That had been seriously painful in every way imaginable. Terry had put it off for a week or so but had finally gone to the JAC health centre to get an STD test. First he had to fill out a form, which was fine but once it was established that he’d had several sexual partners and had had unprotected sex, which he felt sort of bad for not admitting to Cerise but hey, whatever, they made him pee in a cup, which was fine but they also stuck a swab up his dick! Like seriously! A nurse who was a totally hot chick actually stuck a huge plastic stick up his urethra and it fucking killed! He tried to be cool about it but fuck, seriously?
He was embarrassed to talk about it but Cerise wanted to know how things had gone so he had to tell her. She was appropriately sympathetic and didn’t laugh or anything so that was good. Cerise said she hadn’t yet made an appointment with a gynecologist to go on the pill and was sort of nervous about it. He assured her that there was no rush. In truth he was just glad his part was over with.
They joined Karine, Sarah, Karl and Jay and his stupid hair at the Munch Box for lunch and since there weren’t enough seats, Cerise sat on Terry’s lap, which was giving him a boner. He was kind of glad about that though because it meant that everything was still functional down there.
About half way through their lunch some chick from one of Terry’s classes walked by and said hi to him. He wasn’t sure what her name was so he just said hey and she went on her way.
“Wow, gina much?” snickered Karine.
“Seriously,” agreed Sarah and Cerise.
Jay also nodded along. “I know, this school is like the
. Who knew there were so many ginos around here?” Jersey Shore
“You know you’d think now that there’s a show about guidos and it’s like totally making fun of them, that Italian people would like wise up and realize they look ridiculous when they conform to that stereotype…” began Sarah.
“I’m not sure you’re in any position to criticize people for being ethnic stereotypes, Sarah,” smiled Karl.
“Shut up! Like just because I’m Asian I’m not allowed to do well in school or else I’m conforming to a stereotype? You know just because not all Asians are smart and hard-working doesn’t mean none are.”
Everyone looked at Sarah in shock. She seemed genuinely angry and Karl backed off and shrugged apologetically.
“But it’s not the same anyway,” said Cerise delicately. “I mean, the overachieving Asian thing is basically a positive stereotype, whereas the gino thing is a negative one. So like people who conform to the gino stereotype watch
and miss the irony. They think it’s something to aspire to. It just makes them even more hardcore in their ginoness. They see these losers getting famous and they don’t care that they’re famous for being douchebags, they just want to be famous too.” Jersey Shore
“Well if it’s part of your culture to be a douche, then a show about douches is just a show,” said Terry, glad to be participating in an intellectual conversation.
“Totally,” agreed Sarah, totally back to her normal self. “Hey Karl, can you go get me a drink?”
“Sure, coke or sprite?”
Jay and his stupid hair made a loud, obnoxious whipping sound and everyone laughed ‘cause it was a pretty good sound effect, even though Jay was a total dork who only wished he could have a girlfriend to fetch drinks for.
“Um, I dunno. Do I want coke or sprite?” Sarah considered.
“Just as long as it’s not chicken stir-fry,” Terry quipped.
Everyone looked puzzled, except Cerise, who cracked up and buried her face in his shoulder. Karl went off to get Sarah her drink while she and Karine giggled at Cerise’s display. Jay and his hair looked confused and disgusted. What a total loser. Terry smirked at him while he rested his hand on Cerise’s thigh.
“So you ready for the auditions?” asked Karine.
“I guess,” replied Cerise. “I’m just gonna do one of my speeches from Midsummer, you know?”
“Yeah, I was thinking about that, but I’m gonna do something else.”
“Oh, what play are you guys doing?” asked Sarah.
“Tale of Two Cities,” grumbled Karine. “Which is totally boring. There are only like two female roles in the whole thing.”
“It’s completely lame,” agreed Cerise. “They’re making some of the boy roles girl roles. Blech.”
“Damn, we’re a week in and already you guys have to do auditions and shit?” marvelled Terry. “That’s so quick.”
Cerise agreed that it seemed quick but Theatre Workshop held a play each semester and since a semester was only slightly over three months they couldn’t waste any time. Karine added that everything was much more intense now that they were in cegep. Everything was faster and more real. Jay and his stupid hair fell all over himself agreeing with Karine, saying how he was actually finding his classes hard but Karl just laughed and said that this place was a joke and he couldn’t wait to get to University and take some actual classes with real professors. It was kind of a dick thing to say but Jay was put in his place so Terry snickered along with Karl and Sarah.
“Someone just asked me if I’m Italian!” exclaimed Vani, bounding up to their table with arms flailing.
They all chuckled and regarded Vani. It was true, give him a gold chain and he could totally pass for Italian.
“That’s hilarious! We were just talking about ginos!” laughed Jay, like he should be making fun of stereotypes. He was totally Leonard from Big Bang Theory, except even more lame.
“Point being, I must defend my cultural heritage,” whined Vani as he tried to wedge Jay out of his seat.
“What heritage?” asked Karl as Jay tried to defend his seat.
“You know, my Indian heritage. My blackness.”
Wow, they were all like the Big Bang Theory. Vani was Raj and Karl and Sheldon and Willy was Howard. Terry couldn’t believe he’d never made the connection before. Did that make Cerise Penny?
“Your blackness?” scoffed Karl. “Vani, you’re whiter than I am!”
“Hey, I’m coloured. And the white man’s trying to keep me down.”
“You are the white man!” Karl insisted. “You’re the most ring-wing person I know. Your parents vote conservative for god’s sake!”
“That may be true but I’m only half white and the other half is totally ethnic and that’s the half that counts. You know who else is a half-breed? Obama. That’s right, and Barock’s DaBomba and me, we’s tight,” said Vani, crossing his fingers.
“Vani, you just referred to yourself as coloured and ethnic and half-breed. You’re not exactly Rosa Parks.”
“I’m Gandhi! Gandhi was Indian.”
They all laughed.
“Yeah, if you mean Gandhi as portrayed in Clone High,” said Karl and only Cerise and Jay laughed so maybe it was an inside joke.
Terry kind of wanted to stick around and listen to Vani try and represent but he needed to get to class. He kissed Cerise and took off and ran into that gina chick on his way. It’s true, she was a total stereotype but still hot in her own way. Hell, she had tits and a cunt so she was doable. Shit, he was really horny, wasn’t he? Terry wondered if he would have gotten together with a girl like that before Cerise. Probably. And if Cerise broke up with him again he would probably go there now. Did all guys have standards as low as him or was he a baser creature than most? Either way it was sort of depressing to think about.
Shauna was having a really good dream about being a runner in like a marathon or something but then she was interrupted by Stan, who was saying good morning or whatever.
“Look at you with your scrunched up face,” he laughed. “You look like a duck. Like a little ugly duckling.”
He tried to play with her hair but she pushed him away and grumbled. He informed her that he was going to work and she grumbled again in reply. Like she cared that he was leaving. Actually she did care if it meant she’d finally be left alone.
“You just gonna sleep all day?”
“Thinking about it,” she sighed.
“It’s fucking one in the afternoon, Shauna!”
“So?” Seriously, could he just go so she could sleep?
“Why don’t you make yourself useful and clean this place up a bit?”
Shauna didn’t even know how to respond. Did he actually expect her to clean up after him like she was his maid? She hadn’t contributed one crumb to the mess in this apartment. Stan was a complete pig and the place was already disgusting when she’d moved in.
“Hello! Fuck Shauna, do something!”
“Fuck off!” she said in a raised voice that wasn’t quite a yell.
“Fuck you, bitch!” he screeched. “You’re gonna tell me to fucking fuck off when you just fucking lie in bed all day watching fucking TV or whatever the fuck you fucking freeloading whore! Either get a fucking job and start paying rent or be a fucking housewife and clean some shit up!”
Shauna didn’t move and didn’t say a thing. She closed her eyes tightly and hoped Stan would disappear.
“Don’t like it? Fucking go back to mommy and daddy! Fucking cunt.”
She heard him stomp out and slam the door.
Well shit. Now what?
The John Abbott green room was a tiny little room with no windows, adjacent to the dressing room. The walls were adorned with so many posters of various theatre productions that it looked like wallpaper and in the center of the room sat a wooden table flanked by a few chairs. No one used the chairs though as they all chose the long benches that hugged the walls. The room had quickly become the go to place to hang out for theatre students before and after class and as such was always overcrowded even though it had no AC and was seriously hot.
Cerise sat next to Karine on the bench facing the door but had already resolved herself to the fact that she’d be ignored by her friend in Theatre Workshop. Could Cerise even consider Karine a friend? Sure they hung out but only really when Terry was around and when Terry wasn’t around the topic of conversation tended to be him. Truth be told if it wasn’t for Terry Karine surely wouldn’t tolerate Cerise at all. Not that Cerise was much better; she didn’t exactly find Karine to be the most stimulating person on the planet. Still, it kinda sucked to feel like she was back in high school, sitting on the periphery of the cool group. Cerise pretended to study her class schedule as she eavesdropped on the admittedly boring conversation Karine was having with Janice and Peter.
Someone approached and sat next to her and she looked up to see that Tom guy as he said hey to her.
“Hey,” she smiled, grateful to him for being friendly.
“How’d your audition go?” he asked.
“Ok I guess. I’m not as worried about that as I am about my resumé. I mean, I didn’t know we’d have to give a resumé of like, all the plays we’ve done. I didn’t have time to come up with any lies to put on it so it was like, a paragraph long. I’ve only been in one play.”
“But didn’t you say you’d won the drama award last year? That’s gotta count for something.”
“I guess,” she shrugged.
“Well it doesn’t even matter anyway. All the good roles always go to second years so even if you had tons of experience you’d be shit out of luck.”
“True enough,” Cerise conceded.
She’d heard the same thing, that one had to pay dues in one’s first year of Theatre Workshop and it was only during one’s second year that one even had the chance to get a good role. Some kids didn’t even get roles at all in their first year; they had to be part of the crew, which was considered completely lame and embarrassing. Cerise hoped to hell she’d at least get to be furniture, which was shorthand for a background player who didn’t get any lines.
They talked some more about the impossibility of getting a proper role when Cassie, a tiny little pixie of a girl with short hair and cat-eye glasses announced that the cast list was up.
Everyone slammed together as they bottlenecked at the door, trying to rush out of the room. Eventually Cerise got to the wall outside their teachers’ offices but there were too many people around for her to be able to see the sheet so she just listened to everyone’s chatter.
“I’m Lucie!” screeched a girl in second year. Cerise was pretty sure her name was Laura but wouldn’t have been willing to bet on it. “Who’s Karine?” the girl asked a moment later.
“I am,” said Karine in a rather annoyed tone.
Maybe Laura looked at Karine snidely. “I’m double cast with a first year? God, whatever.”
“OMG!” squealed Janice. Cerise couldn’t tell if she was speaking in IM to be ironic or sarcastic or what. “Karine, you’re Lucie? That’s awesome!”
At least Janice seemed genuinely pleased for her friend. Indeed, it was awesome for Karine to get the best female role and Cerise tried hard not to be jealous.
“Cerise!” exclaimed Cassie, jumping up to Cerise and taking her hand.
“Yeah?” Cerise smiled widely, trying to match her fellow student’s enthusiasm.
“We’re double cast! We’re Jenny!”
“Who’s Jenny?” Cerise asked, wracking her brain to think of someone in a Tale of Two Cities by that name.
“Well in the play he’s Jerry. But they’re turning him into Jenny.”
“We have a guy’s role?”
“Yeah, lame right? I guess they changed it ‘cause there’s so many more girls than guys in the class.”
“Yeah I guess. So uh, who’s Jerry?”
“Um yeah, we pretty much have like, two lines. But better than being furniture, right?” laughed Cassie, jumping up and down.
“Yeah,” giggled Cerise, sincerely charmed by Cassie’s exuberance.
“Yeah, congrats,” smiled Tom. “To both of you.”
“Who are you?” asked Cassie.
“Seriously?” asked Tom, his face falling. “We have two classes together; we hang out all the time.
Cassie laughed uproariously and pushed Tom good-naturedly. “I mean what role did you get?”
Tom laughed too and said some name Cerise didn’t recognize. She’d read the play but it was boring as hell and apparently she hadn’t remembered a single page. Well, this was shaping up to be a shitty semester.
It didn’t get much better when she found Terry later that day playing Frisbee on the lawn with some girl. Not that she was jealous but how is it that everyone managed to make friends in about two nanoseconds and she was forever alone?
Terry gave her a kiss when she joined him and the Frisbee hit her in the arm. Her supposed boyfriend just laughed and gave her a kiss on the forehead, picking up the disk and continuing his game with whoever the hell.
“So Karine is Lucie,” she announced as Terry kept playing.
“What’s Lucie?” he asked.
“In our play, she has the female lead, which is like super impressive ‘cause she’s first year and the good roles always go to second years.”
“Oh! Good for her!” he exclaimed brightly.
“Yeah, it’s totally awesome. I have a guy’s role.”
“Oh, that… sucks?” he held the Frisbee and looked at her sympathetically.
“It totally sucks, I only have two lines.”
“Better than nothing, right?”
He tossed the Frisbee away and it came back a second later, right in Cerise’s path. Much to her delighted surprise she managed to catch it and tossed it back to the girl, although her throw was pretty pathetic and landed a good metre in front of the girl.
“Who is this chick?” she asked, trying not to sound jealous, because she really wasn’t. Seriously.
“She’s in my anthro class. She’s on the women’s hockey team, so we like, bonded or whatever.”
“Oh right, hockey.” Cerise inwardly chastised herself for not paying more attention to Terry’s interests that didn’t directly involve her. It wasn’t very girlfriendy to be completely ignorant about an important facet of his life. “You made the guy’s team, right?”
He shot her a weary smile. “JAC doesn’t have a guy’s team. At this age group, hockey for guys is still done in the community, you know, rather than in school. This season I’m gonna be moving up from Midget to Juvenile.”
“That’s good, right?”
“It’s based on age,” he shrugged.
“Ok, well, um you’ll have to tell me when your season starts or whatever, so I can come to games and stuff.”
He laughed and agreed, giving her a squeeze and a kiss on the lips. This time the Frisbee hit her in the hip.
“Ok seriously! What the fuck!” she hollered, tossing the Frisbee wildly and forcing the hockey girl to run off to fetch it.
Jay was glad when Cerise came over. He was on his driveway shooting hoops, or whatever the lame-ass geek boy equivalent was when she trotted on over with her flippy hair and her girly smile. Sometimes it was kind of annoying how she was always happy and how everything in her life was so great while his life was a big sack of shit. But he was still glad for the distraction.
“I already have tons of homework,” he announced as she picked up the ball and tried to shoot a basket.
“Not me,” she shrugged.
“Of course not you. You’re in Creative Arts. That’s barely even a program.”
“Well I do have to memorize an entire play,” she said snottily.
“Oooh, the trauma!” he snotted back. “I already have a frakking analytical essay to write and two labs to complete.”
“Well cry me a river,” she said unsympathetically.
Frustrated with his inability to sink a basket, he let the ball roll into the road and sank down onto the lawn connecting their houses.
She sat next to him. “Tough day?” she asked.
“I guess,” he shrugged.
“My cast sheet went up.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Means I got a really shitty role in a really shitty play.”
“I hate all my teachers and all my classes. I don’t know why I’m doing Sciences, I really don’t. I think I just did it ‘cause that’s what we’re all doing, you know? Well, not Willy. But Karl and Vani and Sarah and I just sort of felt like I’d be a loser if I didn’t do it too but I don’t think I actually wanna do it.”
“That sucks,” she said sincerely. “You can always switch programs.”
“Maybe try to last this first semester, ‘cause maybe it’ll get better and then next semester you can switch if you’re still not feeling it.”
“Yeah,” he said, flopping down onto the grass. Truth was there weren’t any other programs that appealed to him more. He wasn’t really into the whole school thing at all. Did that make him a complete degenerate? Was he going to end up homeless and unemployed or something? He was seriously probably way too lazy to even be allowed to exist on planet Earth.
Cerise lay down next to him and he pulled an imaginary cord from his neck, plugging it into the port in hers, making a little clicking noise as he did so.
At first she swatted him away but then seemed to get it. “You trying to suck my energy?”
“I need the symbiont. I’m all like depleted and stuff. Share?”
“K,” she agreed, closing her eyes.
He closed his eyes too. It may have been just a pretend symbiont but it did seem to help.