This story took place when the wind was made of glass.
Jane O’Degarde perched in front of the window, wishing the snow would melt. She was on a heavy dose of cough syrup with codeine, due to an upper respiratory infection. “Under My Thumb,” her favorite Stones song at the time, was playing on a loop. When she finally lay down on her mattress, Jane stared at the ceiling, and the music spiraled around her head, showering her face like the cool March rain she impatiently awaited.
Lindsay Camel was the kind of girl you said you would take to the movies. She had that cool-cat, Siamese charm. Miles Davis cool. Cool jazz cool. She walked like sin with a smile that took pleasing shapes. The girl was an angel. Jane O’Degarde looked like hell on a waterfall that night, just like every other night. They listened to The Misfits. They didn’t care about anything. They just wanted to drink coffee and get fucked.
It always began this way. Jane’s shaggy, bleached hair so destroyed that it came down like knives. Her black eyeliner melted and smeared to make her look like a raccoon. Her black shirt so low that you could see the rim of her red bra, fearful that an areola would soon become visible. She lit a cigarette like she knew what she was doing.
“Fuck! I burnt your car again,” Jane said after she dropped the cigarette, burning a hole through the seat of Lindsay’s car.
“Fuck! It’s fine, I don’t care,” Lindsay replied.
Lindsay played with the dreadlock that formed unintentionally somewhere in the depths of her sandy, golden hair. They sat listening to “Where Eagles Dare” in a 7-11 parking lot watching the angsty teens of the town smoke Newports and complain about their stepdads. There was a strip mall attached to the 7-11 containing stores that had closed down due to “The Economy,” something that people over the age of forty seemed to love talking about. It wouldn’t matter if they were closed either way. No one came outside in the winter, and in this town, winter began in October.
“Do you remember Pat Hess?” Lindsay smiled.
“Turkish Gold!” Jane remembered, as she took a drag and coughed violently.
Pat Hess was a black-eyed boy with a snapping turtle face and very few positive role models in his life. He was a bottom feeder at their school, but despite his past relationships with mentally unstable, under-aged girlfriends, he was a nice boy. One day while Jane and Lindsay were talking about dick in a Taco Bell parking lot, Pat Hess drove through and they asked him to buy them cigarettes. Jane offered to show him her boobs, but it was Lindsay’s neo-hippie charms that convinced him. They walked across the street to the 7-11.
“What kind do you guys want?”
Jane and Lindsay looked at each other, trying to figure out what to say. Jane did not know any brands other than the one with the camel wearing sunglasses.
Pat Hess laughed at them but he was compliant. “Do you want menthol?”
“Definitely. Definitely menthol,” Jane replied immediately like Dustin Hoffman in that one Dustin Hoffman movie. Pat Hess went inside while the girls waited behind the dumpster.
“What the fuck is menthol?” Jane asked.
“I have no idea. Is it like mint? Like in cough drops?”
“I don’t know. I just thought menthol was worse for you so I said menthol.” They both laughed, enjoying the awareness of their own stupidity.
Other than cigarettes, Jane strayed away from any other kind of substance unless it was prescribed to her. She had smoked pot and drank a lot of hard liquor when she was younger, but it was a waste. Most people under the age of twenty have pleasurable experiences with drugs and alcohol, but Jane would just end up crying and making out with someone awful.
There was this boy named Miller that Jane thought she was in love with. He was an asshole. He was in and out of rehab a lot, and she only saw him about once a year. She had to find someone else to try and bone during the time he was away. Lindsay made out with anyone that looked at her, but Jane had more trouble with men. She scared all that came her way. She was too forward. Jane and Lindsay were still burning in the hellish asshole of their suburban, racially segregated high school.
Lindsay was kind and you could tell by her cheeks. Always red from smiling. Even when she was sad she could still find something to smile about. The drugs could have helped with that but she was still so kind. Jane looked kind too, but she wasn’t. She had puffy cheeks but she wasn’t smiling. She was a snake, at least right now. And the people that passed her as she slithered along, they were all rats.
Lindsay’s car smelled like Jane’s aunt. Vanilla, leather and smoke. She had seat warmers, which was nice considering the Black Death weather and the amount of time that they spent in parking lots. There was a sixteen year old with diabetes standing next to the 7-11 dumpster with her twenty-eight year old boyfriend. He held her like a bad prom picture. They were with other teenage boys with ratty snapping turtle faces and a little too much acne for someone living in an upper-middle class town.
“Fucking Glen told me to do the fucking dishes. I was like, you’re not my dad!” the diabetes girl said.
Jane and Lindsay laughed hysterically, and even though the whiny kids noticed, they just snarled and kept on talking.
“It’s gonna be okay, babe. You move in with me and I’ll take care of you,” the old, flaming pile of dog shit boyfriend said.
“That girl looks like she has diabetes,” Jane said.
“Why is everyone with diabetes so fucking crazy?”
“I have no idea. Remember Bridget Sanders? She had beady eyes and a crush on her uncle?”
“Fucking diabetes! It explains so much!”
“I know! Also, why does every scummy person in the world hate their dad? My dad’s awesome.”
Lindsay grew quiet and sad all of a sudden.
“I hate my dad.”
Jane had forgotten this.
“That’s okay. We’re allowed to be angsty. We still have our youth.” Lindsay agreed and they went back to making fun of the sewer rats with dysfunctional families. They realized that they had become one of those cretins that they hated so much. They found it amusing. They were fully aware of their hypocrisy. It freed them in a way. Still cracking up, Lindsay pointed at Jane’s nose, which was infected because she tried to pierce it herself with a thumbtack. It was a pretty face with a giant scab. Jane read short stories aloud to her when they weren’t making fun of people.
“You wanna hear my new story?”
“Yes! I would love to.”
“It’s not very good, but okay.”
“The Cunt and the Funeral”
By Jane O’Degarde
I want to listen to organ music and make love to you in a cemetery. But everything is black and white and I’m weeping quietly. Some German woman with a low voice is chanting things we can’t understand. It’s misty out like the way you would picture a ghost. I wear black lipstick and it gets all over your dick. You’re into that sort of thing. Please kill me.
“Amazing,” Lindsay said. They stayed up late and tried to break all of the rules. They drifted into the night.