To End Things Watching Everything Spin


Sir Balsa sighed in front o’ his steaming mug o’ coffee with vodka in it while Madame Plastic shuffled her papers, which was a common fetish o’ hers.

Ugh. My job is so tiring, said Balsa. So, ¿you know that crazy kid who ne’er talks to anyone that everyone thinks is probably going to shoot up the school?


Anyway, I found out she carved some Linkin Park lyrics into the desk’s wood — which is quite a rude destruction o’ school property, I might add — ’bout how she wants to commit suicide or something, & now I’m trying to get the lazy school counselors to take her off my back, & ’course they don’t want to do anything but tell me to do something, & it’s like, that’s not my job, man. Ugh.

Plastic laughed. ¿Linkin Park? ¿Truly? ¡Don’t tell me ’twas that ‘Craaaawling in my skiiiin’ song!

Like I’d know, Balsa said with his moustache twittling in annoyance.

I wouldn’t worry ’bout that, said Plastic; I doubt anyone who would write cheesy shit like that would e’er do anything mo’ dangerous to themselves than give themselves a paper cut.

¿But what if she does somehow bonk herself off? You know what a nutjob she is.


’Twas 1 day while Nasrin was boredly rubbing her fingers round her desk while pretending to pay attention to the teacher droning ’bout the deep symbolism o’ the 4 colored chests in some short story ’bout a pair o’ thieves exploring a temple & how they represented the 4 temperaments or something that she noticed ’twas scratched a certain way & looked ’neath to see some words.

Ooo, I wonder if it’s some dark message or poem; probably better than the clunky crap Balsa teaches, ’cept for maybe “Howl”.

But then she frowned & spied round the classroom.

They’re going to blame me — all o’ them. Everything’s always my fault fore’er. There’s no reasoning with them; they’ll get me, & that’s it.

She pretended to drop a pencil on the floor so she could sneak a look up Morton’s skirt. Then, while she was down there, she decided she might as well look @ the scrawled message.

’Pon seeing it, she hastened back up into her chair, only to bump her head & probably kill a few brain cells she’d ne’er get to use, anyway. She had to hold on to her desk to keep her from — well, nothing, she just felt she had to ’cause she was nervous.

They have me right where they want me…


That time came during a conspiratory stealth intervention held in her “Theory o’ the Mind” class, also known as the “Made-Up Hippie Tripe” class. Like any day when they weren’t working on their portfolios they’d ’ventually throw ’way when school protocol changed for the 4th time, they sat in a circle as the teacher molested a hat into giving him an anonymously-offered “issue” for the class to discuss — or rather, for a few o’ the best students to discuss while Nasrin pretended to pay attention.

‘¿What should I do if I’m feeling suicidal?’ said the teacher just before sighing. ¿Didn’t we just answer that question? Can’t you idiots think o’ anything interesting to talk ’bout — like music theory. None o’ you dipshits e’er want to learn ’bout music theory.

Hmm, let’s see… 1 o’ the students said as he rubbed his chin. If I want to eat an apple, then I should eat an apple. Therefore, if this person wants to commit suicide, then he should commit suicide.

That’s too simple, ’nother student protested. It’s obviously a trick question. God, no wonder you get Ls on all o’ your tests.

Nasrin barely registered this silliness. She could see the eyes that twitched in her direction every so oft like scorpion tails ready to strike. Nasrin forced herself to remain calm, to reserve her energy in case she needed to run for the fallout shelters.

They think it’s me. They know ’bout my sleeping pills… I knew they attached some listener to me… They know ’bout the message under my desk… They think I’m some nu-metal dork who spends her weekends making Naruto videos… or worse: that I’m some hypocritical hipster who’s suddenly into it to show how respectful I am or whatever.

These thoughts warped into other thoughts:

My only chance is if I can make it through this 1 day — they’ll ne’er find my pills ’fore I do…

But when Nasrin returned home, she was still too ’fraid & made up ’scuses. I’m sure they’ll just yell @ me for a half hour ’bout how I’m a loser with low self-esteem — nothing I can’t tolerate. & then she got distracted by a blog s’posedly run by Giygas & forgot all ’bout it.


As it turned out, next day somebody else killed himself, freeing Nasrin from everyone’s suspicions fore’er. She o’erheard the teacher talking ’bout it when she came to class early.

I can’t believe I was wrong, Balsa said with a hand under his chin. Such a waste, too: Markus was quite a good kickballer. ¿Why’d the worse student have to stay ’live? ¿What kind o’ world we living in?

But then Nasrin began to feel panic when she heard the other teacher chime in with her slanderous insinuations.

If it makes you feel better, it’s always possible that they’re both suicidal & that Nasrin may go next.

Basil frowned in disgust. What a fucking poser. I’m giving her a Z- just for the possibility o’ such uncoolness.


But then it didn’t turn out well @ all. For 1, it turned out that the kid who did commit suicide also died, & that kids dying is a sad event. 2nd, the school administration was now paying closer attention to the issue o’ suicidal kids after the government ragged on them a li’l mo’ & they responded with, All right, all right. Keep your shirt on, asshole.

