a-

My boss walks into the teacher’s room.

“Essay day!” she calls. All the teachers, myself included, groan. She puts a fat stack of hot paper on the communal desk. My first class is a pile of pimples, pit-hair and angst.

Middle school is the worst, I think, taking a mirror from the girl in the front row as I walk in. I pull out the attendance sheet, I look up. The same girl has a new mirror out, bigger, white. I stare at her, mouth open. She rolls her eyes and stuffs it in her bag.

I look around at the sleepy mess of stressed out, pale teenagers. There are no windows.

“Essay day!” I cry, holding up a stack of papers. All the students groan. I look down at the header of the essay. I sigh.

“What gives your life meaning?” I whisper it to myself, groan, and repeat it to the class. They don’t respond, so, I hand the stack to a boy in the front row. He hands them out.

For the next ten minutes I stand at the front of the class, watching, sweating, occasionally itching. Finally, I can’t take it, I walk around.

Each paper I pass I see the same things:

Family, friends, my phone, family, friends, my phone…

One of the students actually managed to misspell phone. I stop and point at it. He looks up at me.

“Ph-oh-ne,” I mouth. He frowns. I shake my head and move on. In the back, I see Jerry. He is smaller than the rest. No hair above his lip, no pimples. He has big old glasses and a blank stare. His pencil is down. I cross my arms.

“Finished, Jerry?”

I can feel the other students turn, eager to watch me reprimand Jerry. Jerry just nods. He turns the paper. I pick it up. There is one sentence written. His handwriting is awful. I look closer.

“Life is meaningless because you can’t fold a piece of paper more than eighth times.”

I read it again. I look back at the class. They quickly turn back to their work. I place Jerry’s essay back on his desk. I take out my pen. He watches me, emotionless. At the top of the page I write–big and red.

A-

He frowns at it. He looks up at me. I shrug.

“Eight, not eighth,” I remind him.

Author Benjamin Davis and artist Nikita Klimov created one story and one picture each day for one year. In May 2018 they published their first book, The King of FU

2 Comment on “What Jerry Had to Say About the Meaning of Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: