JOY Ch. 3

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It never really occurred to James that he was missing anything by not drawing.  It didn’t really feel like a pivotal part of his life, nothing had changed. It was just something that he did as a class 5 student to avoid getting the sense knocked out of him by his father. Avoiding beatings was the top on his list of priorities and not creating comics. It was around this time that he got his first pair of spectacles. Maybe this helped keep him distracted just when he needed a distraction the most. The world was suddenly colourful, sharp and vivid. For this reason James had no time to moan the loss of his drawing passion. He wanted to explore, to see, to imagine.

Many lazy afternoons were spent in the bushes behind the school just looking at things. James had found a new love. More importantly, to everyone else at least, his grades began to look better, which isn’t saying much because he was already a star student. He really started to shine now though. Within the first term of getting his specs he had soared to the top and later he was not just the top student but he made it look like the other students in the class were wasting their time even going to school.

It is there that James should have seen the signs. He should have known what effect this complete indulgence was doing. Yes, he was a child but the signs were right there to see. James became irritable, snappy. The teachers would constantly write on his report cards “James is doing well academically but has issues getting along with other students.” Soon after it moved on to fights in school. James would be sent home after having pulverised some other child on the playground over something as trivial as a piece of meat. James’ mother would always get angry but his dad would just chuckle “my little boy is becoming a man.”

When he wasn’t fighting or reading though James was exploring. The spectacles (which were replaced countless times because of the fights) had opened his eyes and he was going to use them. He had found a little clearing in the bushes that he considered his own. He would go there everyday, lie on the ground and stare at the sky as it rolled past lazily. It was there that he would think about life. Think about everything that was happening. It was there that he should have seen the signs; but he didn’t. No one did.

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