Stark Contrasts

12 Aug

Stark contrasts are painful. When the poor look upon the rich, it hurts. It hurts to see what they don´t have and they feel shame, though not usually consciously, for not being good enough to obtain it.  When the ugly look upon the beautiful, it hurts. They feel they are lesser people because they repel other people as opposed to attract them.

One contrast does not hurt so badly. That is the contrast between the intelligent and the non-intelligent. One cannot hurt from what on cannot perceive. Ignorance is a beautiful pain blocker. One cannot be emotionally hurt by what one does not know. Therefore, a very painful combination is to be poor, ugly and intelligent. This was Warren’s problem.

He was born into this combination. Deformed at birth due to his mother’s excessive drinking during pregnancy, poor by birth due to his father’s absence and his mother’s excessive drinking. He was intelligent by birth through some obscene curse. Warren had it bad. How he dealt with the latter didn´t improve the two former conditions.

He took the low road. He felt it better to numb his awareness of his situation by making his eyes bleed with any drug he could get his hands on. If he could swallow it, inhale it, inject it, he did. This certainly didn’t improve his appearance. He looked, for lack of a better word, dead. He was many pounds underweight, had a sickly pale green color to his skin, and was never kempt. Because of this he looked even more monstrous than he would naturally, which was still quite bad. He had naturally droopy eyes, a very misshapen head that came to a point, freakishly short limbs and a distorted smile.

Surely the chasing of and using of all these chemicals didn´t help his financial situation either. He stole or scavenged for what he needed. He completely destroyed any chance of improving the two things that were most difficult for him to handle, his awful appearance and poverty with the sole purpose of destroying the thing that made him sharply aware of them, his mind. It didn´t work one bit. When he was under the influence, his mind raced to depths of despair giving him even more painful insights into his situation.

One day he came to a realization. He was not ugly. Society said he was. He didn´t need money. Society required it of him. With this epiphany, he proceeded to do the most practical thing that he could do to alleviate the situation. He painfully weaned himself from all the substances that his body had come to demand. He packed up a survival kit, of mostly stolen items and headed into the woods.

In the woods, there were no people with their cruel sneers to remind him of his shame. There were no mirrors, save a floating reflection upon a calm lake that would actually smooth away some of the harshness of his features. There was no need for money for the only commerce that takes place in the woods is survival for one’s sweat.

Warren lived the rest of his days beautiful and wealthy.

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