Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Adventures of Captain Locke

“Aw man, this can't be happening again,” Ronald said, “come on man, you know it's my turn. I've been timing you – it's been five minutes already.”

Ronald hovered over Iggy's shoulder with an orange bag of cheese chips in his hand as Iggy surfed the internet researching for his science fair project after school in the recreation room. Iggy knew how to push Ronald's red buttons and loved to do it. All the kids in the after school program knew that Ronald was the student that they were suppose to pick on because as they say, “he is weird.” That made it Ronald versus the world.

Iggy ignored Ronald and kept on scrolling down the explosive web-page about firecrackers. “Why I oughta!,” Ronald's voice rose in volume and pitch ending in a near squeak.

Ronald stepped back from the situation, and habitually chomped a chip into pieces and entered into an audible monologue like a T.V. character. “I'm going to pound him. He can't treat me this way. I deserve more. Why does he get so much?”

But Ronald hadn't pounded anyone yet. Pinch, poke, harass – yes, but all the others knew that Ronald did not give a pounding. Ironically he more than not receives the blow after verbally attacking his peer, then runs off to find an adult to back him up. The reason he is picked on is probably because he wears goofy glasses, clips his nails in the classroom, tucks his white collared shirt in or because he openly admits to liking Japanese cartoons called animes. His obsession for a particular one, Naruto, can be traced to the beginnings of this particular conflict with Iggy.

One day, Ronald discovered that the computer in the rec. room could search for drawings and action shots of his favorite superhero from the show. For a sixth grade boy, this discovery brightened up his world. It gave his lonely soul something to look forward to after the gray school day. He could spend hours lost in that realm of imagination living greater-than-life scenarios where he, Ronald was just as cunning, quick and merciless as Captain Locke.

“Come on man, you know that it's my turn already,” Ronald pleaded as he returned next to Iggy knocking his fist against the brown desk.

“Go away, I'm not gonna let you on,” Iggy retorted unperturbed rousing a few snickers and squeaks throughout the room.

Ronald took a breath, puffed himself up and went looking for support. This wasn't going to be easy, and he needed a big friend to ensure him his time online, kind of like a bodyguard. Ronald's only hope was Bobby, a staff person. As usual Bobby sat slumped in his chair holding a book that looked about to fall form his hands. Ronald approached him, cleared his throat, and Bobby started. “Mister, it's my turn on the computer. I've been timing that little shrimp over there, and he has had more than enough time for a whole week.”

Bobby's already tired face became more so as his dark eyes closed halfway, his head slumped a little to the right and sighed. “Ronald please don't call the other students names. I've told you this before, it is rude, and in order for you to get respect, you need to give it. So what is it that you want?”

“I want to use the computer, but that pipsqueak won't get off. I told him that his time was up. It's been more than seven minutes now.”

“Why don't you let him finish what he is doing, O.K.?”

“What!? Whose side are you on, man? Come on, you know that I need that computer,” Ronald said with as much persuasion as he could muster simultaneously running his cheese stained fingers through his short black spiky hair.

“Ronald, relax. You use that computer everyday. Let someone else have a chance. Plus he is doing his homework.”

“It's everyman for himself in this world,” Ronald concluded. Not being supported, when he felt so obviously right and Iggy wrong, discouraged him. The pictures energize him and without Bobby's intervention there will be no way for him to overpower the huskier Iggy. Ronald looked at his rival and saw the pure evil inside him. Captain Locke would pick him up by his shoelaces and tie him to the ceiling. Ronald pleasurably imagined this and began his march back to the computer.

After regaining his hover for a final attack and stuffing one more handful of chips into his mouth, he said, “Ok man. Now I'm warning you; this is your last chance at survival. Either let me use the computer once and for all or you will be destroyed.”

“No,” Iggy chuckled, “What can you do to me?”

“I'll pound you.”

“Ok do it,” Iggy smiled.

Ronald froze and did not act.

Those in the room who had been listening let loose and broke into laughter. Ronald knew the white spot light was on him, and he felt like he was being pulled off a stage with a hook or in the very least having red tomatoes thrown at him. He wished he could pound Iggy into the ground or make him go away forever. Quickly the reality set in, Ronald won't get the chance to look at his pictures of Captain Locke. His freedom has been lost; he felt like it was the end. Everyone was against him. He tried to be as brave as his hero, to leave no survivors, but Ronald couldn't do what Captain Locke makes look so easy.

What was the point if freedom is lost? So he gave up. He shuffled his feet over to the front desk at the door, one shoelace untied the other double knotted. He stumbled on his loose lace, and caught himself on the edge of the table. A few snickers rippled through the room. He slumped his head downward into his withdrawn shoulders, groped for the pen, and signed out of the program. He closed his eyes and saw Captain Locke soaring through marshmallow clouds in the blue sky on an adventure; he smiled and left.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting slice of the difficult 11 year old life. A little poetic was "For a sixth grade gave his lonely soul something to look forward to after the gray school day," Simple, but sadly evocative of day after day,waiting for something different or something to change. And, the being alone!