Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Microstory 1017: Roy

As my momma would say, I’m not the brightest tool in the shed. Even I know that’s not the right saying, but I don’t know whether she meant it as a joke, or if it’s just—what’s that thing where somebody says something, but it’s funny, because it’s also about them? Iconic? I don’t always know what I’m talking about, and people have a hard time understanding me. My big brother wasn’t like that. He spoke my language; my dumb language. He could always translate whatever I was saying to other people. Sometimes he even seemed to read my mind, which was good, because it was embarrassing trying to talk, knowing that people were doing everything they could to hold back their snickers. He’s not here anymore. He flew planes for the army, and died. They couldn’t tell us exactly what happened to him, but the men in fancy uniforms said he died a hero, which didn’t surprise me. He grew up wanting to go in the army, but then I was born, and he had to take care of me. He coulda done anything he wanted with his life, but he knew he had to stay and take care of me. He stayed home and worked a suck job at the diner, so he could live at home. Lord knows our parents weren’t going to be able to help me. We live on the wrong side of the tracks, so they have their own problems, they shouldn’t have to worry about me. Anyway, my brother was finally able to go army because I was in high school. You see, I’m a slow learner, but I do still learn. So when I was six years old, I was still like a baby, but now I’m eighteen, I’m like a ten-year-old. Ten-year-olds take care of themselves all the time. Little Bill down the street stays at home and he’s even nine. He feeds his dog himself when he’s alone. We’ve been friends for a couple years now, and I know that’s weird. I don’t get along with kids my own age, however. They’re not that mean to me, because they know I’m different, and I don’t think it bothers them that much. Viola was the best, though. She would always smile at me in the hallways, and ask me how I was doing. I think she had a crush on Leroy when we were younger. That was my brother’s name, by the way. He started having people call him Lee, because he said it was stupid our stupid parents practically gave us the same name. They’re so stupid. They call me stupid, but they’re the ones who don’t have jobs. Even I have a job, working at the grocery store. My boss says I can start working at the front once I turn eighteen, which is in one week. Viola already gave me my birthday gift. She said she needed to give it to me early, in case she didn’t come back to school on Monday. And you know what, she didn’t. She died that day, it was weird. It was a cheat sheet. She gave me a math tables so I can give people the right change when I start working at the cashier. I’m really gonna need it.

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