Another death, this time someone I can hardly say was my friend. Stanley was the stereotypical boy genius, graduating from high school when he was 15, though he had been eligible to do so a year or two earlier, held back because, well, imagine graduating high school at age 13. He was a mess then, immature for all his moon orbit I.Q., strung to the breaking point every second of the school day: he famously went bald on one side of his head one year from pulling, twisting the hair nervously. People were, of course, cruel to him. They would throw pennies and dimes at him during lunch. He would scurry after the change.
I say I was hardly his friend because he was incapable, then, of having friends, I think. But I spoke to him more than most. My friends and I had put together an academic bowl team, at a teacher's suggestion, that was mostly an opportunity for us to screw around and travel some. Stanley had been given to us, essentially, in the hopes it'd be a good outlet for him. And he was fearsome, no doubt, but stormy, petulant, unpredictable. Once he answered a question incorrectly and hid under the table the rest of the match.
Apparently he died in his sleep and if so I'm glad it was at least peaceful, painless.