The Smell Of Us

by Eric William Farris

Wait until they get the smell of us.

We are in the library before the school bell rings reading Sartre and spitting spitballs onto the necks of dweebos who give us eye. “Sartre,” Evil says. “Pronounce it like fart.” We are in the back of the class sticking our tongues out like bleh. It’s not our fault. No. No. We grew old quick. We figured it all out. We’re just too advanced. Did you hear that? Advanced. The knowledge of America as fascistic piggy state came before we got our locker combinations. So, answer me this. How could we ever be expected to take our education seriously? Huh? Answer me that. And — hold on there. Actually answer me. Because we are in the hallways afterschool teaching ourselves what you never could; we are becoming enlightened off our own thoughts and reading materials. Because, because — it’s all such bullshit. We’re all so doomed. And it’s fake. Didn’t you know? Everyone is fake and they think they’re real but they’re not real and really they’re just corporate drones programmed to go through high school just so they can go to college and graduate from there so they can get a job and have money and use that money to consume and and and...

And there were many of us and then there were less and now we are the last of a dying breed.

When I first joined the group there was Earwax and Assassin and LSD. But then Earwax graduated and bid us farewell and went to the New York to form a band and pursue his music career. Assassin was caught doing drugs in the bathroom. He was sent to the reform school across the street. And LSD, well, we can never be quite sure what happened to LSD, um. She was just gone one day. The rumor goes there was a family emergency, that they had to leave the area now, now, now. But if you looked into it you would figure out her parents got divorced and then the mother got addicted to painkillers and made LSD move back to their hometown in Arizona so she, the mother, could self-destruct in front of kin. It was always like that. It was always cooler from a distance. Now the members are Xavier and Evil and Lulu and King. In the middle there is me. Both Lulu and King were our freshmeat recruits to bulk up numbers. Xavier and Evil are the upper classmen who teach us group code. I am a sophomore. I am old enough to not be freshmeat but young enough to still be a taught a thing or two in terms of code. Like. For example.

Why, oh why, are we letting into the group a prep who was probably all too ready to sell his soul by the sixth grade? and does this not violate some kinda morality, all the principles we were taught to hold dear—? It is enough rip out all my hair, and it’s not even third period.