Robert Stanelle


Jayson was always different, always strange, always obstinate. Always. Little boys are often obstinate, but Jayson was beyond anything you can imagine. He could not respond to the simplest request without adding an opinion. He knew the world was flat.

Jayson could see forever, after all he been to the top of the tallest building to see the end. The world was clearly flat. He had rolled a ball down the street over and over and the ball did not curve. The world was clearly flat. He had jumped up and down and always landed in the same spot. The world was clearly flat. He had observed and tested his theory hundreds of times beginning as a very small boy. Where the white ended the black began and where the black began, the white ended. There was nothing else to discuss. The world was clearly flat.

He was a very bright boy and his hand would wave frantically when the teacher would ask a question. First grade, fifth grade, high school, it didn't matter. Now he was in college. The world was still flat. All along people had tried to convince him otherwise. It never mattered. He knew it was they that didn't understand. He never tried to convince them. Some people just don't know anything!

How much is three times twenty-seven? "Eighty-one" he would answer, "and the world is flat". Who was the tenth President of the U.S.? "John Tyler" he would say, "and the world is flat". What is the "red" planet? "Mars" he would shout, "and the world is flat". He said nothing else about it, but often wondered why no one understood.

Karen Jane understood. At least she never denied the fact. She was his only friend. Many seemed to admire his intelligence in all other things, but didn't ever talk to him. One doesn't talk to weirdoes. One doesn't approach crazy people. Taunt, ridicule, mock, scoff, twit, parody, deride, but never talk to. Everyone knows crazy weird-o-ness is communicable and no one wanted to catch it. Incurable.

One day Karen Jane came to her sophomore philosophy class and noticed Jayson was not there. That evening she found the note. It said only, "The world IS flat", and a scrawled signature. She knew.

The next day she announced to her classmates Jayson was dead and he had been right all along. He proved it! He walked to the end of our flat, flat, flat world ..... and jumped off. The body was, of course, never looked for.

Some people know things that others will never understand.