Omens in Odd Headlines, no. 2

“The judge from Germany
just goddamn said,
‘Men can still pee
standing up.'”

He lost his patience, shooing the pink slip wilting in my hand as I tried not to snag my Ross-bought sandals on the faded Turkish rug. I knew, before Mom got home, that I’d have to dip an old toothbrush in another cup of Sam’s Club soda. Wholesale was never wholesome, and neither was virtue in tongue. The elusive volleyball my hands couldn’t hurt. The soccer ball bruising my face unaware of the snickers and whispers and their intent.

Girls wearing oversized hoodies are gay. Both states of being will call for scrutiny.

“Where’d you get that?”

“It’s my dad’s.”

“And you’re wearing a dude’s hoodie because?”

“Because I’m cold.”

“Because you like purple triangles.”

She laughed. I laughed. But Rachel could not. She asked me the whys behind my absence of thought.

But to feign complacency tires.

So much that after six classes of lazy Tae Bo and sour imitations of my flailing high kicks that I asked, “What did I do?”

Abby laughed, extended her finger, rotated it near her pierced left ear. I didn’t laugh, though Lauren did, and the others looked around as if they didn’t know better, but were proud they mastered the art of not pushing too far.

I didn’t, as I said “Fuck off.”

I certainly didn’t, nodding that yes, I use the F-word, and my middle finger.

“Not exactly ladylike.” Our vice principal, in an insincere murmur. Tradition’s gravitation.

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