More of the novel...
Art class. Just saying it makes me feel like I must be joking. This is not a class. I am not a student here. And that man lying back with his feet propped up on his desk, chewing on nicotine gum and reading the latest Sports Weekly is definitely not a teacher.
This is, however, a great personal study hall. Not for homework, of course, but for my personal projects. You remember the last one. In the math room with Ms. Turlington? Well I’ve become bored with the whole guerilla warfare tactics. I think I want the next prank to be a little more head-on.
How about… an inflatable raft?! I can slide it into the assistant principal’s claustrophobic office while he’s working on paperwork. It should take up about two-thirds of that wrongfully named “workspace”. It should give me a good amount of time to make my getaway as well.
A brunette in the corner whines to her friend about meaningless crap.
“I don’t get it. He just walked right past me. Like I wasn’t even there! I don’t get it... oh, and my sister took my shirt again. And did I tell you about what Sara did with Jimmy last week?”
And as if even she herself knew how irrelevant her conversation was she changes the subject leaving the other one in the same circling cycle as always.
“I don’t know what I wanna do when I get out of school. Oh! But I wanna be on TV! That’s my all-time goal!”
This type of outlook on life really depresses me. People care more about recognition than honor. Fame over talent. Popularity over sincerity. Somewhere King Arthur is rolling around in his grave.
If I don’t do something I’m going to explode. I guess that notebook comes in handy after all.
Entry number two:
November 2nd 10:37
Sometimes i wonder what it would be like to kill everyone. Kill the men. Kill the women. Kill the mothers and their children. Every last person. The streets filling with blood! i want it now!!! if only Hitler were still alive. Maybe there wouldn’t be world hunger and overpopulation! Maybe the world wouldn’t be full of filth!
Filth like you. That’s right, you, Dr. Lemming. How many years are you going to waste both your time and mine? You’re a sham of a psychiatrist and a disgrace as a human-being. Your wife and daughter must be in a perpetual state of disappointment from the failure that is you. Does your wife know how you fuck other women? Does your daughter know that her daddy is a filthy pervert? I’ll tell you what. If you won’t tell them... I will…
“Hey… Pssssst. You wanna come to a party?”
This would be Frankie the burnout. I know, I know, who the hell is called “Frankie” anymore? His hillbilly parents were most likely some huge fans of crappy mob movies. However, his rather unfortunate name has left him a bit humble and easy to get along with… or take advantage of… whichever one should choose. I tend to go with the ladder because A) there’s not much to take advantage of, and B) there’s no sport in it.
His cauliflower ears can be a bit distracting. You see, Frankie’s a wrestler, you know, actual wrestling. His face is so sunken in from all of the sweat and blood that his forehead’s the only thing still popping out. He’s constantly “going to the restroom” to get rid of the last few pounds he needs for the weigh-in. Of course, calloused fingers aren’t the only reward. The ladies, they love a good jock, especially one who can make it to nationals. This also explains why his parties don’t consist of him binge drinking all by himself.
Where’s the party?
“At my place. Well… outside my place, tonight from whenever to whenever. You should definitely come. There’ll be plenty of drinks and ladies. It’s a guaranteed good-time,” he winks.
Count me in.
While Frankie may be the closest you can get to white-trash at this school, he’s also the typical partying teenager with the incredibly flexible parents who never count their beers. And beer is practically the only high-end luxury they care about. They also have a huge backyard, mostly because of the significantly small house, which is why it’s going to be outside.
On my way around the house I hear horrendous bass engorging my ears and I know that these people are far from moderation right about now. You’ve got to love how alcohol can seemingly bring everyone together, even if only for one night. The head cheerleader (you know, the top of the pyramid?) she and a couple of her friends are running around with their shirts tucked up below their chins and their shorts down to their ankles, some exposing their underwear, some exposing a little bit more. I think their having some kind of drunken race. No drinking and driving, but, hell, how about sprinting and drinking? The burnouts are over on the trampoline with the jocks obviously on more than just plain alcohol. And, of course, the lone musician sits in the corner with his acoustic guitar thinking that his intoxicated state will provide him with temporary creative brilliance. Eh, let ‘em believe what they will. I’m no narc.
