The announcement came after formal dinner when degenerates were lacing
up their fancy tennis shoes to sprint down to the infirmary for meds--it was the first
headmaster’s holiday of the academic year. Fall term had barely begun and nobody was
expecting such a fledgling victory for degeneracy. The room erupted, digestion interrupted,
girls standing on chairs, boys slamming spoons on glasses, banging fists and knees on
tables; an orgiastic roar of five hundred fifty morons who would be so wired they would
not eat for thirty hours.
They devoured their lines, frowns turned to smiles, then back to frowns as they
filled the bathroom stalls with starch and moaning, flushing bowl after bowl after blowing
their first series of lines and pyramids for the evening: Adderall, Ritalin, cocaine--hell, they
will snort Vitamin C if they can crush it with their Kent School issued debit cards and rail it
through a plastic Bic pen. The plastic currency is intended for the stat store and snack
bar; to purchase pizza slices and soda (from a dirty hirsute man behind the counter who
is mercilessly denigrated by snobs), tapestries, notebooks, highlighters, sweatshirts,
pens for blowing more powder, or a new window fan to puff weed through a toilet paper
roll stuffed with Bounce fabric softener.
They fill Snapple bottles with vodka, holstered in their socks, remove the wall
panels and walk down into heaven after traversing purgatory in darkness--crawling
downward on purple stomachs on a slight incline with limited oxygen for half the length of
the varsity football field--where the head coach wishes to be buried next to his trophies.
Meanwhile, smelling their own decay, bumping noses into the asses of High Honor
Roll degenerates, appendages squashed by Birkenstocks and dirty sneakers that
cumulatively cost more money than their English teacher’s monthly salary, the advisors of
deans indoctrinated into the madness of the underground asylum. The smell of fresh blood,
third form (freshmen) girls nervous in the labyrinth for the first time whining, whispers
in the cool draft float upward and echo like chapel hymns. Beetles, cave crickets, and
hornets buzzing as students struggle to continue onward before using up all the air like
scuba divers descending on a half-empty tank. They make love with their nightmares, the
secret chamber of kilograms and Snapple bottles full of sweet poison, yellowed stacks of
newspapers from the 1940s proclaiming victory in World War II.
The third world is that inhabited by Senior Prefects, Vergers, Blue Key Heads,
Sacristans, Library Proctors, and Dining Hall Stewards. Macedonia rode one wave toward
the Antikythera mechanism--huffing Glade half-naked through frosty towels hanging from
door racks like Christmas stockings. Many of those currently surfing the network are
blowing powder or perhaps flipping some moron’s head into a cement wall at 4:25 in the
morning as a hazing ritual: debauchery, depraved decadence of the world’s richest and most
Most prefects with the map to the tunnels and dungeons of millennial degenerates
have already earned early acceptance into the Ivy League. In ten years they will be
ambassadors, gynecologists, and garbage collectors.
For this moment in time, on this first headmaster’s holiday, they are nothing more
than blunted amber ashes in a Norton Anthology textbook.