Monday, July 19, 2010


A boy of around 7 came walking in today, slow and quiet, quick and calm to respond to the greeting. He walked the wall with bare eyes, a young scholarly gaze somewhat exploring the library as was prepared for him. His hands in his pockets, head bent back to the higher shelves that seemed to tower above him, he strafed in observation. Minutes later, the father walks in, calls looking for him and finds him in his pose. "You find anything buddy?" is the question, and three words into the slow response, the father is saying, "alright, alright. calm down, calm down."

Silence again, still the walking of the wall, the slow reading and picture translation. I hear the grown man reciting titles at what seems like dartboard relevance. "So what're you thinking, buddy?" is the question, and again, the response begins to come, case in hand, title at the ready and the father again warns, "okay. calm down now."

Somewhere in there I missed something drastic, some psychological disrhythmia. Who needs the calming? Is the boy shuddering where I can't see, his eyes rolling in the back of his head? Are his knees jerking and gyrating at an angle I couldn't see? Was he urinating on himself, unable to contain the urges he was subduing vocally? Or is the father here so terrified of his son's genuine interest that any gesture of free will sends the fear of rebellion through him?

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