Grew Up… in a broken home. Eugene doesn’t like to discuss his parents’ tumultuous marriage, and for good reason. Bo matter how horrid his father was, his mother would always take the man back. “She’d cover the bruises and cuts,” he says, “and she’d take him back because he begged and cried.”
Living… in suburban Las Vegas. Eugene doesn’t spend much time on the strip—he doesn’t really drink or gamble much, preferring to stay in most nights.
Profession… seventh grade social studies teacher. At the beginning of each year, Eugene tries to inspire his students by giving them an assignment to change the world. This year, he’s particularly by one particular student's idea. Eugene describes Trevor as an “exigent" young man whose plan to “pay it forward” has the potential to have a lasting impact.
Interests… reading and learning. Eugene knows he's not a social butterfly, admitting that, “words are all I have." Still, as a man with a disfigured face, Eugene finds solace in his quiet routine. As he tells Trevor's mother, Arlene, “I have a thing I do every day. It’s all I’ve ever known, and it’s a routine, and as long as I have that. As long as I have that… I’m okay. If I don’t have it, I’m lost.”
Relationship Status… single, though his most precocious student is trying to set him up with his mother. But while Arlene is certainly charming, she's also a recovering alcoholic. Eugene just isn’t sure about dating someone with so many of his mother’s own faults.
Challenge… breaking free of his insecurities and connecting with others. Eugene pretends he's happy being alone, but he can't seem to admit that his isolation has become debilitating. His scarred face, in particular, prevents others from getting close to him, and the visible reminder of his painful past keeps Eugene too melancholy to reach out to them.
Personality… bookish, shy, and pedantic. Though he doesn’t seem to do it on purpose, Eugene often uses big words in normal conversation, which makes uneducated Arlene feel slightly insecure. Still, all his diction can't hide the fact that Eugene is deeply, desperately lonely for company, despite whatever he says to the contrary.
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