Sometimes I can’t get to the point. I think I know what I’m trying to say, but once I start talking, I realize I’m actually saying something completely different than I originally thought. My former therapist is the only person who never complained about it – probably because she was getting paid.

I’ve been trying to say something all week, but I still don’t know what I mean; so I get frustrated and delete it. This time, I’m just letting the words fall where they may. Sooner or later, I’ll get to the real point.  In the meantime, there is this …

I ran into a woman who lived a few houses away on the street where I grew up. By “ran into” I mean, I saw her and then tried to avoid her. She probably wouldn’t have talked to me anyway, considering I beat up her son when we were in the first grade. And second grade. And third grade. By fourth grade, it stopped being fun (and it never was a challenge anyway).

They were a very weird family. The parents were Big Jim and Noni. The grandmother lived with them and her name was Mickey. The kids called the adults by their first names, which we all thought was really strange. The kids were Tamiko and Michael – who had the unfortunate nickname Bobo.

By freshman year, Bobo went by Mike and I rarely saw him. We did have Biology together, though, and he sat behind me. The teacher passed around a Petri dish of something-or-other and I turned to pass it to him, but he wasn’t paying attention. I said, “Hey.” Nothing. “Hey.” Nothing. “Hey Bobo.” I didn’t really do it on purpose. It just kind of came out. He turned around and took the Petri dish. The teacher heard me and said, “Don’t call him Bobo! That’s terrible! His name is Mike!”

I looked at her and said, “His mother calls him Bobo.”

I did try to call him Mike, but he made it really difficult. Especially since he had orange hair, a permanent kool-aid mustache and a high-pitched girlie scream.

One day, my dad was sitting outside on the porch and he kept hearing a little girl screaming “Help! Help! Come back here!” He saw another neighborhood kid run by but he couldn’t see what was going on. He heard the “Help!” scream again but the only other kid on the street was Bobo. Bobo looked over, saw my dad and said, “Oh, hello.” Once he got past the house (as if my dad couldn’t hear him once he was past the property line) he started screaming “Help!” at the other boy, who was long gone by that time. I think he was about twelve at the time.

He finally outgrew the Kool-aid mustache and his hair lost some of the orange tones and got blonder. He got taller and his voice got deeper.

But I bet he never lost that girlie scream.