Thousands reported each year. But what is it to be “Missing,” or for that matter, “Young?”
The Young flooded The City May and June. They sought and usually obtained “Missing” status, or their own, particular variants of Missing style: rings in their navels, nether parts, and cheap tattoos; faded-to-rags funereal coats and black costumes of lived lives bought or stolen from thrift shops.
Arrogant street corner beg-beers. Clumsy bacchanals at dusk. Liberation-rush of “nuthin ta do.”
The Missing Young disappeared, most of them, at the first scholarly summons of September. Returned to scrubbed halls and airy classrooms of Suburbia baring pierced skin, scars, tattoos: testimonials of orphan nights spent sleepless on benches in the DARK TERRIBLE CITY.
Many just vanished — poof!– into the vast yawn of The Nation.