Resolved to Dew

by Eiden Weissblum

        Caron was not a clever man. He had not excelled in school, his extraordinary effort inconsequential in comparison to his God-given stupidity. The other children would often make fun of Caron, taunting his ignorance and inability to comprehend even the simplest of equations or idioms. He took their abuse in a good natured mood, laughing with the others as they asked how he learned to tie his shoes, or how he remembered to breathe. He never blamed them for their playful taunts, as he saw it, they couldn't help it- kids would be kids. In this way, Caron was the smartest of all the children in his town, for he understood tolerance. So he tolerated their jests and scorn and laughed with the children so they would laugh with him and not at him, and he knew in his heart, they would learn to accept him. They were young and immature, but he could wait.

        As the children grew, they did mature, but they continued to taunt and berate Caron daily. He understood. They still had a ways to go, would take longer to mature, and he would be patient. So he watched from afar as the other children played and made friends and grew close. He watched as the girls he liked became “good friends” with his tormentors, whom he still considered friends, and he was happy for them, and wished that one day he too could find happiness. But Caron never seemed to find any happiness, years passed and Caron became more excluded and fell farther behind his peers. As the years melted away, Caron began to feel lonely, isolated, and the carefree boy who had laughed and tolerated all the pain and loneliness of boyhood began to slowly slip away. He became depressed, segregated, and cynical. Now when the other boys gathered around him to tease his slight frame and and slow mind, he did not laugh with them. In fact, Caron never laughed anymore. He had forgotten how.

        As Caron entered High School, the other children gave up their petty game, choosing instead to ignore the surly boy who never laughed or smiled. For this, Caron was grateful, but the agonizing loneliness he felt never left him. Occasionally, someone would try and talk to him, but he would never respond, he would only stare and never speak. After the years of solitude and neglect,  he had forgotten how to speak.

        Graduation came and went, and Caron watched as the others went off to colleges and universities,  but he remained behind. He had not applied to a single college, as rejection was a common companion enough. So he tried to get  a job, but all the stores required prior experience, and prior experience was hard to come by when one could not get a job that required it. His parents watched as his initiative lagged and his ambition slowly evaporated. They had originally blamed themselves. It had been his upbringing, or his genetics. Eventually, they grew tired of Caron, and like all the others laughed at his ineptitude. He was worthless. He was an idiot. He was a mistake, a joke, a fool, a failure. So Caron left. He left and he never tried to go back. Caron never tried anymore. Trying was useless. He had quite forgotten how to try.

        The rest of Caron’s life was spent searching for a place to die. He was dying. He had always been dying-from the second he was born, living was only waiting for death. All that Caron needed, was a place. So he began to search the world for a spot in which he could depart the world in peace, on his own terms. He travelled by foot, the idiot with the quest of death, and walked every road and boot torn path, swam every river and ocean and sea, all to find his place to die. Nothing could deter the idiots dream of death.

        After decades of searching, Caron came upon a hill. He did not know which country he was in, all the lines and borders had faded and blurred, all languages identical to his finely tuned ears, and no one around for miles to ask. The hill stood before him, bright green and covered in a fine layer of grass, grown to the perfect degree. Around it, the land grasped the horizon, which easily rested its weight upon the grass. Slowly, Caron began to climb. When he reached the sloped peak of the hill, Caron gazed out across the beauty of the paradise before him. He turned and stared out across the plains.  He watched the dew on the blades beneath his feet, and watched as his shadow stood tall almost as far as sight could hold it. Then he heard a sound. A loud sound that took him by surprise. He leapt to see what was near, but saw only the clear sky. Caron realized, the sound had been laughter, His laughter. He was laughing-he was happy.  He sat down and gazed across the sea of grass before him and smiled. And for the first time in his life, Caron was the smartest man in the world-for he had simply forgotten how to die.