Thursday October 15th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the new kid.

We had our StrongStart group over for a walk around the farm this morning and snack time on our deck. The plan was to take them through the apricot and plum trees to see the fall foliage starting to come in, and swing by the garden just to have a quick look since there's not much left out there.

Instead we spent a whole lot of time with the horses and picked a whole lot of corn for people to take home. We also passed through the apricot trees. 

Snack time featured a whole lot of interest in the walnut trees and finding fallen walnuts and cracking walnuts and eating walnuts (people also brought lots of food to share and we cut up a few apples from the orchard as well).

It was a fun change of pace around here.

Mine:

There is no hiding here. No sanctuary. No hope for invisibility. Getting lost in a crowd is a lost cause. Forget slipping through the cracks. No word is unheard, no misstep is mistaken for another's.

Everyone knows who I am.

There might as well be a neon sign hovering above me like a scarlet halo. Though I've done nothing to deserve this branding. I have betrayed no trust, committed no crime. I am innocent in all things. Well, nearly all things.

I am guilty of being the new kid, after all.

Even that, though. Even for that I could place the blame on someone else. For all the good it would do me. But doing so would not change my reality. Would leave untouched this daily torture. So there is no point in shifting the responsibility elsewhere. Not at school, at least.

At home, though? At home this is all Dad's fault. This is all because of him and that stupid new job of his. The one that forced us to move halfway across the country.

I bet he doesn't feel like the new kid at work.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

They do say that no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy. Not that the StrongStart group are your enemies at all... you know what I mean :) I can quite see how the horses would be popular though, and picking corn sounds like kind of fun; cracking walnuts and eating them sounds much more fun to me though.
I love the image of the neon scarlet halo hovering over the new kid! I never seemed to end up going up a school with my friends though (we had infant, junior and secondary schools) so I've been the new kid a few too many times for my liking. I sympathise with your narrator, deeply. And yeah, being the new guy at work is nothing like it!

The new kid
"No Geoffrey?" Paul had been poking his head round every door in the house and now Julie knew what he'd been looking for.
"I sent him back," she said. The kettle started to boil and turned itself off with a little thunk.
"What? Why? We'd only had him six days!"
"It wasn't working out," she said. "I wanted to send him back before he started to get settled."
"What do you mean? He liked sports – he supports the Blue Jays! – he came running with me in the mornings and he was letting me teach him how to play chess. What's not to like?"
"Well," Julie started pouring water into mugs to hide her discomfort. "Well, he didn't dress very well."
"You could take him shopping."
"He didn't wear clothes very well!"
"That'd change now he's started running with me. He'll fill out in no time!"
Julie slammed the kettle down. "Fine. If you must know, he was getting on better with you than with me. So I got rid of him and we're getting a new kid. A girl. One you can't steal away from me."

Marc said...

Greg - I have to admit, I was kind of hoping you'd write something from the dad's perspective. Maybe about how being the new kid at work wasn't all that great either.

But! I enjoyed what you *did* do so much that I can hardly complain at all :) It seems... worryingly realistic.