Word Count: 427
“ ‘Fair’ is for Fairy Tales ”
By Marea Needle
“It’s not fair!” I screamed. “She gets to go and I have to stay home.”
It’s just not fair.” I said again, twisting and turning in frustration.
My mother quickly walked up to me, leaned over and put her face close to mine, angry,
tired and at her limit.
“Melody, I don’t give a shit what’s fair. Fair is for fairy tales.
No Santa, no stupid Easter bunnies, no Prince Charming, nothing. Do you hear me?”
Ending her tirade yelling the words: “Nothing, nothing!!” Then, she added loudly: “Do
you understand what I mean?!”
As much as any 5 year old would, I nodded. Tears already ran down my cheeks because I
had to stay home, but what about the other things she said: Easter and Santa? More tears.
Maybe things weren’t fair for my mother. Two Daddies ran off, she worked a lot, my
sister had to watch me and we ate bologna sandwiches for dinner.
When we drew Easter bunnies at school was that fake now?
The Santa Claus at the mall, is he fake too?
Looking back, I think that was my turning point. Yes, I was five but unknowingly an old
soul. My mother’s credo went with me. The Christmas tree is pretty but in a few days, it’s
dried up on the curb waiting for the sanitation crew. Easter is full of chocolate bunnies
and marshmallow ‘peeps’. Eating too many makes you sick.
And Prince Charming, “Well, we all know what ‘a pile of shit’ that is.” and I’m quoting
my mother verbatim.
With advanced degrees from several universities, a good job, financial security, I have a
roof over my head. Yet what my mother’s education taught me left me out in the cold.
She never forgot to remind me: “Everyone lies and takes advantage.”
Because of those words, I’m wary of what people do and say, so I’m by myself much of
the time with a deep loneliness.
I looked for places where there were no lies, no taking advantage, no piles of shit, just
clear numbers and calculations, not hot emotions running wild. This led me to my
expertise: A Phd. in Astronomy. My Santa, my Easter bunnies, my Prince Charming have
become Orion, the Hunter, The Seven Sisters known as the Pleiades, and Rigel, shining
the brightest. They’re out there in eternal midnight, real stars and planets seen and
unseen, beautiful, blinking, vast…something, not nothing looking back at ME: Melody,
with wonder too.