mental health, awareness
|-cal queue late- 790 words
tears. the world was awash with them. he stayed in the car, fortified, isolated, doubled over in pain. he hadn't slept all night. the imminent sorting ritual towered over him casting his dreams into bottomless darkness, his heart falling like a failed parachute. words failed him, as they had so many times. no sound escaped, his face contorted around a hope abandoned.
it began as so many things had. primitive sketches colored boldly outside of the lines with left handed awkwardness. stories of superheroes with magical yo-yo's and alien nemesis. board games, card games and computer games became gaming systems and plot path diagrams. virtual reality filled in the virtual void. the portable unit with cartridge games was modified with enhanced brain capabilities and telepathy. notes for logical proofs were scribbled quickly amid assignments procrastinated for study hall, on the backs of returned assignments, in the time between every mandatory. the mandatories took him four times longer than anyone else he knew. he knew that made him different. he shrank, diminished, at each feeding frenzy of failure accompanying every attempted effort.
the pink box was dead, discarded for lack of performance. he took it. he tried to resuscitate it. he struggled, and mourned, and struggled again. the deafness in his right ear did not prevent the information he found on youTube and from MIT from becoming his own. denying the limits placed on his ability to read technical information that exotropia scrambled and flashed into incomprehensible brain battering goo, he watched. he stopped. he watched again. the pink box sang anew; the sweetest melody of reincarnation.
none of that helped as he writhed in the total implication of societal measure. he lost two months from the early spring calendar that hung so matter of factly on the dining room wall. he was as oblivious to the passage of time as he was to the necessary activities usually consumed in that space. he felt the predator watch, elusive amidst the trees in that doubt filled space lacking reliable land mark. deep within that foggiest of numbness he searched for a source he could name. "arbitrary denotation" reared from the shadows.
in hopeless despair he grabbed a black marker and slashed at the beast. the resulting roar forced him to hesitate. he slashed again from a slightly different angle, and the beast appeared to pause. he remembered ancient symbols and method, and approached the beast again. this time the marker flashed in a passionate fury. this time the method slung the symbols into a golden whip. this time the beast retreated revealing a glimmer.
he tried to hold it in his hands, the glimmer. he tried to decrypt the markings. it was slippery, and not quite stable in form. he'd never encountered anything like it. he felt the value of the knowing of it, the understanding of it. he sat with it. he watched it, marker at the ready should the beast return for it. he sang to it and asked questions aloud. then finally, he slept. he awoke. he spoke. he spoke a new way and the method wove the symbols around the glimmer. he clipped it to the belt loop chain where he kept his other keys.
the white board loomed a great foggy void with smears of latticed tree limbs as he puzzled over the glimmer, ever mindful of the beast. he learned four new languages. he wove the symbols into an algorithm. he returned to the whiteboard. he spoke aloud, and reviewed himself. he wove another algorithm. he asked a teacher to review his spoken words, for he could not articulate the questions. he asked a teacher to witness the process he could not clearly explain. land marks settled in form and location. he asked a teacher to sponsor an entry into the science competition. the teacher brought new words and new symbols. the weaving cut through the fog. it held back the beast.
"have you started thinking about senior pictures?"
"that's retarded.", his eyes never wavering from their focus.
"how're your shoes holding up?"
"fine.", his smile illuminated by the flashing processes running on the laptop LCD. "but i could use a new white board."
he'd traveled many more miles on that surface that summer.
he now knew what the vision quest had shown him. his keys more complete, unlocked the world more fully for many. he had created a new method of calculation. he was excited to present it at the science competition. he understood the glimmer was a germinating seed in the forest of knowledge. he wore "arbitrary denotation" as a badge, with compassion. he turned the key. he unlocked a future he once could not see. it had not existed yet. he turned eighteen.