Learning

He thought about this kid in a class, when he was young, always picking his nose. How, even then, he wished the kid wouldn’t so he could like him. It started him thinking hard; he remembered when he was in kindergarten and could draw goldfish even though they are orange and not gold until he remembered everyone showing each other their privates in a closet at one of their friend’s houses during a birthday party.

Then there was another person in another class when he was older that slept in the back of the lecture hall behind the person who was always sleep-talking about the tip of her nose and pools of Lilly pads filling the ditches of her collar bones afraid to wake up to water running down her chest and puddles at her feet when she’d fall back asleep holding the back of her neck.

She learned how to drive from someone who was bad at it and they were found overdosed in her car or something a little after.

Later on in his life, in the men’s wear section in the big store, he had the whole wallet idea. He knows that certain people’s signatures make things more valuable. These signatures are called autographs.

That’s the difference, the difference is they’re called autographs.

He was curious if his would or could make something more valuable.

Picked up a wallet $29.99. Figured he’d done enough in his life to add—or subtract—ten bucks to (from) whatever the object he could autograph is.

Here it’s a wallet.

He walked over to the pen and marker aisle to see if there was a “try me” cubby in the marker section.

Scanning the aisles: Permanent Markers: Try me.

Of course there was.

One connected to a string.

He signed the wallet.

When it came out to the same price, you know when it was rung up at the register, he thought, So much for that.

Anyways there was plenty of flaw in the logic—if the autograph worked and was valuable would it have come out to more money?

He thought so.

But his autograph, would it cancel out the price if say his autograph was more than 30 bucks or discount the price to some degree if it was less. Maybe if his subtracted from the value, you know, he’d have to pay them more. Which is likely in any case.

This means, ultimately, he can, only for now he says, only produce a signature. And since he signed the tan leather wallet in royal blue permanent marker they made him buy it.

Cashier said, “Was this here when you picked it up?”

He said, “No that’s my autograph you don’t just find that lying around.”

“So to be straight here, you wrote on it before you bought it?”

They called it ruined, the manager and cashier. He tried to explain but so did they.

Like a break it buy it deal.

***

Texas in May
The porch in the back—a lot easier to like
the quieter things.
Mm-hm
yeah,
I went to Texas in May,
Dallas.
And it wasn’t what I expected either, in in between the two I kept thinking, Which
is which? Meant to ask someone that knew
That
He liked it so much 
that he wanted to be exactly what it was.
        They all did.
Everyone did. 
It was just that simple thing. The more that people wanted it, the more people that wanted it. 

Nathan Dragon lives in Western Mass. with his best friend and partner. Dragon is currently writing a book of short stories and novel about a marine biologist.