Stolen Wallpaper

Words but a whisper, deafness a shout

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Location: Zeeland, Michigan, United States

Hi. I wish I had a job selling squirrels. They're so furry, and give you toothy grins. Unless they're rabid, in which case they will eat your face off and then find the rest of your family. That's not so good, I guess.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Why Reach When You Can Stoop?

He rode his bike. 1992, senior year of high school, on his free hour. Well, it wasn't really his bike; most days when he did this, he just walked up to the bike rack, picked a nice one that wasn't locked, and hopped on for a little ride. There had been a couple times when he had barely gotten back by final bell, but that was part of the appeal. If he got in trouble, at least it meant he'd get noticed. He'd been getting more and more invisible in plain sight with each year, each month. He'd started freshman year as part of a group of friends, but somehow he'd lost the passcodes, or the locks had changed, or something, and now he barely knew anyone well enough to say hi in the halls, much less participate in friendish activities.

He rode up the long hill at the west end of town, huffing and puffing a bit as the gears took too long to shift, making his legs leaden with effort. Past the entrance to the brickyard, once nationally known, Veneklasen bricks, distinctive in color and texture, now getting rare with each demolished farmhouse, the yard hemmed in by new condos. At the top, he pulled into the Dairy Y and got a double scoop of Moose Tracks, along with a dirty look for being ambulatory during school hours. He straddled the stolen bike, licking drippies from his fingers, watching the cars approach the fork in the road, veering left or right, choosing their own adventure. Life had to get better. It just had to. Right? He had ten minutes to get back across town if he wanted to avoid a confrontation. He was not at all sure he did.