Print Story On Enemies, Part V
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By CheeseburgerBrown (Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:48:32 AM EST) rolloffle (all tags)
This is the fifth in a multi-part series on the subject of the various great and memorable enemies I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years, from the earnest gibbering of schoolyard bullies to the courtly dance of the merely ritualistic antagonist.

This week we turn our focus away from those would make us victims of intimidation to those who those who give us a profound sense of the most morbid kind of heebie-jeebies -- a visceral unease that means their presence cannot be entertained for fear of nausea, their personalities cannot be endured for fear of discovering more about them.

Please see also Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.


The Weird Sisters

I switched schools again. I switched schools a lot. Between the middle school featured in the last installment in this series and the middle school described below I attended an imploding alternative school run by dirty hippies, but that's another story and has already been told.

In the middle of the eighth grade I was introduced into a small class of kids who had been together since kindergarten. They considered the integration of strangers into their cloister to be of dubious value, so while they were basically polite in the classroom itself they didn't invite me to any of their reindeer games.

There was another new boy, a fat kid with greasy hair and grandma sweaters who sat in the corner and didn't talk to anyone. He had arrived a few months ahead of me, and it didn't look like he had eased himself into class society with much success. When I talked with him I discovered that he was clever and French, and despite his general oiliness and grumbling irascibility I felt a connection to him in his pitiful alienation.

His name was Stephan.

At lunch time Stephan would walk over to Mount Pleasant to buy take-out Kentucky Fried Chicken, and I'd wait with him in line with my bagged lunch and then we'd go back to the school's basement cafeteria to eat and chat about outer space. Stephan was a big fan of outer space, the outer the better. He had acquired a copy of Carl Sagan's Cosmos and we pored over it like it was the Bible.

The caf was a dungeon for freaks.

None of the other kids from our class ate down there. It was a hiding place for the ugly, the shy, the maladjusted. There was a retarded kid who only ever ate hot dogs. There was a boy with some kind nasty skin condition who looked like a skinny, feckless version of The Thing. There were many who ate alone. Eye contact was rare.

One day when I happened to look up after being startled by the retarded kid crying over his dropped hot dog I caught the eye of a boy I recognized from one of my old schools. I waved to him and he ignored me, and it took me a moment to remember why: my close-knit classmates and I had not been very warm to him when he had been introduced into our school mid-year. It all came back to me in a rush and, given my current experience as a stranger, it made me feel like a heel.

"Do you know that guy?" I asked Stephan.

"No."

"Is his name David?"

"Yes."

I went over and sat across from David. I thought that he might not remember me by name, so I started to introduce myself. Without looking up he interrupted to suggest that I fuck off and die.

"I'm sorry?"

"You should be. You ruined my life you piece of shit." David gathered his things with shaking hands and left the cafeteria quickly, his eyes on the floor except for a brief glare back at me with narrowed eyes as disappeared through the door.

I sat down beside Stephan again. He was reading about quasars. I felt disturbed and guilty from David's vitriol. I had always thought of myself as one of the ones who had been kinder to him, but in retrospect my efforts were cowardly, meagre and, evidently, invisible to David. To him, I was just another fellow student who had failed to intervene. There was no mistaking that look in his eye: I was The Enemy, or as good as.

David always ate alone. I tried to approach him once or twice more but was always harshly rebuked. On the last time he looked like he was going to cry so I decided to leave him alone. No thirteen year old boy should have to cry in public, even in the freak dungeon.

Over lunches I noticed that David would only take his seat after I had, so that he could orient his back to mine. In deference to his wishes I always tried to persuade Stephan that we should sit in a certain peripheral quarter of tables so as to make this as easy for David as possible. Stephan thought David was an asshole and obliged me only grudgingly.

One day Stephan was sick. I was making friends in class but I hadn't been invited to share lunch with them, so come noon I came to the basement caf alone. David was hovering by the wall pretending to read six month old notices on a bulletin board, so I moved my chair loudly as I took a seat at a respectful distance, so he would notice his waiting time was up.

My mother had made me a ham and cheese sandwich. I sipped a drink box and read a book I largely didn't understand about neutron stars. I hoped to read another book in the future that would shed some light on the nonsense I was packing into my head (a process I called pre-stuffing and Stephan called swamping).

I glanced up as the Weird Sisters sauntered over from the darkest corner of the far quarter and hovered in front of me. "He-llo," said one and then, "Hell-o," said the other.

"Um, hi."

They were giggling girlfriends. They looked at each other and laughed as they talked to me, asking about why I always had lunch with the gross fat guy with greasy hair. They said he was "weird" and this struck me as strange, because the two loitering girls gave me the willies from the second I'd spotted them.

"You're new," said the first Weird Sister, who had a long, horsey face and a body like a skeleton. You could always see her big teeth, her gums seeming curiously withdrawn. She was pointy and restless, constantly rearranging her bony form beneath a pink sweatsuit. Her blonde hair was elaborately crimped. Her breath smelled like battery acid.

"I am new," I confirmed.

