7 Am To 8 Am

Michael Johnson:
BEEP BEEP BEEP and then my head jerks up from my pillow. The school bus came at seven thirteen, and so I had to get dressed as quickly as I could. I rolled out of bed into the pair of pants on my floor. I buttoned them as I brushed my teeth, each brushing motion waking me up a bit more as the icy toothpaste stung my mouth and nose. I grabbed a shirt as I went back to get a notebook from my room. I stood in front of the mirror for a few minutes… I was ready to go back to school, as much as high schoolers are supposed to dread it. It was a long summer. I had has a job at the ice cream parlor in town, which meant six hour days of serving obnoxious kids swirls and sundaes until I was practically ready to kill myself. I started getting lost in thoughts of the summer, but a horn blowing outside snapped me back. I grabbed a sweater and ran downstairs.
My parents were sitting at the table when I got downstairs. My father works at the factory in town, like most of the people in town. My mom is a fulltime house wife, and so she had prepared breakfast for my dad and I. There was a plate of bacon and eggs sitting at two empty chairs, one for me, and one for my sister Sara. Sara's my older sister, a senior this year. She had a free period first today, and so she was driving in late. My mom got up and hugged me as I came down the stairs.
“Look at our boy, ready for his first day of junior year.” I forced a smile, and started to set up a makeshift sandwich with two slices of toast. “Sit down and eat, Michael.”
“Can't, mom. The bus is outside.”
“He's a busy man, Martha.” my dad laughed. “He's on a tight schedule.”
“Michael, why don't you put on that nice sweater I bought you? You know I got it just for your big first day!”
“Mom, I told you I hated that sweater. I have to go. Have a good day at work, dad. I'll see you when I get home, mom.” I gave my mom a kiss as I rushed outside, a piece of egg escaping the sandwich and falling on to the ground. The bus had just started to pull away as the front door flung open and I slammed it shut with my foot while running to it. The bus lurched to a stop, and I climbed on slowly. The bus driver, Ernie, gave me a dirty look.
“Bit late today, Johnson?”
“Sorry, Ernie.”
“Just get on and shut up, Johnson.” He chuckled and jerked his thumb to the back of the bus. I looked around and saw a few people I knew. I walked back past Chester, a shrimpish little sophomore, and flicked his ear, just to piss him off. I'm not really a bully… I just didn't like the guy. There wasn't really a reason for it, just his general presence bugged me. I walked to the back of the bus and laid down, saving a seat for my girlfriend, Lindsay. We've been dating since the beginning of sophomore year, and her visits practically kept me alive through the screaming children. She got on a few stops after me, and so I let my eyes close, expecting her to wake me up when she got on to the bus.
I woke up when the the bus abruptly slammed to a stop outside of school. Lindsay wasn't there, and I wiped the sleep from my eyes and walked into the building looking for her. She didn't seem to be anywhere, but I saw a few friends and high-fived them as I walked to my first period chemistry class. I got lost on the way there, somehow. It's not a big school, and I've been there for two years now, but I tend to let my thoughts wander when walking places, and found myself by my math classroom from freshman year. I absentmindedly waved hello to Mr. Jackson, and turned around to head to where I needed to be going. The school is shaped like a U, and I was on the wrong side of it. I looked at the clock—it was 7:59. I hurried to the other side of the building.

Lindsay Corcoran

This is my story, fuckers. The story of the big day, right? This is how it happened, for me. And FUCK past tense, that shit’s for fuckers. Here’s how this goes:

