pool noodles

what she says: I’m fine.

what she means: Ashley. Katchadourian. You were supposed to be watching the door. YOU. WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE DOOR. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE DOOR. ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THESE ARE, ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN? THESE ARE A LITTLE GIRL’S ARMS. A LITTLE GIRL WITH DREAMS, WITH LEGS, WITH A HEAD. SHE’S A PENCIL. SHE’S A SWIZZLE STICK! YOU CAN USE HER AS A POOL NOODLE! AND NOW I’M HOLDING UP HER ARMS! I’M HOLDING THEM BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T WATCH THE DOOR. A GIRL LOST HER ARMS, ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN. A GIRL LOST HER FUCKING ARMS. DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT HAS TRANSPIRED WHILE YOU WERE IN PEARL HARBOR? SEEING A FUCKING JAPANESE MUSEUM? WE HAD OUR OWN PEARL HARBOR HERE TODAY. OH MY GOD. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US? YOU LITERALLY BOMBED US! LIKE THE JAPANESE YOU ARE. AND ME. I’M BEN AFFLECK. I’M BEN AFFLECK, AND I’M HOLDING TWO FUCKING GIRL’S ARMS. AND YOU’RE CUBA GOODING JUNIOR, DISAPPOINTING EVERYBODY. LIVE WITH THAT!”

Shit the Foxes said on talk shows
  • Neil: So Kevin comes in at like 1 in the morning, brand new tattoo on his face, and he's drunk as hell but he's making this surprisingly coherent speech about being the deadliest piece of the board, and I'm just sitting there not saying a word because I don't know a thing about chess.
  • Dan: There's a video on my computer containing cuts from every single time Andrew sent a ball flying into someone's head set to the Donky Kong theme song. It's two and a half hours.
  • Allison: Neil has this thing where bad things happening to him are like a matter of fact. Once, he and I met up for lunch, and when the bill came he asked if he could pay me back later because he got mugged on the way over. As it turns out, what I mistook for Neil being a picky eater was actually Neil trying to eat without upsetting a shallow stab wound.
  • Renee: I don't drink alcohol because you can't account for what you'll do when you're drunk. Though sometimes that turns out fun. About a year ago we found out that Matt knows how to sing Sweden's national anthem backwards by heart, and that was hilarious. But on the other hand I've had Allison and Nicky competing on who can break a glass with their voice at three in the morning, so.
  • Matt: Kevin is definitely seems like everything in his life is about Exy, but get to know him and you realize that he has plenty of interests, it's just that he has no concept of doing things in moderation. So it's less a stick up his butt and more like, I don't know, a pool noodle or something.
  • Aaron: Neil doesn't have a concept of money, a fact which on any given day swings between hilarious and flat out tragic. He refused to pay $15.90 for new pants but said he'd pay for my med school if I stopped making fun of his new haircut. To be clear, both of these things happened in the same conversation.
  • Nicky: I love God, I do. He's always in my heart. But I guess God has abandonment issues because every time I see a commercial for a McFlurry I can just feel him testing me.
  • Andrew: The thing about the Foxes is that the stress level on any given day can fluctuate so wildly you get whiplash. One day you're getting yelled at for not blocking a shot, the next you're getting yelled at for "obstruction of justice" or whatever it is the Feds call it when you remind them that they can't come in without a search warrant. Why Wymack does this willingly is beyond me.
  • Kevin: On the one hand, the Foxes are much less organized, not to mention a smaller team. Every game, we're at an almost immediate disadvantage. On the other hand, Ravens are contractually forbidden from Irish coffee. So overall the decision isn't hard.

Ashley. Katchadourian. You were supposed to be watching the door. You. Were supposed to be watching the door. You were supposed. To be watching the door, Ashley Katchadourian. Do you know what these are, Ashley Katchadourian? These are a little girl’s arms. A little girl with dreams, with legs, with a head. She’s a pencil. She’s a swizzle stick. You can use her as a pool noodle. And now I’m holding up her arms. Her arms. I’m holding them because you weren’t watching the door. A girl lost her arms, Ashley Katchadourian. A girl lost her fucking arms. Do you not know what has transpired while you were in Pearl Harbor? Seeing the fucking Japanese museum? We had our own Pearl Harbor here today. Oh my God. How could you do this to us? You literally bombed us. Like the Japanese you are. And me, I’m Ben Affleck, I’m Ben Affleck and I’m holding two fucking girls’ arms. And you’re Cuba Gooding Jr disappointing everybody. Live with that.

shakespeare aesthetics

romeo and juliet: suburban july. scraped knees, bruised knuckles, blood in your teeth. bare feet on hot concrete. restlessness. your high school’s empty parking lot. love poems in your diary. a window open to coax in a breeze. burning inside. an ill-fitting party dress, a t-shirt you cut up yourself, the time you tried to give yourself bangs. biking to your friend’s house. bubble gum. gas station ice. the feeling that you’ve met before. rebellion. a car radio playing down the street. cheap fireworks. a heart drawn on the inside of your wrist with sharpie. switchblades. red solo cups. dancing in your bedroom. screaming yourself hoarse. running out of options. the forlorn-looking basketball hoop at the end of the cul-de-sac. climbing onto your roof at night while your parents are asleep. flip-flops. a eulogy written on looseleaf. the merciless noontime sun.

hamlet: speaking in a whisper. holding your breath. a browning garden. a half-remembered story. furniture covered with sheets. fog at dawn, mist at twilight. losing touch. the ethereal space between winter and spring. the soft skin at your temple. the crack in the hallway mirror. things you’d say if you knew the words. uncombed hair. books with writing in the margins, books with cracked spines, books with lines scratched out. prayers on all souls’ day. a chipped ceramic bathtub. a cold stone floor. uncomfortable awareness of your own heartbeat. the sparrow that got in your house. shadows. the creek you played in as a child. a dirty night gown. a big black t-shirt. a collection of your favorite words. soil under your nails. ghost stories. the strangeness of your own name in your mouth. deep silence. exhaustion. a cliff with a long, long drop down.

twelfth night: wicker deck furniture. new england summer. big dark sunglasses and a blonde bob. a storm over the ocean, patio umbrellas flapping in the wind. chlorine smell. muffled laughter. sarcasm. starched cuffs. day drinking. bay windows. the idea of love, love for the idea of love, love for love’s sake. hangovers. wandering over the sand dunes. a vagabond with a guitar, a crab fisherman with tattoos, a pretty boy with a slackened tie. a light house. growing too close. boat shoes. feeling yourself change. finger guns. big floppy sun hats. double-speak. a song you keep listening to. turning red under their gaze. margaritas drunk on an inflatable pool lounger. string lights on a balmy night. sleepy june days. fights you’re unprepared for, hope you weren’t expecting, pranks that go too far. bad poetry. pining. pool noodles. becoming less of a stranger.

macbeth: the space where your grief used to be. a bird that’s lost an eye. old blood stains. heavy blinds. the smell of sweat, the stillness after battle. a fake smile. a curse. the taste of metal at the back of your tongue. your house, unfamiliar in the dark. a dusty crib. a sulfur smell. an orange pill bottle. streaks in the sink. a black cocktail dress. your hand on the doorknob, shaking. chilly breeze. crunching from the gravel driveway on a moonless night. clenched hands. a rusty swing set. a flashing digital clock stuck on 12:00. a snake that crosses your path, an owl that watches you, a dog that runs when you approach. red smoke. dark clouds. cool steel. tile floors. footsteps in the hallway late at night. a baggy suit that used to fit before. visions. insomnia headaches. nursery rhymes. being too far in to go back now. 

much ado about nothing: the high drama of small towns. a pickup truck, military supply duffel bags in the hall, hugs all around. tulip bulbs. a wraparound porch, a pitcher of iced tea. barbecue. a rubber halloween mask. someone on your level. indian summer. ill-timed proclamations. stomach-clutching laughter. rushing in. not minding your business. crepe paper. white lies. secrets written down and thrown away. southern hospitality. homemade curtains in the kitchen, a sink full of roses. hiding in the bushes. old friends. the wedding dress your grandma wore, and her mama before her. a dog-eared rhyming dictionary. camomile with honey. the intimacy of big parties. lawn flamingos. gossip. a crowded church. friendly rivalries. unfriendly rivalries. shit getting real. love at five hundredth sight. not realizing you have a home until you’re there. 