Aw, look at Frankie over there. Lying on the hammock with the ladies. It’s his moment to shine. Proof to all of you other rat-faced kids out there that you can indeed get the ladies if only you have the right supplies. The brunette on the left has obviously passed out already. What a lightweight. The blonde on the right however seems to be excessively giggly and just full of life. Frankie apparently pulls his focus away from the ladies long enough to notice me.
“HEY BUD, what’s going on?! Welcome to chez Frankie! You like?”
Of course, I always enjoy a good circus.
“Check out all the ladies, man. This is paradise. A house for kings!”
More like a whorehouse in Rome, but close enough.
The blonde gets up to get to her purse. After stumbling around for a while she gets to it with the minimum grass stains on her knees. She comes back with it and brings out what looks like a small bunch of Mentos. She pops one into her mouth, leans back her head and for some reason moans in a rather awkward fashion. Then she takes this pink neon pacifier out of her purse and sticks it in her mouth.
Now I get it.
Ecstasy. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Long name, serious drug. It looks like a small piece of candy, similar to Pez. It raises your heartbeat and blood pressure considerably leaving you confused, depressed, anxious, sleepy, and/or quite often paranoid. It also leads to involuntary clenching or chattering of the teeth which explains the pacifier. But for about 5 hours you feel like a god. Honestly I’ve never taken one, but I know enough. When you sell prescription drugs to junkies you tend to pick up on a few things.
The blonde takes out the pacifier enough to look us over and ask…
“You boys want a try? I guarantee you’ve never felt anything like this before.”
Frankie takes one, looks at me and tosses one in my hand. Just to clear the record, this is not peer pressure. For it to be peer pressure I’d have to be concerned with what these two mal-contents thought of me. I prefer to think of it as curiosity. An exploration if you will.
Frankie and I exchange glances with a look in each other’s eyes that says “bottoms up”. I lean my head back and let it slide down my throat.
I need some water.
My throat feels like a sheet of sandpaper scraping against a wet rag. At least the cold floor feels nice against my cheek right about now. I could live without the puddle of drool though.
Who the hell is this beside me anyway?
Ah… who cares? I doubt she’ll remember either. She’s pretty though; I wouldn’t have minded remembering that one.
Judging by the silence I should say that the “never-ending” supply of deafening hearing decay that Frankie calls a stereo finally ran out of overplayed songs about the underground and teenage angst. Where the hell’s my jacket?
There it is. Frankie’s on top of it sleeping in the fetal position. I don’t even want to know how he got a hold of that. With a nice steady tug my jacket should slide out from under Frankie like a white table clothe with dishes still on top of it. Well, unfortunately, I’m no magician, nor am I smooth. I’m actually quite lazy to be blunt.
I yank my gray jacket from under Frankie’s body. Frankie’s head elevates with the jacket merely to drop right back down onto the concrete. Damn it. I think one of my buttons may have skidded off.
Walking around the miniscule house of his and opening the fence I feel slight bit unrest. Waiting by the car is daddy-dearest, face as red as Rudolf’s nose and fists clenched so tightly that is makes them whiter than the whites of his maddening eyes.
“I hope you had fun tonight.”
I hope I did too. I’ll let you know once I remember.
“You really think you can get out of this one with some witty comment and the same old devilish smirk?”
Why not? You’ve been picking up women almost the same way for years.
“My romantic life is none of your concern.”
And mine isn’t any of yours either. Glad we cleared that up. Want to go get some coffee?
“Don’t give me that crap. As soon as you were born your whole life became my responsibility.”
A responsibility you lost the right to once I started raising myself. Do you realize how I learned about sex? From late night TV. You know how I learned to wash my clothes and cook? From years of practice while you were either out working or picking up women. You know how I learned to deal with death?! By doing the exact opposite of what you did once mom died! You’re a pathetic old man and you always have been!
“When your mom died she left me alone to deal with you! She left me with no options and no escapes! From that moment on I had to take on both responsibilities…”
Well you’re doing a pretty bang-up job there captain. But from now on, don’t do me any favors.
“Who do you think you are? Tomorrow you’re getting tested and we’ll see who has the clout to say what’s what.”
Fine. But I can tell you right now, you aren’t going to like what you’ll find out.
Let’s fast forward to the clinic. You know. That place filled with pregnancy scares and STD’s. And most commonly the teenage boy suspected of drug-use. It’s amazing how honesty sparks a parent’s curiosity and skepticism.
