The Restless Spirit of Ernest Hemingway Inhabits the Body of a First-Grader

Standard

***

It is human nature to disobey.┬áRefusing to follow orders is treason, but refusing to follow one’s ideology is treason all the same. The measure of a man is not whether he is disloyal, but to whom.

“Stop stalling and eat your zucchini.”

Oh, Mama. If only you knew why I can’t.

***

“What would you like to drink, sweetie?”

“Whiskey, please.”

“I’m sorry, honey, which one?”

“Whiskey.”

“We have apple or cranberry.”

“Gin, then.”

The lunch lady hands me a cranberry juice box and I step aside. There is no straw attached to the box, only a pair of cardboard scars. Before I can say anything she has moved on to the next child.

***

I open a new pack of crayons. Twenty-four of them, arranged in an elegant spectrum and molded into perfect parallel points. I hesitate for a moment before shaking them out of their complacency into a disarrayed rolling pile on my desk. You don’t use the crayons because you want to destroy them. You use the crayons because you are a colorer. After all, if you love and respect them, it is no sin to use them. Or is it more?

***

“For show and tell, I brought this packet of cigarettes. Funny how anyone can ascribe such value to a material thing. Me and the boys used to trade these all the time for money, rations, chocolate too. They were a currency, a currency of security and consistency. These little bastards got me into the front lines of the battle and they kept me there.”

I empty the contents of the cardboard box and crush them into the linoleum tiles with the heel of my light-up Sketchers.

“War is hell.”

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Restless Spirit of Ernest Hemingway Inhabits the Body of a First-Grader

  1. Lorel Shea

    The day was hot and the wine was cold. Audrey wrote like a woman possessed. Only someone who read Shakespeare in the original Klingon could understand her nuances. She was brave and good and kind, and had much to say.

    Like

Comment on this...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s