March 03, 2021

Marcus: Good Time Charlie and broken hearts

As I sat down to write today, I felt as if I should spend sometime writing about love. I mean, it is February and Valentines Day is drawing near – but what to write? I was simply drawing blanks. I’ve written all about Wyatt and the little girl who followed him home from the Dollar General, my devotion to Tony Armstrong, and how my dad made heartfelt gifts for my mother every year (that resulted in poetic phrases with profanity laden throughout).

I wanted to write something poignant and sweet, but sometimes that’s just nauseating. So, I took a sharp left turn and decided to go with funny. I dug deep into the recesses of my brain and remembered my first love. The one that got away. Charlie Foresman.

Oh, Charlie Foresman. I wonder what happened to him? I haven’t seen him since first grade. Actually, my last memory of him is when he won the citizenship award in our class. That’s the type of guy I’m talking about here folks. He was cute, and nice. Two traits that can be hard to come by in first grade, and heck … anytime really. He never teased anyone, included me in four square (which spoke to his kindness because I was awful and afraid of the ball), and was beloved by everyone.

Charlie had dark black hair, and porcelain skin. I’m normally not attracted to those physical features, and maybe it’s because of Charlie. No one could ever be as perfect as him, and he ruined dark black hair and pale skin for me forever. Anyway. He was nice and cute. Okay?

Oh, I loved him. I would always pick the best Valentine out for Charlie (and always being from kindergarten to first grade). I would get all of my little Valentine cards out, lay them on the bed, and carefully select which one Charlie would get. I had to be extra careful not to send the wrong message to other boys. Wouldn’t want any of them thinking I thought they were “SUPER” or “THE BEST” that could be catastrophic!

Once that was done, I would spend quite some time writing his name on the envelope, and then stare at it: “Should I add the extra detail of a heart?” Good Lord. That was a deal of a question. I went with no. Didn’t want to come on too strong. And you know what, I should have drawn the heart, had I known then what I know now.

I went to school with my little Valentine box, and my sweet perfect Valentine for Charlie. I was ready. I was going to make my move. Surely he would know that this Valentine, the one that said, “I think you’re SUPER” was a declaration of my love. He would decide he loved me too, and then we would just up and get married.

But Charlie wasn’t at school. I asked the teacher where he was, and she told me. Charlie and his family had moved. That is why we had done the classroom awards the week before, so he could get his citizenship award.

Broken. My heart was broken. He would never know that I thought he was super. He would never know that I was so in love with him. It was a devastating Valentines Day for a six year old.

I still wonder whatever happened to Charlie, and if he’s still nice. I secretly hope he’s out there in the world with a full-head of dark black hair, pale skin, and 500 citizenship awards pinned to his chest. And I hope he found true love just like I did … and I hope he knows that he’s Super.