Freaks, Geeks, and Postmodernist Critiques

First day at the new school or should I say it in capitals, the New School is what they call it. Plenty of other Irishmen here in New York but does it feel like home? Ballocks it does. Only one place will ever be home and it weren’t Paris and it ain’t New York either but Mum says to make some new friends and to try and fit in. Fit in hell I say and Da says where did ye learn language like that not from the Brothers says he. I don’t say I learned worse language than hell from the brothers, hell they talked about Hell all the time but the worst of it I learned straight from you dear old Da I don’t say. Anyway Dublin is home but it’s all the way across the sea and I’d better get used to the idea. Easier gotten used to than this pail I have been given in which to carry me lunch. I haven’t any conception who this Roy Rogers feller is but I tell you this: the bloody thing is made of metal.

***

Sure and it is my curse that a bully boy would find me my first day at the New School. It is my lack of faith that has brought this Protestant behemoth down on my head. His name is Eddie Kinslow and he’s a hulking beast about fifteen stone and Monday when I was at communing with the spirit of my belly he burst into the W.C. and give me what is referred to in the schoolyard argot as a ‘swirlie’. He tried to hold a conversation with me while me head was in the jakes, I swear to you, dear diary.

“You’ve got a girl’s name! Don’t you, Joyce? What’s it like to have a girl’s name, Joyce?”

“Joyce is only me surname, Eddie.”

“You better call me sir, you little punk.”

“No, I mean me second name. Me Christian name is James.”

“James? That’s a pansy name. You’re a pansy, James.”

“Most people call me Jimmy. You can call me that if it’ll get me head out of this crapper.”

“Shut up, Joyce.”

***

The English teacher is named Missus Gomez. She’s not Irish. She’s not even English bedad. I think she’s from Guatemala or somesuch. I turned in my first essay and she give me an ‘F’. She said it was incomprehensible. I told her it was experimental and she says I’m too young to be experimenting. She was unreceptive to my explanation that I was attempting to encapsulate all the things of this world in the form of a thraitment of your man Shakespeare’s poetry. Mrs. Gomez suggested that I take a page from Cicely Millard’s book anent future assignments. Cicely Millard is a sure bet for valedictorian and did her last report on themes of alienation in the verse of someone named Jewel.

Well at least this Gomez is Catholic.

***

Today Eddie Kinslow was shoving me into a locker after gymnasium class and one of his mates on the swim club wandered past. This worthy made a bit of crack about Nora Barnacle (who is my lab partner in Chem class and with whom I have fallen irretrievably in love) and I became rather agitated, or as much so as a lad can be when stuffed halfway into a steel coffin. So this swimming lad and Kinslow start into a kind of taunting chant: “Joyce loves Nora! Joyce loves Nora!” I answered, well as it happens yes I do. Kinslow answers me this wise: “If you love her so much, why don’t you marry her?” Well I’d rather like to do just that, I reply. Asks Kinslow: “You think you’re pretty smart, don’t you, Joyce?” I says I don’t like to blow me own whistle but I think I’m as bright as the next lad, aye.

I don’t really remember much after that only I woke up atop a flagpole in a less than comfortable attitude.

REPLY





%d bloggers like this: