• Arleigh Rodgers

A Comparison That Does Not Use Like Or As

The Palisades Mall is the battleground of teenage boys. The boys romp through the stretch of white-tiled floors in their uniforms — their old t-shirts and their soiled Nike sneakers. They thrust disorder onto unsuspecting enemy lines in darkened movie theaters, in McDonald’s at 1 a.m., in Gamestop on a Friday after school. They attack Barnes and Noble shoppers with their shrieking laughter in the comic books section. They assail dressing room Target employees by throwing clothes at each other over the separating wall. They encircle oblivious families in the food court with their indelible, mouth-full-of-fries jeers.


They sing soldiers songs about your fat mother and your hot sister. They write home to their pining girlfriends, their we're-just-talkings, their maybe-something-mores, their she's-nothing-to-me's, girls who surely wait day and night for their phones to ping and brighten with text messages. Their parents think they’re dead, they’ve ignored so many calls. KIA: Killed In Adolescence. In loving memory of the chocolate halo around their lips after they ripped off the pin of a snickers grenade. Their nerf guns will be laid to rest with their bodies after their mothers find them sneaking in past curfew. May they rest in mayhem.

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