"GUYS LIKE GUY"
Guys like Guy have all the luck. He even started off in life with an advantage. His name may look like a generic term for a person of the male persuasion, but it's not so simple as that. You see, Guy's family is French-Canadian. So his name isn't pronounced like Guy-that-rhymes-with-why. It's pronounced like Gee-that-rhymes-with-bee. And I don't mean Gee like "Gee, thanks!" It's a hard "G" sound, like "garbage" or "Galveston."
My name is Morton. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't require a complicated explanation to pronounce it properly. It's just Morton. Plain and simple. Plain, simple, and boring.
I've always been jealous of Guy. In elementary school, he always had the latest toys. You know, the ones that parents wait in line for for, like, twenty-four hours to get the week before Christmas. His folks had money, so he pretty much got whatever he wanted. But you know what the most annoying thing about Guy was back then? It's that he didn't act in the least bit spoiled. He just went about his life like having everything was the norm and not the exception. He simply didn't know any differently.
I never got anything that I wanted back then. My parents were too lazy to wait in line, and even if they weren't, they didn't have a whole lot of disposable income to blow it on trendy toys that I would just tear up in a day or two in the first place.
In middle school, Guy started filling out in all the right places and quickly became the toughest kid in our grade. He could take on anybody, anytime, and win, no question. But you know what? Guy never even fought anybody. He even used his new-found strength to do stuff like mowing old people's lawns and weeding their gardens. He didn't even get paid for it, either. Guy said he did it out of the kindness of his heart. What good is brawn like that if you don't ever use it to get into trouble?
I'm skinny and weak. I tried lifting a dumbbell one time at school and dropped it on my left leg and broke it in three places. I have to mow our lawn at home. And wash the dishes three nights a week. And clean up my room every night before bed. My parents pay me in compliments.
This year, Guy and I will graduate from high school. Guy is in line to be valedictorian. No one is surprised. He has dated the three prettiest girls in our grade off and on the past two years, and he even went out with the ugliest girl a couple of times this spring. People thought he was crazy for doing it, but Guy just started talking about how beauty is skin-deep and how Josephine was really a sweet person once you got to know her.
I asked Josephine out on a date last month. She said she'd just as soon not. I asked her again a week or two later. She said she'd still just as soon not. I didn't go to our Senior Prom. If I had, I would have been one of just three guys in our entire class who didn't have a date, and everyone's pretty sure those other two guys were secretly going together anyway. And by going together, I mean boyfriends.
I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm never going to be a guy like Guy. I wish I could say I'm okay with that. I'd like to be able to tell you that I'm comfortable in my own skin, that I'm proud of who I am. But I'm not. Guy is going to live a long and wonderful life, and I am going to exist. This is my life. My name is Morton. Pronounced just like it looks.