According to a recent hand-raising poll in Ms. Atkinson’s third grade class, all but one person is excited for summer vacation. The exception, Dan Whitish AKA “Albino Dan”, expressed not only his lack of enthusiasm for summer vacation, but his overall depression during the hot summer months.
“I don’t like the summew vewy much. It’s a hawd time fow pigmentally-challenged childwen” said a very friendless Albino Dan in an interview conducted during recess on Tuesday. While the rest of the class was outside playing, he was stuck inside to avoid the menacing UV Rays.
“My mom fowgot to pack the sunscween this mowning”, he said with a sigh while petting his favorite toy trolls hair, “so hewe I am. weading indoows.”
Although an exceptional writer and chess player, Albino Dan is mostly a loner and prefers his toy trolls to peer companions.
“My twolls awe weally the only ones who undewstand me” he grinned, “sometimes I wub the jewels in theiw bellies and wish the sun would stop hating me.”
Aside from a few major differences, Albino Dan says he is just like “any other kid”, and wishes people would see him as a person and not a spectacle.
In the short time I spent with him, it was very clear that the changing of the seasons does not help Albino Dan’s already withering self esteem. His inability to participate in outdoor activities for an extended period of time paired with the laundry list of necessary precautions only deepen the divide with his peers. Although it usually appears otherwise, Albino Dan still maintains that his life is not all terrible.
“I like being alone. It’s too hot outside and there awe bugs. I have my twolls, a juice box, and my favowite book.”
The school accommodates Albino Dan’s unique condition by providing him his own bean bag chair in the air conditioned teacher’s lounge. Since Albino Dan can only be outside for a short period of time even with sunscreen, the lounge is his second home.
“Albino Dan is a good kid. A little out there, but a real good kid” said Bill Coleman, the school gym teacher and girl’s softball coach. “We don’t mind him hanging around here, we actually all feel pretty bad for the little guy”, he said. “He does have those trolls, though. I’m not sure what that’s about.”
Despite his many flaws, it was clear that at the end of the day Albino Dan was just largely misunderstood. When asked what his plans were for another summer indoors, Albino Dan excitedly replied he was going to read the complete works of Thomas Pynchon for the second time.
–Brett Jones, May 2010