the coolest kid

this piece appears in Slice Magazine. yay for me.

i saw the coolest kid last week.

i was tired, cranky, and starting to get sick from my need to sneak food into the library (quietly eating away amidst super germs).

i was studying for microbiology online, trying to concentrate, but it was very difficult because out of the corner of my eye i could see this boy that wouldn’t sit still. he must have been eighteen or nineteen.

he was wearing black headphones, a light blue t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and white, orange, blue sneakers. he was dancing. he was dancing in his chair. all out dancing in this super quiet room.

he was dancing perfectly in sync with the michael jackson on his computer screen.


(i briefly interrupt this blog to take a quick look at the transition of michael jackson over the years.

i miss the old michael jackson.

what’s your favorite mj song? mine is man in the mirror.)


here i am stressing about my microbiology test and this kid (i’ll call him lester) is dancing to the free willy song that michael jackson made.

over the next two hours, he plays michael jackson video after michael jackson video. his shoulders, his feet doing most of the dancing. i wonder is he only good dancing in the chair or is he fantastically amazing out on the dance floor too.

i wonder is he so brilliant that he has no school work to do or is dancing to michael jackson his idea of the ultimate education.

lester isn’t loomed like self-consciousness like me. almost everyone in this room has stared at him, pointed, and/or laughed. he never seems fazed though.

then, there’s me. his back is to me so i don’t know if he can see the soft smile on my face of admiration. maybe he can see me through the computer screen, i don’t know. i hope so.

lester has absolutely made my day and if i was courageous like him, i would go over, tap him on his shoulder, and whisper “you’re amazing.”

instead, i walk out, no longer worried about my test, and the happiest i’ve been all week. i need to make sure i have a lester moment — some good harmless silliness — each day. i was getting way too serious for my own good.

—Lissa E.

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Published by lissa e.

Lissa's offerings include integrative mental health care, meditation and movement (yoga, qigong, intuitive) guidance, writings, and community facilitation offered in a compassionate, trauma-responsive, and racial and social justice-oriented framework as part of a lifelong mission to reduce suffering for all beings.

3 thoughts on “the coolest kid

  1. Yea its kind of hard to not “bust-a-move” when MJ is playing. BTW my favorite song is Dirty Diana, I saw the video as a young boy and was amazed at his performance. But, I don’t know about dancing in a library. “The kids got guts”


  2. I hope you are remembering this idea now. Life must be very serious, please remember to have your Lester moments, they become more important as life mecomes more hectic and complicated. You are wonderful, even in a piece of light prose like this, your grace and charm shine through, especially in that soft smile.


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