I’m asleep. Clouds and floating feelings, you know? A girl in a dress. A girl without a dress. A girl naked, on a bed. I’m touching her and she’s touching me. Her legs are opening up but I don’t know what to put inside. Her breasts are flopping and big. I’m sucking on her titty and it’s squirting milk and she’s my mom and I’m my baby and I’m climbing back inside her cunt. There’s the color red. Then a flower. A flower and it’s blossoming and it’s running down my legs. It’s blood, and it’s running down my leg. Cunt. Sleeping. Floating feelings, a naked girl with a dress, a naked girl without a dress. I have a cock and I’m fucking her hard, but then I remember I’m a girl and I’m a girl again. Where did my cock go? My nose is swelling. And the girl in the dress doesn’t think that’s attractive at all. She tells me I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. If I died I wouldn’t be alive. My nose is red and big and I have cancer and I’m dying. A girl in a red dress, soft and billowing in the wind. We’re at school. Lockers in the corner, a big lock, falling on the floor. Fucking in the classroom, on the table, all the students are watching us go at it, and some of them are joining in. Someone’s putting something in my ass. Stop that. Half awakening, I remember the girl in the red dress. I pull the pillow over my head, trying to find the girl again. There she is again, punk and angry. She’s sitting on the picnic table, out behind the school, in my front yard. She’s listening to punk rock and she’s pulling at her dress and then she’s frowning at me. She’s yelling at me, she calling me a dirty prick. Sleeping, floating, I’m pushing her down on the bed, back in my room. I pull the blanket over my head. And the girl’s laughing, and I’m laughing as I climb inside her mouth. Her legs are meat. And her face is meat too. She’s all made out of meat. She’s naked, touching me, and I’m climbing into her cunt. Cute, pink little thing. My nose has cancer again, and she’s pushing me away. She doesn’t want to get cancer, she says. It’s contagious. I’m pulling at her dress. I’m at school, and she’s sitting next to me, and she’s sitting at the other end of the room. My alarm clock goes off—I reach out and turn it off. I burrow back under the blankets. Where’s that girl? But then it’s just Michael. Ugly hair. He’s waving a big, old cock at me. I need to tell him I’m into girls. Where is she? I kiss Michael and try to tell him. I wish it was this easy in real life. Fuck. Michael. Fuck. He’s smiling and he’s kissing me, and I’m rubbing his back. He’s crying but he’s saying “It’s okay, Lins, It’s okay, I’m sorry.” “There’s nothing to be sorry about,” I’m saying. And he’s laughing, and saying “I’m totally a fag.” I knew it. I knew it. But I’m sleeping. Where’s that girl? There she is. She’s naked and I’m climbing inside her. I wish I had a cock. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What time is it? I’d rather just stay here. Michael. Christ. A carnival, and the colors, and the swings, and the colors swirl around and around. I love those colors. Where’s the—and what’s—where’s that girl? Punk and angry, there she is. We’re at a punk concert and we’re rocking out, and later I’m going to slip that dress off her and fuck her hard and naughty, man it’s going to be great. Later. Later. What time is it?

Fuck. I look up at the alarm clock on the desk—I don’t want to get up and I’m already late. I roll back under the blanket. I roll back out. I get out of bed. I pull on some clothes. I find a shirt on the floor. And some pants from the drawer. I stumble downstairs. I look out the window. Damn. My parents are already gone. How to get to school? I’ll have to call them and get someone to come back. I figure I’ll just skip a couple classes first. I should show up sometime for the first day, but the first couple don’t matter too much. I’ll eat breakfast. Then I’ll worry about it. There’s some bacon in the refrigerator. And an egg. And some toast. I coordinate them, so they all are ready at once. I sit down at the table, and wonder what I’m going to do about Michael. “Michael, dating you has been nice. But for me this has kind of just been an experiment. I’m really just into girls.” No. “Michael, I’m gay.” What if he wants to watch me hook up with a girl? What if I really don’t dislike all boys, just him? What if I end up dating a different boy? I need to tell him. This shit is getting stupid. What if he starts pushing for sex? Maybe I should have sex before I decide I don’t like boys? Maybe I should trying fucking a girl? I hate this. I put my dishes in the sink and go look at the window. Michael’s nice, I guess, but, I don’t know, this isn’t working. Unless I’m just scared. Or something. What am I scared of? Why can’t I just tell him I’m not interesting? What if he cries? I hope he doesn’t cry. He wouldn’t cry. That could be kind of cute, if he’d cry. Maybe our relationship could work out if he’d cry. Fuck. I go and turn on the TV.

Carson McFly:

