Mom was driving me down the highway. Can I have McDonalds today for my after school snack?
No I don’t think so.
Please please? It is so good. She sighed and turned off the highway and turned into their drive thru.
I watched Scooby Doo while I ate. The mini onions were sprinkled all over and I had told them no onions again, and there they were. I attempted to scrape them off, but they held fast to the bun. And so I just made myself eat the burger, there was a slight crunch as though I was eating little bugs that made my stomach knot. And I decided to myself no more McDonalds for a while. After my show was over I didn’t watch anymore tv because nothing good was on.
I went outside and investigated the nature brewing out there. I smelled my uncles carnations, they were big and ruffly and smelled sweet. I looked at the sugar cane, a series of hearty looking poles that came up from the ground and I tugged back a leaf, trying to get myself a piece. But then I tripped backwards, my butt landing scraped the dirt. A big fat snail had curled up in that stalk and was poking its slimy little eyes at me. I ran back inside and shut the sliding door behind me.
What’s the matter? My mother asked, you act as though you had seen a ghost.
I said nothing just walked off to my room.
When my father got home we played a game of monopoly. He won and then had dinner. My mother didn’t sit, she just watched us gobble the food. After dinner he set off to leave again. “Daddy, you just got here, please stay just a bit longer?” I asked.
“No honey,” and he pat my head, “you have a good night and listen to mom.” and walked to mom and gave her a quick peck, and went out the door. After he left my mom cleaned up the dishes and I just watched her do it. Her hands had large crawling veins in them as she scrubbed at the dishes. And she stared out the window into the dark.
In the morning I got some cereal. I waited till it got mushy and then when I scooped cereal in my mouth, it simply dissolved into nothing in my mouth. On the tv set the count was counting and laughing his menacing vampire laugh from on Sesame Street. Mom walked in front of the tv. Her legs shadowed him, but I could still here his counting. “You need to eat your food, otherwise you’re gonna be late for school.” Mom said.
“Ok.” I quickly spooned the liquid in my mouth, the spoon lapping up and down between the bowl and my mouth.
“Your father is a real smart man, and not just smart like all men are smart but really smart, all A’s in school all his life. You want to be like him don’t you?”
Then you are going to have to pay attention and study real hard.
I stepped out of the car, my mom gave me a smile and waved. I waved back as I stepped out. I turned and walked, holding tight the straps of my backpack. There were kids of different sizes, many taller than me, walking around as casually as if they were in their own homes. I felt queasy and I suddenly wanted to hide. I walked on the very edge of the walkway, almost in the flower bushes.
When I stepped into my room kids were laughing and talking all around me. I sat still and had my hands folded in my lap. The teacher came to the front.
“Hello, my name is Mrs. Kurshenbauger.” But the kids kept on talking. She had a stern face, and brightly colored make up that made her look unnatural. “Hey.” She snapped seriously, and all the kids quieted and stared at her. She introduced herself again and then started the day. My eyes fixed on her.