Last week I wrote briefly on how to deal with those ever-so-awkward moments in the course of life that send us into embarassment and utter shame. The following little bit of prose came to me this morning as I was riding in The Bumblebee and listening to some Iron & Wine. I have titled it “The Lovestruck Fool.”

To say to anyone that the boy was a lovestruck fool would be a bit of an understatement, though, for our purposes today, he shall thus be distinguished as such. Now it occured to this little lovestruck simpleton that he was destined for love and that he would someday procure that calling despite the odds that were against him. This being but his ninth year in formalized education, and there being a strikingly gorgeous young girl by his side this day during lunch, he felt altogether superfluous and hopeful in this particular sentiment.

It will then be told that having obtained a spot by the pretty girl during lunch, his day was going all to swell, even despite the very fact that those two, shall we say, unpopular kids were sitting near him as well. The boy’s pride kept him from fully associating with that side of the table as he directed his affections toward the opposite to where the setting was more desirable. It thus happened in no particularly odd fashion that those two unpopular boys decided to play a game with the lovestruck individual. The game was introduced as such: the object was to roll a quarter from the top of one’s head, down the slope (or point in this case) of one’s nose, onto a white piece of paper. The player was then to take a lead pencil and trace the outside of the quarter where it had happened to land on the paper. The finality of this game and the point of it is now lost to your narrator. In any case, it should be hereby stated that the boy was fain to endeavor with zeal on the adventure of landing the quarter directly where he assumed it would go—if only to impress the lovely girl who decided to watch with some amusement.

As the game began, the boy could not have been in a better mood. For, though he had no idea why, the pretty girl and her friends were laughing with mirth and glee as one may do when feeling rather giddy when asked to prom. To this effect, it was important to note that the foolish boy was beaming with joy as he continued sending the quarter down his face and marking the precise area where it landed.

“This day,” thought the idiot, “could not be going much better for me. I have all but won the affection of the pretty girl. In only a matter of weeks we shall be as it was destined for us to be and live happily ever after from here on.”

The idiot continued to think thus as the girls continued to giggle with goofiness at his expense. For you see, along came the bumbling bear of a brute whose name shall be forgotten for the time being. The Bear’s eyes grew wide with astonishment and wonder at the utter foolishness of our hero. After remaining speechless for some time, the Bear decided it was best to inform the idiot that upon his face there was what remained of the markings of the quarter. A distinct streak of dark grey led was there as if to signify the stupidity of the boy. Like Grendel the pride of the boy was slain and demolished and the house of cards that was his pride came toppling down upon him. He abandoned his companions and rushed to the bathroom in a fit of shame. Descrying the streak upon his face he realized his dream was gone and in agony knew that all he had fought for on that fateful day was in vain. The streak was there, and he was the fool.

And that is how it is done. Now, this is simply based on a true event which is in many cases not entirely true—for I have no idea how it actually ended but that there was an amount of shame in it’s conclusion. The individuals within the story are real but may it be known that their descriptions are not wholly accurate. The pretty girl, though pretty in the eye of the beholder at the time, may or may not hold that same characteristic to the boy now or to any individual at any point in time. That is for each person to decide on their own—for who can declare such a subjective trait as being universally agreed upon? This as well goes for the “unpopular” kids in the story who were not at all unpopular (for how could you be in a class with 13 students? But for the sake of the story and to elevate the pride of the foolish boy, they were described as such. The bear, is not actually a bear, but very close.) In the end we see that it is almost too easy to view this tragic little story that happened to the boy through the eyes of another. The tragedy turns into a comedy (sort of) at the boy’s expense, and it is much easier to see that, in the long run, these little instances in our lives really amount to nothing. Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas!

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