The alarm clock screamed at me over and over again while the sun poked me in the eyes through the shades in my room. Wow, high school! My first day! Awesome! I was so goddamn excited I thought I was gonna shit my Scooby-doo pajama bottoms. I was terrified. I thought I was going to die right there, maybe of dehydration after all the moisture had left my body through the explosion of nervous feces. But I collected myself and managed not to poop. I considered just remaining hidden beneath my Jurassic Park bed covers, but I knew I couldn't hide forever. Someday, if not today, I'd have to get out of my bed, maybe to eat or something, or throw out the waste material that would've gathered in my room. That's when they would've captured me, probably tranquilized me and forced me into that fearsome school that had stared at me across the street from the supermarker for as long as I could remember.
"Oh my god, Carson. Oh. My. God. Why are you still in bed? Get the Hell up."
My sister's zit-mottled countenance suddenly loomed into my sights, blotting out the sun and covering the odor of grass with the stench of too much shampoo and a thick, protective layer of proactiv acne cream. She tore the covers off, arching her eyebrow in disgust at my colorful pajamas, covered with oh so wonderful depictions of scooby-doo and his merry band of old-school pot heads.
"C'mon Carson, we're late. Mom says I have to drive you."
"Aww, can't Dad drive me? Your car has your boyfriend's fluids all over it," I moaned, rolling over to face the wall. She gasped and pulled my hair.
"Ugh! You disgusting little…"
"Ahhh! Ahhh, no! I don't wanna go, let me stay! Let me stay! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
The flailing of my pale, skinny limbs and my high-pitched screams were to no avail. She must've somehow dressed and cleansed me as I was writhing in utter terror, because as soon as I opened my eyes, lowered my voice and ceased my futile thrashing, I found myslef sitting in the front seat of my sister's Camry with a checkered, button-down shirt, jeans, and some weird loafers shoved onto my feet. A granola bar had been jammed into my mouth.
"Aww, what the fuck Carol."
"Watch your fucking mouth, Carson!"
It was hopeless. It was over. Matchbox 7 was blasting through Carol's sound system, the wind was spitting and roaring at me from both open windows, tossing my blonde curls to and fro. A strange, bodily smell made it over the wind from the backseat, and all I could do was sit and wait, and hold down the vomit. School was a-comin', and there was nothing I could do. We passed a horse ranch and I was grateful that the manure odor could cover up whatever the hell the quaint smell was in the car. We passed my old middle-school, and I saw some of my friends waiting out front on the basketball court for the day to start. Carol slowed down, sensing my nostalgia. We gave each other a lot of shit, but she always tried to show me she cared in subtle ways. I wished she had sped up instead. My old middle school chums gave me a fleeting glance, then turned away, each with an obnoxious smirk planted onto his face. To them, I had left the group behind for high school. They didn't understand that I had no choice in the matter to skip two grades. They didn't understand that the very prospect of high school caused my insides to bubble and rupture. Why the hell was I doing this? I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature. I was some snot-nosed, vulgar little son of a bitch from shitsville USA.. Gifted? My ass. When I grew up, I wanted to stand around, spitting, shovelling cow shit, and palling around with my chums, chumming around with my pals, like my older brother. What the hell was an education worth? Which class do I learn the mechanics of cowshit-shoveling? Which class teaches me the fundamentals of palling and chumming?
"Okay, get out. I need to get to class," Carol practically yelled as she jerked to a stop in front of William Mason High. For a moment, I almost leaned over to give her a kiss goodbye. Before the thought could manifest itself in action she pushed me out with her foot and sped off towards her community college. The bell rang, 7:30, right as I landed. I wasn't late at all, damnit. Lord knows how much extra time I could've spent, cowering in my cluttered bed chamber.
"Welp, here goes nothing…" I began to mutter, then I realized I was talking to myself and that I sounded like a movie character.
"Outta the way, little bro!" some guy in a leather jacket said as he rushed past me, green mohawk swinging majestically in the breeze. Jesus Christ, I thought. Was this guy for real?
No, of course not.

Homeroom sure was a blast. I sat there in my pin-striped, button-down shirt and my neat blonde curls, feeling kinda like a brightly colored compsognathus must've felt among velociraptors, if you know what I mean. Everyone was taller than me, and all I could see were people's necks and the sparsely-haired bottoms of their chins. A chorus of cracking voices barraged me from all sides.
"Carson McFly? Is Carson McFly here? McFly!" Our teacher rasped, her jowls shivering violently, her red wig sliding off-center every once in a while.
"What!? Speak up, little boy."
"Yes! I'm Carson McFly, and I'm here, damnit!"
"Language!" she cawed, a strange fire suddenly igniting in her glassy blue eyes. The bell rang at 8, sparing me whatever magical spell she was about to cast on my poor, fragile being.

