Michael | Teen Ink


October 30, 2015
By BenLeit BRONZE, Maplewood, New Jersey
BenLeit BRONZE, Maplewood, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Michael struggled to climb up onto the toilet seat, as he raised himself in an attempt to look over the sink. His arms pushed his onesie-clad body up onto the tank of the toilet, and he lifted his chin to see it. Ahhh, yes. The bottle read ‘Colgate’, but he didn’t know it yet. He recognized it from Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom. All grown-ups brushed their teeth with their special adult toothpaste, and with no help from their parents. Little Michael had wanted to be an adult his whole life – and he was pretty close. This one time, he saw Daddy knock over a glass of wine – so Michael did so the next night. And Mommy was so happy, she screeched with delight!

He made a note of where it was. His toothbrush was on the floor; he had already knocked it down there with a recently full bottle of shampoo, whose contents now oozed the walls of the bathroom, leaving a trail of coconut-scented sparkliness. Michael hopped over to the toilet paper. He yanked a fistful off of the roll, crumbled it up like a ball, and threw it up towards the sink. It unraveled in the air, and gracefully ribboned down into the draining bathtub. He tried again. It unraveled again, and this time, draped over the top of the shower rail. Michael’s eyes darted from one scene to the other, examining the situation with confusion and a lack of anger. He tried to pull the entire roll of toilet paper off of its holder, but he couldn’t. Determinedly, he pushed, and pulled, and pushed, and pulled, and finally – it came off! His tiny, chubby body fell backwards, breaking against a damp towel. He broke a smile, stood up, whipped his body around, threw the toilet paper roll up towards the toothpaste, and – it all unraveled again and landed in the bathtub. He started to show emotion. Tears of frustration rolled down his cheeks. All he wanted to do was make Mommy proud of him!

He pushed the bottom of the sink. The toothpaste fell onto the floor.

He snatched it, and squeezed it as hard as he could. Nothing happened. His tears continued. He squeezed even harder, harder than anybody had ever squeezed anything in the whole entire world ever before. Nothing happened. He squeezed harder than his new best friend/new little brother squeezes his stuffed bear, Lovey. The cap shot off, ricocheted off the empty shampoo bottle, and both landed in the toilet. A glob of slowly moving mint toothpaste covered the painted wall across from him. He flushed the toilet, getting rid of the shampoo bottle and toothpaste cap. Clogging the toilet, water shot to the ceiling.

“Michael? What’s going on up there?” Mommy called up the stairs. She started to make her way up. Michael’s mind started to race. He had to brush his teeth, all by himself, before she got there. He wanted to show her that he could do it all by himself, just like she does! He clambered over to the wall and took care of the toothpaste situation by scraping a bit off with his toothbrush – he’d use the rest later. Mommy summited the staircase. She turned towards the bathroom. “Michael, sweetie?”

Michael tried to close the toilet seat, over the increasingly powerful Jetstream of water erupting from it, but to no avail. The sheer force of the water launched the lid back into its upright position. “Michael, are you alright?” She darted down the hallway and reached the bathroom door.

“MICHAEL?!” He turned around. Mommy opened the door and he shoved the toothbrush in his mouth.

The author's comments:

My name is Benjamin Leit, I'm in the tenth sophomore year of my high school, and this piece entitled 'Michael' is about a small child transitioning into a young man through brushing his teeth. I'm a generally unskilled, inconsistant young man who should not be depended on to do even the simplest of tasks. I'm cavalier, brusque, inappropriate, politically incorrect, and I regularly vandalize public property such as statues of historical figures and political activists. I also kill small animals for sport. God Bless.

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