The Art of Tetman Callis The Hole of Sharon

The Hole of Sharon

First published in NOON 2018. Copyright 2018 by Tetman Callis.

            The wall in the boys’ north bathroom had a hole, smaller than the palm of a boy’s hand and bigger than a man’s thumb. This hole became a girl’s hole when a boy—Jeff heard it was Kevin Clark, the boy who drew the best and liked musicals—drew a girl around it. Some other boy—the handwriting looked like Chuck Deacon’s—named this girl Sharon, who was a girl everyone knew and was neither pretty nor ugly and would die of cervical cancer before age thirty.

            Twice a day, mid-morning and early afternoon, the boys were sent to the bathroom in a complicated arrangement involving specific maximum numbers of boys allowed to be in the bathroom at any one time for specific lengths of time each. It was an arrangement inviting interpretation and proved flexible enough for there to be a rolling penny-pitching game underway during the bathroom breaks.

            The rule was the pitched pennies had to go into the Hole of Sharon.