Jacob Rierson was an only child born to foreign parents. He grew up alone and never knew love. His mother was squat in stature, big busted and wore heavy stockings and laced shoes. She had had no formal education and only knew how to cook and clean. His father was tall, straight laced, redfaced with no humor or emotions. The Rierson family lived on a small farm in the country where they barely managed to scratch out a livng for themselves.
Jake grew up without having any real toys, his only world was his play house in the woods and square of dirt where he made little farms and roads and used sticks for people and rocks and tin cans for houses. They didn't have any bathing facilities in the house so that was done outside under the clothes line with rugs pinned up for privacy. This was a weekly thing and his mother stood there and scrubed and scrubed him. He went to school in a one room space with all eight grades crammed in together. The kids were mean and poked fun at him because he was quiet and didn't know the games or even how to play. In his frustrated lonliness he bagan to pick at his hair and soon this pecular habit over time, resulted in gradually having no hair left on his head.
When his folks sold the farm they bought a house in town, which happened to be right next to a high school. There it was worse for him and he just exsisted in a world of having to go to classes, had no friends, no sports and poor grades.
Soon his body began to develope and the normal urges began. And when his mother found spots on his sheets, and herself being uneducated and could not explain what was happening to the boy. Her only action was to severely beat him using a whip on his hands and make him scrub and clean for her. So this was how he learned to clean. The belief was implanted in his brain that sexual urges were bad and sinful and that he had to use soap and water to cleanse himself of this awful fault.
Later when his folks died, Jake stayed on in the house next to the school where he had become a janitor. His excistence was going to work and cleaning there and coming home and cleaning some more.
Jake always read the bullitin board first when he came in to work each day. He felt a tingle of excitement when he saw a notice posted that said it was time for the kids to start selling cookies again. And also there was a big sheet announcing a twenty five year class reunion coming up soon. He read the list of names of the graduates and recognized three from that year. Lola Lewis, a pretty blonde, Randi Mills a skinny little redhead and Lavern Cruz, the tall one with the long black hair and brown eyes.
For a minute tears threatened, he wasn't invited of course but he would be there, out of sight. Now he had to make the old school sparkle, bring out the extra tables and chairs, hang crepe paper and be handy to run and fetch for the committee.
When Jake was done for the day cleaning the floors in school, he went home and put on clean clothes. As he had new jeans and a shirt for special occassions now. He looked pretty much the same only older, with sadder eyes, and his hair had fianlly began to grow back. But only in tufts scattered here and there around his head. He was proud now because he had hair, but he didn't realize he looked stranger than ever.