Teens in Jeans in Gênes

by Matthew Bedard


Olivia, 17, once scrawled The Prayer of St. Francis on her bedroom wall with pizza sauce. “Make me a channel of your peace,” she pleaded. And he did. 


Francisca, 15, empties the change from a nearby laundromat, twice weekly. Once she almost lost her job scoring this boy—who’d dumped her the week prior—his favorite ice cream, buckets of it. But alas, cupid’s arrow missed the mark, and when she took her scolding, and saw the sum twice taken from her pay, she savored the memory of seeing him tongue that Neapolitan.


Veronica, 19, asks us why we’ve chosen Genoa for this story, why we’re so sweaty when the sun’s nearly set, why the economy won’t get better. We shake our heads, defeated, and imagine her holding up the 10-ton stone she leans against with her paint-chipped pinkie finger, because we know that somehow, were she called upon to do so, she could. 


Ludovica, 17, tells us she wants to be a DJ. 


Sam, 16, thinks she felt an earthquake last night, but perhaps it was a dream? In the dream, the Vatican has a winning football club, her most favorite stolen art treasures of late, namely Lucian Freud’s “Woman with Eyes Closed,” have been found, and her boyfriend doesn’t die in a moto race, like he did last spring. We wait for her to be blanketed, just enough, in the sun, pop her portrait, and wish her the most open eyes possible.


Mercella and Stella, 15 and 16, are sisters. They tell us they’re fine sharing everything, as long as there’s something to share.


Teens in Jeans in Gênes

Robbing the Cradle of Denim: An Encore

Oh, the serpentine ways we weave our summer-sweet reveries—ever to


, in the fore, not fully actualized in her power, yet ready to retract this power’s jaws and swallow that around it whole, like a jungle snake, or a Pizza Hut buffet loyalist. For if


loyalty, dear readers, is as we’ve heard you espouse upon countertops in nearby dens of iniquity—squid ink and Chartreuse stains upon your bibs—you will recall we made this voyage last summer, to a place called Nîmes. And ah, that we climbed, on your behalf, to the upper-most tier of Nîmes’ coliseum to peer beyond the city’s limits on what


and her power—down below, jean-clad mind you—might desire after fleeing a place such as this… to swallow whole.

And so look, there! Not so far up the coast: Genoa, or Gênes as you might say here. It glares back in stony defiance, whistling a contentious tune of origin. Oh, the French and the Italians, and their many duels. For many call Nîmes the birth of denim. We won’t embarrass ourselves splitting open ‘denim’ to illustrate the nomenclature/history/purpose of last edition’s quest (though you know our dogged talents.) Instead, we will offer an excursion into the counter lore. Because, loyalist lovers, whoever started it—be it haute cuisine, fashion, prophylactic scorn, or the artisanal mustache—they’ve been doing it longer. They’ve been doing it with more enthusiasm. Now split your genes, you lean queens, you seam fiends, on our second volume of teens in jeans.

Photographer: Louis Canadas at Louiscanadas.fr.