“I’m just saying that I have better things to do than watch balloon lungs breathe,” Ben said.
“The Kinetic Molecular Theory,” James replied, “is what inflates the lungs. The shift in pressure.”
“Don’t you talk about anything else?” James lifted a hand. His moony eyes shone through his large glasses. He stared at Ben as he adjusted them. Ben shook his head. “Talk about somethin’. You watch TV?”
James blinked back at him.
James placed a finger on the latex lungs. “The pressure forces air molecules into the balloon.”
Ben shook his head again. “Yeah, I guess.” The bell rung. Ms. Jacobs’s heels clicked as she approached the boys.
“You like today’s model, James?” She beamed at him, but James stared at his feet. Shaggy hair covered the rims of his glasses. Ben didn’t know what to do. He was planted, rooted to the linoleum of the classroom.
“He likes it real well,” Ben said finally. “Thanks, Ms. Jacobs. Come on now, James.”
James didn’t move. Ms. Jacobs’s frown leaked through her plastered smile. “Well, you boys have a nice evening.” She scooped the balloon lung model up and placed it on the top shelf of the cabinet. James’s lip trembled.
Ben tugged at James’s shirt. James looked at the other boy. “Bus.”
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
The two boys walked to the bus in silence. James stared at Ben as he pulled out his Walkman.
“You like it?”
James nodded. “Audio magnetic recording system.”
Ben chuckled. “That rolls right off the tongue.” Ben paused. “What else you know?”
James thought for a moment. “The Kinetic Molecular Theory.”
Ben sighed. “That again.”
“The size of gas particles are insignificant in comparison to the space between them.”
Ben nodded. “Yeah.”