Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Quiet Kid Observed At A Distance by Anthony McCarthy

September, on the fresh playground looking at the weeds, till those are ground underfoot, then just walking around, master of camouflage, unseen, standing beside their body.

Then on the cold, bright October, in the smoky, low, angled morning sunlight, brisk in the morning wind, a quickened face sparked by fall.

Grey afternoons as the dark clouds pass by, smoke in the papery sky, walking on the sidewalks, blown with clean air. Contained, could be thinking of anything. You easily imagine it’s something good. Always alone. Confidence to move in the town based in their experience that they are invisible.

How many late afternoons sitting in the dry office, waiting for a ride. So familiar the old oak office chairs aren’t less remarkable with this kid sitting in one, doing homework again. Some times while mid-problem, with pencil in hand, looking at the page to balance the equation, as if time rests for the consideration, then checks the work with quick confidence. Goes on to the next one. Office brat, though not a brat. Liked well enough. Once in a while someone notices and smiles at the serious face.

Home, there’s an older one to live up to, they seem to like each other. A good kid, a loner you worry about from time to time. But who you expect will turn out all right. You hope so.

Update: Two Answers

You’re right, I didn’t specify the kid’s gender on purpose.

Yes, the original was about a real person, this is about many others.