Two Boys on a Curb
Just a Conversation
If Legend were here, he would have won this dog competition hands down.
No doubt about it.
I taught him a new trick.
Oh, what's that, cuz?
How to remove ear wax.
Yeah, you should let him try it on you.
Don't be ridiculous! Have you seen what else he licks with his tongue?
Doesn't bother me. I'm just a little kid. I don't know any better.
You gonna eat that banana, or you just gonna keep playing with it?
Don't even think about it, Kimo! You already had a whole thing of coconut yogurt.
Yeah, but I'm a growing boy. I need that poccahontas more than you do.
It's POTASSIUM, silly! And this is MY banana!
Hey, I don't see YOUR name on it!
Quit dreamin', cuz! You might get a headache!
Keala, what's a headache?
That's kinda like what you are to me right now.
Like being cousins?
Yeah, that's the ticket!
I can't wait to grow up.
Well, give it a year...you'll be twice as old as you are now!
Man! A whole year? That's a long time I have to wait!
Yeah...crying shame, ain't it?
Keala, are you all grown up?
Ha-ha! That's funny! No, I'm just a kid. I'm bigger than you, but I'm still a kid.
But you twice as...no, four times...no, 16 million times bigger than me.
Uh-huh. So you don't want to forget that.
When I'm a big boy, I already know what I'm gonna do.
Yeah? What's that, Kimo?
I'm gonna drive bus all the way from Hanalei to Kokee!
Oh, like Uncle Glenn?
Yeah, and the haole tourists will give me big tips because I'm so funny, and I keep them laughing the whole trip. 'Cause I am a ham, I am!
Yep, that you are, Kimo, that you are!
And you, Keala? What you gonna do?
I don't know, Kimo! Haven't given it much thought.
Well...maybe a banana farmer. And you'll have so many bananas! Like one million hundred bananas! That way, when your cousin asks you for a banana, you won't be so stingy!
Keala, when is your mommy going to pick us up? Keala...Keala? KEALA!!!
Wh-what? Why are you yelling all of a sudden?
Because you didn't answer me, and I was calling you ten times!
Actually, cuz, you used my name once at the beginning of a sentence. You then repeated it in different intonations and at different decibels three more times.
You're doing it again.
Doing what, Kimo?
Talking over my face!
What you meant to say, Kimo, was that I'm talking over your head.
Actually, I'm doing more than that.
I'm talking for both of us. And the talking is in my head.
Not your fault. Not mine, either.
It is what it is. Plain and simple.
In five years, you'll be the age that I am now. With one major difference.
You'll be considered a normal kid.
I'll be 11. And I'll be as normal as I'll ever be. Whatever that means.
But some will still think I'm a bit odd.
Because I like to dribble the ball for hours.
Because I can remember the make and model of every car that's passed us in either direction for the last half hour. Hmm, let's see, that'd be exactly 114 cars, including the three motorcycles driven by fat men with black leather vests, one of whom also wore a set of chaps. Good luck with that in the Hawaiian heat!
I also, while creating imaginary dialogue between the two of us, memorized the license plates of every shade of blue vehicle that went by. The one that intrigued me the most and distracted me for 23 seconds was the one driven by a high school girl with flaming red hair. You don't see hair that color too often on this island. So it was worth observing. She also wore heavy makeup, perhaps to hide the freckles she really doesn't have to feel embarrassed about.
When you "asked" me for the banana, I was musing about whether or not our island agricultural leaders will give that crop up, too, just as they did with sugar cane and pineapples. I didn't want to give you my banana just then. But not for the reasons I assigned to you in my creative scenario.
People get frustrated with me because I trip off a lot. They don't understand that I'm thinking in ways that transcend their way of thinking. God gave me a reasonably intelligent brain, and I just happen to like using 85-95% of its capacity at any given moment. Beyond that, my head hurts. You repeating my name constantly, even if it's in my own imagination, ironically bolsters my concentration as I try to connect the dots and comprehend the patterns I figuratively see in my every waking moment...
...and even as I sleep.
Years from now, I will not be content to ever work for another human being. My mind races beyond the tediousness of work. I will always need challenges that don't always accompany an 8-hour shift.
As narcissistic as it sounds, I need to take on the world. I need work that will challenge me to never be content with mediocrity. I need tasks that fill my powers of concentration.
Because I want, just as any of my less challenged peers would ever want, to make a difference for the better.
Patterns and numbers simultaneously delight me with their complexity yet frazzle me with the resulting addiction to obsession.
I will need to work in solitude to be at my best. I'm only six years old, but, hopefully, when I'm older, that special work will be available.
This is what I envision...
At some point in the future, someone from a foreign country...or at least someone whose ancestral roots influence him to awaken from the hypnotic trance induced by our country's educational system...will create a global marketplace of auctions and set prices. It'll be given a clever name, perhaps combining a reference to electronic technology with a symbolic dream reference to entire populations...a symbol like water, for example. I haven't sorted it all out, but a foreigner will. Why? Because the only movers and shakers who still believe in the American Dream are, ironically, those who come late to the patriotic party...those who have not yet been jaded by having been born into top dog status...those who have had to always work that much harder and thus have had the greater incentive to work smarter.
In short, those who revel in thinking outside the box.
Me? I'm too busy counting how many grains of sand are in one square inch, multiplying the square by one more factor to gain the cubic reading, and interpolating to a reasonable degree of accuracy the number of grains of sand in the sandbox.
All this while the kindergarten teacher takes mental notes of what to scare my parents with at the next PTA meeting.
It is what it is.
There are countless volumes written by the scientists about children with autism.
The trouble is...they haven't seen the book I'm writing.
They really need to.
Because, seriously, folks, they're getting it all wrong.
Yes, maybe that's what's wrong with our world. Too many scientists spending too much money in too many needless experiments analyzing too many people who'd rather be left alone to dribble a basketball, find patterns in night's heavenly palette of stars, or grasp concepts the scientists haven't the foggiest notion about.
Who among us ever has a right to label another?
Think about that for a moment...
And when that moment's gone, take another one for good measure.
Chances are, you'll spend more time pointing fingers at someone or something else than reflecting upon the point of this message.
The most significant look of all is the one we make deep within ourselves. If we can make an honest assessment of what we discover in that mystic void, we'd be less likely to call anyone odd.
© 2013 Hawaiian Odysseus