My first day at preschool, I could see that the teacher’s aide wanted to teach me the letters, so I didn’t say,
I know this already… I was afraid of hurting her feelings. When she asked me to try, I read the words and kept reading, I learned to read at home when I picked up a book. I saw the letters and they made sense to me,
I see the words written when people talk to me, a speech-bubble running out of their mouths. The teacher’s aide in my preschool class was proud of me, for not needing her guidance, she was proud of me for things she had no part in.
Is it good enough, I asked, am I doing this right? My mother glanced at my drawing and grunted with a shrug. I was 13 years old, being home-schooled because I got into trouble at Zane Middle School, a year younger than all of my classmates after skipping 6th grade, but I didn’t have problems with them, it was the teachers, faculty, administrators… they wondered at my quirks, questioned my behavior, he’s so different, he’s so quiet, why is he always reading, he doesn’t participate in class, …
It doesn’t matter that he’s going through emotional trauma… It doesn’t matter that he passes all the tests…
He’s weird… He’s different.
They would pull me aside and attempt to exert their supposed authority. I fought back, able to see at 13 that I didn’t want to be what they were, and neither did they.
My mother the artist, the creative force, all energy and no substance, my mother the lazy, the coward, the phony star…
She barely could see me, and told me of her dreams for my life. She could not understand me, and was so proud of me for not needing her guidance, so happy that she did not need to teach me, her reward child, she named me, a gift to her from god, kind of odd, for a mother of seven to say, this ONE is a gift sent from heaven.
Is it good enough, I asked, as I knelt down to the grave of a boy, we were both Matt, he forgot his safety-belt, because his safety was always secondary to fun, his eyes closed and mine opened. As I stood behind the grave as they filled it, feeling like there was blood everywhere, and I spilled it… They looked at me, they looked through me, their eyes so young and full of please, please, please… Don’t let this be true. Is it good enough, I asked as I spoke words for him that I could not believe, goodbye my kid nephew, you fly while we grieve, and the priest in his Latin blessed the shell of his youth, a sermon so hollow, the harsh reality of truth, I must make this matter. I will not let his life be for nothing. I will be what he should have, a star in the sky, I will be the hero of this story, I need to make this matter, am I good enough to be better without God’s guidance?
Is it good enough, I asked myself, when I tied the flowers to the altar. She was always mine and I was always hers but this day we will
To make this thing work, to put in the love, to hang the painting of us in our sky and always together, together,
Is it good enough, I asked as she walked out of the door, dressed as an angel and smiling like the sun, my mind overwhelmed by the love on her face, she is really going through with this and I am finally getting my want. Is it good enough, when my soulmate hurricane asks for more, to feel more, to do things which we have not done, to help her feel things she has dreamed of and never seen. Will she be proud of me if I try, will it be better if I am what she wants or if I am only pretending, will I be good enough to fill her senses with what she needs to feel? Can I be the ocean and not just a river? I am so afraid of not being everything she wants, is it good enough to try… If I fail? Will she be proud of me when I ask her for guidance, I don’t know my way through her maze…
Is it good enough, I asked as my words piled up, displayed bits of my torn sails flapping in the wind, darkness spun into woven gold and silver, shiny pages of purity risen from the graves of sin and beastly desire. Am I what my dear grandmother wanted to see, when she read me the guidelines of writing poetry, when she instructed my hands to create a new world, when she showed me how to say what needs to be said,
without first knowing what it is,
Is it good enough?
Am I a real boy, dancing and playing with Pinocchio, the Fairy Godmother has granted my wish, am I good enough to be more than what I thought I was, more than what life taught me to be?
Is it good enough?
Do I exist, am I real?
Just words on a screen
© Matthew D. Eayre 2016
Matthew D. Eayre is a writer living in Denver with his wife and children. Refusing to exist as only one thing, he works as a supervisor in a delivery company while pursuing his BA in Accounting and chasing his dreams of making his voice heard in the world.
Purchase a copy of his extraordinary book here.