We are surrounded by Evil. Intelligent, powerful, active forces of evil dog our every step. We are helpless to fight them. Our only hope comes from above, and we must ask for it.
This is great news,
but almost nobody believes it anymore. The help of a force more
intelligent and more powerful than evil is ours for the asking. If
you know this to be true, then count yourself lucky. Again, most
people have abandoned the whole notion of Evil with a capital “E.”
Still, even if
you’re a true believer you may not have an easy time of it. Your
role may be to serve as a warning to others. Somebody had to be Cain
and Judas. Armageddon is a battle, not a picnic.
Clara was a sleepy girl, often timid,
and mainly waiting for someone to want her. She could not imagine why
a boy or man would desire her, but knew that in the natural order of
things these things happened all the time, so she had a chance. Once
he wanted her, it would be nothing at all for her to want him back.
Find him would take some time, but once he was found, that would be
the end of the search.
She practiced being pleasant at all
times, and feigning interest in even the most pompous of bores. She
could look you right in the eye and tune you out, thinking about
something else entirely. Even nodding in the right places came
naturally, as a sort of musical rhythm thing. Talk talk talk nod. All
the while she would maintain eye contact, but through the gift of
inattention, not see or hear a thing being said.
She had also mastered the art of
repeating the last word you said, as if contemplating the deeper
meaning of it.
Her only exercise regimen was swimming,
but as regimens go, that was the best. Hard to injure yourself
swimming. Despite her lack of rigor or ambition, she found that she
became better at it over time, and it was an excellent way to develop
her body physically. Inside she was a poet, but on the outside, an
Fifteen was an exciting age to be
alive. Everything was changing so quickly! Like many her age, she was
in love with love itself. Romantic love, love of Beauty, God,
Animals, Nature, and on occasion, all mankind. One night she stayed
up all night just to see what it would be like. When winter turned to
spring and then summer, she took it personally. A June morning could
be so full of portent and meaning it was like being punched in the
stomach. She gasped for breath at all the beauty, drowning in sensory
When one of her classmates was
discovered to have super glued her upper lip back to make it look
fuller, Clara understood. It took a visit to the doctor to have it
unglued. Some snickered, but Clara considered it a courageous act, a
nervy experiment. You do what you have to do to feel fully alive.
Nothing to be ashamed of there.
Sometimes at night when she found it
difficult to fall asleep, she entertained a waking dream, a long
fantasy about her and a group of friends washed up on a tropical
island. There were two cute boys and some awful girls who the boys
avoided because they were both in love with Clara. It didn’t matter
how long it took to finally fall asleep, because the long, delicious
fantasy in which Clara wondered which boy’s love to accept made the
interval between hitting the sack and falling asleep a pleasurable
Clara’s Mother’s Diary
I’m worried about Clara. Half the time
it’s like she’s on another planet. There’s no getting through to her.
I asked the school nurse if she thought Clara might be on drugs but
she said “no, she’s just fifteen.” I don’t think all
fifteen-year-old girls are walking around in a daze, but maybe many
of them are and I’m not close enough to them to see it.
I’ve asked her father to talk to her,
but he says he can’t see the problem. He’s not around as much as I
am, and when he comes home from work he just wants to watch
television and relax. He and Clara watch TV together, but they don’t
talk. I feel like I’m the only one who sees a problem here. Am I
Clara smiled at me today, but then
walked right past and started talking to some girls in our class. I
thought I was going to faint when she looked right at me and smiled.
She’s already beautiful, but when she smiles she’s even more so.
She’s like a goddess! A superstar! And to think she smiled at me!
She wasn’t always this way. Last year,
when we were fourteen, she wasn’t anything special. Like many of us,
skinny and awkward. Of course, she had braces until halfway through
the school year, and those make anybody look dorky.
Now she has grown into a mature woman,
a powerful person who could be a movie star if she wanted. Clara has
more going for than all the other girls in this school combined.
Natalie’s Letter to the School Nurse
Dear Miss Brooks. By now you are
probably aware of Clara, the snob who pretends she is God’s gift to
our school and the world in general. We other girls in her class see
right through her little act, but the boys have been completely taken
in by her and think she’s some kind of movie star. For the sake of
our school and the children involved, please do something. I’m sure
you can get Principal Stevens to listen to you, and if he wants to
have a meeting with us, we’d be glad to.
Natalie, Schuman, 10th grade
PRINCIPAL STEVENSONS’ REPLY
Dear Miss Schuman:
I spoke with your teacher Miss Brooks
and in our conversation together we were unable to ascertain the
exact nature of what offense you think Miss Englert is guilty. You
say she is a “phony” and “all the boys have been taken in by
her…little act,” but I am unaware of any violation of our school
code of conduct this may entail.
While it is normal for girls in your
age group to form “cliques” or groups of friends who are often
tight-knit and critical of other cliques, this situation you describe
demands neither disciplinary action nor medical intervention. So I
think we will simply watch and wait for further developments.
I haven’t been able to sleep much. The
last two nights I tossed and turned thinking about Clara. When I did
dream, I dreamed about her, only she was not doing what I wanted her
to do. She was ignoring me. She even laughed at my attempts to tell
her why I care so much about her, and worship the ground she walks
on. Is this normal? Do I need to be medicated?
I thought about talking to the school
nurse because maybe she wouldn’t tell my parents. She also knows
Clara and that might help her understand what I’m going through.