The over-used nurse comes in, corns on her feet, hair as fried as Cajun food, and a grimace reaching down to the depths of hell, with a chart in her right arm and a fed-up, limp hand hanging from the left.
“Well sir, other than the obvious and nearly lethal amount of alcohol, we found Methylen…edi…oooxymethhha…” and then she gives a surrendering grunt, “It’s ecstasy. Fortunately enough, there was no permanent damage that we could find. His hearts still beating normally and his attitude… well… if he ended up here, I’m guessing this behavior’s pretty normal.” With that the nurse guides her bruised ankles and spider veins out of the door.
My father’s face looks almost like he’s trying to divide 9728365 by 382. I love that face. It reminds me that my superior is an idiot and how else can someone handle that without chuckling. But, oh no, there’s another look on his face. A new look of distinction.
“I’m doubling your sessions. Every minute that you’re not sleeping or at school will be spent with Dr. Lemming. If that doesn’t help you, at least you won’t have the time for destroying yourself like you seemed to be prone to do.”
My eye starts twitching. My fingers won’t stay still. I have to literally wedge my cheek in between my teeth and bite my tongue.
Oh sure. He hasn’t helped me once throughout these past few years, but I’m sure even more time will help. Great call daddy. This is your officially your Bay of Pigs. Go ahead. Waste your money and my time. We’re all winners here.
Keep it together.
I’ll keep my mouth shut. There are easier ways to get out of punishment than pointless argument; I’ll just have to use my imagination.
A football hits me in the back of the head and bounces off the bleachers among the crowd.
Welcome to the pep assembly.
It takes me everything I have not to turn around, wrap my hands around their overgrown, red necks, and squeeze until I can throw them like footballs at somebody else’s head.
Ladies and gentlemen we are gathered here today to join this ideal of idiocy and this corrupted idea of sportsmanship in holy uselessness ‘til death are we free.
Of course, they’re only being supportive and full of pep. Any excuse to throw around a ball and hope it hits an innocent spectator, or in my case, a studious malcontent forced to attend an hour of mindless dribble. It’s not surprising though. This is the type of school that lets you skip out on school to watch a football game or a volleyball tournament at a limitless supply, but limits medical days to three. A school where if one has surgery and is missing for more than three days it starts to count against them.
There are cheerleaders in front of me, in front of the bleachers and the crowd of slobbering morons, doing dances that would have gotten them killed about a century or two ago.
I’ve got to say, this is the most amount of ass I’ve seen in one day, even if I watched porn.
This is where our lowered expectations of self-respect and decency come in. You know, how when you go into a clothing store you see shirts for prepubescent girls that say Dirty or Naughty Girl. When I first saw thongs for nine year olds is when I lost faith in humanity.
There are the athletes and jockeys behind me and to the right, play-fighting like mindless animals with no known purpose. One redneck smacks a freshman in the face while his clique laughs hysterically. This distaste in humor would most likely account for the filth that’s on TV nowadays.
A kid in a tight t-shirt and girl pants plays some type of videogame on his cell phone. The typical underground prep, the way soy milk sits in the same section of the supermarket as regular milk.
Isn’t it ironic how people spend so much of their time and effort at work so they can make the money to buy things that are supposed to make life easier?
We’ve ventured into a world where efficiency is earned with hard work, except that this efficiency is only temporary, lasting only until it dies out or something better comes along. Recall and obsoleteness.
How sad is it that we’ve approached an era where a cell phone in this decade costs more than having a pet?
Some Whitney Houston look-alike struts out to the middle of the gymnasium floor and everyone stands on cue to pledge allegiance.
Oh say can you see? By the bored empty minds…
Only one person joins me in sitting during this abomination: the flashy ornery punk rocker with the large A with an even larger O around it.
Anarchy is the teenager’s idealistic world of apathy. It’s just another ridiculous example of ideas on paper that never work in reality. Like communism.
I’ll gladly stand to pledge America, but this… I refuse to pledge myself to false ideas of social perfection.
Just as rehearsed as before, everyone sits back down simultaneously. The adolescent diva hands off the microphone to the football coach.
You remember him. The “art teacher”. The guy who believes that drunken prank calls count as intelligent conversation. Proof that growing old doesn’t necessarily mean growing mature.
