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Bubbles

Jesus, man: just blow!
These retards have no capacity for the fine, incidental skills the rest of us have: rolling a joint, folding an origami swan, blowing a goddamned bubble of chewing gum.

A cynical bastard like me has no business volunteering at the local nuthouse. If I say even half the things that are in my head, I would crush the very shriveled, splintered core of every loon in this place.

Yet here I was, sitting with Kevin from Portland, a middle-aged man who can't string a full coherent sentence together; Kevin, who has been drooling over my shiny black shoes for the past 25 minutes. I mean that quite literally - he's a drooler. A retarded, shoe-obsessed, non-bubble-blowing drooler.

Christ, what am I doing here? I can feel the backs of my ears getting hot from frustration. My patience left me long ago. Who the Hell decided this would be a good bonding activity, anyway?

Kevin is having about as much fun as I am, by the looks of things. His eyes are glazed, fixed on my shoes. His spine is slouched in his chair. His mouth is wide open, from boredom or retard-dom or something... Maybe his drool is self-aware and just wants to escape his that lifeless, bubble-less mouth of his.

It succeeds, along with that nasty, chewed up piece of gum. I saw it fall out as if in slow motion, but the monotony of giving bubble-blowing instructions to a retard totally screwed my reaction time. It smacked against my Floorsheims with a moist thud.

Ah, this must have lit up something in that sour mash brain of his, because his eyes snapped to mine, searching (fearing? hoping?) for a reaction.

Normally, I'd yell. Normally, I'd stomp out. Lose my shit. But this was just so ridiculous that I couldn't behave within the normal boundaries. I was in a nut-house, after all. So... I stood up and began to tap-dance. I tap-danced just as a retarded person might tap-dance. I mimicked every facial expression, every shoulder twitch, and every awkward foot-tap. I tried to hurt Kevin's feelings as much as possible. It was a pretty good impersonation, I thought. All the while, the gum hugged tightly my shoe.

Something wholly unexpected happened then. Kevin, rather than crying or moaning (as I expected he would), worked up a grin. I could hear a chuckle work its way into his throat. Eyes fixated on my shoes, in complete amusement, Kevin laughed. And as he laughed, he formed with his drool and his lips and his breath the most perfect, beautifully-shaped spit-bubble ever to be made by man.

And when I saw it, I crumpled. My legs gave out. I fell back into my chair. This time, my mouth, was agape, I was astonished; I must have looked like the retarded one. What was left to do but join this man, Kevin, in his innocent laughter?

And so I did.
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