Often, I hear, these marriages become violent.
But it may seem that I am holding the upper tier in some kind of contempt. I am not, really. It is just that to place the recollection of the boy who said he was from Pluto into context I feel it is necessary to paint the scene of those around him, with whom he shared the narrow corridors and hard playgrounds of the school.
His name, if it matters at all, was Rick Finsmore. At least that was his earth name. He told us that his Plutonian name would be too hard for us earth types to pronounce. I had seen Rick around for a couple of years now and had on occasion ridiculed his peculiarities with good humor which he largely chose to ignore.
At some point, and I don't know where that point was, he had started to construct a Plutonian dictionary. He carried around with him at all times a hard covered, black book, the words ‘Plutonian Dictionary' inscribed on the front with Tippex, which he made entries into. This would occupy many apparently lonely periods in his life when he found himself in a quiet corridor, sitting on a bench where coats were hanging above and around him. He would hum contentedly and beep every now and then and scribble into this book. I never read from his book so I don't know whether this dictionary was formatted alphabetically or whether it just focused upon keys words and phrases needed to get by on Pluto along with their earth translation and explanation. Others of his fragmented social circle had been known to read the book and he could be seen patiently explaining meanings and pronunciations, the book balanced on his thin knees and his hands and face animated in what could be described as joy.
To attempt to describe Rick would be to paint a thin picture in weak ink of a willowy boy, incredibly tall for his fifteen years. A boy who would never had found clothes to fit even if he had tried, so it seemed he did not. His trousers were easily five inches too short and exposed dark gray socks pulled up tight out of sight, possibly stretching as far as his knees. His hair was shiny black and full, cut into a basin-like shape presumably deliberately, and I would suppose that he subscribed to the less than wholesome theory bandied around at the time that if you left your hair without washing it for four weeks or more it would begin to wash itself. Rick was, as I mentioned before tall, and he had yet to fill out in any manner, his body was painfully slim and this seemed to be reflected into the features of his flat oval face. Thin lips would stretch like sharp paper cuts across his face when he smiled and even his teeth seemed to lack density. His wrists were so thin that you looked at them in wonder when they were exposed, they looked so fragile that you could almost picture taking them between two fingers and breaking them in half as easily as you would crush a digestive biscuit.