king lear: cement block buildings. power lines that birds never perch on. the end of the world. useless words. rainless thunder, heat lightning, a too-big sky. arthritic knuckles. broken glass. chalk cliffs. the pulsing red-black behind closed eyes. something you learned too late. wet mud that sucks up your shoes while you walk. a cold stare. empty picture frames. empty prayers. the obscenity of seeing your parents cry. a treeless landscape. bloody rags. grappling in the dark with reaching hands. the sharpness at the tips of your teeth. the blown-out windows of skeletal houses. decay. jokes that aren’t jokes, shutting up, holding your tongue. prophecies. aching muscles, tired feet. stinging rain. invoking the gods, wondering if the gods are listening, wondering if the gods are dead. white noise. shivers. numbness. the unequivocal feeling of ending.

a midsummer night’s dream: wet soil/dead leaves smell. listening to music on headphones with your eyes closed. wildflowers. the distant sparkle of lightning bugs. a pill somebody slipped you. fear that turns to excitement, excitement that turns to frenzy. mossy tree trunks. a pair of yellow eyes in the darkness. night swimming. moonlight through the leaves. a bass beat in your chest. a butterfly landing on your nose. a kiss from a stranger. a dark hollow in an old tree. glow-in-the-dark paint. drinking on an empty stomach. a twig breaking behind you. spinning until you’re dizzy. finding glitter on your body and not remembering where it came from. an overgrown path through the woods. cool dew on your skin. a dream that fades with waking. moths drawn to the light. giving yourself over, completely. afterglow. the long, loving, velvety night.

Ashley. Katchadourian. You were supposed to be watching the door. YOU. WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE DOOR. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE DOOR. ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THESE ARE, ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN? THESE ARE A LITTLE GIRL’S ARMS. A LITTLE GIRL WITH DREAMS, WITH LEGS, WITH A HEAD. SHE’S A PENCIL. SHE’S A SWIZZLE STICK! YOU CAN USE HER AS A POOL NOODLE! AND NOW I’M HOLDING UP HER ARMS! I’M HOLDING THEM BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T WATCH THE DOOR. A GIRL LOST HER ARMS, ASHLEY KATCHADOURIAN. A GIRL LOST HER FUCKING ARMS. DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT HAS TRANSPIRED WHILE YOU WERE IN PEARL HARBOR? SEEING A FUCKING JAPANESE MUSEUM? WE HAD OUR OWN PEARL HARBOR HERE TODAY. OH MY GOD. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US? YOU LITERALLY BOMBED US! LIKE THE JAPANESE YOU ARE. AND ME. I’M BEN AFFLECK. I’M BEN AFFLECK, AND I’M HOLDING TWO FUCKING GIRL’S ARMS. AND YOU’RE CUBA GOODING JUNIOR, DISAPPOINTING EVERYBODY. LIVE WITH THAT!
—  Trisha Cappelletti from The Most Popular Girls in School
Day One Hundred and Nine

-A young boy yielding a pool noodle thrice his height shouted the word “penis.” He may be only three, but he is well on his way to becoming as mature a man as any.

-A child passing by Starbucks remarked, “Hot chocolate? Like in Polar Express?” I hope that their innocence and enthusiasm are never dampened and that their exposure to liquid goodness goes beyond disturbingly-animated movies.

-I have become something of an attraction to possessed children today. Throughout my shift, upwards of two infants have twisted themselves around 270 degrees in their seat to maintain eye contact with me. I am unsure how best to utilize my legion of demonic toddlers, but I am certain they will come in handy.

-Four twelve year-old girls spent the better part of an hour sprinting throughout the store, and the better part of another hour sitting in a single cart at the front. This gaggle of gals had a large bag of water and a complete lack of supervision. This has potential to be a devastating combination as any of us have seen.

-A nine year-old busted out a surprisingly sick drum solo. With nothing more than a plastic stick, she gave my life a sense of drama which I can only hope to live up to.

-A man left his bag behind. I began to shout after him. A woman behind me chimed in, echoing my calls in a soft whisper. My attempts were not enough. Thankfully, the sound level it took to get his attention was precisely one whisper above a shout, so once again partner and I have triumphed.

-A clean-shaven neckbeard spent his evening compulsively and sporadically dabbing to entertain his friends. Sadly, his attempts at being impressive were entirely in vain, as he was behind them the entire time, and he was dabbing.