Converse Upon Pleasant Subjects

Ludo’s laughter was loud. He stuck his tongue out, displaying the chrome stud piercing through it surrounded by the residue of the orange lollipop that he had been sucking on since we left the classroom. His hearty chuckle was followed by a fit of coughing that bent him at the abdomen and knees. After he caught his breath, we continued to walk down the empty hallway.

Although Ludo and I were in the same grade and the same age, he seemed more mature and experienced to me than any of the other 11th graders at my school. From time to time, the principle visited our classroom–flanked by two police officers–and escorted Ludo out of it, handcuffed, to a patrol car waiting outside. However, these public displays of correction didn’t seem to faze him. Once reinstated into the classroom, he would tell me about how funny the whole experience had been.

“One time, a pig payed me and another kid 10 bucks each to wrestle each other,” Ludo said. “I beat the shit out of him and the pigs were just watching and laughing.”

Walking next to him, I could see the dark bruises and fresh scars that adorned his face and body. His hair was naturally dark brown, but he had recently bleached it and dyed it orange. Ludo was part of a crew, a group of high-school-aged kids enlisted by local gangs to traffic and sell drugs to other kids within the school gates. Interns of the illegal narcotics rink.

“You have to get your ass kicked by all the members of the gang to get into the crew,” Ludo said rubbing his shoulder.

“Fuck. Really?” I replied.

“Yeah, but it’s better than being a chick.”


“‘Cause all the fools in the gang, even the old ass gangsters, get to fuck you.”

The squeaks from a pair of Chuck Taylors echoing in the hall made Ludo and I notice two girls at the opposite end. I realized that one of them was a girl that I had a huge crush on. I didn’t know her name and I didn’t know whose class she was in. All I knew was that she was new to the school. A freshman. She had a small petite frame with breasts and buttocks that protruded way beyond those of her companion and the other girls her age. Her bright green eyes were close set and protruded and her skin was light but slightly sun-kissed. Her hair was straight, parted at the middle with alternating streaks of brunette and blonde.

“You see that chick in the pink shirt and Chucks?” Ludo whispered as a waft of the artificial orange flavor in his breath clung on to my nostrils. “The one with the tight jeans.” I knew exactly who he was referring to. That was my girl and her jeans were painted on.

“You know her?” I asked giddily. This was my in. My chance to finally find out what her name was. Maybe Ludo could hook me up with her.

“She’s gonna get initiated this weekend at a kick back.” I felt a sharp pain in my stomach as if I was the one getting initiated. The one getting fucked.

“Are you guys gonna fuck her?” I stuttered as my voice cracked. Ludo smirked. I gulped.

“Nah, not the guys in the crew, only the fools in the gang get to fuck her,” he shrugged his face and kicked an empty soda bottle. He looked so disappointed. “We do get to fuck her mouth, though.” His face lit up again. My stomach sunk. The shriek of her approaching steps sent a cold chill down my spine. I just couldn’t understand why a girl with a clean smile and pristine made-up face would reduce herself to a mere cum rag.

“Hey, what up, girl?” Ludo asked her. I was hoping that he would address her by name, that way I would have a face and name to mourn. But frankly, I don’t think that Ludo knew her name either.

“Hey guys,” the girls replied in unison and continued walking. Her smile was directed mainly at Ludo, contributing further to my mourning. She seemed excited for her cumming of age ceremony with Ludo and the gang. She had accepted her fate, so why couldn’t I?

The sound of her pink Chuck Taylors steadily hushed as we looked back at the contours of her lower body, shrink-wrapped in denim.

“Yup. She’s gonna be a fun one,” Ludo said exploding into laughter.

I looked back one last time, waiting for Ludo to find his composure, but she wasn’t there. She was gone.


  1. Excellent. Well-observed, and as someone who’s worked in inner city schools all too believable. I particularly like the details that arrest the reader and the narrator- the tongue-piercing, the Chuck Taylor squeak, the painted on jeans.

    Liked by 1 person

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