I’m sitting here in my last class of the day–english–and I can’t focus. I just want out. I heard from Carmen since Tuesday–I haven’t even seen her. I hope she hasn’t gotten in trouble. Farrington is still teaching, but yesterday the vice principal came in and watched the class. He behaved (surprise, surprise), giving the vp nothing to suspect. I wanted to ask her right then what happened to Carmen, but I kept my mouth shut. Kim still hasn’t talked to me, so I’m guessing that either Carmen hasn’t mentioned my involvement in the sharpie incident or Kim just doesn’t care. Hard to tell.
Today is the day. Seekers after school. (no wonder I can’t concentrate.) Find out what happened to Carmen and maybe meet Kim and some other people. Really, anyone who hangs out with Kim and Carmen must be pretty cool, right?
Finally. Class is over…I’m off.
It’s official. I no longer miss Chapel Hill. I don’t miss the school, the people, the teachers, I don’t miss any of it. I feel more at home here than I could’ve imagined. When I got to Seekers and ordered a cappuccino, Carmen found me, so I didn’t even have to make awkward attempts at bringing myself into a group discussion. She actually got to Seekers shortly after I did, and we got a chance to talk about what happened. she’s not in trouble, but she is taking a stand of sorts. She had a very angry discussion with the principal and said that if action isn’t taken she’s going to transfer schools. Her mom, who she lives with, called the school the next day and said the same thing, and gave the school a week to figure out what’s going on (and to do something). Carmen told me to talk to the principal myself and tell other girls to do the same thing, because enough is enough. The barista handed her the mocha she’d ordered and she glanced at me, adding that she did want to stay in the school.
Her eyes are a gorgeous color- dark deep pools of liquid brown with a few tiny flecks of green dancing through them. I looked away from her eyes before replying that I’d definitely talk to the principal, and school wouldn’t be the same without her. I looked at the Seekers mug and felt a tiny pang-this was no Open Eye Cafe…
With our drinks in hand we headed over to a corner where there were a few mismatched sofas and recliners and a coffee table between them. Kim was already there, her legs casually resting on the coffee table as she flipped through a CD pamphlet. Though there were plenty of other seats, a recliner was occupied by two people-a guy with shaggy blonde hair and the beginnings of a beard and a girl with shoulder length red hair who kept playing with his beard and telling him it was time to shave. Carmen introduced me to them-Daniel (the guy) and Shane (the girl).
Kim glanced at me and then back at Carmen and said, “thank god you’re here, these two are driving me crazy.”
Daniel is a senior at Lincoln, which explains why I’ve never really seen him, and Shane lives in Columbus and goes to one of the many high schools there, but she grew up with Carmen and Kim and–as she said–old habits die hard.
Kim wasn’t openly warm to me, but she wasn’t totally cold either. Shane was really nice to me-she asked me way too many questions-and Daniel was pretty oblivious to most of the gathering. When I couldn’t stand it anymore I turned to him and asked him what he was thinking about.
“Oh,” he said, “my band. that’s all I ever think about.”
Shane rolled her eyes and said, “he seriously thinks he’s in the best band ever.” the look in her eyes suggested that she probably thought it was a pretty good band too.
At that point Carmen started digging through her Blackheart Records tote bag until she found some magazines and a pair of scissors. she handed a magazine to Kim who began flipping through it.
I wondered what they were doing with old issues of Cosmo and Ladies Houskeeping, but Carmen explained as she handed me one.
“I write a zine.”
“A zine?” somehow Carmen seems to have the power to reduce me to stupidity…and I’ve only known her less than a week.
She grinned, her eyes sparkled, and she explained, “It’s like a mini-magazine that I write and publish on my own…I like taking letters out of magazines and pictures, sometimes, to illustrate my zine…” she handed me a small booklet made of computer paper that she’d stapled together and written on. “That’s my outline for this issue.”
Each of the 12 pages was scribbled on with ideas for stories and illustrated with light drawings.
“Wow,” I said, at a loss for words.
She grinned. “I’ll bring you a copy of my last zine.”
I asked a few more questions–like, who reads it? (she brings it to the independent bookstores in Columbus and makes a trip up to Yellow Springs to drop a few off at the Wire, an independent/radical leaning bookstore) and she trades with other people who make zines. How long had she been doing this? (since she started jr high school and discovered Sleater-Kinney–of course, she added, that didn’t mean her issues were always out on a set schedule…sometimes it took 6-9 months before the next issue came out, it always depended on what was going on.)
She made me give her my phone number and promised she would call me so she could show me a finished zine. I complied while Kim watched our exchange, probably wondering what planet I’d come from.
Before I knew it, it was time to go home, so I made my goodbyes and almost danced as I walked out. I wonder when Carmen will call me? I wonder what Kim thought about me, she didn’t say much to me, she directed her comments mainly toward the three she knew without completely excluding me. I’m going to go now, and look up some stuff on zines, since they sound pretty cool.
(note: hopefully by now you know that this is part of the continuing series tentatively known as Riot Grrrl Diaries–get it? like Princess Diaries?–which follows the adventures of high school grrrl, Rosalyn. Read the first part here, the second part here, the third part here and the fourth part here. Enjoy & leave comments if you like what you’re reading. and stay tuned for part VI, coming next Wednesday!)