Commencement Speech

“Okay little bro, today’s a big deal for us.”

I twisted to face him, resting my legs on the driver’s seat. We were outside of the supermarket and would-be rain clouds were rolling over the parking lot. Coby had a firetruck in one hand and Spiderman in the other. He was slamming them together and making crashing sounds, spitting all over the back of my seat.

“Why’s Spiderman bigger than the truck?” I asked him while picking at my chipped nail polish.

“He’s Spiderman,” Coby said with a lisp. “Why’s today big?”

“We’re graduating.”

“Huh?” Spiderman head butted the firetruck into the window.

“We’re moving onto the next stage of our lives. We’re heading into the real world. Gone are the days of papier-mâché.” The firetruck made a comeback, body slamming Spidey onto the cracked leather. “We’re moving on. Are you excited?”

“Are we going in the toilet?” he asked, looking up at me. The firetruck and Spidey froze in the air, a centimetre away from a bumper to face clash.


“You said moving on,” he over pronounced his vowels. “Like Chippy.”

“No. Not like Chippy. We’re not dying. We’re graduating.”

Spidey and the firetruck crashed into each other, falling into Coby’s lap.

“You want some high schooler tips?”

He shook his head and drove the firetruck up the seat, back flipping it into Spidey’s head. It was starting to sputter rain outside; summers first ditch attempt at a storm. I watched it spit onto the windscreen.

“Don’t order school portraits, no matter what Mum says – oh, and there are a tonne of stairs, so you can sort of afford to eat like a five year old.”

The sliding supermarket doors opened and I saw Mum in the distance trying to use one of the full bags as an umbrella.

“If you’re ever thinking of entering the annual talent show, try as hard as you can not to,” I added. “Oh, and Coby?” I turned to him in time to see Spiderman using the firetruck as a surfboard. “Don’t start a blog.”

“Where’s Mum?” he asked. She was jogging half-heartedly through the rain.

“Right there,” I pointed. “Any advice for the high school graduate?” I sulked, and then sighed. The firetruck was slowly rolling back and forth over Spidey’s legs. The masked man stayed stoic, his plastic face unmoving.

“Don’t run with scissors,” Coby said.

“Great. That’s all I needed to know. Don’t run with scissors.”


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