Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weird Man and Sarcasm Boy Part II

                Frederick grabbed his tray and stood in line for lunch. Many of the kids around him chattered and buzzed around him about their days to one another. Frederick tried to block it out of his mind, and concentrated on the lunch ladies dropping ice cream scoops of slop onto his plate. First came the yellow, noodely scoop. Then came the  slimy green bean scoop. The brown scoop the school was trying to pass off as meat came last. Each scoop of terrifying food substitutes splattered onto his plate with a noise that reminded Frederick of the sounds that echoed out of his uncle’s bathroom late in the evenings when he comes home drunk.
                “What’s the matter,” the lunch lady said when she noticed Frederick’s expression. “Don’t have the appetite for the pre-approved generic school slop today?”
                Frederick raised his eyes from his tray up to the lunch lady. Her face looked like someone had stretched a real person’s face across giant toad’s head, and her voice croaked out of her mouth in similar fashion.  He was glad there were no flies buzzing around, because he wasn’t sure his stomach could handle it if he watched her fleck her tongue out at one and catch it.
                “No, this is just what I was hoping for,” he said. “I was sick of being hungry, and this sure did the trick.”
                The young man next to Frederick nudged him and asked him to keep moving. Frederick obliged, paid for his lunch, and walked into the cafeteria. All of the other students had sectioned each other off into specific clicks, all of which Frederick couldn’t find himself identifying himself with. The jocks were too preppy and into sports, and he was never fond of serious competition. The nerds had some common interest with him, but often took things to a degree he couldn’t fathom. The theatre kids, well, they were the theatre kids.
                Frederick had plans to sit by himself somewhere quiet when he noticed the substitute teacher from before sitting at a table by himself, writing in his notebook and not paying attention to the food gore he was putting into his mouth.
                Frederick put his tray down on the table opposite of the man.
                “Now what,” the man said, glancing up from his notebook for only a second. Frederick noticed he was sketching out comics, and not just writing.
                “I’m sorry about earlier. I was just kidding about the genitals thing. You just caught me off guard.”
                “That’s alright. You gave me something to write about, at least.”
                “Huh? Is that what you’re doing right now?”
                Frederick tried to get a better look at what the man was writing and could see it looked sort of like a super hero comic. The man threw his arms over the book and hissed.
                “For my eyes only, filthy man spawn!”
                “Oh. Uh. Okay.”
                The two sat in silence for a moment.
                “Can I at least ask what it’s about,” Frederick asked.
                “Weird Man.”
                “Weird Man. He’s not really a super hero, but he looks and acts like one. He doesn’t fight crime and he doesn’t solve problems, he just get into really weird situations.”
                “So he’s just a guy who runs around in a suit and harasses people?”
                The man shut his notebook.
                “It’s not like this is something I’m trying to get published or anything. It doesn’t have to make sense.”
                “If you wrote something about me, you at least have to let me see that part.”
                The man stared at his notebook for several moments and then sighed.
                “Alright, I guess. But just this part. And the name is Tom. Tom Jensen.”
                “Oh, I forgot to ask. It’s nice to meet you Mr. Jensen.”
                “No, just call me Tom. I don’t like to be referred to by my teacher name.”
                “Alright... Tom.”
                Tom opened the notebook to the page he had been working on and slid it across the table to Frederick.
                “Aren’t you going to eat any of that,” Tom said, when he noticed Frederick wasn’t eating his food.
                “I was saving it for when I needed to purge my body of poison, but you could have it if you want.”
                He pushed the tray towards Tom, who took it and started shoveling the food into his mouth without hesitation.
                Frederick tried not to be sick and started reading the comic.

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