Early Adolescence


Mrs. Grace is a hooker. We play a game in class:

She is a tramp.
She is a coke-head.
She is a dirty prostitute.
I could pay her for sex and then I would feel better.

Mrs. Grace reads the responses. The last one is not a description, Mrs. Grace says. Mrs. Grace wears make-up that bleeds into her silk blouse. Her street money bought her that blouse. She is round under her blouse and she doesn’t wear anything under her skirt.

But you are right, Mrs. Grace adds. That girl is cheap. Mrs. Grace looks like a Halloween lantern. Oh, Mrs. Grace.

Mrs. Grace reads more responses.

She is stupid.
She is a punk bitch.
She don’t eat shit.

The class smiles and laughs. That is not English, Manual. Mrs. Grace shakes her head and looks like a manikin. She would screw like a manikin—up and down—with her dislodged glass eyes. She was bought in a store for $3.95 in Chinatown. She was sold next to the fake porcelain dragon. Oh, Mrs. Grace—

You poor hooker.

That wasn’t mine, Manual says. Sure, Mrs. Grace says. The class laughs at Manual again. Manual hides behind his shoulders.


She has a history of undressing in class.


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