"You're cute," said the second Weird Sister, who had a round, cherubic face slathered in make-up -- raccoon eyes and a smeared mouth that featured braces with hunks of crud stuck in them. She wore oddly formal clothes, like she was about to have her picture taken at any moment: black creased slacks, heeled shoes, a shiny blouse pushed garishly open to showcase her zitty cleavage.

"Er," I said, and they laughed hysterically and told each other I was blushing.

The Weird Sisters continued to pester me with stupid, sing-song questions while I tried to dispose of my lunch as quickly as possible. The Skinny Sister had a plastic ziplock bag full of Arrowroot biscuits which she would nibble on for a while and then get up periodically to step over to the garbage can.

I interrupted the Braces Sister to ask, "What does she keep getting up to do?"

"She's throwing up," said Braces. "She's really good at it."

I blinked. "She's what?"

"I have to go to the washroom, because I'm loud. But she's such a pro she can just lean over the garbage and it's like whatever."

I furrowed my brow, certain I was being joked with. I looked over at Skinny again as she stood before the garbage, and as I shifted myself over on my seat I was able to see her quietly unload a stringy stomachful of biscuits and bile into the can. A wave of queasiness overtook me. "I don't...understand..." I stammered weakly.

"It's because we're too fat," replied Braces.

Skinny returned and sat down again, toying with her ziplock bag. "Hey, have you ever kissed a girl?" she wanted to know, looking at Braces.

"Yes," I admitted.

"Have you done frenching?" asked Braces.

"Um, I had a girlfriend at my old school..." I trailed off uncertainly.

Skinny leaned across the table and smiled toothily. I caught a pungent whiff of bile. "We do it all the time," she assured me. "In the lower washroom."

Braces giggled. "Do you want to make out with us?"

I did blush. I also stood up and tossed my knapsack over my shoulder. I felt ill. "Maybe some other time. I've got to go now."

I moved to leave and Braces caught my elbow. "We do blowjobs," she said, glancing over at Skinny who nodded and laughed and then leaned casually over to the garbage can and vomited soundlessly.

I fled.

The next day when Stephan returned the Weird Sisters continued to haunt the periphery of the far quarter like vultures. Whenever Stephan got up to use the washroom or get some desert they would sidle over and giggle at me. "We're going to the lower washroom now," Braces mentioned with a teasing tilt.

"Wanna come?" invited Skinny, burping behind her hand.

"No thank you," I murmured, casting about for Stephan's return. When he sat back down and the Weird Sisters retreated I told him that I couldn't stomach the dungeon caf anymore. Keeping a constant scope out for The Enemy was making me edgy. "It's spring -- why don't we just eat outside?"

Stephan grumbled dubiously.

I starting eating lunch the park. I discovered that's where the rest of my classmates congregated, and soon I was invited into their eating circle. Once one of the middling popular girls began to "like-like" me more-than-a-friend I had my ticket to be invited to extracurricular outings, too. Everyone went to a movie together one day after school and I held that girl's hand in the dark. It was only later that I realized Stephan hadn't been invited.

I tried my best to include him, to make up for my inaction when David had been excluded. I pestered my new friends to invite him along. Stephan would come, but he was sullen and grouchy. He always ended up slouching alone at the periphery, as he did in class. "Let's eat lunch in the caf today," he would suggest to me if I came over to talk to him.

"I can't," I'd say, shaking my head. "I hate that place."

Stephan would look at me sadly and nod. He did not understand how the basement cafeteria was forever tainted by the stink of Enemies for me now -- I could not bear to continue skulking in fear of the nauseous vixens with David's unforgiving curse at my back. Though he listened patiently to my explanations it was clear he thought I had forsaken him. He bore me little malice. Like David, he had accepted rejection as the norm.

To Stephan and the other freaks the dungeon caf was infinitely better than the alternative. Self-exile is easier to swallow than feeling unwelcome.

For him, The Enemy was everywhere.


< I need to escape! | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
On Enemies, Part V | 38 comments (38 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Self-exile. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:57:05 AM EST
It is an eaasy thing to plump for in some situations.

"To Plump For"? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:32:23 AM EST
It means "to choose" by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:51:21 AM EST

You filthy foreigner.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Be nice to him. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:08:58 AM EST
They still watch the trooping of the colour in his country.

Oh, maybe you don't approve of that.

[ Parent ]
Beg pardon? by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:13:39 AM EST

  1. Yes, I do disapprove of the trooping of the colour, you monarchist buffoon.
  2. Being nice to foreigners is exactly the opposite of what made Britain great.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Why Do You Hate Coronation Street? by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 3) #22 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:29:50 AM EST
Being nice to foreigners is exactly the opposite of what made Britain great.

Can I get that on a T-shirt? Or, for a slightly higher iron content -- on a baseball cap?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Eh. by ambrosen (4.00 / 4) #23 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:52:08 AM EST
The only time I've ever watched any of trooping of the color was in the house of a Canadian friend, while taking the piss.

Look, we're on Hulver's site, and if Hulver doesn't choose to block out foreigners, we have to pretend to be nice to them. If you don't like it, go and start your own Prestel server on a BBC Model B like a proper Englishman.

