Today in gym, Lisa DeSilva fell off the ropes. At first they thought she lost her footing, but it turns out she had fainted. Luckily she was only about five feet up and there was a big mat underneath. They ask me to take her to the office so Gary can call her mother to come get her.
I wonder if she still lives in the same house. When we were in lower school, Lisa had a Halloween party in her basement. Her father or stepfather stood at the top of the stairs, making ghost noises through the door while everyone ran around screaming. The floor was sticky with apple juice and squashed candy corns. My cat tail fell off and got lost. Witches hats were mashed. Even Lisa, dressed as a blue fairy, seemed unsure of what would happen next.
I sit with her in Gary’s office. She’s lying on the couch under an International Year of the Child poster. Her hair is dark brown, almost eggplant. She used to be really cute but now she wears glasses with peach-tinted frames that make rest of her face seem small and indistinct. She looks defenseless in her gym clothes, tiny blue shorts and a decal shirt whose decal has been bleached out and is now just a white plastic shape.
“Feel my hands,” she says, laying one hand upon my arm. They are cold and clammy. I still remember the day we were huddled around her in gym, asking, “Does it hurt? Do you bleed a lot?” Lisa was our resident expert. She was the one with the experience. I want to thank her for telling us about it, to tell her that, three years later, I finally got my period, but it has been a while since we were friends.
Unhexed=Bites of Lunch that were cut from the final manuscript. As I slowly, slowly make my way towards creating a print version of the book I may include some of these cuts. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. In an effort to not confuse the reader with too many characters I cut out minor ones.
“Lunch in Brooklyn takes place in New York City in the late 1970s, but it could’ve been written about any era in any locale. Adolescent angst never changes throughout the years; the desires, humiliations and fumbling explorations (drugs, sexuality) remain constant, as do teachers who exclaim, ‘People, settle down,’ and parents who hover over every relationship detail.
“Rebecca Moore has a keen ear for dialog and expertly crafts a young girl’s coming-of-age in a specific time and place. The good news is that Lunch in Brooklyn doesn’t require you be female, or from Brooklyn, to enjoy it.”