August 1974

by Vincent Scarpa

All the grown-ups are upstairs talking about Richard Nixon, the bad president, he’s just finished his speech, and nobody can believe it, they’ve lost something they can’t name, and so they light another cigarette, add some more scotch into silver tumblers, shake up the ice in percussion and pour counter-clockwise, and we are their children and at a time like this nobody cares what we’re doing, they’re not looking for us, they don’t know we’re sprawled out on the fuzzy pink carpet in my bedroom, arms and legs geometric, looking at the magazine my best friend Julie found under her parents’ bed, where the women are naked, their breasts are firm and they have these long legs spread open on every page, and Billy is saying that he wants to borrow the magazine, and Julie is saying how he’s gross, and Billy says that we’re just prudes, and Julie’s mad about that, she’s even kissed a boy she says, but all I’m thinking about is the lady in the magazine, the one with the blond hair set apart into two braids that hang at her shoulders, and  how her eyes are green, like mine, and how her breasts are like two balloons, and will mine ever get that big, and who will touch them if they do, and I want to keep looking at the magazine, want to keep turning the pages, but Julie goes upstairs and takes the magazine with her, hiding it under her skirt, she’s worried her parents will know it’s gone, so then it’s just me and Billy, and he doesn’t even have to ask me to, I just show him.

Vincent Scarpa is pursuing his BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Monkeybicycle, decomPThe Emerson Review, and other journals.