October 18, 2011: Describe someone from your childhood and imagine where they are now. CWE 16

Sean, bless his heart, came to my small Catholic grade school in fifth grade.  Most of us had been together since first grade.  We had a social hierarchy, but a long, shared history allowed room for everyone.  There was no room for Sean.  He was skinny as a pole with a thin neck holding a large head.  His head was stuck on the wrong way, wide where it should have been long and long where it should have been wide.  He looked like the Hamburglar.  He had a wide smile, a sweet smile, one that begged someone to laugh at his joke or tell him one.  It’s fair to assume that Sean had troubles before he came to us, but we made sure that things got worse.  The boys needled him daily, and the girls watched from the edges, silently agreeing that the boy who the meanest was the coolest.  They tormented Sean, sneering his name phonetically, “Seeeeeeen.”  He would stand with long fingers splayed against his thin hips, arms bent like wings.  He’d twist at the waist back and forth, his thin body threaded with a tight cord of humilation that pulsed with anger when we pulled at it.  Someone found a poem torn from a notebook on the floor, entitled “Sean.”  “He’s so dumb, he’s so gay, he doesn’t know what he’s doing today.” 

I would like to say I picture Sean happy and successful, but I don’t know if that feeling is about Sean or myself.  He is a gamer, and maybe he’s made a career out of it.  His wife’s facebook picture is her Avatar.  Sean and his wife hold season passes to Disney World.  They collect pins on their trips and when they return home, they choose a few to push into their sun visors and pierce through their hat brims.  They don’t have children, but they have some kind of unusual pets.  Iguanas or sugargliders.  They both make decent money, but they choose to live in an apartment with gray carpets and a kitchen table with a base made of thin white metal tubes.  The seats on their kitchen chairs are upholstored with pink and green ferns.  The fabric is faded, the pattern a watermark.  Sean and his wife go to the Olive Garden on Thursday nights, and they have a group of online gaming friends that gets together to play Halo.  Sean and his wife have sex on Saturday nights.  His thin hips twist, and he flies over her body like a bird, wings held against them, while she says his name into his ear, “Sean.”


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