RELAX, Don't Do It

Sitting Here wishing on a cement floor--just wishing that I had just something you wore. I'd put it on, when I got lonely...will you take off your dress and send it to me?

The first time I heard RUN DMC was in 3rd grade, the year before my parents put me in Timothy. I was pencil fighting with the boys--Yorkie, Montell and Nick (the dick, who would later be decapitated in a high speed car crash) in the back of the art room, banging the hell out of those yellow painted Number twos. They either had red or blue aluminum rims around the bottom of their wobbily erasers. We were allowed to listen to a wide gray boom box and draw the occasional tag or boobie drawing across an unrolled sheath of newsprint. As long as we kept occupied and stayed out of trouble.

I was like one of the guys. On the periphery with my rock star haircut. Boy rockstar, not girl rockstar, a sometimes subtle but always definitive difference. I was to be tolerated as a hanger-on, the story of my life. At least so far.

Nick, Yorkie and Montell wore simultaneously better but worse clothes than I did. They had hand me down v-neck sweaters and striped polos. The colors always meticulously matched, those of the pants with those of the tops, so that it looked like a complete outfit even if it wasn't. Yorkie had an entire wardrobe of T-shirts, sweatshirts and windbreakers with his tag airbrushed across it: the NYC skyline with his name beneath in baroquely swirling, red, yellow and green font.

All three of them alternated between loafers and hi-tops. The brand of choice was Addidas with brightly colored fat laces, stretching loosely across the fully exposed white tongue. The shoes weren't tied at all, they were basically slippers. Making someone try to run in them almost always had a comical effect, as was proven by several Phys. Ed. teachers. Occasionally the laces would be interwoven--perhaps forming a pattern like a checkerboard. From here it was a half step to taking the laces out of the shoes altogether.

We listened to "Roxane, Roxane" and Run DMC. Maybe some LL Cool J. I remember that his hat reminded me of the guy on Fat Albert. The guy who is only eyes.

We practiced what is now thought of as vogueing. It took forever, but I finally got my shoulder to lock. Then my parents took me out of school.

The following spring I cut my fingers off. Tellingly, this also took place in an elementary school art room.

What are you trying to prove, TRUE?

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