Letter from the 9-Year-Old Boy on the Bus

Some time ago, when I had to commute for work, I met this kid.

He sat in the back of the bus with a somber expression.

He burnished a Moleskine notebook in his long, thin fingers. He chewed on the eraser end of a pencil.

He spent most of the time writing and looking out the window.

Every now and then he would say something, usually something that made me think.

Currently, with the state of the world, I'm not riding the bus. So I was beyond thrilled to get a letter from him in the mail. We've been corresponding since then.

Every philosopher needs an audience, I guess. So I'm passing along excerpts from the 9-year-old boy on the bus.

Dear Lady Who Carries A Backpack:

Glad you're staying home and mostley happy. But you don't always have to be happy. Some people think emotions can only do one thing at a time.

It’s not true. My emotions can usually do five things at a time, with a sixth emotion doing double time.

Most people who survive awful things are the funniest people you ever met in your life.

Aunt Rosabun, she juggles spatulas between flipping three pans of pancakes, but she lived in an orphanadge once. And my bus driver had his teeth knocked out when he was 9 but his new teeth lasted him all the way to 74, which is now, and he was voted Most Handsome Smile by all the girls at Klamath Falls High School.

Anyway, emotions are interesting if you’re the kind of person who invents things in the kitchen.

Today I found out, too much apple juice in chocolate peanut butter cookies doesn’t work--

IT’S TOO STICKY--but a little is just right.

What I love is mixing sticky and fruity plus crunchy or sour. Plus the dark, heavy feelings. And sprinkle the thin, shredded ones on top. Sometimes you’re in the mood for grainy ones. That can be good, too, if you like nutrition.

You have to be careful not overmixing.

Also, your oven has to be hot.

Also, maybe your emotional taste buds aren’t ready. They have to get mature. You might have to wait to grow up some.


P.S. It snowed right after we got sent home. How weird and cool is that? We'd never be able to make a snowman if we couldn't freeze our fingers off and laugh at the same time.

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