Blurt (a short story about my strange life as a 7th grader)

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I always speak before thinking. It gets me in trouble over and over again. Like in 5th grade when my teacher said we were having a small test, and I blurted out: “A small test; is that a testicle?” It’s been two years since I made that remark, but my friends Adam and Shelly won’t ever let me forget it. Everytime we have a test, they’re always whispering to me, “Ask if it’s a testicle.”

And then last week, when my dad and I took my dog to the vet, and the doctor asked us to describe Duke’s last bowel movement. Before I could stop myself, I said, “A brown pile of shit.”

Things like that are always getting me in trouble, and I regret it right after I say them, but it’s too late. I’m just a boy with a big mouth. It actually is big. In fact, the dentist told us she wanted to do some procedure on me because of my big mouth. I’m not kidding. It’s embarrassing.

My dad takes me to see a therapist every Tuesday before school, which makes me miss math. Most people would be happy to miss math but it’s one of the only classes I actually like, because I like the teacher. She’s really old and wears old fashioned hats even though there’s a rule against hats. But the Principal is afraid to say anything, which means we can wear hats in her class. It’s a great way to express yourself.

Last Tuesday at therapy, Dr. Bronner (yes, I know there’s a soap called that) kept sniffing around and asking me if I smelled something funny. He was really distracted. He opened the window even though it was freezing outside. I guess my farts don’t smell like normal farts.┬áBy the time he had asked his secretary if she smelled something burning, it seemed awkward to bring up the fact that I had farted. So I just went along with his search for the source of the terrible smell. It was a somewhat small office, so it was hard for the fart to escape. That, plus I kept leaking more.

Finally, I felt so guilty that I just said, “I farted.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

I quickly backtracked. “iFarted, it’s an episode of iCarly. You know, on Nickelodeon.”

He wasn’t interested. The reason I go to a therapist is I tell people I’m a girl. I always check the “female” box on forms. It causes great confusion at school, where they are constantly dividing up boys and girls. You don’t really notice how much they separate boys and girls until you check the other box and get scheduled into girl talks on sex ed and get assigned to girl teams in PE. I’m not trying to make trouble, I’m just putting down how I feel on those forms.

So anyway, we didn’t get talking much at the therapist that day about gender and me missing my mom and blah blah blah, due to the mysterious smell I had produced.

On the way to school, I told my dad about the fart incident. “Did you drink too much milk this morning?” he asked.

“I’m not lactose intolerant, I just fart,” I explained. Why must I explain my farts? Doesn’t the older generation fart? Did they not fart as kids? Is farting a new phenomenon?

Back at school, everyone’s used to me being late on Tuesdays, so they hardly notice when I come in. But that day, Shelly and Adam pulled me over when I walked in the classroom.

“It’s a history trivia game,” said Shelly.

“And it’s for a grade,” added Adam.

Shelly stared hard at my face. “You’re on our team,” she said.

Adam finished her point, “So don’t blurt out anything embarrassing.”

They know me well. It was an almost impossible request, but I respected their right to try to impress the teacher, so I nodded in agreement.

The class was divided into two teams, and the teacher was asking us various questions that we were supposed to know the answers to. I was a little bored, so naturally I was whispering to Shelly about how if ducks became zombies they wouldn’t be much of a threat since they would just try to nibble you with their little duck bills. I was demonstrating to her what this might feel like, when I noticed that the rest of the class was quiet.

“Well, Dani?” It was the teacher’s voice, and I was the only Dani in the class, so I had to answer.

“Could you repeat the question?” Always a good stalling technique.

“What town were the first shots fired in that began the Revolutionary War?”

Now here’s where, in retrospect, an “I don’t know” would have been a good response. But that’s not what blurted out of me. “Dogthumbuttville,” I answered, without even knowing what I was saying. I went on, “It was named after an unfortunate incident that occurred in 1712.”

Our team didn’t win.

It’s good to have friends who put up with me, even when I lose them games in class. I don’t know why I can’t stop my mouth during times such as the history trivia game. Perhaps after my dental procedure, I will be normal. I hope not.

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