As The Pre-Teen Downing Planes

by Brantly Martin

illustrator Simon Pemberton

Issue VII

as The Pre-Teen Downing Planes

sash as the pre teen 1

La Signorina Sash sits alone in the circular breakfast nook of her family’s brownstone on Columbia Heights eating Cap‘n Crunch and reading The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women. Dad jogs on the promenade below. Mom is at Anti-Gravity Yoga or Fight Club Meditation or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brunch or Book Club Fencing, or Whatever. Sash looks over the Hudson, Manhattan is still there. Same for Our Stoned and Stoic Lady of France, The Brooklyn Bridge, even Staten Island. Sash grinds up one of Mom’s Xanax, puts it in her Juice Press ginger infused orange juice and eats one of Dad’s THC biscotti while she logs into her blog—fakemovienamestranslatedintoanazifascist
—and enters today’s title.

July 3rd, 2013
title: DIE DAI (Germanic-Italian)
original title: THE COME ON (U.S.A.)

Sash ponders how to fill up her day. She wonders why the hell she has to attend the Mets game with Dad tomorrow. She prays seventh grade will be an improvement on sixth grade. She hopes her tits will stop growing and that her best friend, Layson, will either really kick her habit this summer at Promises or come the hell back and share the fucking Oxys. She rolls a joint and walks up to their private rooftop terrace, the only one on Columbia Heights. Sash lights the joint and spots Dad below, slowing his trot. Dad adjusts his iPod—no doubt from Metallica to Rage, or Slayer, or Manson, or Pantera, or Whatever—and ever so goddamn strategically stops to stretch next to the “at my age why not have freakish off-putting arm muscles” Pilates Mommy bending over in her somehow socially acceptable white spandex. Really Dad, is this who you envision when you crank one out to Faye Regan on tube8? She takes another toke and checks her buzzing iPhone.

Good Morning Sash. 
Tell Dad I’m going to brunch with 
Lonnie from Lumberjack Kali.

It dawns on Sash that Mom and Dad have, again, forgotten her birthday. Today being her twelfth. She’s unconcerned. The inevitable guilt when they do remember in three to five weeks always being worth the wait. Dad will apologize to Sash for daring to accuse her of discovering, then raiding, his pot / shrooms / hash stash. Mom will realize just how upset Sash has been—how anxious and nervous she’s been—and split a few Xanbars with her. To take the edge off, Honey. They will both remind her she is now only four years away from both her “Sweet Sixteen” and first “Adult Beverage”—half a glass of supervised champagne. Sash thinks of these things. She thinks she doesn’t give two shits. Laying back on the hammock on top of the only private roof terrace on Columbia Heights, Sash feels the THC biscotto harmonize with the Xanax, takes another pull on Dad’s Blueberry Diesel and notices some dickhead hang-gliding over the East River. What the hell countrified waste of a wank will these Hipsters shove down our throat next? she says out loud. I wish he would just fucking die. Lose control, spin around, fall face first toward the fucking river, think—for just a split second—he might only break a leg, then get blown onto the promenade and crash his goddamn skull into Camel-Toe Mommy Barbie. Sash takes another toke and that is, exactly, what happens. 

La Signorina Sash—Xanax beginning to Walt Clyde Frazier—asks Dad why they can’t take the 7 train to Citi Field like normal people. Dad hails a cab on Clinton and carries on about his near miss yesterday. Sash, you should have seen it. I was jogging on the promenade, listening to music, in the zone, thinking about how The Knicks never should have traded for Carmelo, when, out of nowhere, err, the sky actually, I see some poor bastard falling over the East River. Sash confirms via pocket rub that her birthday gift from Layson’s boyfriend, Jefferson, remains safely inside the baggy inside her front right blue jeans pocket. I screamed out for everyone to take cover—listen to me, “take cover”—anyway, I noticed this one lady in the midst of a post-run stretch. I instinctively ran to push her out of harm’s way, only it was too late. I looked up and, I swear, I saw the terror on this guy’s face just before his head smashed into the head of this lady, splitting them both wide open. The crazy part is, the lady didn’t die right away. One eye was hanging out, her skin had peeled back, her skull was jagged like an eggshell… Wow, I can’t believe how composed I AM today. The weird part is, well, she just looked so fit. I mean, her body was unharmed, her legs and whatnot. Her head just kept leaking blood and puss. And the guy, Fucking Christ, all that remained was this perfectly manicured beard. Anyway, let’s change the subject Sweety. We have great seats, just behind the dugout. Should we ask David Wright for his autograph? Would you like that, Sash? Feeling a buzz, Sash checks her iPhone. 