& they knew just who their prime target was.

1 deviously sympathetic teacher stopped Nasrin as class was ending like a policeman catching a thief. Nasrin found this quite rude, not only ’cause some other students would snicker, — though, now that she thought ’bout it, she was sure they had the lowest view o’ her, anyway — but also ’cause it’d make her late for her next class, which would cause her next teacher to berate her for being an utter failure as always — which, now that she thought ’bout it, she always did, anyway.

Nasrin, ¿are you listening? asked the teacher.

Um… ¿Yeah?

God, ¿you can’t e’en listen when I’m talking? No wonder you’re such a failure. I’m trying to be nice & make you feel better, but you have to be such a useless pile o’ garbage. ¡Ugh! ¡It makes me tear my moustache off!

The teacher did, indeed, yank on his moustache, but didn’t tear it off, proving to Nasrin that teachers were all liars — a fact she’d already guessed.

Anyway, before you rudely ignored you, I was going to tell you that if you’re e’er feeling like shooting your underdeveloped brains out, you can come talk to me any time so I can tell you how mentally diseased you are & so you can feel shame for e’en thinking o’ the idea & accept your pitiful life as a poor McCheesy’s clerk who probably gets into a sling o’ abusive relationships like the rest o’ us boring, ordinary people. Nasrin noticed resentment in this last part.

Then the teacher added, But don’t come to me ’tween 3 & 4 PM, ’cause that’s when I have to grade shit, & I can’t focus when you brats are constantly haranguing me ’bout shit.

Before Nasrin could speak, which she didn’t want to do, anyway, so it was all right, the teacher added, & you can’t come see me @ 6 PM, ’cause I’m driving home, & I tend to run o’er ol’ people when people talk to me. Don’t judge me: it’s just the way I am.

’Gain, Nasrin’s awkward silence was interrupted by the teacher speaking mo’: & don’t come talk to me after 7 PM, ’cause I usually have sex with my wife @ that time, & she’s usually bothered when I talk to kids while we’re fucking. After a short pause, the teacher added, ¿Got it?

Yeah, Nasrin lied.

Great, now get out, the teacher said as he shooed the back o’ his hands toward her like she were a rabid squirrel. I don’t want the other students to come in here & see me associating with someone as uncool as you. He shook his head. Fucking Linkin Park. ¿Seriously? ¿This is what this generation listens to?

Nasrin was ’bout to insist that she listened to much mo’ critically acclaimed music, like The Fetus Rapers, Pusphiliac, & the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, but the teacher’s hand-shooing became so powerful that it created a gust that pushed Nasrin out his door, & out o’ the scene.


She was hoping they would finally leave her ’lone. ¡Nope! The people in dark suits surrounded her while walking through a secluded hallway early in the morn & escorted her to her death sentence.

Said death sentence was meeting with The Principal, whom she still feared after he shot her to death & framed her as being a school shooter that 1 time, which she always found hypocritical — what a fucking poser.

The Principal pointed @ her with his violent finger & shouted, ¡You’re an animal! ¡You’re out o’ control! ¡You’re increasing my hypertension & I’m sending you the health care bills! Then he sat down & stared @ her through the newly built pyramid o’ his sly hands. But I won’t have you incarcerated for rabid emo-ry if you agree to waste a half hour o’ our new counselor’s time. We have to pay that asshole, anyway, now that those fascists in government made us after that last kookball choked himself to death — probably trying to get his jollies jollied, knowing you diseased kids & your fetishes. The Principal cringed @ the thoughts o’ Nasrin having jollies. Now get out o’ my sight before my hypertention returns. He began waving his fingers just like that other teacher, gusting Nasrin out o’ yet ’nother scene.


Nasrin stopped @ door 312 & knocked.

From ’hind the door she heard a voice shout, ¿What part o’ ‘No solicitors’ do you not understand?

Nasrin froze. However, her fear o’ the Principal shooting her o’errode her fear o’ being rude, so called out, I was told to come here to talk to a counselor.

The counselor called back, ¿Who? ¿What is this spineless political language you’re using? ¡Don’t piss off the ghost o’ George Orwell!

Nasrin gulped @ the thought o’ yet ’nother ghost haunting her, but pressed on:

The Principal.

The counselor grunted, but then said, All right, come in — but don’t mess up anything.

She came in & stood awkwardly in the middle o’ the room, staring blankly @ the window outside, looking o’er the shoulder o’ a cool fir, which was much nicer to her than this scruffy fellow sitting in front o’ her.

Now, ¿what’s your problem? Lemme guess: you feel sad ’cause you don’t live in a mansion & didn’t get a Mercedes for your 16th birthday.

Um… No…

Well, ¿why are you here?

I told you: the Principal told me —

The counselor threw his hands up. If the Principal told you to jump off a bridge, ¿would you do it?

It’d probably be safer than being shot.

The counselor crossed his arms. Not if they’re rabid crocodiles in there, smart ass.

