Monday, March 14, 2011

a school's reaction to human statues

6:40 on a Thursday morning in a city suffocated by fog and melted to its bones by humidity. Every step I take brings me closer to the ground, the pressure of the atmosphere bearing down on my head, my limbs, my clothes clinging to my perspiring body.

I walk into the courtyard of my school and step up onto a table. Ideal position. From here, I can see the students that will mill around in fifty minutes, pushing and pressing against each other like beasts to burst through throngs of peers to their classes or lockers. I can see the outdoor hallway that the teachers cover from the parking space to the main door of the school. I can see the oak trees and three-storey buildings that make up the school looming over me and staring at me with their darkened windows of eyes.

I am dressed in a strapless flowing pink dress that barely comes to my knees. My legs and feet are covered with thick leather black boots that clutch my skin as though they too were drowning in this unbearable heat and moisture. In my right hand is a hollowed-out plastic skull that I've placed one dollar in, to encourage my audience. 6:45. I straighten my back, raise my head, and fix my eyes on one of the opposite building's eyes. I raise the skull and extend my arm forward so passers-by can stick their money in easily. The statue is ready.

7:00. Teachers' voices are heard from several feet on my left side. My friend with orange hair comes and asks me what I'm doing. Reluctantly, I say 'I'm raising three dollars for the good cause of getting myself transcripts.' She laughs and takes a photograph of me. Before she leaves, she places several quarters in my skull. I nod sideways towards her, smile, and say 'thank you'.

Students begin to arrive at school now. They stare mockingly at me, yelling Jesus freak! and Acidhead! toward my direction. From the corner of my eyes, I see teachers staring and their minds racing whether they should tell me to call off my game or admire my performance. All of them trudge on through the ocean of air, eager to shed their skin for air-conditioning, too busy and tired to deal with me. A Spanish teacher actually whoops and laughs benevolently in my direction. My eyes retain my smile as I notice the minute changes in the building's windows. There is now a teacher in there, looking through her papers, searching for a test she just printed out yesterday. My mind focuses on my dress. It's becoming one with me, the fabric creeping through my skin and into my churning blood, the water out of my body gliding down my trembling body. I have been in this same position for the past half hour when two sophomore boys approach me with rude tongues and laugh Holy fuck, she's shaking! She's possessed! Hey, are you possessed? They're not worthy of a response. Hey, can't you talk? Hey, I think she's high. Are you high? My eyes smirk. Hey, get her down from there, teach her a fuckin' lesson. At these words, my heart shocks itself into beating at a normal pace and my head cricks and my eyes swivel down to the boys' level. I'm not high and I'm not possessed. Holy fuck, she talks! Are you going to give me money or just stand there? Peevish, they search their pockets and come up with two dollars between them. I say goodbye to them and notice my friends walking towards me. I take this moment to stretch my legs and feel more water flushing from me. I'm here for the purpose of receiving three dollars for my transcripts. A good cause. My male friend rolls up a dollar and with greasy fingers shoves it in my cleavage, clumsily, because there's no friction of dry skin or leverage of fat to hold it in place. I kindly take the money out of my dress and place it in my skull. I have collected four dollars.

The janitor's blood is not too thick for this weather and he's not in the mood to get fired. He tells me to get down from the table. I do so and move to the opposite side of the courtyard where the obese campus cop notices me. A good citizen of the U. S. of A., he tells the hooligan girl who's stepped out of a cyberpunkgothemo theme (or whatever these children call it these days) to get down because he has no time for this shit. She smiles and steps down, mingling in with the 3,500 students that have poured down from god knows where to start another day of high school.

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