Rennie Stihl lived four houses down on Ferncliff Terrace. He wasn't a best friend in the strict sense of the phrase, mostly because he went to Tristan Academy, a very expensive private school thirty minutes away, instead of Mayfair High School and because, well, he could often be a jerk. A few years ago, his parents sent him to Tristan Academy for "disciplinary issues" he had had at the local middle school--once dropping an M80 in a toilet during first period, the resulting explosion of which shut down school for the rest of the day and cost $2,750 in plumbing repairs. And he was a jerk because, as Rennie often said, "I'm misunderstood in my own time." I was never really sure if he meant it in a joking way, since he was rarely misunderstood and, if you had for some reason misunderstood his intentions, he surely would have made them clear to anyone who was listening. Or, perhaps, and I use 'perhaps' rather loosely, Rennie just wasn't self-aware enough to know that no one misunderstood him. They just didn't usually like him. Or care for what he had to say. Or care if that fall he took skateboarding off the six-foot-high wall behind the middle school actually hurt, or if his wailing should be interpreted in some other way. Say, with indifference.
Alfred C. Martino
Updates from everyday life as seen by me