Chester Masters: 7 AM

My father woke me up by knocking my door loudly. He knew I wouldn’t bother to set my alarm. I didn’t want to go to school today, or any other day for that matter, but the first day is especially awful. I remember the previous year’s fiasco when I came to school in my brand new pair of pants, not at all realizing that my dog had gotten to them some time before and completely ripped out the crotch. I showed up to school with my ass hanging out for everyone to see. People kept laughing and pointing, but I had no idea what was wrong. By the time lunch rolled around I felt ready to completely end it all. I went into the bathroom and discovered the truth behind it all. Then I really did feel like dying.
Today would be no better. I was sure of it. It seems ironic now that I could be so right, but so wrong about the scale of it all. It wouldn’t just be me crying by the end of the day.
Carefully I selected a pair of pants I knew were intact as well as my favorite tee-shirt with the big alien cow on it. I figured my underwear were still clean enough from yesterday. You don’t really need to change but once every three days. I learned this through extensive experiments. Don’t ask about the failures.
Pops warned me that I was going to be late for the bus if I didn’t light a fire under it and get out to the end of the road within the next ten minutes. Then he’d have to take the strap to me again. Who knows if he’d stop before I bled this time round.
I got my shoes on, grabbed a breakfast bar from the counter and my backpack and split. The bus was just pulling up when I made it to the stop. I stood there a moment to catch my breath before running a hand through my hair and making my descent onto the hellbus. Each step was like walking through molasses, my feet rising and falling slowly, as if my body tried to delay the inevitable even while my mind had accepted it.
My breathing deepened as I sat in the second row from the front, a hasty exit in case of emergency and well within the driver’s watchful eye. No teasing, no wet willies, no spitballs. Unfortunately, my plans are not actually foolproof, so when Michael Johnson got on two stops later I still got a smack on the ear for all my efforts. He’d been a jackass to me since I got to highschool last year. I don’t know what I ever did to him. Fuck him. I had better things to worry about, like calc and what my next science project was going to be.
Finally the bus came to a sudden stop. I hit my head on the seat in front of me and accidently bit my tongue. Even through the pain I was the first one to get off. Now it was time for class.

Julio Ramón:

I didn't do it for money.
“He” was lonely. I was desperate and curious.
When you live in a town of about 10,000, it's big enough not to be a thatched-roof village, but not by much. Word gets around to say the least, but I trusted John not to spread the details. After all, it would end up making him look worse than me. It's hard enough for someone to be transgender, particularly out here, but to hold office, a public office…that took balls. Or surgically-created ones.
I was one of a select few who knew the secret that could get him sacked and ostracized, and they were generally his sex partners. Interesting, the value you find in a shared secret; we all came from the same circle of friends, and we all kept this juicy tidbit to ourselves. A juicy tidbit…hmm…sounds like what you might use to refer to his…never mind.
I was Julio the Sexy Cat Boy. Both in roleplay, and in actuality given that I would have been suicidal if anyone in the town were to have found out, so I left in the mornings in his Halloween costume. I wonder if I looked like a prostitute, but it served its purpose.
Uneventfully, having gotten used to the awkward early Monday mornings after very long Sunday nights, I'd strolled out of his house, a playful smack on my butt, and off to my house we'd gone to pick up the clothes I'd carefully set up Sunday afternoon, before he picked me up. 4 AM wasn't a great time to get up, but it meant I was alert for math, at least.
Now was the awkward time that he drove me to school. I always remained silent, which I sense unnerved him, but I didn't feel I could say much after a night like that which we'd just had. I wasn't displeased, strictly, with what took place, but it didn't provide food for verbal thought as much as it did fuel mental reflection about phobias and societal attitudes. Rural town, I hated it, but there really wasn't much I could do. My dad worked as hard as any man in that blasted factory, and my mom stayed at home to provide for Carmen and me. Hell, I was lucky I wasn't in college, yet…I'd have had to have started paying my keep, which wasn't a prospect that I relished.
As I strolled in, smelling of fabric softener, I tapped my new locker with first-day pride. It wasn't a distant walk, and in fact it seemed like it would be convenient from the year's perspective, too. Grabbing my books, and checking that my papers—which were as disheveled as I was after a night with John—were in order, I prepared for my first class of the year, one I dreaded, math. Actually, most dreaded wasn't fair, as I was fairly good with my physics, particularly the physics of love…trajectories, forces in motion…I digress.
Breakfast. Free, but it blew. Soggy hash browns, unforgettably-bad pancakes, and not-so-great company, too. Basically nobody ate lunch there unless they were a freebie like me, so it got lonely. We knew each other, but they were generally outside the sex-with-John circle and, thus, my general circle. The milk tasted chalky, reminded me of Ida Tarbell for some reason, probably muckraking and milk. Ida Tarbell was American history, not math. Shit, math. Algebra II. I was so unprepared, but I had no choice in the matter. Just like my parents' situation.
Urgh…the syrup burned my throat. There was just no way I could survive on this for much longer. I felt like I should vomit, but my acid reflux was the source of that. The milk nauseated, but it provided a mild, temporary relief to the acid that warmed my esophagus like vodka, and as John warmed mine. Wonderful, I had this to look forward to for an entire year! I couldn't believe my good fortune. I also couldn't believe my sarcasm, given that I was pretty sincere as a person, as sure as I was Julio the Cat Boy. I didn't think I was sexy, in actuality, that was just how John thought of me. He really did care, even if that wasn't evident from the way he treated me sometimes. Then again, he had the harder life, not me.
Suffice it to say, it was an unpleasant start after an inexplicable night, and this was just the first day. I guess summer love isn't the magic the poets and songwriters claim it is. And I guess high school is better than being confined to a career path that led right back to the town I was trying to escape.