He looks to the stands and yells as if he’d just escaped a grenade attack.
“ARE YOU GUYS READY FOR TONIGHT?!”
The crowd predictably cheers and screams.
Two guys behind me decide to blurt out profanities to show how “different” they are. Screaming words and phrases like “GOAT TESTICLES”, “KILL EVERYONE”, and even some random douche bag yells out “JESUS!” I suppose they’re running out of ideas.
The coach continues:
“I EXPECT TO SEE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU GUYS AT THE GAME TONIGHT! THESE PLAYERS DID GOOD AT THEIR LAST GAME BUT WE CAN STILL DO BETTER! SO LET’S ALL GET TOGETHER AND WIN WIN WIN!”
Of course. I’ll waste a night chanting useless banter. Who needs to study? Who needs education? Who really needs anything other than sports?
Last year our band team won their national competition. No one knew until a five-foot banner was placed next to the array of football jerseys and “Go Team Go!” paraphernalia.
After about two hours of barking demands for encouragement the coach’s voice finally gives out. And as usual it is followed by the school chant:
“WE ARE GOOD, WE ARE GREAT, WE ARE HERE TO ANNIALATE!”
While everyone’s grabbing their bags and clearing the bleachers I put one foot in front of the lead running-back. He slips and falls stair by stair down the bleachers taking down two or three of his buddies with him.
I love what you can get away with in a big enough crowd.
There once was a boy who reached his limit. His wit’s end had been filled to the brim. His retaliation far overdue and a mind full of vengeance longed for action against all the sinfully boring supporting roles in the story of his slow passing towards death.
One day a light bulb sparkled overhead. One more prank for another dull day, hopefully making life just that much more fun. It may come at the expense of others, but what doesn’t nowadays?
In his brain dwelled a plan. A plan that one can only imagine the consequences, but rather not, for it would ruin the pleasure of the experiment.
Mister or Misses reader, I must inform you that we are nearly approaching the end of the first installment of pain and anguish for the story.
In this prank, the roll of the mischievous vandal will be played by yours truly. The not-so-innocent victim shall be none other than the pampas Dr. Lemming. It will take place in the car of the victim somewhere along the streets, however far he gets. I plan to fill his gas tank with water. Maybe this is just thoughtless heathenism. Maybe this is merely a psychotic phase. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just plain fun.
I’ll do it right after our next session. It should be worth a chuckle or two.
Opening the door I see Dr. Lemming, predictably at his desk shining the frame to his Ph.D. The mere sight of it makes me puke a little in my own mouth.
“Hello again. We can’t seem to get away from each other lately now can we?”
My thoughts exactly.
“So how are you feeling?”
As well as can be expected from a neurotic teenage malcontent, am I right doctor?
“Yes… I see. Ummm… how’s the journal coming?”
Only a couple entries so far. I guess it slipped my mind.
“Shall we take a look at it?”
“The notebook. Let’s read what you wrote.”
If you insist. But I’ll have to warn you, you might not like what you’re about to read.
“Oh nonsense. Let me see the notebook.”
I grab the leather notebook out of the front pocket of my bag and I do as Dr. Lemming so whole-heartedly requests.
He starts reading and I can tell he’s slightly disturbed, but not quite disturbed enough. He must only be on the first entry. I sit there with on leg crossed perpendicular to the other, tapping my fingers in a row across my shin.
As he flips the page I give him a few minutes. His ears start turning red, the type of red you see on the lips of prostitutes he’s so familiar with. His face doesn’t look up from the page for a good five minutes before his chin rises and he tries with all of his might to look me in the eye.
But all of a sudden, this plastic smile appears on his face and he begins to speak in such a smooth and controlled voice I’ve never heard from him.
“You know, I’ve dealt with many patients over the years. So many in fact that it takes me all of my might not to stand on top of my desk and scream at their petty little problems. But you, you insolent puissant of a boy. You have the audacity to come in here and not only insult me as a professional, but to attack me as a husband and a father?”
My eyes widen. This is a new side I’ve yet to see.
