Jacob Lawrence, "Victory" (1947)
Jacob Lawrence, Victory (1947)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

Metal kids in the park. Two girls, two boys, the leader-boy a leader because of his ease with words. The usual middleschool insults about the quiet boy's penis, making the girls laugh. And ever the taunting refrain, "Still a virgin, still a virgin."

Quiet boy reaches breaking point. Body language: "That's IT!", says his neck and shoulders and fists. Not so good with words, but a wizard with his bicycle.

Orders one of the girls to lie down on the sidewalk. She's confused. "Shut up and lie down!", insists the bicycle boy. To your surprise, she does. Spins his bike around, rolls up the sidewalk, hops over her like a circus trick, skids to stop, wheels back slowly in triumph.

Leader-boy silent, in homage. The sidewalk-girl is so delighted, she's not sure if he missed her or not. "Did he hit me? Did he hit me?" Bicycle boy basks in glory. Even you're impressed, the college student, writing in your notebook like a voyeur with a hidden camera.