Thanks for the topic, monkeyman.
When Arturo was born, there were articles in the newspaper, photos, even T.V., everyone knew who he was, he was on people's minds for about ten minutes, and then the two-headed kitten was born, they moved on. But he grew up, people sucking in their breath when he passed, his teacher in grade school turned white when she saw him, sitting at his desk, just like all the other kids but not. Jack and Sheldon in the playground, watching the school lunch turned to slurry, round flap of meat, mashed potatoes, green gravy all broken down and moving through his intestines, Art holding up his shirt, nothing if not educational.
People get used to anything, Art got used to living after all the doctors stopped shaking their heads and saying he shouldn't be alive, and the world got used to Art, it helped to live in a smallish town, Art couldn't disappear in a city like other people, always the curious want to stare, kids gotta touch, gotta ask Does it hurt, it's endless with strangers, people were used to him here, knew him as much as anyone does, people think because they can see inside you they really see inside you, but Art had his hidden places, just like anyone else.
Just like anyone else, Just like anyone else, Art carried it in his brain while he did his rounds, Why didn't you find a job doing something where people are happy to see you? his mom wanted to know, but even she didn't know, even here, nobody was happy to see him, he reminded them they were just meat, slimy grinding machines at work all the time, he couldn't serve ice cream, nobody would buy, let alone eat with him standing there, blood pulsing through the vessels in his neck, muscles bunching up in his jaw, puts most people off their food. No, this was fine, Art in his little cart, people knew him, could see him coming without having to look at him, hostility covered up in jokes, this was fine, everyone knew where he stood.
Art stopped beside Judge Morton's car, checking the meter, the Judge flapping down the steps in his robe, hiking it up to get at the change in his pocket, "Just stop thinking what you're thinking, Art, I've got a minute left, don't even think about it, I can see right through you."
How many times had he heard that, thought Art, flipping his book closed.