The Ballad of

Perry DuBois

Eyes squished shut, chin upwards like a small plant trying to reach the soothing bounty of the sun, arms stretching outwards all his energy emanating from his tiny, wiggling finger tips.

Spinning and spinning.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of “jazz hands” and Perry DuBois, a master of.

Linda and Charles DuBois sit contentedly in their modest home where in the sunlight streaming through the front living room window, their son is spinning and spinning, a ball of energy and expanse, looking as if he were about to explode into a rainbow of colors and light. Linda and Charles adored Perry, and Perry in kind.

Perry DuBois is not special, he’s neither rich nor poor, smart or dumb. No, Perry is an average boy of five.

Perry DuBois was born on a Wednesday in May. Linda went into labor at 10pm on Tuesday, and at 9am Wednesday Perry joined the world. He was crying as babies do. Perry was seven pounds, and fifteen inches long. No complications. Perry was the newest member of the DuBois family, and the latest in a stream of US citizens born every minute of every day, that is to say ordinary.

When Perry DuBois turned ten, his parents threw him a small birthday party in their small backyard, there were no elephants, or clowns, or bouncing houses. Just a small handful of friends and their parents. Perry received a bicycle and several other average gifts for a boy of ten years. Perry smiled all the time, as do boys with no real troubles to speak of.

In High School Perry dated a few girls, kissed and held hands, but didn’t sleep with any of them. He wasn’t driven by thoughts of girls, he liked them sure, and wanted one day to meet and marry a women like his mother Linda. He got average grades, Bees and Cees. He graduated on time and missed several days of school from common illness like any other teenager.

Perry went to college, majoring in the arts and literature, just like everyone else who didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives, which dear reader is nearly everyone. He met a women, as lovely and fun and interesting as he could possibly have imagined. Barbara was smitten with Perry because of his enduring smile. They dated for the last two years of college, then after graduation they each found jobs and lived together in a small apartment in the city.

In the spring following graduation Perry proposed to Barbara in a fashion that would be later described as quaint and nice. He knelt before her, hands outstretched, shaking, and holding a small velvet box that contained a beautiful, yet understated engagement ring. He said sweet things to her as his chin quivered and she said yes. He stood, smiling as he does, and slipped the ring upon her finger. They kissed and both could think of nothing better in the whole world.

The following fall came and went, Perry and Barbara happy in life and with one another. Perry received a promotion and a modest pay increase at his job---that he described as fine, and not too bad. Barbara too had small successes with her job---that she’d describe as temporary on several occasions.

Perry and Barbara learned they were pregnant at the end of November.

Barbara and Perry were wed in a small ceremony with a few friends and their parents. Perry couldn’t stop the tears during his vows, and his smile shone brighter that day than anyone had seen before. Barbara too was quite pleased. Everyone threw rice as they made their get-away to the coast where they had a great time on a short, but uneventful honeymoon.

Robert Samuel DuBois was born on a Wednesday in August. Like his father before him, he was seven pounds and fifteen inches. No complications. Nothing out of the ordinary at all. Just a normal, average, healthy baby. Just like his father, Perry.

Perry and Barbara and Bobby lived in a small cottage on the outskirts of town, a small, but happy family. They loved to watch Bobby play and run in the backyard. Perry worked, and Barbara stayed home with Bobby. They liked it this way.

Barbara and Perry fought like any other couple, but it was hard for them to stay mad for too long. And their fights were never about anything out of the ordinary, just small quibbles here and there. Meaningless for the most.

Bobby grew to be quite an unremarkable young man, not unlike his father, and his father’s father before him. Bobby DuBois wanted nothing out of life except to be a commercial airline pilot. Perry and Barbara did everything they could to help their son fulfill his desire.

Perry lived long enough to see Bobby marry a wonderful gal named Emily, and receive his pilot’s license. Perry passed away on a Wednesday in May. It was his time he’d say. His funeral was small, just a few friends.

Barbara lived for ten years more. She never remarried and spent most of her days thinking about Perry’s smile.