small textlarge text

Joshua Lindenbaum

How to be a teenage boy in the ‘90s

After Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl”

Download MP3

Be afraid. Don’t voice your appreciation. Make fun of people who do by saying, “what a faggot,” and then chuckle. And then make eye contact with other males for confirmation. Stare violently at the person you’re making fun of. Look at your friend with eyes that pack him tightly into a box with no holes for breath, and when infiltrated by a tinge of feeling that managed its way through strong fortification, slap him on the back hard, and say, “I was just fuckin’ with you—don’t be such a pussy.” Don’t feel. Don’t show. Hurt people that do. Don’t allow them to question your way of life. Feel their flesh and bones give under the sway of your fists. Be afraid. Make an angry face to scare people. If someone fucks with you, hit them hard, so others get the message. Be afraid. Do this ‘til your brain and tongue turn into ulcers. You are now a man. Congratulations. Grab your crotch and spit on the ground. Speak about women like accomplishments or a new purchase. For example, respond to your friend—whether it’s true or not—by stating, “yea, I fucked her; that pussy was good too. Now I’m gonna fuck her friend—you know…buy one, get one free.” Hump the air as you say this. Sandwich your bragging with a hardy laugh. But while with the girl you haven’t slept with yet (and you may not), let your guard down to breathe. Men need to breathe. Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe, but don’t breathe too long—after all, what are you…a pussy?

➥ Bio