The kid had a bit of a mousy appearance- dirty blond hair that didn't stay in the pony, navy-gray clothes, a bit of a cold. He kept trying to touch the snacks before they were giving out and the teacher kept telling him 'don't touch! Don't touch that, Mike". He was sitting right next to the teacher but he got his snack second to last. Ditto for the drink (I actually pointed out to the teacher that he didn't get milk).
The other kids didn't seem to pay much attention to him, either. It appeared that he was the unpopular kid...
When the parents came to pick up their kids, Mike didn't rush to his mom like many other kids did. And I, with a sort of sick fascination, was staring her. When Mike finally got ready and came to his mother, she was very affectionate with him. She kissed Mike, and hugged him, complimented his a&c that he had in his hand.
Mike transformed from the unpopular kid into someone very dear and loved.
For some reason, though I met Mike only once, I remember his quite well. And, when I encounter someone who at best can be described as a 'nebach' I try to remind myself that not only is this someone is a human being but s/he's also someone's Mike, someone's pride and joy. And Mike deserves to be treated fairly.
Zooey update: Two years
4 days ago