A Prosaic Portrait of Inner Sadness
By ice rivers
By the time that Lucien Fate, everybody's favorite teacher, had traveled fifty times around the sun, he had accumulated a substantial layer of rust upon his soul. Living in the future tense of love and only partly scoured by glimpses of wisdom, Fate decided that rust was sorrow and sorrow was intelligence.
Mr. Fate decided to search for intelligence in the faces of the students who came to him each day in pursuit of outward silence. Lucien asked all the members of his class to flip the script. He challenged them to register their inner sadness through subtle changes of facial expression.
Most of the students said "I can't"
Many of them said "I won't."
A couple of students frowned.
A couple students sighed.
A couple more downcast their eyes.
One particularly expressive student managed to frown, sigh and turn his gaze downward simultaneously.
To Fate, each of their gestures morre closely resembled defiance or self-pity rather than authentic inner sadness, Fate knew that defiance is the symptom of resolve and anger rather than sadness. He also knew that self-pity is actually happiness contented with the unhappiness it cultivates.
Inner sadness is never happiness in any form.
Finally, Trish, an heretofore undistinguished pupil most notable for absence rather than accomplishment, lifted her chin and opened her eyes. She allowed all members of Fate's class to look through ice blue windows onto a mournful corner in a room of the brokedown mansion that was her life. Although they had been invited, Fate and his students felt as if they were interlopers trampling velvet without a license. They, each of them, beheld a heart weeping for a lost good that might have been enjoyed longer or perhaps those invisible tears conveyed an awareness of present, univited evil.
After only a moment, Trish shifted her countenace back to bored neutral but it was already too late.
"WoW", exclaimed Mr. Fate and the students echoed "Whoa"
"Whaddya say class? Trish gets the award for inner sadness." said the teacher..a slightly less rusty Fate.
The class agreed and applauded Trish who was experiencing perhaps the first bit of classroom recognition that she had recieved in 12 years of public school anonymity.
"Trish, " Fate said, "How about a special report card to your parents saying 'Today Trish got an A for inner sadness.
Trish replied with the first three words that she spoke all year.
"They already know."