Graphic by Steven L. Fornal.

A Monologue

By Giovanna Coppola

LUCILLE IS A TWELVE year old girl talking to her best friend on the phone in her bedroom. She is wearing jeans and white socks that are too big for her and are halfway coming off of her feet. Throughout the phone conversation she is very animated, tending to lay on her back on her bed and rub her feet against the wall, sit up and bounce on the bed, stand up and pace back and forth, lie on the floor, any type of movement that corresponds to the conversation.

The room consists of a twin size bed pushed against the wall. The bed is covered with a comforter with dinosaurs all over it. The wall has pasted pictures of cats all over it and a giant framed poster of James Dean. There are a mountain of books, mostly the Anne of Green Gables series, papers, dirty dishes and glasses. On the floor is a patchwork throw rug, photographs of friends and family strewn all over, including the negatives, rolled up dirty socks, and a straw hat that says I LOVE THE STATUE OF LIBERTY along the brim.

LUCILLE: Okay, okay, so I'm going to tell you all about it. Okay, ha, ha, okay…EEEEEEEeeeee!!! All right, all right, ALL RIGHT! I'll start. So I was in his house, KAT, his house!! His house smells like smoked mozzarella and wood like your house. When I got there I couldn't believe my feet were touching his floor. So—I really wish you weren't sick, you would have had so much fun last night. Anyway, so I walked down the hall and opened the door into the den, where everyone was. I swear to god I was sweating like a pig.

The first thing I saw was Deanna and Brendan kissing…I know! They hate each other, but it wasn't a movie kiss. They were just pecks… OH! And listen to this. Liz was sitting on Joe's lap! And Joe kept on saying how comfy he was while Jordan and Craig were slapping him five—WEIRDOSUMA! … No, Kyle wasn't in the room yet.

So the door opens and I thought I was going to puke, but it wasn't Kyle, it was Geoffrey and he looked around the room and laughed and then he saw me standing over by the TV. He smiled at me and my stomach kicked because you know how much he looks like Kyle and then he walked back out and closed the door. Then I heard outside the door Kyle's voice and he said, "God, Geoffrey, I told you not to walk into the room." And Geoffrey said -- "Geez, Kyle, I'm not a grown up" and Kyle said, "Fuck off" … I know, I bet he thought he was so cool swearing, so meanwhile I thought I was going to puke because he was coming in and I made sure I looked all right … Oh, I was wearing that long black skirt with that pale orange and yellow turtleneck with an orange corduroy jacket … No, I didn't look like Halloween!

Anyway, so right before he came in I took a potato chip from the bowl on top of the TV, but then I spat it back out because I didn't want anything on my teeth. So Kyle walked in towards the TV, he had his back to me because he was still looking at the door, I guess he was still mad at Geoffrey and he took a chip from the bowl. I heard him say it was soggy and then I said, "That's because it was in my mouth."

I'm such a TURD!! I felt like an idiot and I do this all the time, but I didn't feel too bad because he turned around and saw me and smiled and get this, he said "That's okay" and finished chewing. It didn't even make any sound!! … Oh, I know … I swear to god, my stomach came out of my butt when he said that. And then he turned around and grabbed an empty two- liter bottle from on top of the TV and said, "Hey everybody, let's play spin the bottle, again" … Yeah, I guess they already played before I got there, but I was glad they were going to play again because I didn't know how I was going to kiss Kyle.

Kyle was wearing and orange and yellow baggy pants … some kind of thin material, they tapered at the ankle, so he looked like a genie and he was wearing a yellow silk shirt and on the back there was a picture of a cat sitting on a brick wall shouting "Stop Pill Popping!" … you've seen him wear that? Where? … At Sandy's bar mitzvah? Oh, that was when I was in New Jersey.

Anyway, I was looking at Kyle standing there and for a split second, I almost didn't like him anymore, the way he was standing there with all of his weight on one leg and banging that two-liter bottle on his hip. I ignored it though. So we started to play and I positioned myself directly across from Craig and 45 degrees from Kyle … I figured it out that most times the bottle lands 45 degrees and 90 degrees from the spinner. Kyle and Craig are the only boys that I would ever consider kissing. Kyle was going to spin first, you know, he's the birthday boy, but Brendan tackled him and grabbed the bottle like a football and everyone laughed, but I didn't, he's so stupid sometimes, so he spun first and I wasn't too worried because the bottle rarely lands ten degrees from the spinner. But I was wrong. I don't know if it was by my own miscalculations or through Brendan's manipulations, but whatever it was the bottle landed on me so everyone asked Brendan what he wanted and Brendan was ready to say "lips", but I gave him an ugly look and he said "Li-cheek." "what?", Kyle asked and Brendan said, "I said La cheek. It's French, duh." So Brendan started to lean over and I felt his hot pimple face coming closer and I couldn't take that oily chin rubbing against my cheek so I made a meowing sound and pulled away and covered my face. Everyone sighed and wanted to get on with somebody who was really going to kiss, which was fine by me. So things went on and Kyle kissed Sara, but I didn't care because you know how Sara's in love with Jordan. They kissed for five seconds and Sara almost cried.

