ANGELA SAT IN THE SCIENCE CLASS and took notes for the first time.
She listened as the teacher spoke.
He said. “Everything came out of nothing.”
A big explosion happened, and then, everything we know came out of that.
Germs became fish became lizards became frogs became rats became bears became dogs became monkeys became dinosaurs became birds became rabbits became humans. And nothing that we think was made was made at all. It just came out of an explosion.
Angela thought about this. She thought about how everyone is always trying to prove that they know everything. She thought about how, what was behind it all, behind all this science and learning stuff was really, the fear of being alone at night.
She listened to her sadly overworked and very angry teacher talk.
He had outgrown his body, his clothes didn't fit, he didn't have a woman, you could tell because his clothes were all wrinkled, and his hair was dirty. He was one of the kind of guys that lived in books, she thought.
Angela thought about what he said. “Everything came out of an explosion.”
Like when people have sex and it's good. Like, the two bodies exploding inside each other, makes what we think is closeness, but it ain’t that, it's just a chemical reaction to friction and movement. She thought about how a woman wants it to make something out of that explosion. How a woman wants to build from that, how it don't mean nothing to a man. He just starts thinking about how he wants to sleep with your best friend or the neighbor the second he is done.
Her teacher said, “Everything came out of one big explosion. “
Angela always thought that love was important, how everything would be ok when she found love. But sex ain't love. That feeling around sex, it’s not love. It is just an explosion that makes your idea of the world change. Makes you pretend you are not alone in that moment, makes you want that to be real. Makes you want to make something out of nothing. The teacher continued to speak, she wrote crazy notes in her note book.
“Superman’s got superpowers, cause he ain’t got no lover.
So he can save the world, cause the chick he loves he can never have.
Un-requited love, ain't love- it's the idea of love… it is the carrot on the stick.”
Why she was thinking about Superman she didn't know. But she did know that love was like a carrot on the stick. "You reach for it but you are never going to get it.
You work for it, but it will always be, not in reach. Superman was the kinda person that was alone.” She drew the superman symbol in the notebook.
Why was she thinking about Superman now?
All the talking the teacher was doing reminded her of comic book stuff. Thats why.
The teacher himself reminded her of comic book guys that stand around the comic book store by her house and talked about pretend things with such intensity and knowledge they actually yelled at each other. Grown men, fighting about pretend guys that run around in their underwear and ain’t got no girlfriends.
Super hero's all got no girlfriends.
The super hero chicks all got no boyfriends.
The invention of that stuff is like everything, like science, like school, like every thing!
“So…We came outta an explosion - that made stuff. – What explosion makes stuff?
Ya, so, we all came outta one big "POW" like in the comic books.” Angela closed her notebook and looked out the window, and said to herself.
“This kinda information is just like all kinda information…suits men.”
Under the Table:
by James Claffey