Clara Hayes

The bus was very yellow. Not a nice yellow though. I guess I never noticed how yellow they were when I would see them on the street but when you’re actually getting onto one they seem really yellow. I think I hate busses. I sat in the fourth row… one, two three, four. The fourth row on the right which would be the left if you were looking at it from the front. I sat near the window so I could watch how we were getting there. A girl in a red shirt sat next to me but she didn’t look at me or anything. That’s ok. We passed by the post office and JD’s Pizza and Mechanic St. and a boy with blonde hair on his bike.
Everything was loud, the bus had stopped four more times since I had got on. There was a little boy with brown hair, he looked scared. Some other boy hit him or something a few stops later. I stopped watching then.
I pulled my knees up to my chest and put my hand in my pocket to squeeze the fuzzy little frog that Jack gave me last time I saw him. It was small enough to fit in my coat pocket so I carried it with me. I don’t talk to it or anything, I just like having it with me. We drove by the new gas station which meant we were almost there. That did not make me happy. Mum had said it would be ok but I don’t know if she was right. I’d spent the last ten years in a Montessori school an hour away and I didn’t really even like that. I mean it was nice, I had a good time, it was small and quiet and I could be me. But when my dad’s hours at the factory got cut down this spring he said we didn’t have enough money to afford the school anymore, or the gas, or anything in general so now I am here.
The bus stopped and it hurt. You’d think that the bus could driver would be a god enough driver to know how to stop nicely but I guess not. I followed the girl with the red shirt so I knew when it was my turn to get off. Apparently there’s no actual order to it so I shouldn’t have worried about it. I stepped off the bus and looked at the school. This made me unhappy. It looked like a prison.

Matt Kukuchka:
I didn't sleep. I never do before the first day of school. After a summer where you don't sleep at night, who wants to get up at seven? For that matter who can? Jesus. 13 years of public education. 13 years of public education in this awful place. All of that is coming to a head today. Thank the Lord. I might get out. I might not. So many people just fail to leave. How the hell does this work? I hate this coffee grinder. When did I start drinking coffee? Christ, I'm old. Fuck it. I'll just drink some Pepsi and take some Nodoz. Could always make like everyone else around here and have a nice cup of meth. Rick used to do that before school Now he's the fucking golden child of the family. Ooh, Doritos. Shit. Stale. Where are my keys. I'm just going to get the fuck going. 180 days left. Oh great, now it won't start. This is just pretty. There ya go. Fog looks nice in the street today. Christ, my parents aren't even up yet. Whatever. Just drive.
It's always about ten minutes longer than I expect it to be to get there. I've been doing this for three years. Of course, I was the only sophomore who drove to school. Bastards. I hate traffic lights, I hate traffic lights, I hate traffic lights, Green. Damn right you change when I ask you to, you….piece of municipal property. Wow, I am out of wit today. I guess that comes to you when you sleep. Pulling in…great, all of zero spots open. I'll just park out by the sidewalk. When the hell did we get meters? Is this the fucking City now? Bullshit, I am not paying for these fucking meters. Why does the town need revenue from goddamn shit-kicking parking meters. Paul Newman was onto something with that pipe-cutter, I tell ya.
And everyone has arrive bright and early this morning for their first day of school. Seriously, classes don't start till eight, what the hell is wrong with these kids. God damn, I really am old. What time is it. Cell phone…left that shit at home. Priceless. Do I still have a watch in my bag? Uhm….Yes I do. It seems right. 7:30? Fuck why the kids are early, why the hell am I so early. I know better at least. I guess I'll just sleep in the cafeteria until 8. Maybe everyone's early because they want to see their friends. Was I like that once? Honestly, for as long as I can remember, I've avoided as many people I know as possible on the first day. Why is it so cold? Why do I keep asking myself questions. I should start talking to myself again. It always calmed my nerves as a kid. Starting now, I'm going to do my inner monologue out loud.
I hate this doorway. I always have. It's actually a pretty harmless doorway, it just represents everything I hate about this place. I don't even know how. That's actually a very dumb idea. But I definitely hate this doorway. What is my homeroom number? I have no idea where my homeroom is. I'm not going to go into the office and find out, either. I hate them. They actually embody everything I hate about this place. They're also just evil. I remember in my freshman year some kid told us he saw Mrs. Bartsch sacrifice a goat. Wouldn't put it past her, really. Okay, so who's my homeroom teacher? Hmmm………Davidson. Mr. Davidson. He teaches Latin, which means he's over on…the other side of the building. Grand. Better get walking. Oh great it's already five of eight. Now, I jog. Don't like jogging, looks really awkward. But full-fledged running would make my bag hit me in the groin over and over again. I'll sacrifice looking awkward for that. Got into my homeroom. 13 years of this shit. Fucking beautiful. I'm just going to sit in this chair and wish I was dead. Hell, wishing I was dead got me through 7th grade. Wait, that could have been Kukuchka. They never can get the name right. Dad always tells people to think of I am the Walrus. Yeah, he's definitely trying to say Kukuchka. Just raise your hand. No need to waste your energy by speaking. Ok, schedule on my desk. AP Chem first up.

13 years. God Damn.

Chloe Crohnenblatt:

By the blood of Baldr the beautiful, it’s Goddamned time again.


I am very particular about my awakening ritual. Everything has its place and time; an orderly morning aligns me with Asha, and gives a sense of abundant clarity and vigorous existence to my whole day. I never use alarms, they are abominations. Machines that purport to adjust one’s life to the falsities of man time are by de facto untrustworthy, and very disruptive to auras and circadian rhythms.
When I first wake up, I take a moment to contemplate my dreams. There are only a few minutes every day when a person has access to their vestigial state of subconscientiality, and it is vitally important to seize these moments to gain insight into the workings of the inner spirit inside you. I used to keep a dream journal, but then I realized that if my dreams predicted the future and I wrote them down then I might be violating some kind of cosmic law about what human beings are allowed to do, or at least teenagers – I don’t think I want to try being prophetic until I’m a little older. Also, last time Jameson found it and read the entry where I walked in on Kevin Thompson in the boys showers, and it was TERRIBLE.
After dream contemplation, I get out of bed, put on my slippers, and salute the Sun. Obviously to manipulate ethereal energies your body has to be pretty close in-line with nature, and Sun salutations help a lot with that. I’ve been skimping on this step lately because I sprained my foot on a stupid mountain hike with Theodore. Days seem a lot more manageable when I’ve gotten my Sun salutation over and done with, so I try to get through it even when my foot is hurting a lot.
Finally, my respects to Aten paid, I disrobe and get in the shower for some outer-body cleansing. There are few things of worldly material value that hold significance to me, but I am very serious about my bath and body products. As I had to explain to an argumentative Theodore, that (hardly) high-priced bottle of Laura Mercier French Vanilla Crème Wash doesn’t just smell yummy (really, really yummy), it creates a sensual experience that definitely heightens my theta wave activity.
Thus, you can imagine my complete and utter dismay at being woken a full five minutes after first bell by a frantic, huffy Doris. I felt entirely out of sync with basically every kind of spiritual connexion there is, except maybe Discordianism, but that’s not even real.

