Chapter One: Rationale

Breakfast, thought Lucien, was a very rational thing. Breakfast was a ration of food meant to make the day more bearable, and rations were very rational indeed. The items of food included in breakfast were very rational- one from each of the rationally chosen food groups. Cereal was in the group "Breads and Cereals", which was rational, as cereal was indeed in the title of the group. These foods were meant to fortify, and to consume fortification at the beginning of one's day was rational. Cereal accounted for one of the six daily servings- two if he poured himself another bowl. Generally, his three servings from the vegetable group were reserved for later- tomatoes and carrots didn't generally go with the idea of "breakfast" for whatever reason, unless he was in the mood for a traditional Asian breakfast like the one his nanny used to make. The strawberries sliced on top of his cereal, exactly six strawberries for one serving, accounted for one of his daily servings of fruit. An apple with lunch, or a banana later in the day made up his second serving- he often exceeded this guideline. Along with his cereal he included milk, which of course went in the Milk and Dairy group- three servings to be had throughout the day. Protein was kept for later, as he considered scrambled eggs with cereal to be rather overkill. One spoonful of sugar on top was plenty for the fats, oils, and sweets group, as far as he was concerned. And finally, a glass of water.

Yes, breakfast was very rational. With each nutrient fact carefully calculated, each food group confidently filled, breakfast could be considered one of the most rational events to occur during the day. So, rationally, breakfast was always the first thing with which Lucien began his day.

After breakfast, a shower to clean his body of any sleep which still clung to his contours- slightly less rational than breakfast. Showers could be very finicky things. Sometimes the water ran cold, sometimes it ran hot; more often than not it shifted between the two throughout the course of the shower. Sometimes he had to spend more time scrubbing his hair, if oil production was up, or if it had been abnormally hot the day before. Sometimes, he had to get rid of certain problems in the shower- certain very irrational problems having to do with very, very irrational thoughts. Lucien did not appreciate irrational thoughts. They threatened the very structure upon which he based his life, and anything which threw off the routine was not well liked. As he took care of these problems, he paid as little attention to the irrational thoughts as possible, and cleaned up after himself in a carefully calm and structured state of mind.

There was a certain method for washing the body, for structural purposes, of course. One must have more structure after such irrational behaviors which had to be taken care of. Lucien always started by running his lavender loofah under the warm water, while the warmth lasted, and pouring his pomegranate-mango flavored body wash over the surface in a spiral pattern. He then began to wash his body, starting with his left arm, following to his chest, his left leg, his right leg, and then that rather neglected area in-between the two. He liked not to think about that. Continuing on, he moved to his right arm, finally shifting the loofah from his right hand to his left, and then the back of his neck and his back. It felt good to have the soft but course ball running across the surface of his skin, and the lines of soap bubbles which drifted slowly down his wet skin fascinated him to no end- each bubble making a path of its own, completely random and unplanned, pulled ever downward by the rush of water and the pull of gravity, over the contours of his body. Sometimes they distracted him, and he had to rush to finish his shower before the seven minutes and thirty seconds allotted for it. But other times they didn't, and he was left with minutes to spare, and he could allow himself to just stand under the spray, and let it pummel all the bad thoughts out of his head, and all the knots out of his tied up muscles. The days when he could relax were good ones. Rationally, though, they rarely ever occurred. Those bubbles were just too fascinating.

Either way, precisely seven and a half minutes after entering the shower, he always got out, grabbed a towel, and dried himself as well as possible, and then wrapped the towel around his hair. Wearing nothing but this towel on his head, he leaned over the sink, and brushed his teeth. Tooth brushing was quite rational- each tooth got around two seconds of brushing time, and the back and forth motion was replicated throughout his entire mouth. Brush, spit, rinse, repeat. Following this, he washed his face, as per norm- it made more sense to wash his face after he got toothpaste all over it than to do it before, and have to wash off again.

His teeth clean, his body clean, and his mind as clean as it would ever be, he walked down the squeaky hallway to his room, trying not to wake up his grandmother sleeping in the room next to his own. His clothes were folded neatly at the end of his bed- he made sure to put them out on his desk every night, and moved them to his bed after he made it every morning- and his shoes were just outside the door in the hall. Pants first, then his uniform shirt and tie, followed by the stifling jacket in the most awful rose gray that clashed so terribly with his hair. He did allow himself one indulgence, however, and went without briefs more often than not. Call it sticking it to the man, or something. It was comfortable, and no one would ever know.

All-in-all, the morning was the great time of rationale to combat the irrationality of high school. Oh, high school. Lucien abhorred it with the deepest levels of his soul. Not that he'd ever let anyone know, or even show signs which would allow anyone around him to guess the levels of hatred which he hid. That would make him a breach in normality, a failure, and someone to be looked down upon- to hate high school was to fail in others' eyes. He would never fail in anyone's eyes but his own, he had sworn that to himself a long time ago. To fail in others' eyes was to fail life itself- and no one in the entire history of the Mathers family had ever failed life itself, so far as he knew. And he wouldn't like to even have the possibility of being the first.

So, after brushing his teeth, and drying off, and washing his body with sometimes hot, sometimes cold water, and having his completely rational breakfast, Lucien clothed his body, and braced himself for the complete illogicality which called itself Spring Meadows High School.

This is the start of the prequel to Knight in Shining Armor, which, if you have not read it, is my short story about one Mango and Lucien. Check it out if you haven't, because you might appreciate this more if you've already read that.