Simon Jacobs edits the Safety Pin Review, a new, wearable medium for fiction under thirty words, and serves as the flash fiction editor of Flywheel Magazine. He attends a tiny college in the Midwest and is perpetually on the verge of leaving at simonajacobs.blogspot.com.
For Mike Tank Riviera:
You declared yourself “the last living punk rocker,” mostly the product of the shoulder-length hair you spiked into a mohawk and dyed the most obnoxious shade of green. You couldn’t be bothered; you were taller and starker than anyone else, you and your mohawk. The rest of us were just your goons. You bragged about all the shit you shoplifted, but I saw you do it once: nervous as all fuck, you stuffed some Got2b gel into your jacket with shaking hands, and by the time you’d jittered out the exit you were soaked. But look, you had the gel, all four dollars’ worth. Nevermind you sweated all through that leather and never washed it because you were afraid the paint would come out.
For Gladys McLoughlin:
You were the biggest woman in the world, at least in our world. There was speculation, always, about what lived in your cleavage or between your belly rolls. Apocrypha tells of a time one spring where someone saw you kneeling out front in your quarter-inch garden, delivering into your flowerbed a damp, flattened nest of robin’s eggs from your bosom. And that they hatched a day later. For the breadth of your arms, I wanted to bury myself inside.
For the Dayton Mall:
Most of our blood was spilled on your ceramic tiles. We teethed in Hot Topic. At least two of us have permanent scars from falling up the escalators, bruises from bailing out on the curbs outside; I’m sure there was a razor blade slip in three or four different bathroom stalls, during times of duress or self-abnegation, and stomachs purged in slightly higher ratios. You were always our waypoint.
For Katie Kowalski:
Fuck you for disappearing.
For Marcus Leaverton:
You were high school’s pride, a gorgeous and enthusiastic storyteller. For the account of losing your virginity at thirteen, you stole a scene from a movie you thought no one else had seen. Your presence in a room was electricity; in your presence everyone was eager to please. Despite the fact that they could get nothing, that you had your boy and everyone knew it. At times, you seemed bored by all the attention. See: your dynamism repelled even you; still, it reached the point where all you had to do was hover your hand above Steven’s crotch to tent his pants.
For Monica Lippett:
You ran away because of a song. You wanted to be one of the “kids” who your alt-heroes sang about, so you bolted at age fifteen from the house you’d grown up in. For all the kids who said they wanted to run away but never did, you did it for them. When the police brought you back to your parents forty hours later, you’d gone fourteen miles, farther than anyone else had ever dared. This one’s for you.
For Matthew Blakely:
You grew so, so big.