Sunday, May 31, 2009
even with the days getting warmer, things really don't seem any different to me. my life hasn't gotten any better. people aren't any nicer. the prophecy that i'll eventually be stabbed for something i said has sadly still not come true. but you know, from the one feeling i still have left in my body, anger, springs forth the little bits of creativity. writing when you're happy and a good mood? i'm not a fucking hippie. i only write to get out the anger and sadness out of my body, so that i can return to being the hollow shell of a human being that nobody could give less of a shit about.
A fist drove into Alex's face, pulling back with laces of blood like red veins bulging from the skin. Someone held him down, putting their weight on his chest. Alex gasped for air, but all he was able to feel was a sharp pain. A familiar pain, tracing down the median vein of his left arm.
"You never will amount to anything. Consider this our way of helping you out."
"Why couldn't you ever be something worthwhile? Why are you such a loser?"
Tears flowed from his eyes as a blade continued down. Alex hoped it was the last time. He hoped that this time, the blade would penetrate the vein, and that the blood would pour out like wine at a festival.
"Let me die..."
Alex awoke in a cold sweat, holding a switchblade in his hand as his eye darted across the room. There was nothing there. It was another nightmare. He looked at his left arm, tracing his veins lightly against the blade. The nightmares were supposed to end with the pills, he thought to himself. He grabbed the pillbox containing his morning dose of anti-psychotics and antidepressants and downed them with a glass of water.
Most days, Alex would sit about and read one of the books that he hadn't gotten around to. Most of them were books he had planned to read, but never read because he had other things to finish first. The walls of his room were almost covered with novels, histories, and tales that he would read, but usually would end up having to stick a bookmark into because another assignment would come up. After repeating this cycle for a while, Alex began to accept that he would focus on one book at a time. His current read was a heavy load to read, Paradise Lost. The ideas of the book felt close to home with him: someone once praised being banished to a place of inexplicable torment, a protagonist who is in fact evil yet is still someone who can be related to, and the feelings of revenge that he could not give up.
A muffled ringing went off, and his phone lit up with a new message.
"We've got work to do. Pier 13 in one hour. Bring your tools. It's gonna get messy."
A smile crossed Alex's face as he licked his lips at the word "messy". He grabbed his bag, and started to make his way towards the pier. Usually, messy just meant a clean up job. A few thugs sent by the rivals of whoever he worked for coming down to say "You shouldn't have done that", and ending up turning some street kid who went down the wrong path into bloodstains on the sidewalk.
As he walked down, Alex looked out over the water. In the distance, he could see boats sailing in the calm summer water. He wondered if things had been different, he could have been like that. Free and floating where ever the winds would take him. But the fates were cruel, and lead him down a path where only bodies would lie in his wake.
"Yo. They're inside smashing up the supplies. You know what to do."
Letting out a mild sigh, Alex pulled Alecto from his bag. Inside the warehouse, there were about ten targets, armed with bats. "They disturbed me for this?' he thought to himself. "Why couldn't they just go guns ablazing in their usual Cowboys and Indians style?"
To Alex, killing was never something that was real. It never felt like what he saw on the television and in video games. These boys who had no place there looked like nothing more than effigies, waiting to be torn apart. With each and every blade stroke, he felt more like he was attacking immobilized training dummies than fighting with real men.
Five minutes had passed, and ten fresh corpses rested against the concrete. The Contractor stood outside, waiting for him.
"Quit it. You know I don't like doing jobs that involve getting rid of easy targets. You could have cleared these guys out with all the guns you have."
"Probably. But it's always so exciting watching you kill. It's like an art form. So simple yet filled with grace. Your movements so precise. I do so enjoy it."
Alex was nearing his breaking point. Tolerance was not something that he practiced often.
"You called me out here to kill these pathetic beasts for your own shits and giggles?"
"That's part of it. The other part is we have another job for you. It's a bit different than your usual gigs."
"There is a certain businessman in town, a former client of ours. He has been rather unwilling to pay for our past services, and has taken out some of our men who tried to send him a message. Since those threats are not working, we need a different approach, so we want to send you. You're the only one who can take the only thing he loves away from him."
"And that would be?"
"His daughter, Clara. Here, chloroform, rope, and a duffel bag. She is about five foot two, so she should be able to fit comfortably in here."
"And I should care about her comfort why? You asked me to kidnap a girl to make this guy miserable."
"We have to ensure that the goods are safe. Otherwise he won't pay up. Why would he pay for a dead girl?"
"Enough with the jokes. Here is her itinerary while she's here. Make sure she disappears without a trace, got it?"
"Yeah. How much is the job for?"
"Three times the usual fee."
"And I just have to keep her alive till he pays up?"
"Yep. If he doesn't, we'll have to show him your... talents."
Alex walked home, with the information and supplies in hand. The photo of the girl seemed recent, and it was all he had to go on. It didn't quite sit well with him however. He didn't like this idea of holding a person's life as a commodity. Killing people was different. Most of the time, they were just in the way of what he had come to do. Sometimes, they witnessed what he had done. Stealing information, sabotaging projects, assassinating the opposition... those were all easy. Toying with someone's life like this did not so well.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
i've only recently realized how strange this friendship thing is. i seem to curse it, hate it for being something that never evolves into anything good, and i remove people from my life as i see fit, and yet, in the end, i feel so alone without them. perhaps a hardening of my heart is necessary, to drive myself further into being a soulless, emotionless automatonic monster. love? kindness? friendship? how worthless.
allow me to quote from paradise lost.
Horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The hell within him, for within him hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
-Paradise Lost, Book IV, ll. 18-26
despite all those who care about me, pretend to care about me, or acknowledge that i still live, none of this quells the fact that i only understand myself with the monster i once was.
out of pure boredom and stress, here is something new.
