Chapter 11, "Getting Totally Sick of All This Lame Avoidance Crap"
The next few days were kind of awesome, because every time I'd get miserable about something or another, I'd just remember I had an arch-nemesis (an adorable arch-nemesis, no less), and I'd feel all better. Sometimes I would glance over in class at Christopher, and try to smile or wave or something. But then I'd feel all stupid about it, and if she started to wave back, I'd flip her off just to prove I didn't care.
Hector still wasn't in school. It vaguely passed through my brain that maybe that was a weird thing. Then I got distracted by the fact that we were having pizza for lunch, and I was all like, "Hector, who?"
But then that night, I felt an odd, unsettling feeling in my stomach while I was listening to Lou, Larry and Limbo rehearse. Limbo was a trained monkey Lou had picked up from a traveling crank organ player. Apparently, the man had traveled across the entire country, sleeping in alleys and begging for bread. When he finally found Lou, he mentioned something about "the one he'd been looking for," dropped to his knees, and died. Lou never knew the man's name, for he had no identification on him at the time of death. But the man's monkey, Limbo, climbed straight away onto Lou's shoulder (the one not occupied by Larry), and refused to leave. The monkey still had his little jacket, mini-fez and teeny tiny accordion, too.
So there was a new member of the Heavy Sporks (or whatever they were going by these days, I didn't bother keeping up). Listening to them play brought me little joy, probably because their sound lacked any distinctively good quality, despite containing a variety of influential elements. "Hobo Weekly" listed them as the most anticipated up-and-coming hobo band of the year. But me, I just wished I had no ears, so that I didn't have to hear the pain flowing from their musical attempts. Also, having no ears would be awesome so I didn't have to listen to the eternal whining of the human race.
One day after practice, after he had carefully packed away his ukulele and kazoo, Lou approached me. He placed a tender hand on my shoulder and said, "Sprinkle muffin, your Hector friend comes by no more with me to fisheth." (Today he was from Medieval England, or something.) I nodded. "Is it woe because he lacketh the love for thine brownish haireth?"
I shrugged. "I don't know, Lou."
"Well." He smiled sweetly, but did not expand on the statement. Leaning over in a totally dadish sort of way, he kissed me on the forehead. I tried not to think of the myriad of rancid hobo diseases he may have been transmitting right at that moment, and tried instead to focus on the sweetness of the gesture. Then he went into the house.
That's it. If even Lou is noticing that Hector's being a rat bastard jerk face, then it was time for desperate measures. I revved up Marcy the Magical Wagon of Destiny, and I kicked her scooters in the direction of the Haberdash household.
It took me about an hour to get there on plywood power, and by that time, I'd lost a little bit of my resolve. But I was too tired to go home, so I figured, whatever. I could just take a nap until someone showed up.
Turns out I didn't even have to doze, for Christopher came out the door pretty quickly.
"What do you want, Frig?" she inquired dazedly.
"I want to know what the heck's up with Hector." I chuckled inwardly at my clever "heck" and "Hector" pun. I wondered if Christopher had noticed, and thought to herself about what a genius I am.
But if it was genius thoughts she thought, she made no indication.
"I think that's none of your stinking beeswax."
"Why are you being so mean to me, Christopher?" I gesticulated boldly.
"I'm not being mean!" she sputtered with spittle.
"I found The Place," I told her, just to see what she'd say.
"Really?" she shrieked, joy flashing across her previously joyless features. She realized her joy too late, I had already noticed it when she began to grimace again.
"Yes, and it turns out I have an arch-nemesis, so you better watch out for that. And I don't need an arch-nemesis and crappy friends."
She seemed to consider this. She sniffed a couple of times, tapped her foot worriedly, and looked down at the ground and then back up at me. She yawned, perhaps from boredom, perhaps from sleep deprivation. She blinked several times. She opened her pocket, pulled out some colorful lanyards, and added a few layers of knots to the tacky boondoggle key chain she had apparently been working on. She put the key chain away and blinked some more, sniffed some more, tapped some more. She burst into song, performing a pretty impressive dance routine to "Dancing Queen". Then finally, she said, "Okay, I'll go get Hector."
Success! I waited, patiently, ever so patiently, by my car thing. It took a little while for him to emerge. When he did, I noticed that he had acquired a silverish sheen. How strange, I thought.
He approached me stiffly, as if he no longer had complete control over his joints. Again, I noted the strangeness. It's a shame I didn't have a notebook with me.
"Frig," he stated upon his eventual complete approach.
"Hector," I retaliated firmly.
"Our friendship does not compute," he enunciated precisely.
"Please return to your natural dwelling now."
"Is this because of those hoodlums? Did they paint you silver or something?"
"Hector 2.0 cannot process that information. Please return to your natural dwelling now. Our friendship does not compute."
I noticed, with a vague shiver, that Hector had not blinked once since our conversation had started.
"Fine," I shrugged, figuring if he was going to talk like a Weirdy McWeirderson, I didn't need him anyway. There were plenty of people at school who thought I was violently attractive. I'd have me some new crappy friends without even having to try, I bet. They'd see.
More Chapters, For Me and For You!
Oh, guys, by the way, today is my mom's birthday! Everybody wish her Happy Birthday, because she birthed me and everything and I think that was really sweet of her. I love you, Mama!