Sunday, March 3, 2019

Do Nothing

Bobbo, Brooke and Max stood in the line that had formed in the media center. They had been waiting just a few minutes and kids ahead of them got their picture taken and then went back to class. "This is going to be the best picture day I've ever had," Bobbo said, smiling big at Brooke and Max.

"What makes you say that?" Max asked.

"Ever since Kindergarten, I've never had a good picture in the yearbook. Kindergarten it was the first year of static electricity, first grade it was not having, like, any teeth, second grade was the mullet, third was the second year of static electricity, fourth was my shiny shaved head..."

"I loved that one," Max laughed.

"I liked the mullet but the static electricity has its own charms," Brooke nodded.

"Fifth grade," Bobbo loudly began "was the psychotic smile. Sixth grade was the 'picture not available' text because I was out with scurvy and seventh grade was that giant pimple next to my nose."

"It was like you had two noses," Max said.

"But this year, everything is perfect. I'm wearing a good shirt, I have no facial blemishes, my hair is combed and lying flat," Bobbo began. "I'm finally going to have a good picture for my parents to give out and in the yearbook."

"I wouldn't be too sure. I mean, you still have to get up there and smile," Brooke said.

"Yeah, what if your smile is like this?" Max contorted his face, his upper lip covered his top teeth, he closed one eye and he tilted his head slightly.

"I'm not going to smile like that," Bobbo said. "Just a simple smile, like this." Bobbo smiled daintily. His lips barely parted and his eyes seemed to sparkle.

"That's some fine work, Bobbo," Brooke said.

"I still have nightmares about your fifth grade picture," Max said.

"I was trying not to close my eyes," Bobbo said. "I don't know why I thought I had to have my eyes that wide open."

"You need to be more like me," Max said. "I look exactly the same in every yearbook."

"But you don't smile, you just sit there like a lump with no expression."

"And I look good doing it."

"It's true, he does," Brooke agreed.

"Well, we can't all look good fighting the battle of who could care less," Bobbo sighed.

The line moved forward quite a bit as several kids got their picture and left. The photographer then moved the kids up so they were closer to where the pictures were being taken. Bobbo ran some fingers through his hair and readjusted his shirt. "Your shoe is untied," Brooke said.

Bobbo looked down and saw his shoelaces untied, sprawling out from his foot. He bent down and began tying them. The door he was standing beside opened and the knob smashed him in the face. The knob went right into his eye and knocked him back.

"Oh, geez," said the teacher who came in using the door, after realizing that he hit a student with the doorknob. "I'm so sorry. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I think so," Bobbo said, covering his eye with his hand but not actually touching it.

Brooke and Max helped Bobbo back up. He removed his hand from his eye and his friends saw the giant bruise surrounding the outside half of his eye. "Well, you can add 'black eye' to your list of bad pictures," Max said.

"Seriously?" Bobbo freaked out. "It bruised already?"

"You were hit pretty hard," Brooke said. "Here," she handed him a mirror so he could look at his eye.

"Oh, man. Somehow this makes the mullet look good."

"I don't know about that," Max said softly.

"Do you have any makeup or something that I can put on?"

"I have that mirror, some lip gloss, and a couple tampons. Why would I have makeup. I don't even wear makeup," Brooke asked. "Just ask the photographer if you can turn your head a certain way or something. They're a professional. They may know some secrets or something."

"Next," the photographer called. Bobbo went up to the stool. "Name?"

"Robert Griffin," Bobbo said. "Hey, do you have any tips for hiding this black..."

The camera flashed and clicked twice. "All done. Next," the photographer called.

"What? I wasn't ready."

"You looked fine, sweetie. Next."

"Great," Bobbo said, looking at the proofs of his pictures a couple weeks later. "At least the gaping maw that makes me look like a drooling idiot and my raised finger that looks like I'm about to pick my nose and whatever my other eye is doing in this picture distracts from my black eye."

"This is my new favorite thing," Max laughed.

"It now goes this one, mullet Bobbo, and summer teeth Bobbo," Brooke said.

"Maybe I can get some new friends before the next picture day," Bobbo sighed.  ▩

If you would like to support my writing or research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Kids these days, amirite? It's probably really hard for them to find something to do because they don't have phones. If they had phones, they'd still be sitting at the table but at least their hands would be doing something.

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