Hello, My Name Is Edwin Farnham Butler III*
Eli & Aveline (Parts I - IV)
by, 11-07-11 at 09:37 PM (951 Views)
part one: eli
eli was not a typical 17 year old kid. he would rather stay home, relaxed, and listen to music at night than go to a party. he would rather sit outside in the rain and think or write rather than stay inside and watch sports. the other boys mocked him, and the girls wanted to be his best friend (but nothing more).
eli had only ever had been in one romantic relationship, and even that wasn’t much of a success story. the greatest memory he had from it was being able to tell people he had one. she was a beauty. eli didn’t know why she was with him. eventually, neither did she.
he could not wait to meet the girl he would eventually marry. after witnessing so many of his best friends being treated horribly by other guys, he had no doubt he knew how to act in a relationship, and he knew he would be perfect at it. he just needed to figure out how to make a girl realize what he could do for her. he had never been more prepared for anything in his entire life, nor had he ever wanted anything more in his entire life.
he wanted to be a famous artist. not so famous that it became a fad to like his art, but famous enough that people who really cared about art were inspired by his work. his main focus was on paintings, and he didn’t go a week without making a new one. his paintings were always inspired by a moment he had experienced in his own life, or a moment he had observed in someone else’s. however he often made them so personal that he was the only one who understood them. he spent more time explaining his artwork to people than he spent painting.
in february of 2011, eli had an interview with the academy of art university in san francisco. he had never been more prepared for anything in his entire life, nor had he ever wanted anything more in his entire life. he felt his portfolio was flawless (as flawless as he was able to make it), and he knew exactly what kind of questions he would be asked in the interview. the drive from his home in texas took twenty seven hours.
but it seemed like twenty seven weeks.
i guess happiness takes longer than you expect, he thought.
* * *
part two: aveline
aveline lived in world that nobody should have to live in. her sister, marie, had a horrible drug and alcohol addiction. aveline constantly found herself picking marie up from a bar or the side of the road in the middle of the night. eventually, her father couldn’t take the stress that marie put on their family and ran away without warning. their mother couldn’t take the emptiness in her life without their father, so she too ran away without warning, leaving aveline and marie on their own. the sisters went to live with their aunt and uncle after the departure of their parents, and marie went to rehab after a long discussion she had with aveline.
somewhere in midst of the chaos, aveline developed an eating disorder. with all of the stress that she was going through, it was the best feeling in the world when she liked how she looked. and she liked looking skinny. however, ‘skinny’ in aveline’s eyes eventually turned into a very dangerous state of being in the eyes of reality. but aveline couldn’t tell her eyes apart from the eyes of reality.
she went to countless hospitals seeking help for her disease. none of them helped. she had a pile of pamphlets full of fake smiles and fake success stories. she wished they were true. she would brush her hand to the side, hoping to rip through the other side of her pamphlet.
aveline had only ever had two relationships, and both were abusive. she had no control over any part of either one. she did what she was told, because she was worthless. she made other people happy, because she didn’t deserve to be happy. nobody ever told her otherwise.
she had no presence.
she had no purpose.
she had different eyes.
* * *
part three: number 229
“hello, number 229.”
“hello, thank you for taking the time to talk to me.”
“let us begin by going through your history. did you bring it?”
“yes, of course. right here.”
this is it. i have fantasized hypothetical endings for this moment so many times. it seems somewhat…surreal. i have believed this to be the way i gain eternal happiness, and i’m already here. i’m only seventeen years into this life, should i be finding it this quickly? will god give me this chance to be so far ahead? after all, i’ve worked so damn hard, i do deserve it.
…have your description for this piece here.”
“oh, it’s here in my bag. i apologize.”
“thank you. now i understand that your work is based on your life.”
“more or less, that is correct.”
“i do have an issue with the vagueness the art portrays to the viewer. obviously you know the story you are trying to tell here, but do the viewers?”
“i am a firm believer in developing one’s own interpretations.”
“but you want the viewer to know the true meaning of your art, yes?”
“there is no true meaning.”
“but do you not want your story to be told in your art?”
hours of silence.
“why do you want to be an artist?”
it’s the only thing i’m good at. “i want to inspire. i want to change lives. there are too many fake artists out there getting away with the lines on their canvases that their brushes make when they accidentally drop them. i want to recreate a world where art is complicated yet simple. i want to make people realize that there is an endless number of colors and an endless number of shapes. an endless supply of beauty in life.”
“do you want to be famous?”
“i want to be famous among the well informed.”
“what do you want to improve on the most?”
“i believe we are out of time, 229. thank you and please move to the next room for the second portion.”
his hand was damp.
* * *
part four: rag doll
is this who i am? is this who i am supposed to be for the rest of my life? i don’t think i can do this forever. my eyes hurt, i don’t know why. i wish somebody would tell me something good about myself. i don’t want my body to be the only thing that makes me happy. i don’t want to be unhealthy anymore. i just want happiness. true happiness. i don’t care what i have to go through to get it. i don’t care if i have to wait forever, i just want to know that something or someone out there has the ability to make me smile. at the end of all this, i want to lay my head in a place that is home.
but i’m such a useless person. i have no meaning in this world. how can i have a home when no home wants to have me? i guess it’ll just take time to find out the answer to that. maybe forever. maybe i won’t get that answer until the last time i close my eyes. i guess happiness takes longer than you expect.
* * *