the genius

when I was in Jr. highschool
there was this boy Raymond
and nearly everybody called
him a genius, most of the
lady teachers and all of the
girls:   “Oh, Raymond’s so
brilliant, I just love him!”
I looked at this Raymond and
he just didn’t look good to
he never said anything.
I couldn’t see how he got
to be looked upon with such
me, I was the class clown–
totally extrovert and bitter.
I was ugly and Raymond was
blonde with perfect features.
I was full of remarks, some
about Raymond:
“I wouldn’t use him as a
doormat in a Mississippi

while Raymond was getting his
straight A’s I was made to
stand in the hall or to go
see the principal.
the principal had a phonebooth
in his office and   he made me
stand   in there with nothing to
read except the lady’s magazines
which I read, and that’s how I
learned so much about women.
but anyhow, one day I came to
English class and Raymond’s
seat was empty.
word drifted about the room
and I learned that Raymond had
committed suicide.
everybody waited for me to say
something vile
but I didn’t.

I had to wait for the new edition
of The Lady’s Home Journal.