The chubby Nigerian boy burst into tears. They traveled down his cheeks through his chin and dripped onto his orange polo shirt. I stood there, staring as his cries grew louder and louder. I didn’t know much about him, only that he was a fan of Michael Jackson and that he was from Nigeria. His skinny Tunisian friend looked at him with a startled expression of both confusion and shock, wondering what he must have said or done to provoke such a reaction. Soon the cries turned from sobs into howls of insanity rather that of sadness, and shortly a small group of children gathered around him. At this point a small puddle had formed below his collar and still he was crying. As more people stopped to see the commotion he seemed to grow more restless.
By the time a teacher showed up, a thick layer of kids had already formed a barrier, enclosing the Nigerian boy in a ring second graders. The teacher shoved her way through to the now wailing Nigerian boy. Everyone in the school could hear him. She knelt down beside the boy while simultaneously glaring at his friend who then replied by putting his hands in the air. When she asked the boy what was wrong the shrieking stopped but still no answer was given. He gave a few snivels before opening his mouth only to say 3 words.
“ Michael Jackson’s dead.”
People care too much about stupid things.
Written by Janam Shankar