“I’ll tell you something kid. Every time one of you whiny, snot-nosed crybabies walks into my door I know exactly what your problem is. You don’t know how to deal. Every time something happens to you, you think that God is out to get you. Or that people aren’t worth shit compared to you. Well guess what. You are the most worthless, unproductive, self-pitying sack of crap I have ever seen. Boo hoo, my mommy died. Get over it.”
My fingers dance frantically on denim. I bite my tongue while I glare.
“And until you start contributing to the world around you, you don’t have the right to judge others who do, you naïve, contradicting, ignorant little child.”
My nails have broken skin. I taste blood.
“Get out of my office. And if I ever see you again I will grab you by your little punk collar and I will throw your ass out myself. Got it?”
The next thing I know I swing a hard right into his face, knuckles already bruising from hitting his teeth through his cheek. His teeth pierce my skin through his cheek filling it with bacteria leaving me with an attacker’s calling card.
I can’t stop swinging.
I start kicking him, harder and harder into his ribs. Winding my leg back like I’m kicking a field goal.
I grab the Monet painting off the wall and beat him with it. Jabbing and smashing into him with the frame.
He screams for help, almost as if he has too much integrity to beg me to stop, but no one’s coming.
I don’t understand it. Why isn’t anyone coming in? Why won’t anyone stop me?
It's because that’s not really happening; just what I wish would happen.
My fantasies becoming hallucination. Even I can barely tell the difference anymore.
By the time I’m out of the building I can’t feel my legs. I can’t feel anything. All I feel is hatred. This man has to pay. Who the fuck does he think he is?
You know what? Forget about his gas tank. How about we go one better? Maybe then we’ll call it even. That prick. Telling me I’m worthless. At least I know my faults. This man can’t even begin to comprehend how purely useless he really is.
I fall to the floor and find the rear brake lines. Taking out my knife from my keychain I feel removed. This isn’t me anymore. Who cares? I’m not to blame. It’s your fault doctor.
After getting out from under the social retard’s car I wipe myself and go home.
How does this make you feel?
Climax. In literature it is defined as the turning point in a plot or dramatic action.
This would be the point in which the reader knows the end’s approaching. Whether it is meandering or sprinting, you know dénouement pushes closely behind.
How does this make you feel?
Some people have a certain compulsion to read the newspaper. Learn about other people’s lives. Escape from their own. Feel better about themselves. Envy the lives of others.
The sports section tells you who to admire.
The current events section tells you who to pity.
The cartoons distract you from the truth.
The obituaries tell you a load of crap.
How does this make you feel?
It was a joke. A prank. Damages, that’s all I was aiming for. I wanted him to throw some of that unearned money out of his savings to fix His Majesty’s car.
“Earnest Lemming died at the age of forty-three in a car accident with a ’69 Buick at the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and 2nd St. on November 11, 2005.”
This was not supposed to happen.
“Earnest was a pioneer in life. He attended medical school for seven years and eventually became a psychiatrist.”
Psychiatrist. They must use that term pretty loosely these days.
“His wife, Janice Lemming, was in the passenger seat and soulfully departed along with her beloved husband.”
This was not what I had in mind.
“They leave behind a teenage daughter of the age of seventeen.”
This was not what I had in mind at all.
“How does this make you feel?”
The bastard was supposed to be alone. He wasn’t supposed to get into that deathtrap with his wife. They weren’t supposed to leave their daughter for the last time.
She did not deserve this.
What the hell have you done you stupid son of a bitch?
You stupid stupid stupid filthy son of a bitch.
You killed a mother.
You destroyed a girl’s life.
You’re a criminal.
“How does this make you feel?”
But why aren’t they looking for me? Why am I still here?
Flipping the page I see my answer.
Apparently, Dr. Lemming had a sizable amount of debt. About $200,000. The authorities believe that the man cut his own brakes to escape debt; perhaps even leave some insurance behind for the daughter. Cops always spring for the most mischievous of conclusions. Unfortunately suicide terminates any duties from the insurance company.
No wonder pride’s a deadly sin.
How does this make you feel?
My father comes in with the paper. “Did you read about Dr. Lemming?” He has this look on his face halfway between perplexity and sorrow.
Yes, I did. It’s horrible. I can’t believe a man would do something like that.
“Yes, well… maybe he had the right intentions. Fathers try their best.”
I know, dad.
I’m too faint for wit.
“I’ll call and find out when the memorial service is and where it will be held.”
I’m not going to that man’s funeral.
I’m not going.
“Son, you knew this man for four years. He helped you through all of your difficult times.”
He helped nothing! That man was incompetent prick and I will not be seen at his funeral.
“Who the hell do you think you are? You are coming whether he helped you or not. You will go and pay your goddamn respects, got it?”
Respects? That man didn’t deserve respect! He was nothing more than a fraud! You think of him as some type of martyr philanthropist all you wish, but I’m not some blind child.
“If you can’t see the good in that man then you are even more blind and childish than you could even imagine. Now I will drag your ass there myself if I have to, but one way or the other you’re coming with me. End of discussion.”
God this man is full of parental clichés; however, I’m not high on semantics either.
I know I have to go. I didn’t need him to tell me that. When you’re responsible for a man’s death you tend to attend the funeral whether you want to or not.
“Some people say that man is what he makes of himself. Well this man manifested a triumphant statue of accomplishment that will be remembered by all.”
Oh, Holy Father, you do flatter him so. Too bad your words are wasted on a corpse surrounded by blubbering idiots.
Something about this is way too daytime movie-ish. The adoring aunt that served as more of a mother than anyone is sobbing at the head of the casket with the Presbyterian priest, handkerchief in hand and silhouetted black silk over her face. The college buds, the ones who could make it, are holding some old token of their time together before the dearly beloved’s passing. I can’t seem to find the daughter anywhere.
There’s too much black here. It’s making me feel claustrophobic. It’s like a night club sans the whimsy.
We’re all on top of a hill at some burial ground Earnest must have chosen long ago. He probably wasn’t expecting to be an occupant so early.
There’s a petite crucifix at the head and the foot of the casket. A life-sized Jesus canopies the wooden frame.
Ok. Martyrs. Irony. I get it. Whatever. It isn’t like this guy that great to begin with. Let’s just get this over with.
My hands shake uncontrollably as I keep them clasped.
The priest speaks in the usual pious, docile tone.
“And as we pass we must remember that this is not the end, but a beginning. A brand new start in which we must let go and allow our dearly departed to rise up to his chosen spot amongst the rest of the Lord’s worthy creations.”
Something’s wrong here. My hands are dripping sweat. My eyelids feel as if they’re blocked from closing because my eye itself is an inch outside its socket. My tongue almost tastes of blood.
Why is everyone looking at me?
“Some people are not worthy of this passing.”
Stop talking about me.
“Some people do not know the right path.”
They must be toying with me. This is all fake.
“And those who are not will burn…”
I don’t care. I don’t care. Everything’s OK. Everything’s fucking OK.
My mouth fills with blood. Red seeps out of the right side of my mouth. Everyone stares at me cold with condemnation. It’s shivering.
“Are you alright, son?”
Sorry Dad, I can’t hear you.
STOP STARING AT ME. STOP IT. STOP IT!
IT WASN’T ME! IT WASN’T ME!
“Is he okay?” the priest stops the ceremony to ask.
Blood is leaking out of my foul mouth and dropping onto the leather of my shoes.
“Say something, son. Come on. What’s wrong?”
And with that, everything goes dark.
When I wake up I’m in bed, tucked in like a caterpillar in his cocoon. Daddy dearest is at the foot of the bed, sitting, hunched over with a bottle of pills in his hand.
“I thought we wouldn’t ever have to use these again.”
I stare cool into the ceiling and make faces out of the crevices in the plaster. I suck my tongue dry, vacuuming the saliva down my throat as my cheeks press against my teeth to give me that tough guy look.
“You were doing so well… Five years, you’ve been fine. I guess I shouldn’t have taken you to that funeral. The doctor said that you have a stomach ulcer. He said that if he didn’t know any better he’d say that you were a middle-aged traffic controller.”
Sorry. I failed. Once again. At least we can say that I’m consistent.
My mouth has that dry sanitized taste to it. It’s obvious that all I’ve had in the last few hours were a couple of pills and just enough water to wash them down. It’s relatively difficult to raise my arms, but once they’re airborne it feels as if they are floating.
“I’m sure you’ll be fine once again. Someday.”
Dr. Lemming made better pep speeches than this guy.
“Unfortunately, I still have to go to work. You’ll be ok while I’m gone. There are corndogs in the freezer and orange juice in the fridge. Just remember to keep taking your pills.”
