Enter Bodhisattva

Girl: I’m still friends with someone I knew since first grade.

Me: I wish I had friendships that lasted that long! Actually, I know two men in their forties who’ve been friends since third grade, and they still hang out.

Bodhi: I have a friend from elementary school.

Me: You do?

Bodhi: Yes. He always teased me. ... In first grade, I liked a girl. I told her, and then she dated him instead of me. He didn’t even like her. She told me, “He only dated me to make you angry.”

Me: And you’re still friends?

Bodhi: Yeah. I haven’t seen him since middle school though.

An awkward silence.

Bodhi turns to Famine. He grins.

Bodhi: Hey.

Famine: Uh, hi?

The silence grows more awkward as Bodhi stares at Famine, grinning. Famine looks at me and blinks uncomfortably before looking back at Bodhi.

Famine: I don’t know what to say. We’ve been sitting together for the entire meeting.

Bodhi: You gotta say “Nice to meet you!”

Famine: But I already know you.

Bodhi: I don’t know you.

Famine: (sighs) I always knew I was (sidenote: He’s so not. )

Me: (to Anaïs) Wow, our new nerd is like the opposite of the old one. He’s (sidenote: The old nerd erased all our doodles on the whiteboard, saying he didn’t want to leave a mess. Bodhi drew a box around our doodles to preserve them. )

Bodhi: I’m nice?

Me: Yeah, you’re nice!

Bodhi: Awww, you’re pretty nice too –

Me: (teasing) “‘Pretty’ nice?” What’s that supposed to mean?

Bodhi: I mean – you’re nice. You make me feel less weird.

Me: But being weird is a good thing to be!

Bodhi: You make me feel less bad for being weird.

Me: You should never feel bad for that! Who’s making you feel bad?

Bodhi: My sister. She’s always calling me weird for eating bread by itself.