To his great pleasure, he gets to roam around with kids a year or two older. They accept him without condescension and pay attention to his opinions.
I put on oversized orange glasses, hold an inflatable guitar, and pose for snapshots. It's fun. I like these photos much more than the formal ones.
He drinks his way to greater warmth and friendliness. His smile is relaxed, his voice cheerful. For a few moments, I imagine we're close.
With slow, savoring bites, they suck up the gooey center of a fried Oreo cookie.
The speeches are more or less what I expect. The room is mostly silent, and people continue to eat.
Once they've filled their plates at the buffet table, they don't move. They stand at the table, eating and talking, their elbows bristling as they defend their ill-gotten space.
I don't know who the kid is, but he's out on the fringes of a parking lot, playing on an embankment dotted in dandelions. No one else is around.