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He gnawed the pencil to core. And it tasted like the birthday cake he had when he turned 7. The chalkboard was covered with Crystalline structures, but all he could think about was sugar. "Harvard," he said in a whisper. And his eyes re-glued themselves to the to the angular diagrams.
"Stop the nonsense words, Mac!"
He refers to himself as Mac inside his brain, but his name is actually Thomas. His favorite vacation spot is Dilley, Indiana; His favorite color is just plain blue; He has one iguana and an older sister. Anything else you want to know? He likes Harvard a lot and would really like to attend there. One time, he saw the Harvard brochure his sister got in the mail, and on the cover they had a girl in blue converse reading Brave New World. He owned a pair of blue converse and his favorite book was Brave New World. It is also important to note that Mac does not want to go to Harvard to be an astrophysicist or study "metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology" to quote Voltaire. Thomas Frederick Benjamin Jones III was the spitting image of John Harvard, the pilgrim, and the mascot of Harvard University. One student claimed they picked Old John as the mascot because humans are at the top of the food chain.
A high-pitched bell signaled the end of chemistry. He shoved the sugar into his black backpack and removed his iPod.
"Thomas, we can hear that trash you're listening to from 300 miles away"
He removed an earphone and looked up guiltily at the mouth that thought the Talking Heads were on equal with rotten banana peels and dirtied paper napkins. His eyes moved back to the ground and he trodded on.
Mac was scared to eat anything other than a Ham and American Cheese sandwich. If he tried a different type of sandwich, he might like it better than Ham and Cheese and then he would feel horrible for the Ham and Cheese, like choosing a shiny new laptop over a vintage typewriter. And mayonnaise was like the devil in a whipped white concoction. He didn't know what was worse: putting mayonnaise on a ham and cheese sandwich or putting mayonnaise on a typewriter.
Mac skipped to the computer lab after lunch. He skipped because he had never tried skipping before, and skipping is apparently associated with happy people. He found an open computer (mind you, he did not opt for a laptop for the sake of the ham and cheese), and typed in Harvard University on the search bar, eyes closed, one hand behind his back. A few clicks and dreams manifested of dorky students hiding under tables on Friday nights, reading their Calculus Advance Honors AP VII textbook just because it was more fun than that clam bake on the lawn. But the children ran out from under their tables as he clicked on the newest article posted. “H..Harvard..mmascot..now a..” . Tears welled in his eyes as he whispered the final word.
His mind started running around in very fast circles.
“How Harvard but John and Mascot with Ham and Cheese and Robot and deviled eggs and deviled mayonnaise and tables and chairs and clam bakes”
“Hey, Thomas, calm down buddy, there’s no mayonnaise here.” It was some voice he didn’t recognize, but he grabbed that body and laid his head on his shoulder for a good cry. Because he knew “a shoulder to cry on” was not just a metaphor. He blew his nose on the random orange striped polo, and adjusted his posture. One foot at a time, left, right, left (although he tried left, left, right, but physics stopped him), he exited the computer lab. Mac did not think about how Harvard had replaced him with a heartless machine made out of pieces of a broken writing device. Or about how the cheese on his sandwich was more yellow than normal today.
“Hey”. The greeting was from the guy he had just used as a human tissue. “You should check out Standford. I think their mascot is a tree, or something”.
Mac’s frown did a 180?. He grinned from ear to ear, from sea to shining sea. He had never heard of such a thing as a robotic tree. Mac shook his new friend’s hand to say thank you, granted almost ripping his arm out of socket. Even surer in his step than before, he trotted to chemistry. He took out his Crystalline notes, flipped to the back, and started sketching. The finished result looked something like this: a boy in a tree costume, holding a turkey and provolone sandwich, wearing blue converse, with a goofy-looking smile on his face. A better drawing than the diagrams on the board, and much much sweeter than sugar.