Friday, June 25, 2010

Statue of a Damaged Youth

Peculiar - 474

Ben Azevedo

His mother always said it was his own peculiar genius that led him to such things. It wasn’t slovenliness that led to his tornado disaster of a room. It was his peculiar genius. The lack of organization in his closet wasn’t senseless disorder; it was peculiar (but genius) sorting.

Charlie didn’t really think much of his mother. He didn’t feel particularly OR peculiarly intelligent, and so he figured his dear old ma was just deluding herself. Which made her a liar. She was a peculiar liar, but a liar nonetheless. Charlie didn’t like liars either. He was really a very grumpy young boy.

Charlie’s father loved to read the newspaper. He especially loved crosswords. He worked his crossword every Sunday at the round kitchen table with a mug of coffee and a ridiculously expensive pen. If Charlie walked into his light (coming in from the den you had to cross the light coming in from the window) his father would grunt distractedly.

If Charlie’s mother was deluded, his father was simply oblivious. Or ignorant. Charlie hadn’t decided yet. Charlie felt like the truly peculiar part of his life was how he had even been born to these two in the first place. First, they didn’t seem interested enough in anything outside their own tiny worlds to have met at all. Second, how they had managed to stay interested in each other long enough to marry and produce a child was simply beyond Charlie’s reckoning. He figured their parents must have arranged it. Maybe with the help of a magical love potion or something.

Anyway, on this particular day, his mother was tittering about his room, picking up dishes, cups, laundry, and scraps of paper. Charlie just wanted to be alone, of course, but he allowed her intrusion. Sometimes he even liked to play along and pretend like she shouldn’t move something because he had arranged it that way on purpose.

In this way Charlie had managed to build a veritable statue out of knick-knacks from across the entire house. It started simply enough, he had four exceedingly large textbooks from school, and he had left them in a rough square in the corner of the room. As summer continued and he didn’t need the books, he tossed some laundry into that corner. Each time his mother made a move to remove the offending clothes, Charlie would make a small noise and say he was planning to wear them the next day. Genius.

Next he added an empty shoebox. Then some bouncy balls, an entire set of pool balls, and a beach ball he had found in the garage. He didn’t inflate the beach ball, though. Three weeks ago he found an odd pillow in the attic. Yesterday some forks from the kitchen. Charlie figured he could get another box on there before it toppled.

In The Garage - Weezer

1 comment:

  1. This is really, really good. It reminds me of the lighter writing in "Heartbreaking Work."