The Stoop Princess crashed into our living room by slamming her body through the unlatched door. She skidded to a stop on bare feet, her multi-hued dreads continuing with the momentum, flying past her head like rockets until they reached the end of their give and were yanked back into place.
“Hey! HEY!” she greeted us.
Mitchell, Jack and I were electrocuted out of the haze of our blunt-and-Wire viewing session. The blunt, which was rolling on its skateboard from one couch to the next, was almost stepped on. We reacted as though she had almost stomped on a baby. The Stoop Princess hopped backwards on one foot, then continued hopping backwards in circles. She began to manically chatterbox in her Ulster County street accent–half city, half hick.
“Yo iz Jay home? I got this Turkish bitches in the car with me and they are SO auwsome and they wanna smoke den I wanna take them down to Snugs and we’re gonna smoke on the back porch an’ shit. So I wannne’d to cop like a bag an’ they all threw in so it’s gonna be a FAT bag too. But we need to hurry-hurry cause the cars out there in the street idling an’ shit. So where’s he at?”
“Jay’s…Not…Here,” Jack irately enunciated.
“K,K,K, shit, shit. Aight, we can goooo…down to Mike’s place on Mulberry an’ cop..I hope he’s there. Yo iz Katherine here? Yo!..she would love these bitches and I know these bitches would love her can I check her room?”
“Kath…Rine’s…Not…Here.” The Wire was paused right in the middle of a scene with Bodie.
“K…tell that cute bitch I came by an’ we gotta chill HARD real soon.”
And she raced back out, leaving the door open.
No one had learned Rye-Oak’s real name before the Stoop Princess had given him his current moniker. It was his third day in Ulster Faults, and he was awkwardly ambling down Main Street, slinkying one chicken leg out in front of the other, when he passed the Stoop. The Stoop Princess had hollered at him:
“Yo! I haven’t seen you before! And I saw you yesterday too! Are you new in town?”
The kid grinned. He had been walking up and down Main Street for the past two days specifically so something like this would happen.
“Yeah. I just moved here a few days ago from upstate.”
“Sweet! Where are you livin at now?”
“Uh…well, in Ulster Faults.”
The Stoop Princess giggled throatily. She was cute back then.
“Yeah, I mean, I KNOW, but, wherein?”
“Uh…hold on.” The kid dug through his pocket for a while until he finally came up with a torn piece of paper. “Uh… Rondout Road. 32 Rondout Road.”
“Sweet.” She didn’t say it like the slang. She said it like sugar.
“What’s your name?”
“Sweet. I’m The Stoop Princess.” She gave him a dap, which he really struggled with. He then bobbed his head while slowly turning it in the direction everyone on the stoop was facing.
“So…what do people do for fun around here?”
The Stoop Princess grinned, then ducked her head to whisper something to one of her stoop-mates, tucking down her graffitied trucker’s hat midway through to hide her mouth. She came back up, still grinning toothily.
“You wanna go somewhere?”
“Shake my hand.”
“Wh—but I already did.”
“Yeah, but shake it this time.” Their hand-grasp was traditional this time, except the two doses of liquid LSD The Stoop Princess mashed between their palms.
The Stoop Princess gave him the name Rye-Oak midway through his first trip. He accepted it with religious conviction, and then it was his name in the town.
People who knew him less just called him “the naked guy at the warehouse parties.” He was always at the ragers, giggling manically, flaccid dick jiggling, head blown out with acid.
The second or third time The Stoop Princess copped weed from our housemate Kyle, she came with a guy with Aviators. A tan Irish cap was pulled tight over the top of the Aviators, and he wore tight capris that were as dick-hugging as a condom. He was The Stoop Princess’ gown train, always walking behind, popping his head over her shoulders to giggle at her jokes, touching her shoulders.
The Stoop Princess stepped in with arms outstretched like she was congratulating the winner of Wheel of Fortune . She twirled around and her coat, which looked like something Marla Singer would wear, slipped off.
She was wearing a pink fishnet body stocking and not much underneath. You could see ‘Stoop Princess’ tattooed in feathery ink across her left upper arm and a multi-colored LSD molecule down her right ribcage. You could also see most over her tits. The nipples were coyly covered with smiley face stickers with the eyes Xed out.
Aviators giggled behind her. The Stoop Princess continued to swirl while stretching her patherine torso and cocking her hips.
“Yeah!” Kyle spouted enthusiastically.
“Yeah!” he added.
“Yeah, me and [Aviators] just picked em up at Salvo. Fuckin sweet find. Can you do a dime?”
“Yeah!” Kyle again.
He started bagging up an insanely fat dime.
