Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams


His name is Michael, and he is sixteen years old, of slight build, on a playground in Summerlin. He is waiting for high school to get out, and asking adults he sees for the time.

Michael is bored, bored enough to play games with a three-year old, and bored enough to talk to me. He has a lazy smile, and the slow movements of someone who still has some growing to do. His mother kicked him out of the house last night, saying he should get his own apartment and own job: she found out he got a girl pregnant. I don't ask about her: he's got a name written on his shoes and his jeans, in the manner of a student who isn't paying attention. His pride in the fact shines through the story he's telling: it means he had sex, and that was status, worth any price in time and trouble.

He doesn't understand why his mother is so uncaring, and feels sorry for himself for being so put upon -- the girl wants to break up, but he expects the baby to live with him, in a cheap apartment of Paradise Road, while he works at McDonald's. Somehow, he's hoping for a boy, since girls seem too hard to figure out. He expects to use the bus or walk to get to where he needs to go.

It hasn't occurred to him yet that there are holes in this fantasy of his, and that he might not have the endurance to paper them over.

Michael collects his jacket and starts walking toward the high school, a young man going places.

Walk carefully, Michael. Las Vegas is pretty hard on anyone who can't control their desires, and you are not the exception to that rule. Consequences are all around, and you don't have the mental equipment to anticipate them. Listen to people a bit: pride is not your friend.
Tags: pen portrait

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