Location: marengo, il, United States

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Higher Expectations

Eli, not yet eighteen, and being at that age when removal of delicate facial hair is still a fun project, has undertaken a wild scheme to capture for himself the fairer half of the human race by playing around with deadly chemical warfare. His own mother, a grown woman, chokes and wheezes when she passes by the man-boy’s lair located at the back of the cave. I have even caught myself holding on to walls for support while wandering about the place, being unable to breath properly from the toxic cloud that, although invisible to any eye, will reach out to suck the life from a fit set of lungs. His less-inexperienced and shorter sibling David watches these things from a safe distance, and has been discovered taking personal notes of several on-going experiments using cologne.

Yesterday, Miss Bliss called me after school. She, a most-caring and gracious sort, began telling of our wonderful David and his class, and their current reading project, the great tale of Moby Dick. She went on to recount how an exciting discussion came up afterwards, concerning the various uses of whale oil.

By the tone in her voice I realized both she and her students warmed up to this historic subject, and we talked at length before her voiced began to falter by a few degrees. Not wanting to alarm anyone, she mentioned at the end how David had politely raised his hand, and then while she and the surrounding children listened attentively, he volunteered that his older brother also lit an unusual substance at home, and that he had witnessed this event himself. The impetuous boy recalled the name wrong, however, and spilled the beans about Eli burning cocaine in his room.

I expect we shall talk again soon, his teacher and I.


Blogger Jay said...

Kids say the darndest things, Harry.


11:31 AM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Harry, I have to say that you are such an accomplished teller of tales that my admiration knows no bounds. This story is told with such flair and delicacy and you never put a foot wrong in the telling. You are the master of leading the reader on so gently and then surprising them with a revelation at the end. May you never run out of tales to tell and your keyboard never fail, for the world would be a dreary place without your good humor to brighten it.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Harvey Young said...

Harry, I read this earlier today while eating lunch at my computer. Blogger would not let me get in to leave a comment, but then since I ended up spewing my lunch on the computer screen, I made good use of my time. What a wonderful story. I had not thought about what I have to look forward to as my boys grow older.

You really do tell a fine tale, and I am learning so much just by reading what you write.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

This was so funny, I damned near set my keyboard on fire when I dropped my cigarette.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Harry said...


11:05 PM  
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