Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Problem

The boy couldn't have been more than twelve years old, sixth grade max, but his fingertips were wrinkled and his cheeks scruffy with wear.  A glance into his eyes yielded not hope or identifiable longing, but bewilderment, an excitement that couldn't find a way out of his mirror filled home.  When we went to pick him up, he didn't want to talk.  He didn't even seem to want to be.  But he was, which lead to the problem of where, precisely, we'd put him, if, that is, we had the opportunity.  You see, placement of this sort were a rarity to start.  We could put new clothes on him, wash his hair, sure, but the language barrier would be a problem.  He'd go into remedial class right away, and we had some of the best teachers across our part of the state.  Yes, you know, I think he would learn to talk.  The problem was that he'd missed out on all of those years in the first place, sheltered you know, walled up in either the most extreme of isolation, or the fiery will of his parents, disciplinarians and romantics at once.  Funny thing, is that people, they think folks come in one color, one stripe, either conservative or liberal, black or white, you know all of the typical divisions and their derivatives in more slang than I could hope to command, and yet, what, I'll tell you.  We would have a hard time getting rid of this boy, grooming or no.

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