PDF

Wellington Crescent/Rubber Soul/50/50


by Paul de Denus


Wellington Crescent

 

Sometimes when it's real rainy, the stairs get slippery and my books slide around like madmen so I hold tighter going to my locker just in case that asshole Soldersen is waiting by a classroom, gnawing about nothing with some dick friends, ever-ready to knock my books flying all down the hall with that quick sucker punch from behind. He'll have some witty quip he's probably worked on all night like, hey goof… which twin are ya, number 1 or number do-do? to which he'd snicker like he'd just dropped a big one. Ha! I'd laugh and scramble for my books, relieved I wasn't walking with my brother, who would have painted the lockers with old Soldersen or tried to anyway… Soldersen's a big guy but Gram would have gone for it… I bet he would have.

Sometimes I see Joanne French hanging around the office bulletin board with some other Wellington Crescent girls, not reading messages or nothing, just posing there so natural like, as if they're storefront models on display for the rest of us to admire as we float by, their wide fixed eyes transmitting, ”yeah look, but don't even think about touching” even though I bet that's what they're thinking in their stupid heads. They are kind of cool though I'll admit…pretty types with perfect angles and poise and judicial daddies and shade tree homes, holding their books preciously against their tight bodies as if they're into academics or something. They're all cheerleader types… except that short dark haired girl with the Cher bangs and almond eyes; I don't know her name but I saw her look at me once, not in a weird sort of way either but like she could almost talk to me if she chose to slip away from the others who only want the perfect square jaw dopes like Soldersen who I bet wouldn't know what to do with a girl anyway, given half a chance.


Rubber Soul

 

Sometimes, right in the middle of class, a light will go on and I'll come up with a perfect name for my band. Like during Science yesterday while old Pickell was flying all over the chalkboard like a maniac drawing up charts with colored chalk, this popped into my head: Orange Appeel. I love names like that, like the Beatles Rubber Soul or Strawberry Alarm Clock, Electric Prunes, Iron Butterfly, Moby Grape. Ha, we'll wear orange - that's the appeal man! - like orange colored socks or ties though truthfully I don't like oranges much since they give me canker sores and taste kind of sour and ties make my neck itch. Maybe I can find an orange guitar, yeah, an orange Rickenbacker like the guy in the Byrds only his is yellow but that's cool and I bet if I let him in the band, my friend John who's a good artist will draw up some posters in that crazy Fillmore-type lettering style I saw in Rolling Stone. I'm almost as excited as Mr. Pickell up there, randomly scribbling zippy arrows and complex formulas like C5H8 with different color chalk; I have to give him credit though for loving something with such passion, even if it is just science.


50/50

 

The 440 is my race and I could own it outright if I were going up against the snails in my weight bracket like Donnie Tilsbury or Sid ‘Legs' Wenton or even Sal Swann who runs like a fast four year old girl but fucking Coach Walters decided to put Dave McDonald in that event and the only other race I'm in and it's going to be iffy. I'm running as a Junior but McDonald's an Intermediate — shit, he's a Senior as far as I'm concerned - he's got a beard for Christ's sake. Coach Walters can't run anything except his mouth and he dribbled some bullshit about not enough runners in Junior to be competitive so he stuck McDonald who's a good fifteen pounds heavier in there. I might have a chance in the 440 but I swear I'll be toast when that 880 comes around. We're running at the high school arena with that rickety circular track… God, I can feel it now, the boards shuddering under my feet, the jeering crowd right on top of you, my legs like rubber bands after the first curve and my lungs collapsing and bailing as McDonald makes his move to the inside like a gazelle and disappears around the final turn… man that guy can fly. There's an outside chance Walters will let me bump down to Primary, get up against some first year doe-eyed farm boy challenger trying to make a mark and allow me a chance to deal out an old McDonald on his ass.

Endcap