Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Faded Beauty Day!

He's only nine, but he's past his prime. Robbie foolishly thought he could trade on his looks forever. But his stark blonde hair started to darken, and he broke his nose in kickball.

He felt dizzy when the "Outstandings" that once littered his report cards without any effort on his part suddenly vanished to make room for so many "Satisfactories." Girls stopped giggling when he threw rocks at them and instead registered complaints with teachers. Boys stopped calling him a homo. It was a harsh lesson to learn, but Robbie had no choice but to slide into a life of being merely passably attractive.

"I'm through," Robbie told his Dad one day in the car.

His Dad kept quite for a minute, then said, "Look, people do just fine with average looks. You're just gonna have to put your nose to the grindstone. Learn a trade."

"Like what?"

His Dad said, "I bet there's good money in computers. repair."

Robbie sobbed, "But I wanted to pass as gentry!"

Robbie's Dad just patted Robbie on the knee. Robbie's Dad had hoped when Robbie's looks went, they'd get along a little better, have some real conversations. Before, whenever Robbie's Dad looked his son in the face he'd just start to sing. With a better control over himself, he looked forward to teaching his son things and giving him advice.

But Robbie had no desire to listen. He hated the thought of being of the same ilk as his most decidedly average looking father. And he absolutely refused to give such an ordinary man the satisfaction of thinking he had something to teach to someone as extraordinary as Robbie.

"Even if I were to have my skin melted from my skull with acid, I'd still frown down at you," Robbie muttered to himself.

"What was that?" his Dad asked.

"Buy me ice cream," said Robbie. He added, with some trouble, "Daddy."

Happy Faded Beauty Day!