And I Took That Personally

I was a Mathlete at a school most known for teenage pregnancy. No student in the history of my school ever got past the first round. And I was no different. Got my ass handed to me by smart kids. I was turned down by all the PhD programs I applied to. I’ve been fired from music gigs for not being able to pick things up fast enough.

I’m a little dumb. I read slowly. No one has ever mistaken me for a prodigy.   

And yet, I will outwork you. 

I’m a mutant for repetition. I may not get it the first time. Nor the second time. But I will trench neural pathways until you could drive a truck through them.   

I’ve got grit on tap. Curiosity to spare. More Rocky than Will Hunting. I will beat you on sheer determination. I don’t care how long it takes; I ain’t going nowhere. I have a biological deficiency which precludes me from quitting. The hammer of practice forges ugly metal. 

Call Thor. He’s got his work cut out for him.  

You’re smarter than me? For now, Motherfucker. You’re better than me? For now, Motherfucker. I’m an abyss of discipline. I’m coming for you. Incrementally. Creepin’ while you’re sleepin’. A montage in slow motion.

Any asshole can be naturally good at something. Nothing about me is elegant, natural, or as the Greeks would say, well born.

Talent can eat my ass after a long run on a hot summer day. You’re favored by God? I’m favored by time. Because my desire to best you in unquenchable. I want to hurt you with my wins. I want to make your father disappointed in you.

I’m a weed that refuses to die, pushing my way through the cracks in cement. I grow in abhorrent conditions. It might not be pretty, but crush carbon and see what happens.

I’ve spent a life playing catchup, staring at your bumper. Embarrassed I can’t get it right the first time. I’ve focused the shame, the ugliness, and the failure into a laser beam. A goddamn laser beam.

It takes a special kind of idiot to devote their life to the pursuit of being good at something. I am that special kind of idiot. This busted piece of desert casino trash runs on spite and tenacity alone.    

Don’t give up on me. I’ll get there. I’ll be better. I’ll stick the landing. Like math class, you might have to sift through pages of notes, scribbles, and erasure marks, but the answer will be spot on. 

I promise.

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