I wasn’t too impressed with the latest guy they sent me, Reese Smith. Maybe not a troublemaker but he is troublesome. Troubled. You know. He asked me about Charley. People ask about Charley all the time. More now than in the old world. Everyone’s suppose to be perfect now. I think Charley is perfect. Always did. Before he was born the ultrasound showed the Downs. Emily and I never thought we might abort him. We named him that day. Charlie Gordon Sprecher after the character Charlie Gordon in the movie she liked Charley who was retarded and then became a genius. Our Charley was never going to be a genius. We knew that. Emily was a great Mom. I hope to meet her here some day. My Zoë Gary says I will. That I’m well on my way. And I think most of the time I am. Until someone comes along all meaning well and asks about Charley. Why is Charley retarded. Then I tell them again its because Charley wanted it that way. That’s what Charley says and Gary says I should take that at face value. Charley remembers asking and that’s that. I guess the problem is when I woke up in the resurrectorium I wanted Emily and Charley with me. But once I found out that in the resurrection people are made whole I was ready to get Charley back with his genes fixed so he’d be Charley without the Downs syndrome.
I know it’s going to sound like I don’t love Charley as he is. I’d break any man’s jaw who told me I didn’t love my son. But the life I had with Charley wasn’t the same as the life I expected to have and good as it was well Charley is a loving, wonderful, kind gentle kid. All of that but it wasn’t good the way I had hope for. People say your kids aren’t suppose to be your friends and I get that. But Well I thought I’d have a Charley more like other sons this time around. A fresh start. I’m still working it out. Maybe that’s why Charley came back the way he did. Maybe that’s why Emily isn’t along yet. I’m holding everybody up. And Reese Smith just reminded me of that. He’s OK otherwise. Charley and Bertha like him. Charley’s got good sense about people. Smarter than most people are about people. Em said it was God’s gift to help Charley in a harsh world.
It’s not that harsh a world now. Charlie likes it. He says the love is more real. I don’t know. I hope he’s right.