“Charlie Brown: I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren’t so pleasant either. Waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there’s the night, too. Lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done during the day. And all those hours in between when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I’d better see what I’ve got. Peanut butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely…I guess they’re right. And when you’re really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. There’s that cute little red-headed girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder what she would do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her?…She’d probably laugh right in my face…it’s hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There’s an empty place next to her on the bench. There’s no reason why I couldn’t just go over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up…I’m standing up!…I’m sitting down. I’m a coward. I’m so much of a coward, she wouldn’t even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can’t remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn’t she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn’t look at me? Is she so great, and I’m so small, that she can’t spare one little moment?…SHE’S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE’S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunchbag over his head.) …Lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. If that little red-headed girl is looking at me with this stupid bag over my head she must think I’m the biggest fool alive. But, if she isn’t looking at me, then maybe I could take it off quickly and she’d never notice it. On the other hand…I can’t tell if she’s looking, until I take it off! Then again, if I never take it off I’ll never have to know if she was looking or not. On the other hand…it’s very hard to breathe in here. (he removes his sack) Whew! She’s not looking at me! I wonder why she never looks at me? Oh well, another lunch hour over with…only 2,863 to go. ”
― Clark Gesner, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
It wasn’t the plan. I mean what kind of plan would that be? Certainly not a path that any sane man would choose. Yet looking in the mirror it is obvious: I have become Charlie Brown. Everything I touch turns to failure.
Charlie Brown is the ultimate un-success story. The hero of his own life, always full of hope and determination and always failing to succeed. Charlie trusts that Lucy will really let him punt the football this year – and each year Charlie ends up flat on his back.
I – just like Charlie- keep trying to kick that field-goal. Only to find that the ball has been yanked away. Again. Then – just like Charlie – I drag myself home for the night and I ask the darkness:
“Where have I gone wrong?”
Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.” (Charles M. Schulz)
And yet – I will do just like Charlie does: keep trying. One foot forward. One more step. One more time. Maybe this time, this week, this year, this decade: it will finally be okay.
At least I can take heart at that strength within Charlie – that rock solid little bit that says ‘keeps hoping’ and ‘keep dreaming’ because despite myself things will turn out just fine. One day. Just not today.
- Wednesday Trivia: Happy 63rd Birthday, Charlie Brown! (simplystated.realsimple.com)
- Good Grief (theparisreview.org)
- Charles M. Schulz (shona49001.wordpress.com)
- See the Peanuts-Themed Love Letters Cartoonist Charles Schulz Sent to His 25-Year-Old Crush (howaboutwe.com)