I recently posted a brilliant animal/spriggan monk deck to legends-decks.com – you can find it here: https://www.legends-decks.com/deck/48557/animal-monk-tier-1. When I was not immediately offered a sponsorship deal by one of those companies that makes gaming chairs, I was crestfallen. I spent literally minutes making this deck, and then went out of my way to share it with the world. The response to my hard work was totally unacceptable, and I will now explain why.
My mother was a small town girl, and one midnight took a train going anywhere. She ended up in Los Angeles, the city of Angels and Demons, and got a waitressing job as she waited for her big break. She auditioned for a role in Planet of the Apes but the casting director found her lack of fur impossible to work with. She ended up pregnant because Josh was more virile than he had led her to believe, and rented a room from an elderly Chinese woman who gave her a part-time job sharpening pencils.
When she gave birth to me, she named me after the street I was conceived on, Sixth. Growing up, I hated that name, especially because I had a cleft lip and couldn’t pronounce it. Our landlord had a friend who made traditional wooden masks and he was kind enough to equip me with a spare Donald Duck wooden bill, but it did little to boost my confidence and actually made it harder to speak. It did, at least, make people call me Donald, which was easier to say.
When I was about ten years old, my mom called me to her half of the room and sat me down. I remember staring at her hands, covered in splinters from pencil shavings. She looked a lot older than her 27 years.
“Sixth,” she said, “you know I love you, right?”
I nodded. “Yes mommy.”
“And you know I’d never do anything to hurt you, right?”
My eye twitched, but I said yes.
“I’ve decided to return to my first love, acting. And in order to pay the bills, I’m going to need you to take over mommy’s job sharpening pencils. Do you think you can do that? For just a few days, or whatever it takes for mommy to make it?”
I began to cry. I knew her job was exhausting, I saw it in her worn eyes each evening as she drank her daily box of Firenza.
“Sixth, my beautiful boy! Take my pendant,” she pressed a necklance into my hand. “This will protect you while you’re at work, it’s all I have left from the house I grew up in.”
I put the amulet around my neck and stifled my sobbing. That was the day I became a man.
For the next several years, my mom went to an audition. Not several, just one. She tried out for the role of Captain Picard in Star Trek. They way she tells it, she almost got the role, but Patrick Stewart stole what was rightfully hers because he brought snacks for the casting directors.
Life was hard after that. She never returned to work, and I never got to complete elementary school, since I spent eleven hours a day sharpening pencils. In retrospect, I could have run away from home and become a carnie, but I was so laser-focused on my life as it was that I never considered other options until it was too late. My mom finally passed away last July, muttering “Make it so,” over and over again.
See, if my mom had received more upvotes and accolades for her amazing audition to play Captain Picard, I wouldn’t have remained a sweatshop worker for the rest of my life, and might have had a chance at happiness. If I don’t get a corporate sponsorship as a result of my Legends content creation, what will happen to my children? Think about the children.
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