The Boy Who Ate a Bus

When he was only four years old he ate a box, and then went around sorting everything. His mother didn’t like it, and told him to eat his vegetables.

When he was ten, he ate a bicycle. It tasted good. At night he had dreams of going fast.

When he was fourteen, his mother took him into her bedroom and made him eat an improvised explosive device. She swore him to tell no one. He told no one.

When he was sixteen he ate a school bus. It was empty; it took a while. Afterward he thought about a career helping people.

When he was twenty-one his father made him eat a squirrel. After that he was prone to spite, very much like his father.

Then both of his parents died, of cancer. He inherited money, and a house.

When he was twenty-eight, he completed a Masters degree in sociology.

At thirty he was engaged to be married. It fell apart; he broke it off. Then he made several bad financial decisions and lost all of the money he had inherited from his father.

At thirty-two, with not prospects in sight for family or career, he concluded that he was a failure. He was angry, lost, alone.

He struggle along doing this and that, and then at thirty-five, unexpectedly, he found a bight star in the morning sky, and ate it.

After that, he immediately started a nonprofit for children. The vision, the theme, the driver — it was children helping children. He was good at this, at establishing vision, at setting up the infrastructure of the nonprofit, at putting the pieces in place, not at relationships, but he was smart enough to hire people for that. It went well. Children were helped.

Then at forty-one, stuggling with lonliness, he went to therapy and tried to make sense of everything that had happened to him.

He wasn’t able to actually figure it out, but one thing stood out, one moment with the therapist. It was just after he told her about his mom, about the IED, and his dad, about the squirrel, when she looked at him incredulously and said, “Amazing. You are amazing.”

“Why,” he asked.

“Because you” she said looking him intensely in the eyes, “You ate a bus!”

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