Stephen felt his feet getting a bit too hot and realized he had been walking a long time. His turn toward painful memories had given him an even worse headache, and he decided to head back home. When he walked up the path to his door, his mother met him there and made a
crinched-up face before whining, “I told you yesterday that you were to mow the lawn today, and it’s getting hotter by the minute!” Stephen
wasn’t worried. Little things like this he could take in stride. He said calmly”No problem, Mom, I’ll get right on it. I just need to change clothes.” His mom was satisfied and Stephen headed inside and down the hall to his room.
”My room,” Stephen thought, “the one place I can be myself.” Stephen looked up above his meager bed to what was tacked up on the wall above it: Plans. Plans to solve some pretty heady problems.
but it wasn’t just the problems. It was the solutions, the wild solutions!
The notes were repeating in Stephen’s head again. It was a torment he had come to accept. In fact, he had almost been swept away with
pride, picturing himself some kind of strange prophet, communicating with aliens or angels or something. The music did make him feel a little dizzy, though. Stephen went outside to take a short walk and get a little sun. It was still morning, so not too hot. He figured that the fresh air might clear his head some. When he stepped out of his door and onto the warm cement, he looked down and saw ants crawling all over the place. He hated ants. He put his hand to his forehead and felt several scars there that reminded him of what his eccentricities had cost him growing up. Teasing, fighting, injuries. Being a little abnormal could be really inconvenient at times. Stephen remembered one time when he had really gotten his butt kicked after an argument over some strange idea he had. The other boy had repeatedly hit him across the face with a big, rusty can, then shoved his face into an ant pile. Stephen hurt and bled so bad that his mother found him crawling down the sidewalk back to his house. She took him inside and tenderly nursed his wounds, some of which would become those scars he now felt on his head. It just didn’t seem worth it. Stephen did have some good ideas at times, but socially, he was a slug.