Charlie had two sons. His eldest, Charlie Jr. was simple, popular, and had a happy life. His youngest, John, however was dark, moody, and completely brilliant. Father Charlie gave Charlie Jr. hugs and kind words, and advice here and there, and provided for his needs of course, but Father Charlie always seemed to be giving John a hard time.
Father Charlie was always testing John. Challenging him on why he did what he did, or asking him to go back to his room and put his head on straight before he came out. And it was very hard for John. While Charlie Jr. went to bed each night lighthearted, texting happily with girlfriends, John was usually grounded and in deep internal turmoil about something his dad had scolded or challenged him with. He was always yelling at his dad, "Why do you torture me and don't bother Charlie Jr. at all?!"
Charlie Sr. would reply sternly, "Because you are not Charlie Jr and I know what you could become."
John did have a difficult life. As he grew old he dealt with mental disease and went through drug rehab a couple times. But he became a New York Times bestselling novelist. Many people said his books saved their lives. Two of his books were turned into movies and he was highly acclaimed for the influence his book had on the field of mental health.
All of his books had a couple things in common. They were about troubled souls who were fighting against their darker instincts to find deeper light. And they all had a mysterious mentor figure who was absolutely crucial in helping the protagonist find that light.
Even though his publishers said it was weird not to diversify, all of John's books were dedicated to his father. They said:
To my father,
Who did not treat me fairly,
Because he knew what I could become.
Some of us have easier lives than others. It may not seem fair that we struggle more than others. But perhaps it is because God knows what we could become.
Raw Spoon, 1-27-21