Oscar woke up from a nap in which he was dreaming about his mother and a snail to discover that he had inadvertently used his sketchbook for a pillow. On one of the pages there was a little, shiny pool of spittle that had waterfalled from his mouth and smeared part of his last entry so that it now read, “I am except …,” and disappeared into a wispy, watery, inky cloud.
Now he wonders who his father was and why, every time he and his mother go anywhere, she stops in the doorway, turns and yells inside, “If anyone calls, just take a message!” Then she starts jingling her keys.
He looks down again at his last entry and remembers. He had written, “I am exceptional.” He blinks. The watery cloud takes the form of a bruised beagle wearing a sombrero and scuba gear and drifts across the page.