Then we ate cake and I sang happy Birthday like Louis Armstrong, but no one got it except for Geoffrey. Everyone thought I sounded like Pee-Wee Herman. Then we went back to the den and it was my turn to spin and I used my telekinetic powers-- I do to! I swear to god I can make things move with my eyes … Yeah, well how come it landed on Kyle? …Okay, so it landed on Kyle and when they asked me what I wanted I said "lips" as confidently as if I were a prostitute. We sat in the middle so everyone could watch and he put his arms around me and I closed my eyes and we kissed. For five seconds... It felt stupid. I don't know, my lips were closed and they were pressed tight against my teeth and we just sat there with our heads knocked together doing nothing.

But I kissed Kyle! I wish it felt like something more, though. I mean it wasn't a real kiss, not like am movie kiss, you know? So I sat around for a few more turns and I watched some others kiss and I saw Stacy kiss Andy-- …Puke, I know, she's so gross. She looked all disappointed and everything, like she thought she was a slut. She's so dramatic, god, I can't stand her. I mean, come on, I was disappointed too, but it wasn't like I had to act like I was dying, so everyone could ask me what's the matter. puke

…Yeah, well, after watching Stacy, I couldn't be in that room anymore and I left to go to the bathroom and I thought about Kyle farting in the bathroom as I sat on the toilet...I don't know. Sometimes I just think about something that makes me feel grossed out. Like if I see an ugly boy in Shop-Rite, I imagine kissing him and then I feel sick. Anyway after I got out I wandered around. I didn't feel so excited about walking on his floors anymore and I walked into the living room and saw Geoffrey laying on the couch reading. When he saw me he put the book down and asked me if I was tired from all of that electricity and I said, "Yeah, right, what electricity? Kissing Kyle felt like kissing a window." And he asked me what I was expecting to feel and I sat on the couch and he moved his feet away and sat up and I told him how I liked Kyle all this year and how I day dreamed about him while I rode the bus in the morning and how now that I kissed him it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a movie kiss or anything.

And then Geoffrey asked how old I was and then I told him how I was going to be thirteen in August and then he said, "So you're still twelve." And I said, "And you're fifteen, right?" And he told me that he was nearly sixteen and I said, "But still fifteen" and he smiled and I asked him if he kissed a lot of girls and he said, "Not too many. Only the ones that I liked." And I asked him if they were movie kisses and he asked me how so?

And I told him they were like when you move your mouth and rub your hands up and down the person's back and you move your head back and forth and breath through your nose and sometimes through your mouth. And I told him the story of when I was in Manhattan with Lisa and I saw that couple in Little Italy in front of a restaurant … What's wrong with telling him that? I said how they were both wearing black and thought that they were French or fashion and how they were kissing passionately. I remember how they clung to each other and how I didn't want to look too much because no one was paying attention to them and I didn't want to be the only one. And the people were just walking around them as if they were a telephone pole in the middle of the sidewalk. But still, I wanted to watch how they kissed. I told Geoffrey that maybe one day I'll kiss someone like that.

Okay, so I looked over at Geoffrey and it was really quiet. He looked at me and I smiled at him, but he didn't smile back and he leaned closer to me. It started to feel warm and I got nervous and I felt like sweat crystals were snapping under my arm pits and I was worried that I stunk, but he still came closer until he stopped right in my front of my face. He touched my face with both of his hands, I swear to god, my brain felt like it was doing jumping jacks and I was afraid to breathe and wondered if he smelled chocolate on my breath and then his lips touched my mouth and I relaxed and then he pushed his my mouth open with his lips and it felt really warm and wet and even though my eyes were closed I could see the dark red color of our insides touching. Then I thought about being a dentist and touching that dark red color all day, but when Geoffrey put his tongue into my mouth, I snapped back … Oh, god, Kat , it was so weird, so weird, it was a tongue, his tongue was in my mouth, and his hands were rubbing my neck and traveled across my shoulders and I knew I was kissing him back, but I didn't want to. It was a tongue, a tongue was touching my tongue.

And then I pulled away fast and looked at him. It was like he was looking at me naked and I didn't like that and I wanted to cover myself with a blanket and the room was so bright and I was afraid someone was going to come in by the front door and let all the cold air in. I stood up and told him that I wanted to go back into the room and see what everyone else was doing and he told me to wait and was going to say something but I just said real fast that I had to go to the bathroom and I ran down the hall and into the bathroom again. I was going to puke for real and I put my face over the toilet bowl and started gagging and I looked up into the mirrored wall and my face was all sweaty and I was spitting, god, Kat, I couldn't stop spitting. And then Geoffrey knocked on the door and asked me if I were all right and I told him yes and said I'd be back in a minute.

I stopped heaving and watched my face in the sink and my stomach stopped contracting and then I opened the door and walked back into the den. Everyone had stopped playing spin the bottle and "Abominable Snowman in the Market" was playing and Kyle and Jamie were dancing. And everything looked different. I just sat on the couch in the corner and watched everyone. The boys and the girls were on different sides of the room and Joe and Greg were talking about the radio that Joe's father put into his tractor and Brendan was making machine gun noises with Andy. Deanna and Liz were talking about nightgowns and puke, Stacy and Susan were talking about horses. … I know, Stacy looks like a horse, the fat turd. …I don't know, nothing else pretty much happened. I didn't see Geoffrey when I left. I just talked to Katie for the rest of the time. Oh, were going to start a band called the Popcorn Kids. Do you want to join?++


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