Ruthie died yesterday.
It was announced at exactly twelve, and we were silent for some minutes after that.
The banner in the hall was ripped down shortly later; undelivered. It wouldn't have been much to deliver anyways--none too many were motivated enough to make the trek to the office and sign under the words "Get Well Soon".
We all knew this day would come, eventually. We just didn't want to admit it to ourselves. People are not supposed to die before their sixteenth birthday.
But Ruthie did.
She was small in height at only 3'8''. She had shaggy blonde hair and coke-bottle glasses. Her teeth lurched forward, along with the rest of her body, as if she was always pressing on. And she was. We called her cute even though she was probably screaming inside; we called her Ruthie even though Ruth would have sufficed.
No one knew her very well, but everyone knew her. She missed a lot of school because of the appointments. Always appointments--lungs, brain, bones, therapy. Lord knows you can never have enough therapy when you're fifteen and breathing for a living.
Some whisper, "I heard she was a bitch."
But I went down to the park this afternoon, where the old lady always sat and talked. She said she remembered Ruthie's smile, teeth pressing
Fresh squeezed by melly at 12:24 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2003
I see Jesus everyday as I'm walking to English upstairs. I've come to expect it, I suppose, which might not be a good thing. Today he was wearing a shirt that read "Nobeatnik".
Sometimes I laugh, and sometimes I don't, but today I just smiled and moved on. Goodbye, Jesus.
I remember singing the words to that song long ago, learning the motions and performing for everyone that would stop to gape. The song used to be about love washing over everything, but now it's more about Spiderman than anything else.
But it's still my favorite to perform, and I am unafraid and uninhibited.
They said I have a good singing voice, and I'm not sure how to respond. "Thank you, Jesus??" This is not me.
I am told to perform other things now; talk and be car salesmen and tigers, in that order. And I'm nervous when I do so, because Jesus isn't there with his early droopy beard just like in all of the pictures.
I ask what's so funny but people just hold up a book instead of answering.
I asked the lunch lady what that was all about, and she said it was about love washing over everything, but I'm not so sure about that.
Fresh squeezed by melly at 3:42 PM
Monday, September 15, 2003
Postponed From Saturday
I'm lined up on the Chicago street, ticket in hand. I don't know where I am going, but I am promised that it is around the bend.
I'm daydreaming and drifting. Mitch is across the street. Mitch is gay. I am learning to cope.
Suddenly, there are screams. Girly, giggly screams. "Avert your eyes, mothereffers!" someone yells, and I obey, although I'mwondering why I'm not allowed to look at the guywholookslikemitch.
And then a streaker runs across the street and into the cafe door three feet in front of me.
Just another windy day in this city, I suppose.
The band set-up takes forever.
"Run, roadies, run!" I grumble. This is my first ever concert, and I am impatient. The raodies scurry around, testing intruments. A cute one, with curly brown hair, picks up a guitar and strums slyly.
"WE LOVE YOU LUKE!", girls erupt. The roadie has a name. Luke smiles, glorified.
I don't know anybody's name.
"Karen!" I call. Heathuh-Rose giggles. "Karen, where are you?" I paint a look of anxiety on my face, pushing my way through the crowd to the center of the front row, searching for my missing excuse. People grumble. I am not even creative in my cutthroat antics.
The lights dim, and the opening act comes onstage. They rock. People rock along with them. A girl jumps up on stage, wanting to rock too.
The roadies look distressed. What do do with this obese groupie?
Throw her offstage, of course. Into the audience.
The music continues as the girl crowd-surfs. The music continues as my section of the audience drops her. The music continues as she brushes herself off and begins to hop up and down wildly; her punked-out heels digging into my bare feet.
I yell out in pain. The music muffles me, and nobody cares. And then she moves, and the music moves with her, and all is well again.
The headliners came and went, drunkenly; a disapointment. But it was fun all the same, what with all of the noise, noise, noise! I've never experienced that much noise before; I'm a quiet person by nature. So I scoped out the bassist of this band in the audience, and he signed my tee shirt.
There is nothing witty or funny or exciting about this part--it just seemed to lead from one thing to the next, flowing in uncharted yet calm directions, until I found myself asleep in the car humming The Smith's "Asleep".
And honestly, the fact that I hum in my sleep doesn't even surprise me.
Fresh squeezed by melly at 3:45 PM