The Adventures of Little Diogenes

Little Diogenes raised her head from the sticky desk. She'd been dreaming about the kissing scene from The Postman Always Rings Twice. Her boyfriend, Moses, had been out of town for weeks, and she was restless. Why was summer school so boring?

Interpersonal conflict had kept her from passing Health or Driver's Ed, which were both taught by the same evil lesbian, Ms. Tamarino. Little Diogenes could barely tolerate her summer replacements. Mr. D'Angelo the pedophile taught summer driving, and Mrs. Silva the rube dragged her and four truants through Health.

"Little Diogenes." she peeped, "Do you have a stress-relieving activity you engage in?"

"Snork." Sleep had clogged Little Diogenes' passages. "I drive."

It was true. Her father was the maitre' d' at the Sandwich Inn, but he owned a dirt track outside town, where demolition derbies and stock-car rallies were held on weekends. Little Diogenes was sometimes allowed to "practice" driving in her brother's white 1968 Porsche Stingray (with blue leather interior).

"Little Diogenes, do you have your license already?" Mrs. Silva knew Little Diogenes' mother, and assumed that they were intimate friends. It was a measure of their intimacy that she didn't know about the track.

"No, Mrs. Silva, but my father has cars he lets me drive. On private property."

Mrs. Silva was nonplussed. "Do you have any other stress-reliving activities?"

Little Diogenes shrugged as Tim Masters, the fourth of seven wicked Mormons, mimed a massive toke on an imaginary bone. Although he was dedicated to breaking every one of Joseph Smith's commandments, Tim never seemed to locate the drugs he claimed to crave. He had made it here on reputation alone.

"Timothy," said Mrs. Silva, "can you tell me why using chemicals to relax might be a bad idea? What about our discussion yesterday?"

Yesterday, Mrs. Silva had passed out Xeroxes from Psychology Today. According to the article, drug dependancy delays adolescence, and teenagers who get hooked are forced to detox and go through puberty at the same time, like when they're forty.

Little Diogenes didn't know what she'd be like at forty, but she would look very good and have two boyfriends. She would live in New York or Boston or LA, in a wine barrel.

She knew about wine barrels because of her father, who used to read Tin Tin books to her when she was little. At one point, in "The Crab with the Golden Claws", Tin Tin had discovered a trapdoor in a wine barrel and mentioned her philosopher namesake. Little Diogenes was sure that Regular Diogenes had actually been posthumously and retroactively named after her, and not the other way around. Tim the Mormon would understand how that worked.

As she slowly slid back into her black and white dreams, Little Diogenes noted with dismay that there were still three weeks of summer school left.