[ Parent ]
Sadly, however, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #35 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:58:56 AM EST
my parents gave away our old Prestel terminal.

[ Parent ]
Don't Dis The Queen of Canada by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:27:27 AM EST
It's your business what the ho does in your land, but over here at the North Pole it's all lollipops and giggles.

The Americans get George Bush. Why should we be cheated out of our chance to adore a genetically inferior super-vedette for the glory of our modest jingoes?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not the same. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:58:04 AM EST
Does she give you tax rebates? Does she take you to war? Does she fluff her words?

[ Parent ]
I'll Tell You A Secret: by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:05:47 AM EST
Fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #26 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:08:18 AM EST
fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap.

Aaaaah!

[ Parent ]
Only because she can't stand without assistance. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #33 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:20:14 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
To choose. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:53:06 AM EST
And 'eaasy' means simple, uncomplicated.

Although 'plump for' kind of means 'settle for', but in a more kind of relishing way, although more because the alternative is scary.

[ Parent ]
I see you plot now... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:09:45 AM EST
You want to take over the entire front page by yourself!

Though, I'll say this. Though I understand your refusal, had I been offered a blowjob at that young an age, I probably would have taken it. Worst comes to worst, you could just lie back and think of Canuckistan...

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.


8th grader's don't really know what they're doing, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:19:08 AM EST
but the whole idea of it was still awesome.


[ Parent ]
Clumsy Blowjobs...er, Suck. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:36:17 AM EST
They're just not worth the mutual embarassment. I only come to attention for experts.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps, but can you honestly tell me... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:48:48 AM EST
...that back then you would have known the difference? Because if you could have, well, you must be far more high speed and low drag than I shall ever be...

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.


[ Parent ]
Shock And Awe by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:00:36 AM EST
My basis for comparison at the time would have been very limited indeed. I'm pretty sure that in any event the experience would have been untaxing to even the shortest attention span.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Are you channelling gazbo? by Evil Cloaked User (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:58:38 AM EST


[ Parent ]
NO! by garlic (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:12:38 AM EST
when I was also 13, not now.


[ Parent ]
Nice recovery. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:16:14 AM EST
Almost as good as this one. (Overheard by not much more than a million people.)

[ Parent ]
Obviously, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:13:28 AM EST
you're just making an assumption.

I hope.

[ Parent ]
What about the digestive fluids? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:25:28 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Exactly: Eu. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:31:21 AM EST
Nice imagery by debacle (2.00 / 0) #32 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 08:28:05 AM EST
I appreciate that. The braces are a nice touch, too.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
It Was Not A Calculated Refusal... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:34:36 AM EST
...But rather an instinctive one.

About the front page: I declined to let Part IV go to FP because I thought it was already too crowded with my spews.

If folks vote the final part to FP I might let that one get escalated, but I'm keeping IV - VIII strictly in Section.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
+1;FP by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:17:27 AM EST
Wow. This totally re-frames the DeGrassi epoch for me.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

It's On Par With Contemporary Degrassi by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:39:35 AM EST
Do y'all get Degrassi: The Next Generation down there? I have a strange fascination with the blonde girl with the squashed nose. It makes her homely in such a particularly ugly-pretty way I just can't put my finger on.

Myself I'm eagerly anticipating the premiere of Degrassi: Voyager. I hear it's got a hot Borg in it.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I don't own a television. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:47:55 AM EST
So I am better than can't help you.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
People Watch Teevie On Televisions? by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:58:10 AM EST
${DEITY} by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:59:09 AM EST
Thanks for reminding me how awful it was being a kid.
__
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
Puke or no puke by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:23:47 AM EST
I would have gone to the lower washroom

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Braces == ouch ouch ouch by Vertical Frankenstein (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:34:20 AM EST
no teeth

[ Parent ]
Some men find them a turn on by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 12:08:59 AM EST
Where some men = paedophiles.

(See the episode of the Sopranos where the stripper pays a fortune to have "cosmetic" braces fitted)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
The reason I don't post stories about my youth by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #27 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:18:42 AM EST
(other than my lack of writing talent) is how utterly boring (in retrospect) it was. Well, boring in "nothing really bad happened" sense. I was a geek, yes, but still part of the popular crowd. Had girlfriends in middle school. Got laid in high school. Don't recall getting beat up by bullies. Didn't have enemies.

I even liked going to school.

Heck, I didn't starting drinking alcoholically, or abusing (as opposed to just using) drugs, until I was 18.

Yes, Mom was an alcoholic. Died of it when I was 17. But she still taught me how to cook, clean house, treat women properly, and be a 'gentleman'.

Yup, a boring, normal, fun childhood.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Y'ever notice... by 606 (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:37:10 PM EST
how women become bulemic in twos? Mary-Kate and Ashley. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. I guess you need that encouragement or something.


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imagine dancing banana here
+1, Referenced my Alma Mater in a link by Roaming Philosopher (2.00 / 0) #37 Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:53:41 PM EST
The University of Virginia. Also, wise decision just thinking about the smell....uuuuugh. (The weird sisters)

On Enemies, Part V | 38 comments (38 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback