Tag Archives: Mrs. Catalano

Rise

Sadie had changed. We all saw it, though Diz never seemed to notice or pretended like she didn’t. I can’t say whether the change was bad or good. She seemed more driven, she had direction, so I wanted to say “good,” but I’m not sure where this drive came from either.

I decided a while back that though I think I liked her, I am too young and too much of a screw-up to be of any interest to her. She is Dizzie’s friend and I’m Dizzie’s brother and that’s just weird. That’s what I decided.

“There she is!” my mother cries. “You see her? She looks so gorgeous!”

It takes me a moment to realize she’s talking about Dizzie. Mom is giddy with excitement. She never actually graduated from high school, having run away from home weeks before her own graduation.

Even though I’m here to see Dizzie graduate, I find my eyes firmly locked on Sadie. She looks vaguely like the ghost I knew when I first met her, but now her hair is tied back and her eyes set straight out in front of her instead of at the floor. If she is still a ghost, she has become one that can affect the tangible world, kind of like a poltergeist except she doesn’t throw stuff around so much. Maybe that was a bad analogy. Well, anyway, she definitely seems more… present. Lately.

The valedictorian makes a speech about this year’s theme: rising to the occasion. It all seems very canned. She talks about how her friends have helped her make it through high school and the challenges in classes, especially Mr. Boon’s Chemisty class (laughter from the audience), however she rose to the occasion as we all have to graduate. But her especially. No, she didn’t say that. I just added that part. I guess I’m being mean, but it doesn’t seem right to me to put the most successful student up front to talk about rising to the occasion. Maybe that’s just me.

After that, it’s alphabetical, so Dizzie walks first. They made her remove her lip ring and eyebrow ring for the graduation, though I guess a few years back she wouldn’t have even been able to walk with her hair dyed purple. Sadie’s eyes follow her the entire way down and she looks like she’s in pain. I wish I could take away that pain.

Dizzie grabs the diploma greedily. It’s her ticket out of this school. She’s bitched about it for so long now and finally she’s free. Even though we’re not supposed to, our family cheers like crazy. We planned this out beforehand to wait until she has the diploma in her hand so she doesn’t have to go back to her seat and walk again. Our school is really like Nazis when it comes to graduation. I mean, people want to cheer for their family and friends. What’s so strange about that?

In contrast, Sadie grabs the diploma with hesitation. She doesn’t smile at all while the principal is shaking her hand. In fact, her eyes never really meet his. The principal’s lips move in the standard congratulatory pattern. Sadie turns and walks back to her seat, adjusting the cap on her head as she walks. She twists the tassle in her fingers. I want to be that tassle.

We all rise from our seats and applaud like mad. Someone brought a beach ball and it gets passed around a few times before one of the teachers confiscates it.

We go to the Olive Garden where everyone else seems to be. I’m not sure why Mom and Dad chose this place because there’s a wait and we’re all hungry. Dizzie starts whooping and hollering in the entryway. “Eat it, school!” she cries triumphantly. She already has her piercings in their rightful places. “We did it!”

Sadie smiles. For the first time, I see her smile. Dakota and Chev are eating at a diner with their friends to celebrate, but Kira shows up to meet with us.

“You guys finally did it, huh?” Kira rubs Dizzie’s hair playfully and gives Sadie a hug. And as all this is going on and we sit and eat I keep watching them and wondering: what’s waiting for me at the end of the tunnel? What am I supposed to do until then? How do I cope with myself after dreaming of her for so long?

Sadie smiles and looks at me. I stare at my breadstick.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Virus (Raw version, to be edited)

[Mr./Mrs. Catalano drink too much wine and get in an argument about stem cell research – Grace is against because of using unborn children for adult benefit;  Renato agrees]
It’s the weekend and Seamus’s parents are drinking again. Seamus usually stays up in his room but he hasn’t been feeling well.
“What’s wrong, hon?”
“Mom, I think I’m in love.”
“Ohhh no. Are you sure? What are the symptoms?”
“It feels like a shiver from the pit of my stomach up to my heart.”
“That’s it all right. You wait here. I’m going to get your father.”
Three minutes later, Mr. Catalano comes bolting in.
“My son is in love? With who?”
“Uh. Just some girl. You wouldn’t know her.”
“Are you sure he’s in love?”
“He has all the symptoms.”
“What do we do?”
“We’ll just have to wait for it to run its natural course. After he goes through the
rejection phase, he should be clear of it.”
“Isn’t there another way?”
“I’m afraid not, dear.”
Dad collapses on the couch.
“Uh, rejection phase? Aren’t you two being a little pessimistic?”
The parents look at each other and laugh.
“You’ll learn all about it soon enough.”
“But it worked out for you two.”
“Why, we both went through all sorts of crazies and idiots before we settled on ours. My crazy
wife.”
“My idiot husband.”
“Maybe it’s time we told him.”
“You think?”
“Suuure. He’s old enough.”
“Tell me what?”

