SCHOOL’S OUT!  (1974)
By Monica Hall

I dragged the old wooden ladder

from our side yard where it lay abandoned.

“This thing’s gotta be older than me” I grumbled,

as I shoved it upright against our house.

“It weighs more than me, that’s for sure” I gasped.

Besides the beach, the most superior sun bathing spot

on the planet  was the roof of our humble home.

I began the systematic task of transporting necessities:

Two towels, two cloth backrests, transistor radio,

sun tea and a half-used tube of Bain de Soleil.

Meanwhile, my sister sat in total concentration in the living room.

The $25,000 Pyramid was on the tube.

“Rosalie!” I said loud enough to release her from captivity.

“Are you coming up?”

“After the Pyramid…almost over” she said quietly.

I shrugged and threw out one of my expert opinions:

“The celebrities are always dumber than the contestants”.

Ten minutes later my sis and I were slathered up

and soaking in the mid-morning sun on our rooftop haven.

“Rock On” by David Essex played on our transistor.

We sipped sun tea and I had one of my revelations.

(I was plagued by expert opinions and revelations.)

“We should spark one up here sometime”.

Rosalie smiled “mom would smell it.  You know she would”.

“I guess” I conceded, secretly thinking we could blame our neighbors.

School was out and I was in heaven.

“Did you get a good report card?” Rosalie asked casually.

“Pretty good,” I replied. “Except for math.  I suck at Algebra”.

I continued: “next year I have to take Basic Math”.

Rosalie corrected me “you mean dumbshit math”.

“Yeah” I sighed.

“I’ll probably end up like the celebrities on the Pyramid”.

That afternoon we jumped in my bug

and headed for Torrance Beach.

It was overcast, but we enjoyed the drive.

“I would stop…”  I apologized to Rosalie.

“…but I suck at parallel parking”.

“AND math” Rosalie quipped.

When we got home, dinner was almost ready.

Mom told us to set the table.

Rosalie looked at me and grinned widely.

“Do you want me to help you count the forks?”

Then she whispered “dumbshit”.

We laughed until we cried,

and it didn’t take a genius to understand.

School was out,

and life was swell.

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