Wednesday, July 23, 2008


(Old lady on the telephone, gabbing, alone in her room on a hot summer day, dreadfully hot, she’s in her underpants and there’s sunlight poking through the blinds)

Well, yes, I think. Yes. Yes. Yes. Uhuh. You don't say. Well, that is something, isn't it.

Oh that's just dreadful, just simply dreadful. It reminds me of my conversation with Ms. Prgisdale at the elementary school a few days ago. It seems that one of her children had been holding a cat, fairly young one with wispy hair and a propensity for nosebleeds.

No, the child.

Well, he was just sitting there, petting this little beast, when suddenly his mother turned on the vacuum cleaner for some spring cleaning, frightened the cat who clawed the child's face and sped off.

No the cat, not the child.

Now the boy comes to school the day after with a torn upper-lip, and when inquired refuses to divulge who or what it was that inflicted the injury. The teacher, Ms. Prigsdale, immediately suspects abuse, what with a previous incident involving a flat iron and a booster chair -I can't remember, she was rambling at this point- and called child services. Upon meeting the mother, who had the spent the entire night sifting through toy closets and pantries for worn-out plush puppies and expired jars of pickled eggs, answered the door spent, fried, and agitated, and after much deliberation and interrogation, the child was taken into holding. It turns out that the child did not wish to protest throughout these proceedings on account of his lip smarting so much, keeping his face stone-still, not shedding a tear while his mother wailed in disbelief (it was quite a scene, I imagine) After a few days, once the lip had fully healed, however, all of that repressed anguish flooded from the boy for a solid four-hours of heaving and sobbing. The child supported the mother's version of the account, and was soon thereafter returned home. A rather touching end to things, might I add.

Well, yes, I think. Yes. Yes. Yes. Uhuh. You don't say. Well, that is something, isn't it.

There is something there that maybe your not considering. I remember him being well into his twenties when he graduated high school. Apparently, he just simply could not relate to numbers and letters the same way other people do, seeing only vacant white squiggles on a blackboard. Which would be quite frustrating, I imagine.

Yes, well, he was different. During organic chemistry class he would always tug on my sleeve and whisper how this or that carbon chain looked like some intergalactic spaceship, or how that polypeptide chain was like a can can line of Vegas showgirls. I never saw it, and would just idly smile, nod, and turn away I tell you.

He was troubled, though. Went to a private high school, had wealthy lesbian mothers. You know, I was watching Family Feud just before, and one of the top answers for “What are you grateful for having only one of these” was “Mom/Dad.” Now, I don't know if that was a direct jab at lesbian and/or gay parenting, but I swear I understand the mentality in some cases. I hear he would walk into class blubbering some days, after a wretched session of schoolboy teasing. Once, he even stormed in, took his seat while throwing his bag onto the floor when a great crash was heard. Some yellow liquid started seeping from bellow his desk and stretching itself across the linoleum tilling, which ended up being the result of a broken glass bottle of apple juice from the toss, but from that day on he was known as “Piss,” just simply “Piss.” I can only just imagine how horrible it must have felt to have a janitor mopping the floor beneath your feet in the middle of class, while the other children snickered and the teacher tried his best to keep his composure.

Yes, the bottle was inside the bag…

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