John the Principal:
I woke up in my office, next to a student. His youthful abs pressed against my side while I felt his leg draped over mine. I licked Julio's leg as he rubbed his eyes. I sat up, my naked ass rubbing against the floor. I put on some clothes I'd left in my drawer the previous day, knowing that this would be the day I finally nailed his sweet Latin ass.
I left, adjusting my buttons, no one to be any the wiser as to my indiscretions. I patrolled the hall, waving jovially to the earliest teachers to arrive. Then I noticed that my fly was unzipped, and fixed it discreetly. In a few minutes, school would begin, and I would have to be ready to sit in my office and read off the announcements. Hopefully, Julio would have gotten out by then.
I went up and down the hall, and then outside. I started to do my laps, bringing out the impressive abs that would let me bring in the children who could give me what my mother had always wanted to, that Akron cunt. The isolation of my childhood was gone, and I had paved over the vagina that my parents had viewed with their eyes.
I thought of their expectations, how carefully I had attacked them. I thought of my father. What had I become? I was having sex with students, a monster. No, I wasn't. They were. They were having sex with the high school students, not me. High school students and their rippling bodies and their cute little asses and their wonderful breasts and growing penes, in contrast to my vestigal breasts and clown's rubber penis. The innocence on their breaths, "the flower of their youth," said Oscar Wilde, that crazy bastard. I ran inside, winded, and back into the room. Julio was gone. Boo-yah.
Wait, what was he wearing? I couldn't think of it. I'd had nothing. The bus hadn't arrived yet, and he would look suspicious. I screamed to the ceiling: "noooo!" Then I laughed, because it was good to laugh in such situations. It made one look slightly less insane to laugh sans impetus after yelling "no!" I didn't want to look insane, since upon investigation, my insanity would be found to have been not insanity, but inanity; pederasty. Yay pederasty!
I did have the old Hallowe'en costume in my other drawer. Julio would be going to class as a sexy catboy. Hopefully, no one would remember that I went to the previous year's Hallowe'en party as a cat. Fortunately, most of the people who had been to that Hallowe'en party had quit. I shouldn't have spiked the punch like that. It was interesting nonetheless.
Fuck it. Is this what happens to children of older parents? Psychosis, sexual deviance, sexual dissociation, sexual sexuality? Sexy, sexy, bitch. I grabbed my fake penis, me sexy sexy bastard. It got hard enough to fuck Julio, so it's a real penis, isn't it? I can have sex, I can sing, I can dance, albeit not in an especially manly way. I kick ass. I kick ass.
I kick ass…for the lord. Wait, no I don't. I am, however, a competent high school principal, and that's something, isn't it? I run a decent high school here. Sure, I sometimes have sex with students, but that's not so bad by comparison. They're learning. They're learning more than they're supposed to learn.
Ay, there's the rub. I'm sleeping with high school students under my charge! That's immoral, no bones about it. I can't write off my actions as my parents' influence; they never had sex with me, just wanted to. Yes, they stunted my sexual development, and yes, inevitability was put to task.
In any case, I checked the drawer. The costume was not there. However, Julio's semen remained on the floor where we had relieved our tensions. I knew that I had fucked a high school student with schizophrenia. Unlike me, he had had a chance. Maybe another man, or another girl. What had I done to him? I had stunted what could have been a healthy boy.
I certainly couldn't ask for cleaning supplies, and I couldn't wait for the janitor to come. I had to steal cleaning supplies, or maybe…use my pants? No, the stain might show. I couldn't risk it. I needed to think of something else. Papers?
No. I would have to steal it. I waited by a certain spot for the custodian, and stole a rag of hers. I walked back to the office and wiped up the semen, then licked it off. Yummy. I began dancing to imaginary Bob Seger music, then threw away the rag. I thought…I should stop today. All my affairs, they would end today. I thought of taking my pants off, but no.
From now on, I would be a respectable principle. However, there was still Julio, and Colleen, and Daisuke, and Raj, and Roxanne, and Antonio, and Yao, and Yuri, and Leighann…any one of them could rat me out. But today, I was going straight…so to speak. No more sex with high school students. Sex with…whoever became available, and wasn't a student in my charge. Or in my charge, generally.