“So…you go bin-diving at Salvo a lot?”
“Yeah…” The Stoop Princess’ eyes were on the fattening bag. “Derre’s some good shit in this one, but, yo, the one in Kingsburgh is MASSIVE.”
Kyle cocked his head sideways and up. “I actually have never been to that one.”
“You should go, I copped this sweet Army jacket derre last week. An’ we gotta go too.” The bag was sealed. “Gonna go to the railtrail and smoke a FAT blunt wit’ some heads.”
Aviators giggled and touched her left shoulder.
“Cool, cool. Yo, come by any time if you want any more. I’ve got some Kushes coming in a few days.”
“Dah…” The Stoop Princess flipped her hand down dismissively. “Don’t really like Kushes. I jus get kushed out y’know? Let me know if you get any Jack Herrer. Dat’s mah sheeet.” She did a little Jack Herrer appreciation wiggle.
“Oh yeah, definitely. Hit me up anytime.”
She never really hit Kyle up. She just started showing up a lot. We never saw Aviators again.
Katherine coolly exhaled the thin, expertly-crafted joint she had just rolled, directing the jet of thick smoke upwards to avoid smelling up her hair. She was sitting with her legs crossed neatly at the knees even though she was wearing jeans. The Stoop Princess had been chillin with her more than any of the other housemates.
“Yeah, so you should def chill wit these Turkish bitches, you’d love them, they all have auesome names and are all hot shit. They talk about politics a lot which you’d love and they’re really into the whole Occupy movement an’ think all this revolutionary shit happening around the world is interconnected and they talk about ’em in these fuckin cute-ass accents. I swear I wanna eat each one of their pussies every time they talk. I fucked a Turkish guy once but never a Turkish chick. Whaddabout you?”
“No, I’ve never been with a Turkish guy…I’ve never been with a girl at all.”
“No!” Katherine giggled.
“Yo, if you ever wanna try the other side, I’d love to mess around with you. You are a CUTE-ASS bitch but YOU fuckin know that…”
“I’ve gotten that before, yes,” Katherine smiled.
“Anytime anytime, swear to GOD, I’ll jump your bones in a second.”
She crashed through our front door at about 2 AM in the manner we’d become accustomed to.
“Yo so I fucked one of those Turkish bitches and now her boyfriends like ‘Eyemmmeremmmreemm’ and he’s all pissed at me an I gotta hide out here for a while.”
The Stoop Princess’ pupils were more dilated than usual, her sentences ran together like flaming machinery oil. Thank God Jake wasn’t there, or a scene would’ve popped off.
“But yo dat pussy was so sweet and she was like ‘oooooeuhhherrr’ like the whole time an’ was squealing all over the place an’ her legs were shaking and I know how to speak Turkish now and was like ‘euherAKeuhher’ but she didn’t believe me for some reason an’ then her boyfriend was there all of a sudden an I jumped out of the fuckin window and did this.”
We all glanced down to her leg. She apparently didn’t have the time or wherewithal to actually open the window before she jumped out of it, and her leg had been slashed with a piece of broken glass, The wound was closed up, mostly, and her shin was covered with scabbing blood.
Katherine looked concerned.
“Here, let me clean that up for you.”
“No cause it’s a…SYMBOL of what we went through together an like she didn’t get a chance to go down on me so it’s like this is what she did an’ I was like ‘AKeuherreuherrr,’ and I can speak Turkish and I can speak Arabic ‘AKheruehhereuhher’ and I can speak French like ‘emmmmerrremmmerr’ and I can speak Gaelic like rrrooerahroeerAK’andIcanspeakFrenchlikenumRaHnumRAH’andIcanspeak GermanandIcanspeakFarsi…
I enjoy sleeping on couches and did so that night. There was the added incentive of making sure The Stoop Princess didn’t do anything that was both insane and destructive to the house. She had finally passed out a 5 AM, but still chatted nonsense in her sleep.
I woke to Adam, her boyfriend, leaning over her.
“Lauren…Lauren…wake up. It’s Adam.”
Adam had spread his patchwork trenchcoat over The Stoop Princess’ deadened form even as he attempted to wake her.
“Lauren…I’ve been looking for you since last night…your Mom’s worried. She gave me your pills. You should take one.”
“Noo…” She mumbled from the depths of her sleep.
“Lauren…you’ve got your appointment in like an hour. Your mom gave me her car. I can drive you there. You don’t even hafta wake up all the way. You can sleep on the drive and just wake up there.”
She didn’t respond. Her eyes slowly unshuttered and you could see how they begged death or sleep or some kind of nothingness.
“Lauren, please, get up.”