All Mabel remembers of the morning is another small victory. Nothing memorable for sure – nothing that doesn’t fit in her routine of weird things meant to make weird people happy. It is a super secret plan like many, with its trademark Mabel steps:
1. have lots of breakfast, but without stealing too much of Dipper’s pancakes (even a Mabel needs good deeds from time to time);
2. run a little marathon around the table until the Grunkle gets tired;
3. annoy the Grunkle by using five sheets of Motivator Mabel Stickers on his jacket.
And if he rushes up the stairs to wear a clean one, howling that wasted money is wasted time (wasn’t it the other way around? everyone laughs at that, actually), it’s okay. A Grunkle that laughs all along and tries to hide it is a happy Grunkle, and the Mabel mission is done.
What Mabel doesn’t know is what happens before bedtime, when a worn-out Stan drags his old feet out of the bathroom and meets the sight of his unusually colourful jacket. He had almost forgotten during the day, but now he won’t. There is no way he can.
He slips a hand into the drawer of his cabinet, to take out one of those journals he never uses. Stan never has much to say by himself. But when there is a chance to put them to good use, he never lets it go.
For every sticker he grabs, completely unconcerned with how much the glue will cost him at the launderette, a small spot of the page is occupied. Stan goes through each of them with the utmost attention.
And in the galaxy of hearts, rainbows, circles and colored llamas, he stops to read whenever he finds words:
♥ Made of Love ♥
YOU TRIED – YOUR BEST
★ The Brightest Star!
Number 1 To ∞
☼ Ray of Sunshine ☼
Sure, the stickers are annoying. But Stan doesn’t even swear that much when the cheap paper tears and leaves white shreds on his suit. If he swears, in the end, it is out of force of habit.
He would rather get down the stairs every morning, ready for work, and spend another chunk of night filling in the empty pages. He couldn’t get enough of being bothered by someone, when he spent so much of his life alone.
Stan puts the journal away when he is done, but thinks of it a little longer. For a man who has lost so many things, what he never had is even more precious. He did not expect these words to come to him in glitter and fluorescent inks, but he couldn’t care less – it is already more than enough.
When she wakes up tomorrow, Mabel will come up with something else, and still won’t know a thing about any of this. It is alright, really. When it comes to her, telling or not doesn’t make a difference.
Mabel doesn’t have the faintest idea what chasm she is filling in. Even so, she never stops doing it.
And that’s the best part about the blasted stickers.