Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Issue No. 1, School Boys - The Island of the Midwest
Noah had a creationist science teacher hell-bent on deposing coastal idolatry. Each hour was a pulpit plea for disbelief in retreating icecaps and stem cells and peace in the Mideast. Nevertheless, the creationist science teacher spent one period insisting on the evolutionary purpose of body hair to protect salient features of anatomy. He pointed to the brain and the eyebrows and the feet of Hobbits as examples. He might have pointed to the pubics as well. The teacher was an activist lawyer during the summer and it was his great ambition to rid the world of pornography via subpoena. Nether-hair, he believed, was pushed out from skin to underwear by the hand of God in order to obscure what a lens could otherwise record.
Doubt grows on the young in follicle form. The students did not ask how hair could possibly stand up against a well-heaved rock. Nor did they point out that their creationist science teacher, with his ever-widening monastic cap, doubtless had little left to protect. But Noah, at the hirsute age of fifteen, had his intelligence armed to the death with doubt. He would not be captured by the cannibals inhabiting the island of ignorance that is the Midwest. He marched right up to his public school library that day and asked for a book on Global Warming. Had he arrived five minutes later, the book would have been thrown out with the others deemed illegible by the state. The plump librarian at the helm fished the book out of a box marked “Science” and Noah took it back to the farm.
He spent the weekend in the field curled up on freshly baled hay reading the new book. If he had read it indoors his mother would have seen and thrown it into the fire. She was not an angrily religious woman, but she knew Noah’s sensitive imagination could be easily inspired to turn against him. But was what happened in the field Noah’s creation? Looking up from his book with furry, furrowed brows, he could swear he smelt saline in the air. Though there were plenty of decaying field mice around, what he heard was not the call of a vulture. He squinted looking up and saw a seagull struggling to catch a thermal.