The lunch bell finally rang. Friday was pizza day at Anytown Elementary—served on a warm, robin’s egg blue plastic plate with a carton of cold milk. The kid next to me rolled his pizza up like a flute and jammed it in his mouth whole. Chewing, chewing, more chewing…then he started to choke. Fifth-graders then didn’t know CPR and the lunchroom monitor was MIA. So we did what  many adults do in the same situation:


We ignored the kid and hoped he’d stop.  He choked to death instead.

The playground was empty that afternoon, and that kid remains in the dark recess of my mind.

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