I was an authentic-looking cap gun kid. You were a Manic Panic vitamin E cream kid. I was a frontside grind kid, Haldol shuffling, short bus bouncing. You were a Ma, do you know what happens when he gets me alone? kid, counting calories at lunch. I was a sedated wet pack kid who broke free from four-point restraints. You were a never read The Red Pony or The Pearl kid, peace through X-Acto knives. We were Germ burn kids who caught the Red & Tan to Tramps, undercuts and mohawks in the kitchen kids, sharing hot apple cider. We were singalong kids who spit teeth into Elks Lodge sinks, black hole kids with court-approved PINS petitions, ruling VFW circle pits. We were skip spin the bottle kids who surfed by lava lamp, wake in fright, fat cap kids, tagging Citgo station toilets. We were long talks at the Tiffany Diner kids, sure we’d never have a kid. We were “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…?” kids, Red Roof Inn instead of prom, back to the Tiffany for an even longer talk, table covered in carved pentagrams, thrown up disco fries, clinic digits on scraps of paper, dusk falling, but we were kids still in love, sick, stuck in the 845.
Brendan Sheehan lives and writes in New Jersey. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Columbia Journal, Complete Sentence, HAD, Maudlin House, and X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine.