Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Microstory 1037: Raymond

Mind if I do my workout while we’re talking? I had to meet my tutor before school this morning, so I’m going to have to double up on my routine this afternoon. My father says that we’re all born with our own gifts. Some people are smart, and some are strong. He says siblings often don’t end up having the same traits, so Wynn got the smart genes, and I got the muscles. That’s not to say I didn’t have to work for these things. I adhere to a very strict diet, and exercise regimen. I’m not one of those people who thinks you should eat all protein, and no carbs, or that lifting weights is the only thing you gotta do. Life is all about balance: balance in food, in activity, and in everything else. Unfortunately, there are still some things that I struggle with since my brother stole all my smarts when he was born. I’m a year older than him, but we’re in the same grade, because I had to take ninth grade a second time. I don’t have a learning disability, like Roy. He has trouble comprehending and retaining knowledge, but I’m just not good at all the other stuff you have to do to learn. You have to pay attention to the teacher, and student presentations. You have to study, and complete your homework, and pace yourself during a test. My tutor hasn’t been teaching me the content so much as he’s been helping me become better organized, and more motivated. Ya see, maybe I could use my physical strength to make money. Maybe I could model in fitness magazines, or play some sport, or become a fitness trainer, but the first two things are unrealistic dreams, and I’m not at all interested in being a trainer. What my father said about natural gifts really got into my head when I was young, and I’ve never truly gotten past it. But I know that I have to graduate from high school if I want a chance at landing a good job. As things are heading, it’s not clear if I should waste my time going to college, but a liberal arts degree from an in-state school probably wouldn’t hurt. It would at least give me four more years to figure my life out, which might be really helpful. I don’t dislike my new tutor, but he’s not as good as Viola was. She made me a better student just by being around. Seriously, she could sit next to me while I did my homework—without saying a word—and I would get hundo-p on it. She had some magical power to make me feel comfortable, confident, and focused. I realized I was gay a long time ago, but I felt a love for Viola that I’ve never experienced before. It strained my relationship with my boyfriend so much that we had to break up. I don’t mind, though, because I needed Viola’s help with my grades more than I needed a make-out partner. Without her, I might have had to repeat my senior year as well, and that would have been even more embarrassing. I’m going to miss her in the worst way.

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