Chad’s Parents Respond to a Note From the School Nurse
Thank you for telling us about your
visit with our son Chad. We want to make sure we’re not
over-reacting, and we certainly don’t want to ignore this distress
Chad is enduring. We will respect your wishes not to tell Chad that
we’ve talked to you, or know that he sought your help.
This Clara girl seems to be a real
character. She’s like a tornado roaring through the lives of her
classmates. I suppose there’s nothing any of us can do to change her
behavior, but we must say that it’s quite difficult for us to stand
by helplessly watching our son suffer, and we’ve spoken to the
parents of Natalie Schuman about what the other girls think of Clara.
Again, we don’t want to make a bad situation worse or put fuel on the
Clara Talks With the School Nurse
What’s everybody freaking out about? I
don’t get it. I’m just being me, minding my own business, and people
are going crazy to my right and to my left. Don’t they have any real
problems they can deal with? I mean, get a life, people!
who pull and drill teeth, am happiest pulling at and drilling my
dental hygienist, a frosted blond girl of twenty-two, whom I recently
chose over two other applicants for the job, one a fat girl with a
high G.P.A., and the other a horse-faced brunette who always looked
like she was thinking something sad.
wife doesn’t care. Well, she doesn’t know, and even if she did, I
doubt she’d care. She and I went our separate ways years ago. Our
home is so absurdly large now that the children are
grown and gone that she and I can spend a week at home and only run
into each other once or twice. Even then, we have nothing to say to
a while I experimented with the recreational use of nitrous oxide,
most commonly known as “laughing gas.” With careful
experimentation I was able to heighten my orgasm during masturbation,
in a way that left me breathless and speechless for minutes
afterwards. I would love to involve my hygienist in this
hanky-panky, but am afraid that she would be too shocked to relax and
enjoy herself. And then she would tell her friends and eventually I
would wind up in treatment or in jail.
have already divorced two women who stood in the way of my happiness,
so I’m not about to entangle myself legally with any more of them.
Them as in “Them” the movie about giant ants who invade the LA
sewers. My freedom is all I have. And my house. I can’t lose my
practice. All these things cost money!
I think I have a novel in me, hiding, waiting to be brought into the
sunlight. I used to think I had a lot of different talents including
writing, music, drawing pictures…but I had to let all of them go to
complete dental school and start my practice. Now that I look back on
it, the years simply flew by. No matter how much I tried, I never
really enjoyed myself. Now it’s time to change all that.
paid my dues, taken my losses, eaten shit as much as most dentists
who spend their days staring down the open mouths of people who can’t
be bothered to brush or floss. At the end of many a day I’ve had to
drink myself to sleep. Intravenous Valium takes the edge off, as
well. Come tomorrow it all starts over again. Watching the hands of
the clock crawl slowly around, staring at women’s breasts under their
clothing, dreaming, fantasizing, hoping that today will be different.
Something will happen, some fundamental change will occur. But it
I only owned a condo on the sea shore in some third world country
where the women are cheap and readily available. Maybe then I’d be
able to scratch this terrible itch that’s been plaguing me for most
of my adult life.
to think of it, the itch struck when I was about fifteen. From that
point on, nothing equaled girls. Not science, not sports, not money,
not the approval of parents or teachers. Nothing. Since that time, it
hasn’t really changed for me in a fundamental way. Girls are all that
really matters. The approval of girls. Girls willing to have sex with
me, for whatever reason. Girls and their girl bodies.
Call me shallow, color me obsessed. I’ve certainly been called worse. I’ve lost more than most men have earned, and still I haven’t learned my lesson. It’s a hunger, and ache down deep in my soul, and no amount of anything will make it go away for good. It dies down now and then, briefly, and then pops back up like a whacka-mole.
Do you even know what you want? Or are you a compulsive whiner, a
habitual moaner and groaner who expects someone to take pity and
solve your problems for you? If so, welcome to the club. We are
legion, and we’re not going away any time soon.
Coddled as children,
given unearned praise as teens, we arrived at adulthood soft all
over. We’re sure somebody, somewhere owes us an apology for
something. We’re prepared to wait as long as it takes to receive
our recompense. Restitution. We’re not just going to forget about
it and move on!
Our hurt feelings
and self-pity are all that we have, so we won’t be surrendering
them any time soon.
Just as much as the
rest of us, celebrities like to have fun, but sometime the weight of
their public status weighs heavy on them. Their publicists warn them
not to do anything to silly, not to have an unattractive picture go
viral on social media. The stars become glum and withdrawn. Fearful
of making a lasting bad impression, remaining home-bound, finally
venturing forth for only the most closely-scripted media events.
Dwayne “The Rock”
Johnson feels an obligation to his fan base. He wants to appear only
in ways that would inspire and impress. His generosity is legendary,
though the gentle giant has gone to great lengths to keep his acts of
charity a secret. Few know that he donated one of his lungs to a
child who needed one. “It’s OK, you’ve got two!” was all the
Rock had to say on the matter. Doctors barely stopped him from
donating both kidneys in another incident, despite his insistence to
“give until it hurts.”
“I don’t mind
dialysis,” said the highest-grossing movie start on the planet.
“Gives me a chance to slow down and read stories to kids. Or if
there’s no kid nearby, I can inhale pure oxygen to help my
remaining lung do its job better.”
Indeed, the only
photo of Dwayne at a dialysis center shows him with tubes inserted
into his massive arms, an oxygen mask on his face, and an enraptured
child in his lap, listening to a real celebrity read the antics of
Fun comes in all
shapes and sizes, flavors and textures, and for Dwayne Johnson, it
doesn’t get any more fun than this.