It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m standing in front of the large format printer at the FedEx on Sepulveda Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, where I have gone to make prints of my giant world colouring map and scan a pastel drawing I have done of Donald Trump, when I notice a small boy staring at me.
After a few moments of staring at each other, I say hi to the boy, and then, because he doesn’t answer me, I lean forward slightly, and ask him a question.
‘Why aren’t you at school?’ I say, ‘did you get kicked out or something?’
‘No,’ the boy says, ‘I finished for today,’
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘did you learn anything while you were there?’
‘Yes,’ the boy, who looks to be approximately 7 years old, says.
‘What did you learn?’ I ask him.
‘J’, says the boy, ‘the letter J,’
‘Okay,’ I say, ‘tell me a word that begins with J,’
‘Juice,’ says the boy, and then smiles,’
‘Excellent,’ I say and clap, ‘now tell me an animal that starts with the letter J’,
I can see by his face that the boy is thinking, and then a small girl, slightly taller than the boy, comes over and both of them are looking at me and saying ‘um, um’ and thinking of an animal that starts with the letter J.
Then a very tall man comes over and stands between them and says ‘come on,’
And then suddenly, at exactly the same time, the boy and the girl shout ‘Jaguar’,
‘Yay,’ I say, and clap my hands again, ‘you should keep on going to school, it seems you learn things there,’
The man says good bye to me and takes the children by the hand and is starting to walk them away, when the small boy notices the drawing of Donald Trump I am holding in my hand, and he stops.
‘Wait,’ he says, ‘Is that Donald Trump?’
‘Yes,’ I tell the boy,’
‘Did you draw that?’ says the boy, and I tell the boy yes.
‘Wow,’ says the boy, smiling at me, ‘that’s really good,’
‘Thanks,’ I say.
And then I ask the boy if he likes Donald Trump
‘No’ says the boy, making the face of someone who has smelled something unpleasant,’ he’s a jerk,’
Then the man, who is trying to lead the boy and girl away says ‘come on’ again.
And I wave to them and smile and the girls waves to me and smiles and I watch and smile as the boy looks up at the tall man and calls out loudly-‘Well he is, Daddy, he is a jerk!’