...Pride

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He wouldn’t bow.

Even if his life were on the line he wouldn’t. Even if her life was on the line he just wouldn’t. Degrading him in that way; slouching down and hiding away from the mocking eyes of the world…it was as if he would become some sort of degenerate overnight. The idea, the simple notion of it made him queasy and carry himself that much higher. Chin out. Head up. Eyes looking down at you in distaste.

Oh, he was so proud. He valued so many of his bright and shiny things.

A gleaming red Porsche parked beautifully in his driveway, highlighted against the back drop of his well sized two story home. Beautiful wife…beautiful house…

And he was so proud of it.

Anytime a neighbor visited he would laugh boisterously and nod his head constantly, his styled hair breezing back and forth. He would wave his hands around and make comments on his imported tobacco or new granite countertops (offhandedly of course). His eyes would light up at a compliment, positively illuminate. It was his drug.

We couldn’t ever hope to achieve brilliance in his eyes. We wanted so badly to become something like that, something he could try to inspire jealousy in.

But we were average.

We couldn’t help being normal. It hurt to see him so disappointed, like auditioning for a big part you’ve wanted all your life—practicing and practicing until your throat bleeds and your knees are giving out and--

You don’t get the role.

I’ll give him some credit; he did try to hide it. But while you heard the neighbors boasting of their daughter that won 1st place at the local science fair or got straight A’s all year long, he was talking about the Porsche out in the driveway…because he didn’t have anything to boast about. Because we didn’t get 1st—we got 2nd. Because we didn’t get straight A’s—we got B’s.

“Why do you expect so much, Dad?”
“Why can’t you be proud of us?”
“Why don’t you talk about us?”
“Why don’t you talk to us?”

I think he’s still there, being so obstinate, and sitting up so straight and thrusting out his chin bellowing loudly at ever compliment, however minor, that’s tossed his way. That gleam in his eyes, so full of self-satisfaction that even when his wife has given up and left because she knows he’ll never change, he’s still clinging pitifully to his last shreds of pride.

Was it our fault? Should we have been better?

There was never anything to be proud of; I wish he’d learned that.





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brightblue. said...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm
REALLY well written. I love it. 
 
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