Odd Kid


It was always crayons. Or markers. Sometimes colored pencils. I despised all of them. 

In the lines, make it neat. Absolutely painful. 

Too light, too scribbly. Entirely agonizing.

Halfway through, I’d grab a ballpoint pen, the writing device I held near and dear to my heart. Such freedom! In the margins, on the back half, I’d go where no one had gone before. I’d draw the escapades of Chirpy. He was my favorite stuffed animal–someday I’d make a cartoon of my own. I’d draw wacky and wild inventions. Someday I’ll build these for real. They didn’t need color–the lines told all. Told all to me, at least.

I showed a drawing to my parents. 

“What is that?” It was a time machine. It had a big portal and buttons to put in the time and everything. 

I showed a comic to a friend.

“I don’t get it.” Can’t you tell? Chirpy’s building a robot, but his dumb brother put donuts in it!

It didn’t matter. I didn’t care. I got it. And it was hilarious.

Green Chair

It happened again. Five minutes. In the chair. Think about what I did. All I did was make a funny voice in class. That’s it. There was no thinking to be done. So I looked about. Everyone was coloring. I didn’t care. I looked about some more. Even more kids playing outside, in the sand. Cats poop there so I didn’t want to be them. The lunch tables were empty. We already ate. Back to the yard, I looked at what used to be my favorite tree. It was big and had shiny leaves; the shade left plenty of mud. There were mushrooms there once so I didn’t want to go there. I looked back, far back, behind the brick wall. There was a shallow river full of green water and ducks. I wanted to be there. Ducks don’t care about funny voices. Ducks don’t have to think about what they did. They just fly and swim. I wanted to be a duck.

Not Really Alone

Today was a lonely day. None of my friends were at school. I cried a little. I cried a lot. Then I didn’t care. I went to the flower garden near the big black metal fence at the front of the school. There weren’t any ducks. There never was any at school. I wish there was. I thought about having a class pet. A class pet duck. I could take it home on the weekends and let it fly around the house. What was there? Bees. A lot of them. Bees were good too. They weren’t ducks, but they were good. Everyone I knew was afraid of them, but I wasn’t. They don’t sting you if you’re slow and give space. I was neither that day. I leaned up really close. I put on a voice like the guys who talk on the radio and asked them all about the pollen they were collecting. They didn’t say anything back, but I kept going anyway. I asked a total of two questions. Then we lined up. I liked my recess. I bet the bees did too.


It was just going to be a little while. An hour, that’s all. Don’t open the door for anyone, even us. Are you sure you don’t want to go? I was sure. They left, the car pulling out, the hum of the engine slowly disappearing. Alone. For the first time. I went into the pantry. I got some chocolate chips, and ate them by the handful. I had to stop myself. I turned on my computer, but I didn’t want to play anything. I turned it back off because that’s wasting power. Nothing was on TV, and I couldn’t think of anything funny to draw. Nobody knocked on the door or went by the house. I started to think about things. About being alone for long. About being alone forever. About being the only one left at all. I didn’t like it at all. Minutes felt like hours. It was too quiet. Not a peep. I turned on the TV to some random channel I didn’t care about. The noise was all I needed. The noise was my company. I didn’t want to be alone. Because alone is when the thoughts come out.


Under the covers. Pitch black, but in a way that was warm, comforting, serene.

I open my eyes. Darkness still. This darkness is not like the other. It is cold and expansive, empty, hollow. It stares back at me. 

I get up. The warmth leaves me, fleeing like doves on our plum tree. I open the door. Slowly, but not too slow, it’ll creak.

Now a new darkness fills the halls. Fuzzy and bizarre. There are doors and floors and other things I knew too well, but they were not at all like I knew, they were made of sand and television static. There were things I didn’t know too. But they never stuck around for me to tell what they were.

Further, quiet as ever, to yet another darkness. A light darkness, the moon spilling onto the landing of the stairs, beckoning me, to sit in those faintly glowing squares, a safe spot amongst the uncertainty around me. 

So I did, still quiet. It felt nice.

I don’t remember why I got up, but that was okay.


Done. That’s it. All of my homework. Filled in with narrow letters. Black ink on every black line. I had turned the last dust-and-cheese-smelling, lemon-juice-yellow page of the book I got on Wednesday after computer class. I still had to take an AR test. But I didn’t particularly care for those, and plus, the teacher was in the hall, talking to another teacher. She must’ve told a really funny joke or something. I wanted to know what it was. Behind them was the trophy case Filled to the brim, but nothing of note. 

2005, 2002, 3rd, CONSOLATION, Boy’s Basketball, Regional Semifinals, 1991, Girl’s Volleyball, 4th.There were essays on the wall too. 12pt and double spaced. I couldn’t read those, but I’m sure they weren’t anything of note either. Mine included. Posters about nouns and adjectives. I knew everything about those. Cards from students on a small cork-board. I couldn’t find mine. Lights. Only some of them were on. Windows. Covered with a weird plastic film. Outside. A cinderblock wall. Warmed by the sun. Narrow alley below. A small garden. Little plants with big dreams. I don’t think they’d make it. Flowers. Soft petals, the color of erasers, “Grape” stamp ink, and the scented candle that I couldn’t make heads or tails of, all mixed together, splashed into the center and pulled out in soft strokes. Growing from the dingy two-story behind us. The sun warmed these too. It warmed me too.

A Different Alone

After the first day my parents left me home alone, I got used to it. 

I wanted it sometimes. So they let me. I was alone, but a good alone. 

It made together feel more comfortable. 

I had time to think, and then time to talk. 

It was good.

Until it wasn’t.

I had a good friend. The kind you have at school. But nowhere else.

He found a better friend than me.

I was being pushed away.


There were people. A lot of people at that school. But I was more alone than ever.

Fake friends to Fake Friends

It’s true. No one liked me.

I was annoying, and they were right.

My dad told me never to change myself for the world around me.

So I didn’t.

I changed the world around me.

I ran away, far away, without moving an inch.

To the depths. To the creases of my mind.

There was the world I wanted to be in.

It was a good one. One that had been there for me, all of my life.

Not once did it leave for someone new.

Not once did it tell me what I did wrong.

I surrounded myself with more of myself.

I took myselves, and made them different.

Chirpy and the gang were back, more different than ever.

And this time I didn’t want the world to see it.


End. Things kind of do that.

I do it all the time.

But with myself.

No version of me lasts all too long.

Sometimes you can’t tell when one ends and another begins.

And that’s the whole point.

We are a canvas, and the world is our paint.

And it’s thrown on us.

Using a big plastic bucket with a metal handle.

And we have to go in there with little sponges, clean it up, even though a lot of it just smears, until it happens all over again.

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