Lenore-Zion-Stupid-Children-author-pic-LZ-siteIt’s 4:17 in the morning.

What?  Last time I looked it was only like 9:30 pm.

 

So, what have you been up to all night?

Obviously I’ve been watching YouTube videos about the reptile humanoids that rule the world.

 

Your boyfriend must be out of town again.

Yeah.

978-0-9836932-6-0-Stupid-Children-cover-low-Emergency-Press-214x300The very first thing Virginia and I did when we escaped the Second Day Believers was get tattooed. Thinking back, I can’t remember why we chose to do this, or why we chose to do it where we did, which was at a small tattoo shop that played death metal at top volume in South Beach. Death metal and South Beach are two things that don’t necessarily go hand in hand—perhaps the awkwardness of the shop is what appealed to us. We didn’t really make a hell of a lot of sense standing next to each other, either. Virginia, with her blonde hair and large breasts, she just screamed sex—a characteristic likely linked to the specific types of abuse she’d endured up to that point in her life— and me. I had dark brown hair, almost black, really, and my tits were very small and I looked younger than my age. Virginia looked older than her eighteen years. Add to that, we brought Isaac, the impetus of our absconding, to the tattoo shop with us, and he was only twelve, and he definitely looked younger than that. As we walked into the shop, it occurred to me that we looked, quite literally, like a bad joke—a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead walk into a tattoo parlor, and so on and so forth.

978-0-9836932-6-0-Stupid-Children-cover-low-Emergency-Press-214x300The first thing I did after finishing Lenore Zion’s Stupid Children was get in the shower, and the second thing I did was cry.  Like Zion’s first book, the collection My Dead Pets Are Interesting (published by TNB Books), Stupid Children is atypical in nearly every sense, but these eccentricities work in its favor, and work only because Zion is such a capable writer, rendering Stupid Children with a refreshing brutality, in both subject matter and also in her merciless scrutiny of the novel’s diverse cast of characters. Though brief, the book demands time and attention, triggering far more thought than its 150-page count will lead any reader to expect. I laughed to the point of pain on multiple occasions, and to get the tears out, which before Stupid Children, and Lenore Zion, I hadn’t thought possible.