[later, Renato passed out – Grace goes through his wallet]

“This is what I love about your father.” [he has personal fortunes made – that’s how they met. He carries one in his wallet that has a Futurist Manifesto quote] “He’s always taken the initiative, created his own future, but he knows the future of the world will always be left to you–the next generation.”

“I’m worried about our generation.”

“We were just as dumb, maybe even stupider. Don’t think your generation is special in that respect.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“You weren’t there. Trust me, we were pretty fuckin’ stupid all around.”

“I know it shouldn’t but why does that make me feel better?”

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Sleep is for Cats

If I never have to wake up again, I’ll be the happiest kid on Earth. Nine years of school is too much for any brain to endure. Now I have four more years of torture. If I was Amish or born in Jamaica or something, I’d already be done with school. I’d live on a farm or an island or something until I died. But now…

“Seamus! Wake up!”

“Mno,” I groan into my pillow. The side I rolled my face into was slick with drool and it got all around my eye. “Mnooo!” I groan, though Mom hadn’t yanked the sheets off yet. What was keeping her?

I open my other eye–the dry and crusty one–only to receive a blast of even more wetness, blinding me completely. Mom had acquired one of my old squirt guns.

“Maaawm! You wet my bed!” It sounds weird now that I said it out loud.

“Put yer sheets in the dryer an’ take a shower. I wonder sometimes if I raised a boy or a cat!”

Aw, man. What a crappy morning. What a crappy life.

“Dizzie!” I hear my mom yell down the hall. Why’d she have to wake me up first? I impress even myself with my mighty yawn as I hurled my pile of sheets into the dryer. They’re pink with flowers. My parents decided to give me a queen-sized mattress one day but I guess couldn’t bother to buy new sheets. I think these ones belonged to Grandma at one point, thought maybe Grandpa had them thrown out. Oh well. It’s not like I ever had much of a choice.

Showering is kind of fun nowadays. I won’t go into details, but I never have enough time to clean anything else.

Breakfast is not so fun. I can’t stand being around Dizzie and now that we’re both going to high school, she’s going to be driving me there too.

“Morning, Freshman!” She gives me a noogie as I come down the stairs.

“G’offa me, Ditz!”

“You’re gonna have to come up with better ‘n that if you’re in high school, little Shamey-wamey.”

“Let. Go! Maaawm!”

“Dizzie. Let go o’ your brother! Seamus. Grow a pair. I don’t want you gettin’ the livin’ snot beat out o’ ya on yer first day.”

Dizzie rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on, Mom. This isn’t your high school in Ireland. We don’t have soccer hooligans ready to pounce on fresh meat. Just jerks and douchebags.”

“Like you,” I mutter.

“Exactly. So stay sharp!” She smacks my ass and if I’d been chewing gum, I would have swallowed it. “Where’s brekkie, Mom?”

We notice Mom is sitting with sunny side up eggs, toast and tea.

“Whatever’s in the cabinet.”

“But… eggs!” Dizzie hops from foot to foot and points at Mom’s plate.

“You wanted eggs, you should have been up when I was making them.”

We grab some wheaties and milk.

“I’m leaving!” Mom says. “Have a good first day, you two!”

The drive there isn’t actually that bad. Dizzie blasts Sonic Youth the entire way there so we don’t have to talk. But she did say one thing as soon as we got into the car: “If anyone actually does want to beat you up, you tell me. Kira and I will kill that fucker.” She gave me a lingering look and then buckled up. I think she might have been serious.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Home Office

I’m embarrassed to admit this. When I sit at my desk, I like to fantasize about being a regular Joe working man. Like a construction worker or a farmer. That’s why I started gardening in our back yard. This is good because it is the only thing that my wife and I will do together. We both like to garden. I feel like maybe the air closer to the ground is cleaner than the air up above our heads. It is strange, though, because I love to cook but never get to do it. I am too busy working. Grace hates cooking but it is her job. I wonder why it worked out that way? God only knows.

Ah, but now my fantasies must stay in my head. I have this family to support, my little Dizzie and Seamus. I must fire a man because we have not cut costs enough with the market crashing. I do not like this part of the job, but this is why I have the fatter paycheck. It is because I must make these decisions.

The name of these employees are scattered all over the desk, not in any particular order. Grace tried to organize my things once and I couldn’t keep track after that. We made a rule that she and the children would not enter the home office while I am working. When I picture the workers in my head, they all seem like good employees. But this not the correct approach. I have it narrowed down to a few based on their attendance….

…oh fuck it. I’ll just pick out of a hat. All lives are equal, after all.

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