the lousy knock



His hands were exceedingly cold as they carried him into the office. There was a teacher at either arm, and one cradling his ankles. It seemed like Jesus christ and his big big cross. Forgot to capitulise. Blasphemy. Yet, you really don’t consider Capital Letters in death, or even apostrophe, for that matter. Confused, they asked a lot of questions – predictably, they received no answers. They died away, like him, frustrated and sad.

The mother was first to arrive, in a handwrung state – greay worker’s bandana wilting sympathetically across her forehead. Caring as the lines you try so desperately to erase, beautiful as the crocodilic imperfections of jade. No oedipalities, please.“How did he get like this? Please tell them. Please speak to me!!“

But it was incontestable. It was all very good and grim!

Here came the father, Saxon. A man, yes. He was more grim than good (insert Sean Connery reference and inference here), like an artist, or a carpenter at a dinner theatre. He looked down at our fallen hero critically, laterally, viscerally; tapped him square on his xiphoid process. Peered deep into an opaqued soul. Checked his pocketwatch. Then he fanned his forehead, exasperated. With?

„I don’t know.“

„I said, what happened to my son?“

The principal grimmed.

Saxon’s brogue rouged the entire room, dislocating it. X, still, coudnt speak. He needed to hear more to truly be worthy of the lazarusian feat expected of him. Now!

And then:

„You can stop now, junior!“

„Are you sinking to the level of your bourgeois friends, is that your trouble?“

„Are you dead, then?“

„Why don’t you answer?“

„This is not for your own good!“

„Must you constantly show off with the spectacle of death?“

Nothing. The principal clapped Saxon on the shoulder (the one he uses for the scythe – he didn’t like that too much), gesturing toward a plushvinyl sofa. It seemed hard to believe that he was grieving the conqueror, and not because of the lousy knock he’d given himself on the noggin. What a faker!

„We all know how hard this must be, for you both.“

„Do you?“

„I believe it was Upton Sinclair – or was it Sinclair Lewis? – who once said…“

I’ll bet! I just about ripped that sheet to shreds tossing it off me. Stomping over, I kicked the principal squarely in the crotch of his crabtree. Both of them! How he howled!

My parents took me up and we walked straight out of there. Later that night, over cabbage and brown bread and borscht at home, they told me I didn’t have to go back to that crappy school – things’d be taken care of nicely.

Of course!


zineeeeDavid Cotner