Benny and Lincoln decided today would be the day they mocked Melvin, who is severely disabled and does not speak. He rides the shuttle and seems eager to attend the Intergalactic War Academy. Melvin shifts about in his seat seeming to make jokes and and sounds that bring smiles and for his own amusement. He vocalizes, but does not communicate or even attempt to. He seems to be living contentedly on a private island.
Benny and Lincoln giggled and repeated his utterances in a tone that was disrespectful. Melvin, who is big and strong and roughly as big as two of Lincoln and three of Benny, shifted about in his chair as though he understand he was being picked on. But he withstood the insult gracefully and did not lash out.
I wish Benny and Lincoln could take a brotherly interest in shielding Melvin from the cruelty of the world. Perhaps they feel Melvin’s very presence stigmatizes them. Yet, he could use a friend and they could be friend and thereby weave their own sorry behinds into the social fabric in a more meaningful way. Perhaps that is a lot to expect from teenagers.