May 12, 2009

Fiction for a Tuesday

Because it's been, what, almost a week? You know what they say, "use it or lose it":
In school, Claude managed the trick of feeling like the most special person in class and the most unremarkable.

Perhaps the paradox could be understood in light of the specialness of his extreme unremarkability although at the time he thought surely his unremarkableness was caused by an undiscovered exceptionalism, rather than deserved. It was only with time that he began to see that the undiscovered could be fictional.

He was transfixed and enraptured by stories of underachieving and comforted by the mere existence of other underachievers. (They didn't have to do anything but exist. To have company is to not feel alone.) While his classmates read of great football heroes or scientists, Claude combed the scant literature on the non-doers.

There were, of course, the great ones like Scott Putoff, Julie Harbor, and Jonas Reboot. Cap "Sleepy" Ralston and Kurt Bedwetter. Rick Hobo, Bob Denver, and "Lazy John" Littleton.

But his great love was baseball, especially lifetime .220 hitters. They were the truly hungry, they who lived on the edge line between life and death, between the majors and the minors. Many of them could well have been overachievers although he could never tell for sure since no one is born with ".220 hitter" birthmark.

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