Ed was always doing really stupid things. He just thought differently than you and I. His world was a pulp fiction epic; full of dazzling highs and devastating lows. 15 minutes was an eternity to him. Gratification came in only one flavor: Instant.

I loved Ed. I loved him with an unnatural intensity and he saw that and made it his own. I was his right-hand man, the verifier, the chronicler. When Ed relived his adventures, the crowd all turned to me to get that nod. "It's all true. I was there" became my mantra, and my coward’s heart reveled in his brazen lust for death and thrills.

High school was our era, our epoch in the sun. I was fresh and new to Ed, having transferred to the school from out of town. I was not from his common flock of grade school spectators. No, I was fresh, closed and reserved. I was impossible to stun, and it made him crazy. He loved the challenge. Our first meeting was prophetic. I sat engrossed in a book when he happened upon my new face.

"What’s your name kid?" he asked, casually poking me with a boot, his hair in its usual tossed state. His wild eyes probed for approval and attention.

"Hal. You must be Ed,” I offered. His eyes exploded with glee! His reputation had finally traveled fasted than he could offer it up. This required a memorable performance.

"That's me!" he beamed. "Check this out!"

All of Ed's most talked about tricks started with that immortal phrase. It echoed like the peal of a great bell in the hallway, as most of the kids there had heard them before. It was crafted of the same stuff as "Fight! Fight!" and illicit swears. I was dumb to their vast import. This fed Ed like a wind in a firestorm.

He produced a long yellow 2HB Ponderosa pencil that was sharpened to a deadly point from his bag. He handled it like a deadly cobra. He placed the point in the center of his palm and looked at me. It was a wild stare, like a tiger in tall grass. 'Come on, mouse... Make a move!' it begged.

I stared back with all the interest of a dead fish. Blank.

It was to be a duel.

He raised an eyebrow and pushed the fist-gripped pencil into his palm. It slid under his skin and the sharpened point vanished. It was in his hand. Deep.

I lifted an unimpressed eyebrow and turned my gaze down to my book.

That was too much for him.

With a flurry of movement and primal yell, Ed smashed his hand on the wall, pencil first. It popped out the other side in a bloody spurt. He was sweating, as the pain reddened his features. Water pooled in his eyes.

A drip dropped on my book.

I smiled, and Ed was addicted. I had tamed the avatar of ADD.

He started toward it, clutching his now painful wound. The rush had started to wear off and Ed lived in the aftermath, bewildered but giddy as usual. He made a movement to pull it out. I stopped him.

"Don't pull it out." I said. Ed paused, with an almost thoughtful look on his pained face. He asked why without so much as a word.

"So we can freak out the secretaries." I answered. We crafted the intricacies of our performance on the way to the office.

And all was right in the world.

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