Happily ever after, a modern tale

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Once upon a time, there lived a little boy named Barry. Barry was a strange child in the eyes of many adults. Barry was a hyperactive kid. He ran around the classroom bothering the other kids and never paying attention to the teacher. He found himself in the principal's office many times over the years. He was told he was stupid. He was told he was bad. He was told he would never amount to anything. He was told a lot of things but no one ever asked him things. Asked him why he didn't sit still. Asked him why he didn't care about his lessons. Asked him how his home life was; whether he had eaten yet that day, where his Mom was. Asked him if he was okay. No one asked him anything. Everyone assumed they knew. They knew what was wrong. (More discipline will fix it!) They knew how to make him pay attention. (A belt over the backside worked in my day!!) And they knew he would never amount to anything. (Some people are just bad apples!!!)

For a while Barry tried to prove them wrong. He tried to focus. He tried to do his homework, despite the gnawing hunger in his stomach. He tried to read despite the loud parties and drunken men that his Mom entertained. He tried. 

And then one day, he didn't. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were right. He would never amount to anything. For a while, he was sad about that, angry even. Why was life so unfair? Why did he have the shit stick? But eventually, he just succumbed to it. It was around that time that he started drinking his Mom's leftover alcohol after she had passed out. Before long, he was partying right alongside her and her men. A man child, barely over the age of sixteen. He no longer went to school. He no longer got told he was a loser. In fact, he no longer got told anything. No one cared about him at all. It was all about more booze and more drugs. With those he was king of the world. And without, he was nothing. So he made sure he always had those. He liked being the king of something. Even if it was a loser king. It meant he was part of something and sometimes he mattered to someone. 

Barry did the only thing he knew how to do. He sat on the street and asked for money. He chatted with strangers who found him charming and intelligent, despite his blackening teeth and stench filled clothes. He was articulate and funny and polite. Many people tried to help Barry by offering him clothes, food, money. Barry graciously accepted it all. But he knew the truth, despite what these good, caring, honest people thought. He knew he was a loser that would never amount to anything. He had been told as much after all. And a child always believes what he is told. 

The end.

Created: Jun 13, 2017


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