Life of Theodore Grubb

Theodore Grubb or “Theo”, wasn’t a particularly significant person. He wasn’t handsome. He wasn’t smart, kind or endearing in any way. He wasn’t a man that others sought out. He hovered in crowds, lurking and gawking, uncomfortable in his skin. He sought out others who were as insignificant as him. They wouldn’t notice his uselessness to the group, because they all hid the same secret.They postured and flexed, swore to sound cool, smoked anything, did any drug, fought those deemed weaker, ignored every rule. In my time, I thought their disrespect for all things to be their greatest asset, but this is all wrong. It’s their insignificance. I couldn’t see it at such a young age and perhaps neither could they, but their lack of importance to the world around them came to define their nature. They had to act as if they belonged, even if it meant not belonging. They acted like ‘bad-guys’, because a hero needs a villain. They weren’t villains. Theodore Grubb was an insignificant punk.


He stood for something else. He stood for nothing, but in the most vapid sense. His emptiness and the emptiness of those around him held them together, like a circle of black hole pulling each other together. They would destroy each other all the same, wrapping one another in their bullshit. Even a comparison to a black hole is too grandiose for Theodore Grubb. Theo was more like a flushed toilet dragging others down the drain. His pants sagged, drooping to show his unkempt boxers, although his shirts were always two sizes too big. He hunched over when he walked, bobbing back and forth, never to fall. Never, in his useless life, did he perform a good deed. He never did anything good for himself or anyone else. He just was. Theo Grubb floated through life, as if upon a breeze. He never left this city. He drifts from bar to bar, begging for change, asking for a certain kindness from strangers, a kindness for which he never offered anyone else.

Others didn’t think much about him, because they understood him so well. His every thought became transparent after a time. You knew he was going to act like a fool. There was no thought behind any of his actions. He was a slave to his identity. He had to act out for attention. It only got worse when he got older. One day, he challenged a kid to a fight outside the bar. He just said it, as if it were nothing. The child ignored him and drove off on his bicycle without a second glance. So it goes with such an identity. You’re forced to hold on to it for the entirety of this journey.

No one else offered any attention his way, because they’d become immune. Looking closer, I see that he wanted us to believe, even if he didn’t know, his actions were just rambling chaos inside his mind. It was something I’ve never heard of, although I’ve seen it more than once in my life. His strength presented itself within his irrevocable insignificance. Some survival instincts formed over centuries, but this is something new. Creatures under the guise of humans becoming insignificant and hollow to survive. The world can be a terrifying place, especially when you come from a small town. Branching out, moving on, growing up can be a fearful endeavor. Who among us can say they haven’t felt that fear? He accepted insignificance, instead of his destiny. Maybe, again, insignificance was meant for Theodore Grubb, if only as a cautionary tale. Theodore Grubb never escaped the vortex. He died in the womb, like an unborn child. Collapsing into his own insignificance… Theodore Grubb never returned.


20 thoughts on “Life of Theodore Grubb

  1. You’d be surprised there are a lot of Theodores who feel like Theo 50% of the time deep inside. Inadequate trapped in an identity because he never thought to make something out of himself or society didn’t allow that opportunity for that flower to flourish. Life can be tragic but if Theo ever thought to start fresh and worked earnestly.. save enough for a shower, a good shirt and pants. Started picking fruit, washed dishes recycled cans.. One day he can say he worked for everything he had instead of relying on the kindness of others. The kindness he never thought to give is another problem, he doesn’t care enough for people. If he had people he cared about it might be different, he would practice love and healing of himself and others. There are lessons in life that can’t be taught.. you just need to learn from life and how the world works.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is a short story by H. Neville, titled ‘The Scrivener’. It strikes me that there are parallels of theme between this post and that story. So there is, the narration of one person by another, a person without personality, a certain sense of grandiose aimlessness and that’s about where it ends. Bartleby is fixed in place and passive to the point of pain, Theodore is free to roam and aggressive, although entirely ineffective.

    Have you read that story?

    Or would you prefer not to?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Exceptional analysis. There are so many Theo’s around us killing society and what timelessness of values stand for. Perhaps we are also part of it enslaved to our self created image.

    Liked by 1 person

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