesity' right underneath a McDonald's sign. Graffiti was drawn on it, with the same angry depiction with some similar red toned words underneath.

ONLY AMERICA

I couldn't help but smile. The smell of deep fried chicken and rice wafted through the car, venting through the air conditioner and causing me to inhale slowly. Because it was around fifty degrees outside, I had decided on something to bake so that I could feed Margarita a warm dinner. She may have acted as if her insides were permafrost and she had more than a stick up her ass (more like the entire tree), but she was my sister nonetheless.

Lukewarm, the container I had the meal in hadn't done its job. I opened the car door, and just sat on the edge of the plush seat, looking at the infamous bar my sister worked at. It was called The Sunnier side, stated on neon signs, with a bright blue daiquiri and the sun as it's olive, sticking out the side to symbolize paradise. Bright lights refracted off the windows of Sally's hummer and almost seemed surreal. Margarita had been friends with the would-be-owner for a while and ended up getting a permanent spot as the bartender, which was slightly bittersweet. It was a good job, or so Margarita says, but wasn't a good pay. The year it opened was a small occasion for Calhoun, but a occasion even so, because it jump started a cheer for the single men, and a place for extra jobs.

The building was in mild shape, marginally passing through bills and building rental payments. Margarita say their going to get a temporary installment of a casino room just to make extra money. I wonder if anyone said they would have to pay the costumer however much they win, the bar could loose more then gain, but it wasn't any of my business. I look around at the decrepit asphalt streets, and a few strangers walking up and down without a care in the world. I suddenly felt nervous, although I knew the actual bar was open, no one really showed up until the after hours. When they could dance, and karaoke blared through the doors, and people could just let loose the wound bolts and screws of their lives.

However, I wasn't seeing our periwinkle car, and dismissed it as being parked in the back. That's what employees did, so they didn't take up customer space.

"Maybe...I should have dressed different." I mumble to myself, looking down at my baggy jeans with worn torn edges and my over sized gray sweat shirt. Quite plainly, I didn't brush my hair, and pulled it back in a slowly paling yellow bandana, which was so 70s says Lucky, and I didn't seem fit to go into a place of partying and drinking. Although that wasn't happening right now, I kept thinking. So, the chances of someone I know seeing me, around thirty percent. Wait, I was too young to even be stepping in this place. Or, I think it was Margarita's bar that required eighteen years to party, but twenty-one to drink? Duh?

I finally came to the conclusion: I looked weird. I random girl standing next to her car in the scant parking space of a bar, staring off into space, with my eyebrows probably wiggling in tune with my thoughts (Mom, Scott, and Polo all like to point it out, apparently when I go into deep thought, my eyebrows do all the talking for me), and holding a box of chicken like the sword of Author. I looked around cautiously, won't these things suppose to have some guy called a bouncer or something? Or was that just in movies. I didn't want to get arrested for being a considered minor. Finally I coaxed myself to step inside, with the assurance that I would point a finger at Margarita if any trouble came. Then the instant smell of smoke and fruit retching itself into my nostrils, and I'm already feeling nauseous.

No one. Not a soul, accept some clinking sounds in the back somewhere echoing. I swerve my head in every direction, this was the right place wasn't it? I walk briskly back to the vehicle and pull out the crumbled sticky note from my back pocket. I sat the fixed dinner on top the hummer's ceiling and reread the instructions. I look back and forth, this was suppose to be the place...Was I wrong? Did I make a wrong turn? Then I hear drum beats, soft, but resonating with deep rhythms. And it wasn't coming from the inside.

"Hello?" I call out awkwardly, feeling silly, but no answer. The dark beat started to sway, and I could swear I heard a mingle of voices. What had I overlooked? I walk back inside, forgetting to bring Margarita's packed meal, and peak inside the building. I hear talking getting closer to me down the street so I'm forced to slink all the way inside, and yet still not a human being in sight. This wasn't making sense. Something that sounded like glass is shattered against a wall, and I jerk. Beside the hallways to the bathrooms, was a hard finished wooden door behind the bar counter I hadn't noticed before I listen silently, waiting for something else. Then it becomes clear to me.

Muffled yells and cheers, I could feel the slight rocketing of the boards beneath my feet. Foggy lights barely penetrating the tight seal of the door, and the rhythm becomes tribal bangs, I find myself wondering why there was a party going on in another room and no one was in here. Timorous thoughts began to surface and I relinquished visiting my sister, deciding to ask her about the whole baffling case later, and found myself slamming the hummer's door locking myself into a mildly warm environment. I'm gripping the wheel and watching the display of neon lights paint across the pane glass. Laying my head back exasperated, I tried switching on some music (which was only found after playing around with every button, of course only finding the music one final last. The windshield was now clean, her horns had blared a few times, and a mysterious back light was on.).

My eardrums were ringing, was Sally fucking deaf or what? I could have swore I looked like one of those cartoons where they were being blown into the seat, gums flapping away and skin being pulled right off of them. Good gravy biscuits, I couldn't believe Sally could stand having her music that loud, and not even the good kind either. I blow out disbelievingly and sink into the black plush seat, I could never see why Sally would complain about being semi-wealthy, it seemed luxurious. I turn the knob low, then press a radio station, slowly turning the volume until it was a soft hum. This was how it was meant to be.

"Uh huh. Life's like this. Uh huh...La la la...Chill out, what'cha yellin' for?" It felt like I was singing to the radio, considering it was screaming at me just a few minutes ago. I wasn't driving away because I was tired, and was contemplating things. Maybe I was a wimp.