Johnny America


I Can’t Deal With Goth Highschoolers


As I was walk­ing out of the book­store, I ac­ci­den­tal­ly bumped in­to some­one in the park­ing lot. It was­n’t a ve­hic­u­lar col­li­sion or any­thing, just me look­ing down at my cool Air­walks and ad­mir­ing how dope the white laces glowed in the sun­shine against the black nubuck ma­te­r­i­al. What this oth­er per­son was look­ing at, I don’t know, but I walked right in­to her. And walked in­to her hard! With an “oops,” I dropped my bag of comics, and near­ly fell back­wards. In the black­top heat, I squint­ed to see what the hell I bumped in­to, and of course, to see if any­one else had seen how stu­pid I must have looked.

My face was al­ready con­tort­ed in the fa­mil­iar po­si­tion of that some­one who is about to half-heart­ed­ly apol­o­gize to an­oth­er per­son, and my mouth was full of tem­po­rary re­morse. I was reach­ing for eye con­tact, so I could spew the words of re­gret all over the park­ing lot and make made a quick dash to my don­key. How­ev­er once the eye con­tact was made, the words were ac­ci­den­tal­ly swal­lowed, and choked up­on, as if they went down the wrong pipe. Stuck in my lungs with my throat seized with pan­ic, the words were un­avail­able as my vic­tim of care­less­ness was star­ing me down: a wannabe Goth donut.

She could­n’t have been any taller than 5′, 1″, yet she was gi­gan­tic! Short red and black spiked hair crowned her pear shaped nut. Black de­sign­er frames with blue and red lens­es were sur­round­ed by ear­rings that looked like home­made cross­es that dan­gled up­side-down from freck­led lobes. Be­low mul­ti­ple chins of vary­ing weight and ac­ne place­ment was a stud­ded dog col­lar from which hung an­oth­er cross. On the feet of the cor­pu­lent box­er were red flamed black boots that ex­tend­ed so far up her wide calves that no less that six feet of laces had to be hold­ing the tongue in place. Un­der­neath and draped by what looked to be a Gap skirt cut short and torn about at ran­dom, were red and black leg­gings, stretched and stained, stripes fad­ed and blur­ry. Her short, tyran­nosaurs hooks were pret­ty much bare, ex­cept for one stud­ded gaunt­let that looked as if it came straight of the set of The Road War­rior. And join­ing all the ap­pendages to­geth­er at the mid­dle was a sleeve­less, black hood­ie that had, in red cur­sive em­broi­dery, the words “I hate everybody.”

“Is that your Ves­pa back in the park­ing lot,” the Ba­by-eater sneered. At first, I was amazed. How could she, by look­ing at me, just guess that I was the own­er of the tiny bike? Was it that ob­vi­ous? But then I re­mem­bered that I had V E S P A blaz­ing all over my chest, and a mo­tor­cy­cle hel­met dan­gling from my over-shoul­der bag. So, yeah, I guess it was ob­vi­ous that I was the rid­er of the two-wheeled scoot, but be­fore I could ad­mit it, she bared her un­even teeth again to speak.

“Be­cause I al­most knocked it over with my truck,” the she-beast con­tin­ued. “Be­sides, are you even sup­posed to be park­ing that out in the lot? I don’t think you are. Why aren’t you us­ing a bike rack?”

I did­n’t know what to say. I did­n’t know her, nor did I want to, but she’s off ask­ing me all these ques­tions, and I could­n’t tell if they were rhetor­i­cal or not. Yet she just stood there, one eye­brow cocked, as if wait­ing for a snap­py re­sponse by me to jus­ti­fy her get­ting felt up and in­sult­ed in the burn­ing heat of the book­store park­ing lot. As if she was get­ting off on start­ing fric­tion with a com­plete stranger. I was so off guard, kind of con­fused, def­i­nite­ly a lit­tle ticked off, and my brain was­n’t work­ing. It was­n’t like I could­n’t think of any­thing, but I could­n’t de­cide on any­thing to say or do. In my mind, the levy of con­trol had col­lapsed and the flood wa­ters of ideas were pour­ing all over I was imag­in­ing run­ning away, run­ning over to her bumper-stick­ered Rav4 and smash­ing out the win­dows with my hel­met, run­ning to my Ves­pa and then run­ning it over her. I imag­ined win­ning the lot­tery and what I would buy first, a new car or an­oth­er lot­tery tick­et. I pon­dered about writ­ing up a for­mu­la that would equate the per­cent­ages of flower can­dy bought per time need­ed for the en­tire pack­age to have been de­voured by one per­son, ver­sus two peo­ple, and how much val­ue could be placed up­on each in­di­vid­ual can­dy, you know, for when your friends are over and they want to eat some. The swarm of thoughts was ever grow­ing as my time to re­spond with­out look­ing like a re­tard was ever shrink­ing. The clock was count­ing down. I was ap­proach­ing the ze­ro hour and just could not think of any­thing say, and that’s how it went un­til the buzzer in the back of my head went off, and my brain kicked out my auto-response:

“What?” I asked. Of course, it came out loud­er, and sound­ed di­rec­tion­less and emp­ty, but that was all I could say. Some­how, pos­si­bly through the awk­ward­ness of how it re­ver­ber­at­ed out my chest, she seemed to be star­tled a bit. She kind of jumped, but be­fore I could ex­ter­nal­ly smile the way I was feel­ing un­der the skin, she recovered.

“It’s just an­oth­er fad.” She smirked, turned then wad­dled away.

“A fad?” I screamed in­side. “Like not cut­ting up brand new clothes so they don’t look as if you were at­tacked by home­less van­dal look­ing for sausage? Or is it a fad as in en­joy­ing some sun­shine every once in a while? No? Per­haps you mean a fad like go­ing on a di­et?!” I was kin­da up­set, and want­ed to let her have it, es­pe­cial­ly with my hel­met, but all could say was:

“Stu­pid 3D glasses.”

She turned around to face me, I hopped on the scoot and went back to the job.

Filed under Commentary on July 28th, 2003

Care to Share?

Reader Comments

Unknown wrote:

Fuck you

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.