The Tragedy of Julius Orange
Trent M. Walters
t happened because she/he was sprung from the womb (due the ides of
March) too early: the ides of February. The parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Orange, named she/he "Julius" -- they thought she/he would make an
excellent basketball player due to her/his elastic properties
(discovered one morning when Mr. Orange bounced the baby on his knee
before work -- thankfully he caught the baby).
It happened because, as Julius grew up, she/he found her/his elastic
properties were unpopular with other kids. They spurned her/him
throughout high school, and she/he, consequently, never got a date until
college (Wake Forest on a full-ride basketball scholarship, playing for
both women's and men's -- her/his drive was unstoppable) when, for
Julius' birthday, she/he was on a double-blind date -- fellow teammates
on both teams had set her/him up.
It happened because the boy-date drove them into Canada in his
convertible to see from where the Mississippi sprang. The girl-date
giggled, leaning her head out the passenger side while Julius straddled
the stick shift. The boy-date often mistook her/his knee for the stick.
It happened because it was dark when they arrived, so they removed
flashlights from the glove compartment. But as light fell between the
boy and girl and water flowed between their legs, they fell in love and
into the river. Julius stretched to reach them, but she/he fell in too
and felt one or both stab something into her/his back.
First published: February 1998