“He doesn’t even know I exist,” was my running thought every time I saw him. Every time I looked at him taking orders, standing confidently erect and flaunting every ounce of his physical beauty. This was never an intentional demonstration for he wasn’t vain despite having every reason to be; he was tall; his hair dirty blonde, wavy and soft, an imagined softness aromatized with his body's pheromones.
"Thud, thud, thud..." Went your tiny heart beat on the monitor.
Monday Morning, May 11, 1860
Bryher-Ann (Bry-An to her nearest and dearest) stretched her body out in the morning sun. The unfiltered light burned red through her eyelids and she enjoyed the warmth as it spread across her cheeks and chest.
I watched the wheat fields and telephone poles race past as I looked out the window. It was the three of us, all packed into papa’s old station wagon; Papa and mama were up front talking about Sunday’s sermon and what Mr. Greene down at the drug store had said about someone or other, and I was in back, only the empty North Carolina horizon to entertain me. The car rattled over the gravel road, shaking my view from the window.
Why did she never seem to get to where she was supposed to go? Seven looked up at the building in front of her and rubbed her eyes tiredly.
Many people hated Mondays and Wednesday because it’s either beginning of the week so you have to restart the bullshit you endured last week or its halfway through the week and you still have two more days until you can rest from the bullshit. Me I hated Tuesdays, not just any particular Tuesdays though a Tuesday after the summer holidays. I had over six weeks away from all the bullshit and now was the beginning of the first term in my final year at ‘The Dukes Grammar school and sixth form’ Sounds fancy? Yeah that’s because it’s filled with the privileged or scholarship kids and they’re even worse than the rich kids. The fact they named the bullshit school ‘Duke” showed how much their own arses they really are, and unfortunately I was one of them.
Going through my old highschool book collection since I’m home, I’ve been rereading some of my favorite texts for the first time in six years. Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides (1993) has become a cult classic, but it seems especially fitting for this time. Quoting Dazed editor Claire Marie Healy, as many find themselves confined to their bedrooms reminiscent of highschool nights, this pandemic has made us “teenagers again. Waiting for our lives to begin.” The film by Sofia Coppola turned twenty during quarantine, setting the bedroom-bound Lisbon sisters in our crystallised collective consciousness for the foreseeable future and perhaps resonating with us more than ever in the midst of a pandemic.
The cotton plants swayed gently in the breeze as a shrouded figure walked across the plantation. A large metal cross dangled from his waist as gnarled hands gripped a rosary. As he walked, two men stood in the distance waiting for him. One, the plantation owner, clad in rustic wear with a fat face and menacing glare in his eye. The other, a political man in an expensive suit holding a pocket watch as he checked the time every few moments.