I can’t really focus on him too well right now, but the sound of the door informs me he’s gone.
I turn around and smack my hand on the corner of the dresser. My hand’s bleeding and there’s a needle-size splinter sticking out of my palm, but my nerves are totally oblivious. This is interesting.
I stumble to make my body vertical and after about twenty minutes I’m prancing around on the balls of my feet leaning almost entirely onto the walls. I limp with my wobbly chicken legs over to the bathroom.
Gawking at this pathetic excuse for a person all I can think about is what Dr. Lemming said: “You are the most worthless, unproductive, self-pitying sack of crap I have ever seen.”
So cool and calm. So matter of fact. As if everything he told me was an absolute fact from a Digest for Twisted Teenage Malcontents.
“Boo hoo, my mommy died. Get over it.”
Fine. I’ll get over it.
Whatever you say, doctor.
This is the part of the doctor’s appointment where they tell you to count backwards from one hundred.
After about 9 or 10 prescribed pills dribbled down with a few shots of vodka, you can do pretty much anything. With the exception of operate heavy machinery, of course.
This is the checkpoint of the story.
By now you should have most of the answers to the beginning question. “How does one get to this point?”
If you don’t get it yet then you’re not paying attention.
I stumble through the hall into the bathroom with the hedge scissors from the garage, knocking over innocent faces and cheesy smiles surrounded by wooden frames looking at me with contempt. None of it has an effect anymore.
I don’t feel.
I don’t care.
I’ve lost the ability to regret.
This is what I’ve had coming.
Stripping down seems easier when you’re drunk. In my head I’m in a bobbing submarine with limited controls. My visions so impaired, as are my motor skills, I might as well rely on a toddler to follow through with this for me.
I slam into the door with my side and fall face down on the floor, cheek to bathroom tile. I scramble around with my hand a few dozen times before I finally hit the light switch.
Damn. That’s bright.
You know, this would be pretty damn funny if it weren’t so pathetic.
Stumbling into the tub I begin what I came here to do.
Next up to bat: Me. Batter up. First swing… and a miss…
Second swing… another strike…
The third swing descends and misses clanking against the tiles.
The fourth sinks straight into my thigh almost without resistance. You’d be surprised how strong dulled senses can make you, temporarily anyway. Even without the little blue capsules I doubt I’d feel this one; it’s about 3 inches in there.
Next the blade sinks into my forearm. It scrapes my radial bone. This isn’t one of those “let’s see how much I can bleed so I can show my burnout friends” type of situations. This has a purpose that ends here.
Van Gogh shot himself in the head in the middle of a field and lied there for three days until he eventually bled to death.
This. Right here. This is sanctuary. It’s almost a religious experience.
As my head tilts back in an awkward sense of relief the light blurs and dances in a spastic pattern. It looks like a dying octopus. The only problem is the incisions have already been made.
“Whoever thought life could be so cruel?”
What the hell are these things sticking into me?
Where is that obnoxious beeping sound coming from?
Where am I?!
Everything’s so white and clean… but it can’t be heaven… heaven would sure as hell smell much better than this. It smells like when people try to mask the stink of feces with a neutralizing odor and just create some sort of super-unstoppable presence of crap. The way old nursing homes smell… or bedpans.
It’s a hospital.
Well, I guess that explains the catheter.
A nurse’s head peeks in and after about two seconds spawns a huge toothy grin. I think that’s hospital policy once a patient comes to. Most people would find a surviving suicidal teenager partially uncomfortable to be around in the least. But I’d assume living around here you’d see much worse. They also seem to start every conversation with “Oh… blah blah blah…” It’s their buffer word.
“Oh hello there. Good morning. You’re healing well I see.”
What happened? How did I end up here?
“Oh honey, your father found you in your bathtub. The doctors say that if he had called the paramedics any later you would have bled to death.”
That was the idea.
So how long have I been here?
“Oh only a day or so. Those pills you wolfed down had you out cold. And as you can see,” she points to the hanging bag of clear liquid to my left, “they have you on the good stuff.”
Hence my not being able to raise my arms. Of course, all of my limbs are wrapped in layers and layers of bandages as well, but I’d like to think on a regular day I could lift up my own appendages even if they are mummified.