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The Rock

By Rob Diaz-Marino
June 5/97

There was this guy in my school,
we called him "The Rock" because
he never cracked a smile.
He never laughed, or
got angry, just a serious attitude
the whole time.

Sure, he was an honours student.
He had honours everything.
He always had an above
80% average on his report cards.
He wouldn't settle for anything less.

Of course, he seemed a little
out of place in art class.
Me and my friends'd be blabbing away,
while he'd be quietly drawing or
painting a masterpiece.
He got 100% on EVERYTHING!

I heard someone had said that
the guy was always listening,
and could repeat the gist of the whole
conversation afterwards.
this guy did A LOT of listening
and watching, 'cause he hardly ever spoke.

Anyway, so one day, our
whole art class went outside
to paint on these wall tiles.
It was right in the smoking area,
so my friends'n I lit up. Of course, the Rock didn't smoke. He was too clean.

Christy started smokin', which
was strange, cause I thought
she had quit. "Picasso" there
was quite close, silently forming
another work of art. He had to awkwardly
lean over some other guy
who was sitting, smoking.

I hear sobbing all of a sudden.
It was Christy. The Rock's brush strokes
slowed. He gently set the
paintbrush down, and sat beside her.
"What's the matter?" he asked softly.
Christy looked up, kinda surprised
for a moment.

"My friend, she overdosed on pills.
She's in the hospital."
I could see it, he was having trouble
bearing the cigarette smoke.
Christy sobbed, "She'll be okay, my baby's gonna be okay..."

"She'll pull through," said the Rock
with such certainty and convincingness.
Christy leaned her head on his shoulder,
and in his eyes, two tears nearly emerged.
In all the uncertainty of the world, the rock was like
a marble pillar. He could hold it together,
and for that, I'll always respect him.

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© 2000 Rob Diaz-Marino. All rights reserved.