Sara Johnson

I worked things out so I’d have no classes first period. I didn’t tell my mom about this, so I have an hour every morning to smoke pot and hang out before class. This should be a fun year. And I deserve a fun year. I’ve suffered through three years of hell already, and I don’t care if I go to college. My mom’s a housewife, and it seems like a good life to me; cooking, sex, TV, and kids. I could live like that. It’s all about finishing now. It’s nice to finally be at the top of the school. I barely remember being a freshman, scared of the big seniors. Now I know exactly what I can get away with in every class, and I intend to do as little as possible this year. I’m only bothering to graduate at all so I can get a decent job while I find someone to marry.
Alarm clock off, clothes on, black makeup. I’ve decided to stop touching my hair in the morning. The ruffled look goes better with my image, and I need to establish that as well as I can today. The first day makes the biggest impression, so the freshmen should be scared and the teachers should be intimidated when they look at me. I get to the bottom of the stairs as Michael, my little brother, closes the door. My parents are at the table, still eating. I sit down to eggs and bacon.
“You’d better get a move on, Sara. You’re going to be late for your first class,” nags my mom.
“It only takes 15 minutes to get to school. The bus leaves so early because it has to stop on all the streets.”
“You should be driving your brother. He has to get up so early to get on that bus. He didn’t even have time to sit down for breakfast today.”
Michael doesn’t care. He thinks I’m just driving in late. I can’t exactly tell mom that I’m not going to school yet, so I ignore her. Dad and I finish breakfast and bolt out the door together, waving quick goodbyes to mom.
I drive to the strip mall. We have a spot in the field behind CVS with some chairs, sheltered by a couple of big trees. Jay and Lena are already there, blunt rolled. We light up, pass it around, and watch the morning light. It’s 7:45 AM. First class should be starting in 15 minutes. Time starts to drift by lazily. The light is beautiful against the changing leaves on the trees, and I feel like I’m suspended in a glass bubble. Warm, safe sunlight feels like lotion on my skin, and I drift away from the smoke, from school. I’ve done this first day of school thing a dozen times before, but somewhere inside, I’m still nervous. It’s unavoidable.

Evangeline Swiftland:

I wake up, and feel around. I'm alone. Did I really expect to be anything other than alone? My room is dark and my bed is warm and I don't want to move because I feel empty. I feel like I might float away if I didn't have these heavy blankets holding me down.

Why am I alone? Right, she's gone. She left a week ago, get used to it. It only feels like it was yesterday because you haven't gotten out of bed since then. You've been in your bed, reading the book that she left at your house, over and over again. Sylvia Plath is hardly a comfort to someone who's feeling less than par. I should be reading David Sedaris, or something like that. Something funny, and smart, like me. I'd rather read about misadventures than be a part of them. But was it a misadventure? I don't know. It was the best experience of my life, and I know I've never felt so alive or connected to anyone. But how about now? What about this feeling? What about my life? What about college applications and boyfriends and band and homework and being fit and looking pretty and AP, Volleyball, Blah Blah Blah, Bullshit. Now I feel like none of those things are important, but that's all I've been focusing on for all of my life. That's all I've been working towards. You have to succeed from the very start- do well in preschool so you can do well in elementary school and be placed in the advanced program in middle school and continue in it in high school and take AP classes and get into a good college so you can get into a good graduate program and get a good job and have money and buy houses and cars and have babies and pressure them to be perfect too and then die. And no one will care about your fucking AP Volleyball High School accomplishments. It's all that my mother and father want of me, for me to just be somewhat close to their level of accomplishments. Them and my brother. Come on, I mean, they gave me the genes for my intelligence and good looks so all I need to do is put in a little effort. 5 AP classes and being the captain of three sports teams and working and having a boyfriend, that's not that much, right?

Whatever, stop brooding, and get out of bed. This is something that old you never would have done. It's almost 7:30 already, you would've been showered and ready to go, with your perfectly flattering, and ironed clothes, eating a balanced breakfast, like a commercial for the perfect American girl. I was a doll. Evangeline Swiftland. What a good name for a doll. I could have been manufactured en masse and sold to little girls everywhere, so that they could one day become perfect like me.

But no, not now. Everything has changed. Luckily for the now me, there are some traces of the old me. I bought my first day of school outfit a month ago, and it's still folded on my desk. My backpack is already full of all of the books I need today. I slip on my little tank top and skirt combo. It looked so good on me when I bought it a month ago. Blue and yellow are my colors. Or my old colors, at any rate. I wear them because I don't want to wear the school colors- everyone wears the school colors. Yes, I'm important. Yes, school's important. But I can't be like everybody else. I'm too special for that. I may be captain of the volleyball team, but I'm not the captain of the fucking cheer leading squad.

At any rate, I don't know how I feel about this outfit. Is it my imagination or are my ribs sticking out a little bit more? I guess I haven't really eaten in a week. I haven't been able to bring myself to eat anything except for apples. We ate apples together… No. Fuck. I will not think about her. I have a life! I keep looking at my ribs, and it's a little bit nauseating. I lift my blinds and really look at myself in bright light. I look so pale, and I haven't combed my hair. God, I look so thin. I guess that's what happens when you don't eat and don't exercise and just read Sylvia Plath for a week. My reflection is so nauseating. I have to stop. I used to love looking at myself. It's 7:45. I have to go. I grab my keys and my pre-packed bag and leave.

School will not be the same this year. I'm just a broken doll.

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