Every Thursday, when we would gather for our group project sessions after class, Seth would dig into me. Little needling criticisms tripped out of his mouth. I didn't know why. Maybe my ideas were too idealist, or as he liked to say, "Naïve."
I didn't like it. I kept quiet. Retaliation seemed even more juvenile, though I didn't voice that thought.
After several weeks of this, I stayed up all night for two days and constructed a piñata in my image. I brought it to class, tucked under an arm. Everyone asked what it was for. I put a finger to my lips.
"He's just a weirdo," Seth said, and I smiled.
At our group project session I strung the piñata from the ceiling and gave Seth a blindfold and a bat. Jeff had one of those cool skater backpacks with an MP3 player and he had let me download a song to it. The Jesus & Mary Chain's song "In A Hole" spilled into the room.
Seth laughed and flung himself about, connecting a blow to the piñata that punched in the face, my face. I sat down on the floor. Lisa put a hand on my arm but I didn't really need that.
Seth struck and made another dent. He swung again and the piñata burst, paper-mache ripping outward. Butterflies fell out of the cracks, wings free and soaring around the room. I raised a hand and caught one. It fluttered within the shelter of my fingers. I heard Seth go, "What? What?"
I released the butterfly and walked from the room.