04 December, 2009

Stephen King

In seventh grade my science teacher, whose name was Mr. Thompson, would sometimes try to corner me and advise me in the nicest way possible that I shouldn't make a spectacle of myself because it would just make things worse. I'm too shy to give examples of what I used to do, but I'm perfectly happy to give examples about someone else, so I will tell you that there was a small boy with large ears named Evan who was very good at doing an impression of a monkey. When anyone asked him, Evan would bound around the classroom, swinging his arms and making grunting noises. Not surprisingly, everyone's complete lack of respect for him would occasionally result in Evan exploding into tears and rage. Then most people would laugh. It's really easy to look at this kind of situation and say that Evan was stupid for pretending to be a monkey, but it's harder to figure out this kind of thing from the inside, and sometimes it takes a while to figure out what kind of attention you're getting, and once you do figure it out, it's too late to try to get any other kind of attention. Well, that was my situation and Evan's, and we would occasionally be very nasty to each other in art class in the hopes of improving our status, but guess what, it never improved.

Anyway, poor kind Mr. Thompson would gently try to inform me about my bad decision making, and he would try to advise me about which kids were "nice friends," even though none of them actually were. And one day, while I was scribbling away at some Harry Potter fanfiction or pantoums, Mr. Thompson popped up and informed me, "Amanda! Did you know that when Stephen King was in middle school, he was unpopular?"

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