Friday, March 25, 2016


This is not him. His teeth are whiter, if you can believe that. 

I was on my way to buy two bottles of Merlot when I saw this picture of a happy boy. It was a large enough picture, maybe a foot by a foot and a half, and the boy had the whitest alabaster teeth I've seen on anyone. It was dazzling. He was a chubby brown boy, Third World brown, and he was in his school uniform. His smiling face was looking at something to his right. Perhaps he was listening to a funny friend who's about to unload the best punchline in the world. Perhaps, with that sparkle in his eyes, he was looking, with courage, at the class muse, and that a close friend captured his infatuation in a picture that will soon be enlarged. Perhaps he was listening to good news, maybe a long weekend that's shaping to be the best weekend ever, and that explains his adorable smile. He's a happy boy, and his picture is a delight to look at. 

Have I mentioned how dazzling his teeth were? 

I will call him Morocco. Or Mor. I cannot disclose this shining boy's real name, not because I don't know it, which I do, but because he's just fifteen years old. I happen to know his real name, and Morocco sounds close enough to the name that was printed a few inches below his picture. I know he's fifteen, and I know that for a fact, because he was born July 1, 2001. I am not making that up, that date, on account of it was printed below Morocco's real name. I am not making any of this up, just so you know. Morocco died on February 27, 2016. This date was printed directly below his date of birth. 

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