It had been a busy Sunday. I illegally swam to an unnamed island to check up on a stash of hidden books, purchased bacon, attended Port Moody’s Car Free Day, and roommate made a large quantity of vegan nachos, I baked a loaf of molasses bread, and baked my first loaf of molasses bread based only on a conversation with my mother a few days before. That same night, my roommate made a large quantity of vegan nachos. The day before I helped my roommate set up our place for an additional inhabitant, and then accompanied her to purchase a cornsnake named Bo from a girl named Ava Cats. Not only were there now 5 non-humans in our household (6 if you count Pechulee, who (according to my roommate) is the rat’s pet spider), but there were now at least 3 corpses in our freezer (Ava Cats had given my roommate two starter mice, along with Bo’s favourite glove…)
But in the middle of all that, walking from Hastings down Commercial Drive on my way to get bacon, I came across a strange and perhaps concerning scene. Notes for high school Math and Physics courses were scattered on the sidewalk along with a boot, a glove, and a coffee cup.
The kid’s name was Justin, which did sound like the name of a kid that would just drop a bunch of shit on the sidewalk and run away with one boot, one glove, and no coffee in the middle of the summer. I wondered why he had stuff for Grade 11 Physics and Grade 9 Math. Was he cheating off the wrong kid, or was an older kid making him do their assignments? Maybe he was doing his sister’s homework? Or she was doing his?
There was a strange printed document in the mix that identified him as ‘obsessive, messy, talkative and repetitive’ — was this a teacher’s evaluation? Did she share it with his parents? It also stated that he ‘gives almost nothing to the world but gets so much back’ — was this a mad libs? A self or peer analysis? ‘Fears failure, the loss of technology, and the death of a loved one.’ I can picture an exasperated teacher or assistant prompting him in any way possible to just get him to finish the assignment so they could get on with their lives. ‘He would also like hate to disappear’ seemed to be included as an afterthought — perhaps because their guidelines said to end on a positive note. Who is this kid? What kind of assignment was this? Did the teacher really send that to his parents?
But all that was almost beside the point. Why was someone walking around with this kid’s Math and Physics binder in the middle of August? Where did they head off to with only one boot? Or were they just transporting the boot? And if so, with or without the other one?
And why carry a winter glove in the summer? Why leave one behind? WHAT WAS GOING ON?
For some reason I picture this kid walking down the street on a hot sunny day in full winter gear and BAM! into the wall. Some thug charged from the other side of the street because he didn’t like what the kid was wearing — knocked him right of his boots, gloves thrown free, beloved Math and Physics notes flying everywhere like so many doves in a shitty John Woo movie. The kid bounces up and makes a run for it and knocks the coffee out of a pedestrian’s hand. The coffee stains the thug’s pants and he terminates the pursuit to try and get the stain out, because those were his nice pants. The pedestrian is not reimbursed for their coffee.
Or maybe the kid’s Mom was driving him to summer school and said something he didn’t like, so he freaked out and threw everything out the window of the moving car. Including her coffee. It splashed onto some big dude, so they didn’t stop to pick it up and just sped away…