Yo Bitch!! Outta pill camp, back tomorrow. 
Celebration at urs?

Sash and Dad take their first row seats behind The Mets dugout. Dad orders a Brooklyn Lager, strawberry Shake Shack milkshake, two Nathan’s hot dogs, extra relish, and, as always, puts his Dwight Gooden bobblehead on top of the dugout. Sash, aside from the conspicuous, hasn’t a clue what the hell is a baseball game / picnic / barbecue / family vacation / animated film / Sunday Mass / Broadway Musical / full body cleanse / walk in the park / guided tour. A plane taking off from LaGuardia flies directly overhead. Couldn’t he bring Mom, some friend, or whatever? Dad never took her to a Knicks games. At least there are famous people there. The hot dogs and drinks arrive. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Dad moves Sash next to bobblehead Doc K, the real Keith Hernandez interviewing David Wright on the field in the background, and snaps a photo on his iPhone. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Dad eats a chocolate covered mushroom, washes it down with his Brooklyn Lager, and tears into the hot dog. Sash pops the Oxy and sips her shake. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Awaiting the onslaught of nausea, like any opiate experienced freshly minted twelve-year-old would, Sash leaves the hot dog untouched. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Dad orders another Brooklyn Lager and finishes off his hot dog.  Dad, still under the influence of this morning’s wake and bake, feels the first tingle of Independence Day psychotropic fireworks. Sash’s stomach detects a warm droplet of U.S.D.A. approved D, slowly spreading outward, forming a sea puddle filled with blinking opioid dinoflagellates swimming towards her pre-teen extremities. They reach her face and begin to glow. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Dad and Sash look at each other and share a fleeting, all knowing, soon to be forgotten, familial, shit eating grin. Sash looks away. Dad changes the subject by standing and barking at David Wright, now done with his interview and walking back into the dugout, to toss his daughter a ball. The All-Star obliges. Dad follows the shiny white ball as it floats through the air; sees it pause briefly, turn into a mean looking tumorous and burnt Mr. Potato Head, only to realize that, in fact, it is neither baseball nor possessed toy from youth, but a Dragon Egg from Game of Thrones, thus, obviously, too hot to touch, much less catch. Dad recoils as the baseball smashes into Sash’s strawberry Shake Shack milkshake, spilling it all over her face and lap. Dad let’s out an impetuous laugh, tries to control himself, in the process spraying a beer mist over Sash. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Dad extends a hand toward Sash in overt-passive apology as forty-five thousand people rise to hear the National Anthem sung by a pubescent boy band. Dad, certain his reaching out caused the stadium to stand in unison, removes his Mets cap and places it over his heart. Another plane flies over Citi Field. Oh say can you see… 

Hi sweety! Tell Dad I’m going 
out east for belinda’s bbq… be
back tomorrow maybe…

Sash makes no attempt, gives no thought, to removing the melting strawberry lager from her face. She remains seated, staring up at Dad. Traitorous, fucking Benedict Arnold, giggling, hallucinating, goddamn tripping Dad laughing at her from the womb of the allegiance-pledging thousands. She does, however, give a thought to the United 747 taking off from LaGuardia. She thinks the plane ought to nosedive directly into the crooning pedophile window display belting out What so proudly we hailed… Obliterate their spray tans, send engine and body parts into the bleachers and flames into the box seats and crackling teeth into the announcer’s booth and boiling blood into the on-deck circle and one well placed black box straight into Dad’s shit eating grin. Dad, teeth clenched, nose betraying mockery, looks up and thinks he hallucinates a 747 on fire.

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