Creative nonfiction: Jet fuel and backwards math

I call this, “Jet fuel and backwards math.”

I have a female friend who took a trip to a Honduras, presumably to work at food distribution centers and halfway houses and free clinics, as many of our acquaintances often do. Until just now I didn’t know what that jet fuel meant.

In January 2009 Yan Carlos was an 11-year-old boy in a state-run Honduran orphanage. In fact he still may be. The friend I spoke of came to know Yan well one day, at which point he revealed to her his “things,” a shoebox containing all his worldly possessions.

Of the several items in the shoebox, five are small plastic dinosaurs.

“Pick out your favorite three,” Yan says, directly into my friend’s tender, bespectacled eyes.

My friend stutters that one dinosaur will be awesome enough.

“But,” Yan says, “if you took three, that would still leave me with two.”

Some day jet fuel may not have to burn to satisfy the world’s need for love. Until then, there’s no better purpose for it.

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