Matthew has never been an ordinary child. Since the time he was born, everything seemed different on him. He didn’t cry gasping for his first breath and he has never cried for anything at all.
Walking down the street with his yellow backpack almost empty for the last day of the school year before summer vacations, he puts on his red headphones with his favorite orchestral music. An 8 year old boy could never look more sophisticated and mature. But being different always hides a price to be paid.
His passion for drawing shared with all the others children of his age, is his only “common” habit. The little drawing kit accompanies him in every step in his life. Now, heading towards school, some feet away of the entrance, ties tight enough his stars square scarf to his bag and regroups his forces in order to deal with his daily enemies; his classmates.
Using a red pencil to draw a figure of a woman with her little dog on his spiral notebook, becomes once again the centre of attention.
Phil: What are you writing down there you weirdo?
Matthew: It’s nothing of your business.
Phil grasps the notebook and throws it away. While Matthew tries to recurrent in the battle bending to get back his stuff, he’s being tripped up falling on the floor. His cool “Jump the waves” T-shirt has now blood stains by the scratches he obtained from the dramatic fall. Ms McCurrey runs towards the battlefield to see what happened.
Teacher: Matthew, what’s going on? Come with me to check your wounds. [...] Now tell me what happened. What’s wrong with the boys? Why can’t you get along with them?
Matthew: I could never get along with these bullies. But I know their strategy. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
Right after his last quote, Matthew resigns from the conversation. On every step that he makes with his youth classic Tom’s, he feels redeemed. His victory lies upon his two ultimate virtues; the love for being different and the ability to do the most difficult thing in the world; step back and don’t give a damn!
(product finds and photo collage by Gertrude)