J.C. was a rebel.
She wore a leather jacket to school over her school uniform, skipped class to smoke in the yard behind the gymnasium, and drew naked caricatures of the nuns on the bathroom's mirror. She would sign her so called 'art work' as Lick Me.
A rumor began circulating in school that Lick Me was J.C.
After all, she was the only school drop out that came from a trailer trash family and somehow found herself in an all girl catholic school in Connecticut. Of course Lick Me was her. Everyone thought so, and everyone was right.
A rebel isn't always original in her efforts to venture off against the system. In fact, sometimes a rebel would be as predictable as possible in order to be seen. Because what's good about a rebellious act, when no one is there to witness it in disapproval!?
The rumors came all the way to Mother Rose, the principal. After all, the girls adored Mother Rose and told her nearly everything about their lives, including who the trouble maker in school was.
'I thought so.' Mother Rose nodded to Sally and Bette as they whispered the words 'Lick Me is J.C.' with gossipy pleasure. 'Thank you for telling me, now go along dears.' And 'go along' they did.
Mother Rose stood for a moment, wondered how to deal with the troublesome child who called herself 'Lick Me'.
Sister Frank had the task of bringing the child over to Mother Rose's office. She was a young sister. New to the calling, and new to the school, so she took her task very seriously and ran through corridors to fetch the girl. She found J.C in Chemistry class taping pink bubble gum to the insides of a frog's dismembered body.
'Julie Clair Stanton?' Sister Frank said with her most stern sounding voice. A voice she practiced since she heard the news she was accepted as assistant teacher in the all girls school of the Holy son.
J.C. rolled her eyes, picked up the bubble gum from the frog's slimy body, and placed it back in her mouth to chew on. Saying 'Yes, ma'am' with her mouth wide open. Sister Frank's face was struck with disgust.
'Dear... Did you...did you just...'
'Did I just put the gum back in my mouth? Yeah. But it's gross.
'I am sure it is.'
'Yeah 'cause it's got no flavor.'
Sister Frank lead the girl down the corridor. Her steps echoed and J.C mimicked her moves right behind. A rebel must always find ways to rebel. As the two arrived in Mother Rose's office, Sister Frank rushed away as if she was escaping the plague. She was eager to go along with her day and put the uneasy feeling the girl gave her - way behind her. She prayed at night for the girl. And she prayed even more for herself to be courageous with little girls like that.
Arms crossed tightly, J.C sat directly opposite Mother Rose. She was not afraid of eye contact. Nor of her seniors. So she took a good look into the woman's soul. Mother Rose's eyes didn't blink, not even for a moment. It seemed as though she also was not afraid of eye contact. Nor did she seem impressed by the girl's rebellious demeanor.
'It seems you are fond of art, my dear.'
'The mirror in the ladies' room is quite the exhibit.'
After a long moment, Mother Rose rose up and reached to a book shelf, scanning through piles and piles of books. J.C was feeling on top of the world as she made her principal break contact first. She thought to herself and grinned: 'this school is going to be easy.'
Mother Rose presented her with a book. A book with a compilation of marble sculptures at the cover.
'Are you as good as him?'
'You are better than Micuaelangelou, my dear?
Mother Rose handed the book to the girl, raised a brow in surprise and proceeded to scan through the books. She took a few more and one by one, handed them to the girl, flaunting her knowledge of who's who in the art world to J.C, making her uncomfortable....yet also curious.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman