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Thursday, Aug. 22, 2002 @ 1:47 am

Iím writing to you today about Genesis Craig: an only child, who freaked out when people touched him. In elementary school, he was filled to the brim with information about American restaurants, and constantly telling tiny anecdotes about them:

ďThereís this Max and Irmaís in Indiana, which is sorta like this higher-class Dennyís situation, you know? Well this restaurant hires only woman with small breasts!Ē

~ or ~

ďDid you know that Burger King had their booths specially engineered so that theyíd be comfortable for only twenty minutes? Just long enough to eat a burger, fries, and down 32 ounces of Coke. The booths encourage folks to move along quickly, you know? But I sat there one afternoon and timed people. No one stayed more than eleven minutes! Now, why do you think Burger King decided to add nine minutes to the comfort window on those booths? Well, obviously itís because they care about you. They worry that you might need an extra minute one day when youíre feet are hurting, or they wish to allow ample time in the event that youíre pregnant.Ē

I understand that from just these tiny bits of information, you might conclude that this is one strange kid, and to be quite honest about it, you would not be wrong in coming to that very conclusion.

You see, I lived next to Genesis Craig growing up, and although we didnít hang out much after the Seventh Grade, I did retain some notion of friendship with him. Iím slightly embarrassed to admit that as High School drew near, I began to hang out less with Genesis Craig, and I began to make more jokes about the weird way he walked, dodging everyone within a ten-foot radius of his own body. But believe me, there were certain things remaining from the days of building forts with dead tree limbs on the edge of the ravine behind my house. Although I was an evil kid and tempted by the ways of budding young assholes in the hallways, Genesis Craig was still my friend.

By Junior High, he had moved on from ridiculous restaurant facts to television commercials. He would record exhaustive hours of the tube onto cassettes and built mix tapes out of the product spots. Heíd try to sell them before and after school for one dollar each. Once I saw a teacher buy a tape, but aside than that, a mercenary move by a woman who schools pre-teens in math, I donít think he moved many more units.

Oh yes! Genesis Craig was a freak, winding his way through the cafeteria at lunchtime, dodging any and all human contact with skillful pirouettes to the left and to the right.

I asked him once: ďGenesis, why donít you let anyone touch you?Ē He replied: ďOh, you have it backwards. Itís not that I donít let anyone touch me, I just donít want to let myself touch anyone else.Ē He went on with whatever we were doing, playing video games or riding our bikes, as though no follow-up questions on the subject were necessary.

At High School graduation, I watched as Genesis Craig walked across the stage, accepted his diploma with a smile, and then quickly jerked himself past the principal in order to dodge the manís outstretched hand, causing the entire graduating class and most of our parents to burst out laughing. I saw him one time after that, and thatís why Iím writing.

I realize this is a long shot, and I also realize that you are a serious museum and certainly do not have time for pranks. Let me say now that I appreciate your gracious handling of this subject, and thank you in advance for treating this letter seriously.

Three weeks after graduation, I saw Genesis Craig turn a boy into glass. It was in my own backyard. I was playing touch football with Ronnie Beaver. Football with two players is about as boring as it gets, so I was trying to raise the level of excitement by calling Ronnie my little bitch whenever I ran by him with the ball. Playing along, Ronnie acted as though he were extremely pissed off, and before long weíd said fuck it to football and were pretending to be engaged in a wrestling match to the death.

It was only after the whole ordeal was over that I figured out what had happened. Genesis Craig, who still lived in the neighborhood and had taken an interest in insects, was walking through the ravine gathering fucking roaches or something and must have heard us screaming. Genesis Craig, Goddamn him, ran up out of that ravine where he and I once built weak lean-tos out of flimsy saplings. He came up over the edge of that ravine, Genesis Craig, Goddamn him, and he saw me, his childhood buddy, pinned and squirming beneath Ronnie Beaver, notoriously one of the worst offenders in (and a founding member of) the Cracks at Craig Club.

Genesis Craig, ran up on our two-person pile and grabbed Ronnie Beaver by the neck and lifted him up off of me like removing a porcelain angel from the top of a Christmas tree. My eyes went wide as platters, and Genesis Craig, Goddamn him, sat there shaking, his own eyes welling up with tears, his cheeks turning red, and Ronnie Beaver dangling there from his hands, a see thru statue of a children at play.

ďIím sorry. Iím sorry. Iím sorry.Ē Genesis Craig looked at me, terrified, repeating those two words again and again. ďI thought you guys were fighting,Ē he told me.

I looked at my old friend Genesis Craig. ďIs he breakable?Ē I asked him. ďIs he going to break?Ē

Tell me, National Museum of Glass: Have you seen him? Have you heard from Genesis Craig? He was in the neighborhood, and at my school, making very sure he didnít touch anyone. After that day in the day in the backyard, I never saw him again. The parents worked it out so that he would leave. They didnít call the police. There was no record made of the incident.

Please, National Museum of Glass, can you help me? Genesis Craig was making sure he didnít touch anyone, because he knew, like none of us seem know, what terrible things he was capable of. Donít you see? He could be the one!

Have you seen him? Has anyone contacted you?

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