“Hey, ‘Bones,’ “my brother, Parker, asked me, “what are you going to be for Halloween?”
The elementary school party started at 7:00 p.m. The winner of the prize for the most original costume got two free tickets for the Sunday matinee. Parker was dressed and ready to go.
I watched him parade in front of the mirror in his pirate costume. He’s so handsome, I thought. All the girls in the fifth and sixth grades were madly in love with him. I’d spent the afternoon defending myself from his rubber dagger.
“I’m not going!” I replied.
“That’s dumb,” he said. “You hardly need a costume. You’re already a perfect scarecrow!”
I was used to these observations. Furthermore, he spoke the truth. At twelve, I was already six feet tall and weighed eighty-nine pounds. Tack on red hair and freckles and it added up to one thing: I was a scarecrow. School days were charged with searing taunts. “Down in front.” “How’s the weather up there?” “Are those skis or shoes?” It was hard to smile back, and even harder to make friends.