Nasrin mumbled down to her shoes, If you want, I can leave…, while thinking, I’m sure the Principal will find a ’scuse to shoot me, anyway — ¿& what do I care, anyway? If everyone here wants me dead, apparently, I might as well give them their wish.

That would be nice for me, wouldn’t it. The counselor leaned back in his chair, causing it to creak. Despite what you sociopathic brats think, I do have things to do — dreams I’d like to accomplish that aren’t helping some BU-bound brat feel better ’bout actually having to do well in school, & O how stressed they must be. But, no, I’m just some robot, some slave who’s s’posed to pamper you guys while I get left in the dust.

Nasrin mumbled, I’m sorry…

The counselor wiped a tear ’way & sniffed, which caused Nasrin to look up in alarm.

The counselor said, You brats have no idea how miserable I’ve been after this divorce, stuck doing this crummy job to pay alimony when I could be writing spy thrillers.

I-if you want, I could just sit here & pretend like you’re counseling me while you write, said Nasrin. I don’t like talking to people, anyway.

¿Why not? ¿What, are you some fucking nutjob? ¿Are you gonna make a lamp outta my skin? ’Cause I’d like a warning ’fore you do something like that. Nothing scares me mo’ than the chance o’ some loon coming in & taking my skin to make a lamp.

Nasrin shook her head. I’m too weak.

The counselor leaned back with his fingers together as if he were Freud, which embarrassed Nasrin with how cliché ’twas.

Yes, but I bet you fantasize ’bout doing something like that to some o’ your bullies, said the counselor. I can tell just by looking @ you that you get bullied a lot. Fuck, I want to shove you down the stairs already.

Nasrin shook her head.

The counselor frowned @ her with a surprising fresh flush o’ fury. Well, you’d probably be a lot less o’ a crackpot if you did. For homework before our next meeting I want you to write a juicy short story ’bout hilarious & gruesome shit happening to your bullies — extra credit for adding a sexual curve to it. ¿Got it?

OK, but I’m a shitty writer.

You’re a shitty everything. Do it.

Nasrin nodded & went out the door. As she walked down the hall, she thought, Great: my punishment for existing is mo’ homework to get in the way o’ my scarce sleep time.


As it turned out, though, the counselor was right, & it was quite fun thinking o’ zany violent things that could happen to her costudents, as bad as she felt for them. However, her magnum opus was cut short when she took a break to check her email & saw a message from her counselor:

Nasrin, I want you to know that despite the fact that you’re a worthless waste o’ oxygen & that you still look like someone I’d like to push down the stairs, I truly enjoyed the talk we had yesterday. You were probably the only person I could feel any kind o’ closeness with for years, which thoroughly disgusts me.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to call off our e’er meeting ’gain. I’m sorry… I can’t hold on, anymo’. I’ll hope that after I’m gone you’ll a’least wait till you get into your 40s & truly learn what true anguish is before your inevitable suicide — e’en a dork like you should find some way to make your early 20s rad as shit, like it was for me.

Love, Scott Willow.

P. S. I’m mortified to admit that I, too, liked to listen to Linkin Park. Only their 1st 2 albums, though — “Minutes to Midnight” was a total letdown. They ne’er should’ve pushed Shinoda into the background like that.

Nasrin’s skin itched with spidery sweat. This time there’s no ’scape. I’m to blame. If I weren’t such a social retard…. She bit her fist. ¿Why’d they send me there? ¿Why couldn’t they leave me ’lone? ¿Why is it any o’ their business whether I pop myself off or not? ¿Who are they to judge?

An idle thought: The pills… But that was laughable. She would ne’er do it. No matter how much she’d tried, her hand stopped by the chains o’ fear. No, she’d let them do the work, the scuzzy bastards. Let them drown her in all their rudeness & their slander. Let the ghost o’ the counselor — & George Orwell — haunt her dreams into nightmares, the 1 place she thought she was safe. She’d become so good @ sifting through unrelenting horror: ¿what’s a bucket mo’?


As she expected, the men in the suits came for her ’gain. But this time, she wasn’t ’fraid; this time she followed in solemn silence.

& As expected, when she entered the chair opposite the Principal, she saw him aim ’nother violent finger in her face & shout, ¡Admit it!

Nasrin said calmly, I killed the counselor with my lack o’ social skills. Go ’head, shoot me. That’s what you want to do, & apparently what I want you to do. ¿So what’s stopping you?

The Principal narrowed his brows. I don’t have time for your conspiracy theories. I want you to admit you listen to Linkin Park.

Nasrin’s eyes screwed in shock, & then she slid them ’way from him & murmured, They’re not that bad… E’en Lupe Fiasco said “Hybrid Theory” was his favorite album…

But the Principal had none o’ it: Nasrin Mohsen, for your crime o’ listening to lame-o music, yo, I sentence you to unending mockery by all o’ your teachers & peers for eternity. The Principal slammed his fist on the desk — so hard that he began sucking on it to quench the fiery pain.

Nasrin neglected to tell him that she had already been serving this sentence since she was born, nodded solemnly, rose from her chair, & left.