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  • Marvin was a little kid with really big ideas. I met him in my third grade class, when we were asked by Ms. Ko to draw our own personal visions of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. Marvin drew a Cyndi Lauper doll, complete with shaved checkerboard electric shock orange hair and lots of piercings. I don't remember mine.

    Marvin aspired to be a model. Not the most obvious career choice, as he wasn't classically pretty. Not many are at nine years of age. His eyes were a little too big for his head. He could do with ten or fifteen more pounds. His smooth copper skin and the fact that his father had a bit part in the movie Airplane (he had played one of the African natives who were shooting hoops when the male and female leads are having flashbacks to their time in the Peace Corps) were selling points, though.

    We worked well together as friends, because we both got what we wanted when we were together. I didn't like attention, and he demanded it.

    Soon after Michael Jackson broke big with Thriller, Marvin tied a group of about ten kids together with his schoolboy charisma. They met on the asphalt at lunch every day to learn how to dance like the zombies in the Thriller video. Marvin had watched the video over and over on MTV and had written down all of the moves. In addition to being an aspiring child model, Marvin was an aspiring choreographer.

    I remember, once, he shunned me. I can't recall exactly why. Perhaps his ego had been hurt by something I'd said, careless and awkward.

    I remember how much that meant, to be cast out of his inner circle. He was the star; I was just along for the ride.
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