Shawn is a tingerer. We first met in Industrial Arts class in grade nine, and we’ve been friends ever since. He could craft things with his hands that would amaze you. The guy is motherfucking McGuiyver. Give him a battery, a bottle cap, and a bit of tinfoil and he’ll whip up something that will keep bugs out of your yard. Over the summer, he built his own motorcycle.
He’s also sitting on several shitloads of unfinished art work of his own making. We made a great team in high school. I could write, he could draw and build stuff. One time in grade 11, he spotted a girl whom he really liked. We crafted a plan where I would write a poem and he would draw her face. She’d totally be swept off her feet and Shawn would get the girl. Unfortunately, neither of us knew anything about girls. Our efforts amounted to Shawn getting in one very uncomfortable conversation with her over a lunch break while I stood off in the distance, watching and laughing.
We don’t see much of each other these days because life just has a way of making the weeks tick by between visits. Last night we went out for beers. One of the very first things he showed me was the test result of an exam he wrote for work. 100 percent.
He explained that he wasn’t quite sure how to handle a result like that. How do you walk into work and casually mention to the boys in the lunch room that you got 100 on your exam? His supervisor only got an 80. How do you get a result like that without looking like an arrogant prick? Perhaps the boys are all wondering if he gave a little head to get ahead. He’s definitely proud of the result, but he feels like he can’t show HOW proud he is of the result. If anything, he has to act like he doesn’t really care that much.
Why couldn’t it be a 97? At least then he wouldn’t be infallible, like the pope.