Young Americans
Our Town

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Our Town

I have two statues of Saint Clare, the patron saint of television, that sit on either side of my cable box. At this moment, right before the music kicks up again, one of the dueling Saint Clares leaps from the television stand, and plummets to my stained, cheap, apartment carpet. She gives a muffled groan as the rug burn hits her cheeks. The other Saint Clare floats down and shouts, "Get up, you whiny bitch. You aren't leaving me this easily." The dueling Saint Clares give me the finger and then take their positions back on the television stand. One of my cats tries to lick Saint Clare's fresh blood, but she shoots water out of her eyes and confuses him. I look back to find my other cat holding the remote control with his teeth, whacking the side of it against the table in an effort to hit the record button to erase the remainder of the episode. I don't really want to punish him, since I'd normally encourage this type of behavior. Instead, we all sit down to some beer. Welcome to my world.

Scout looks back at Bella one more time before entering the restaurant. The sensitive flute plays its charming song as we pan over the top of another giant red Help Wanted sign and see Scout with a big shit-eating grin, as if he's the first person ever to think of applying for a job. Bella is still putting gas in this car, and it's been like, five minutes. For real. Scout looks at Bella again, and his smile still hasn't faded.

Bella is leaning into a truck as Scout walks up. He: "Hey." She: "Hi." Me: "Kill me." Scout asks if her dad will be mad if he's around. "Not if you help me fix this truck. Here, come here and put your hand on the manifold for me." At this point my friend Ray bursts into peals of laughter. "'Put your hand on the manifold'! Hee!" Now, I assume that we're laughing at a word that sounds like "Manfold," which is crazy-funny, if you ask me. But Ray says, "A manifold is a big hunk of metal. It's like, part of the engine. That's like her asking if he'd hold the car down with his hand just in case it starts rolling away while she looks at it. The manifold. Yeah, he's really helping there." I resist the urge to call Ray a townie, and instead just start laughing like I knew what a manifold was the entire time. I hope he didn't hear me when I shouted, "Yeah, MANFOLD!" "Does it bite?" Scout asks. "Ass!" Ray shouts. Bella says that her dad will be okay with the two of them being friends if they just give him time. Scout actually says, "I need time. I need, like, a million years." Rose asks whether I have to recap the entire episode, or only to the part where it becomes completely unwatchable. I haven't the heart to explain, especially since she's spending the night, and will have to watch this episode frame by painstaking frame in about an hour. Extreme close-up on Bella as she scratches her head. Just as she and Scout are maybe gonna kiss again, Will comes bounding up like usually does. He tosses an apron at Scout and says that he got the job. "Job?" Bella laughs. Scout says, "That's great!" Bella says she's never seen someone so happy about making minimum wage. Scout says he promised his dad he'd take a summer job. "'Sa character builder." Will ruins everything again by pulling the poverty card: "That's funny. It never occurred to us poor kids." He nods at Bella because they had to save up for like, months to buy all those Abercrombie and Fitch separates. Will tells Scout that he's starting right now, for the lunch rush. "And you're late." Will walks back in under the giant "Friendly's" sign. Terribly extreme close-up as Bella shows us just how much blush one girl can pile onto the apples of her cheeks. Close-up on Scout. Close-up on Bella. I program "close-up" into F7. "Someone's gotta feed the masses," she grins. More grinning. Crazy grinning. "Somebody wipe the fucking dew off her cheeks," Rose spits. "Whoever does her makeup should be shot." Bella licks her lips a lot and watches Scout walk away. She looks at the truck, looks at Scout. She looks at the truck, Scout. Truck. Scout. Oboe.

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Young Americans




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