Ironic how images we cling to only exist in our minds and are relative in reality.
|Come on, we've all known one: the one everyone places on a pedestal or inside the glass case. Can you imagine what you could learn if you could just get inside, hear some of their deepest thoughts, or be privileged enought to be part of their lives? Well trust me, what you find might not be so glamourous.
You see, I was bestowed with such an honor to attract the attention of one of these so-called "geniuses." Many people would refer to him as such anyway. Why not? He is our Valedictorian after all. I'm still amazed it happened. It's not as if he's typically approachable. Don't fool yourself into calling him human; heaven forbid he be degraded by the term. Honestly this is the young man who intimidates his teachers and scoffs at his peers. Little had I known this as we had formerly shared but one class, in which, his confidence did not resound. Yes, I thought I had been let inside, privileged to that which others couldn't see. I thought perhaps everyone was wrong about him. I thought that everyone deserved at least one chance at love. Apparently, I thought wrong.
I had merely grazed the surface of this complex individual. Sure we had some incredible times and he even managed to sweep me off my feet on a few occasions. Yet that was until the smoke and mirrors faded. I then discovered a person who, intrigued by a new fancy, set forth a different foot. The foot which one places forth to impress. However, as the excitement of a new interest faded, I began to see more and more of the personality everyone else apparently knew all along and warned me against.
You see, I am new to their world as of highschool and this group had been together through elementary and middle school which gave them ample time to have a better look at his personality than my short glance. They knew his ambitions, tendencies, habits, and even his flaws. I realize now that I still don't know his ambitions. As far as his habits are concerned, they don't inlude sympathizing, sharing his feelings, or talking on the phone. They do include getting ill frequently, or lying if those were merely excuses, constantly contradicting others, and belittling those around him to reassure himself. His flaws, and I'm sure the causes of his downfall, include arrogance, cynicism, and negligence. These are only those I've deemed obvious.
So really, I didn't get close at all. I sneaked in, discovered some uncharted territory, then was repeled as everyone else is. I wish he would have confided in me. I wanted to love him, so much so that I ignored being cast aside. I persisted but in the end "The Untouchable Valedictorian" prevailed over "The Caring Boyfriend." The sad thing is that when we broke up, all he could muster was some pathetic excuse about "losing touch with himself" and how he needed to find it because it was "the most important thing." Honestly, had I known that himself and image were the most important things to him, I could have figured out that he was unprepared for a relationship. But regardless, in the next few months he preceded to erase me from his life, revoke the majority of our friends, and ironically lose the valedictory race.
So here's what I learned from the Valedictorian, excuse me Salutatorian. Don't cling to image. It is relative. It changes and you never know what you'll miss out on hiding behind it. If you clutch it with all you've got, in the end it's all you have, no joy, no love, no passion, no answers, just a title. While we were dating he upheld his visage of the planned, in control, studious person who was going places. He was attending Rice, majoring Law, striving for the best of the best and imminent in succeeding. In my eyes that is merely a mirage. He might be able to fool the majority but some of his peers and I have unveiled the truth. Now he is following his sister to UT, majoring international business, and has severed ties with all but one friend.
So who's so bold about their future now? How has devoting all of your energy into band and academics repaid you? Are you going to be a performer? Are you passionate about music? Does being smart in everything make it easier to chose one thing? What are your convictions besides being the best? and what best of? I can't imagine our "Untouchable Valedictorian" can't answer these questions. Actually, he can't...just ask. Such matters render him speechless. Funny how someone so definite about grammar, science, calculus, and history is only confused and unsure of his own future and personality. Well I guess being book smart isn't everything.
I might not know pi to the ninth decimal place or what date the Battle of Bull Run took place on. All I know is that it helps to talk (or write) about my problems; I love to dance the night away; I have five friends I would confide my life to; I might not be great at everything, but I'm that rare breed of math-inclined artist; and last but not least, I want to love. I want to find someone to share my joy with and without that I'd consider it all worthless. I won't justify my inept social status with success. That is for those who believe life is better lived without love. For me, loving is living. Sometimes loving means hurting, but pain reaffirms our humanity. I embrace my humanity. So trust me, dear Salutatorian, humanity is nothing to be ashamed of. After all it is what gives us joy, passion, and ultimately love.
P.S. His rank changed as I was finishing this piece. and the dripping sarcasm in the beginning can be attributed to my bitterness which has calmed quite a bit.