"I know there is no need to continue with this. Call it collateral damage, call it excessive, call it overkill. Even with these labels, they will not stop what will happen. You see, human nature isn't predetermined by false idols; it is determined by our individual epistemologies. Each of us becomes who we will be because of our upbringing and environment. My upbringing was one in a world of crimson. A cold and unwelcome crimson."
Alex looked down at his shoes, which had been coated in a similar shade. The man before him was still breathing, blood dripping from his temples and neck. Alex stared at his blade, a hand scythe with a long edge, and dragged it down the man's left calf.
"You know, it really didn't have to end this way. You could have ignored anything you heard. You could have pretended it was nothing, and you would still be allowed a few more years to live. To spend time with your wife and children. To go about your average life as another average person. But you didn't. Do you regret it? Do you honestly wish you had not been scheduled to work tonight? Do you wish I had been hired to work another robbery? I'm sure most other people in my line of work would minimize casualties, but that's not how I work. I like making sure that no one gets to tell about any incidents involving me. I'm sure if you were a professional at what you did, you'd understand."
Staring down at the man, he sat down on his chest, placing the base of the scythe against the man's chest.
"This, this is my only friend left. I forged her myself, you know. Three years of working with metal to perfect the design. Isn't she something? Her name is Alecto, a name worthy of judging impudent men such as yourself. I know you must think her blade is too large for a hand scythe, but she hides her true side till the time of judgment. I guess your time of judgment is upon us."
Alex threw his arm downward, allowing the spiked bottom of the scythe to extend into the man's abdomen.
"Well, this was amusing to say the least. Unfortunately, my job here is done. I wish you hadn't decided to come this way. There were many paths, and you took the one less traveled. That has made all the difference."
With that, Alex swung the blade, piercing the skull of the incapacitated man. He pushed in the extension of his scythe, and placed it in a small duffel bag he always carried. There were no survivors. The documents were in his possession, placed in a small manila envelope. All the guards in the area had been rendered incapacitated, and he had spent enough time with the stray that had come to him. He walked toward the garage, entering the back of a small white van.
"Did you get it?"
"Good. How many was it this time?"
"15, give or take."
"You know, you really have to ease up on the body count..."
"The moment I do, I'll get caught. Darwin taught us the theory of evolution, survival of the fittest. Those who show a moment of weakness will end up prey to something stupid. I refuse to be one of those."
"Fine, fine. Here, a change of clothes and your money. We'll contact you again for your next assignment."
"Alright. You know how to contact me."
"Are you sure you don't need a gun? I'm pretty sure carrying about like you're some sort of grim reaper isn't exactly inconspicuous."
"And I'm pretty sure that leaving .45 ACP bullets in someone's body isn't exactly very inconspicuous either. I'm not a fan of guns. I've been in the business of death for far too long. Death by a bullet is impersonal, without feeling or sentiment. My way of sentencing death is close and personal."
"You're a sick bastard, you know."
The ride to the hideout remained quiet, broken in random spurts by Alex's nervous twitch. He had no idea where it had derived from, but he could always feel it. It was like the feeling of a stranger, touching his spine, cold and uncomfortable.
After he washed off, Alex ate a few slices of multigrain bread and went to lie down on his bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Dreams of the ceaseless violence would come soon.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm sorry. I've just been too stressed out. The only thing that gives me hope is that once I have money, I can tell these bastards I'm never speaking to them again. It's the only thing that holds my chin up, because I sure as hell can't..
Hey there, I brought you a gift today. See? Yeah, it's a big brown bear. I call him Bear. He's the one person who has always loved me, through thick and thin. I used to imagine that he'd always really want a hug, and would bother me till he got one, but the truth is that he was the only one who comforted me through every bad thing in my life. I've always had a bear with me to console me, this was the one I took the most care of. I always looked at him, thought he looked a little weird, but every time something bad happened, his fuzzy little paws would push away my tears. I would hold him, and just cry until I could cry no more. He is very important to me, and I hope he can comfort you in this way.
You may wonder why I'd give you something so precious to me. To be honest, it's been a long time since I needed to cry, and more importantly, I know you'll probably feel this way too.
Where was I again... oh yes, high school. The worst time of my life, by far. When you're an adult, you just have to follow the grind day after day. When you're in high school, you feel like you're just trapped amongst in a giant popularity contest. It was a nightmare. I always wanted to be popular, because I had never known the feeling. I always just felt like an extra in a play, filling up the empty space. I wanted to be loved, a feeling I didn't really understand.
Honestly, I still don't understand love. If I were to define it in familial terms, love is like being controlled by someone who always thinks they've done absolutely everything correctly, that they aren't at fault. Every time my folks would say they loved me or that had done well, I felt sick from their lies. They never expressed love, not even to each other. If I had done well at something, they felt it was all because of their expertise parenting. What a bunch of fucking phonies.
I'm not going to apologize for that this time. This was the point when I finally knew how much the home I had once thought was happy was just a crock full of shit.
When I had entered the revered halls of the famous Boston Latin, or as we called it BLS, I felt like I had done something right. There wasn't any good options for schools nearby, so this was it for me. Only two other kids from my grade school came were accepted in, so I would be making a clean start.
That's part of why I never talked about any kids in my grade school by name. They are all part of the past, and I wanted nothing to do with them anymore. Even my best friend from grade school, someone who was close to me drifted far away and into a different scene. The last time I would hear about him was during college, when my mom had told me in an email he had died or killed himself. I asked her what was the point, and she thought I would care. His father worked for some time at a prominent radio station as a DJ, and I once was able to see it. The world I experienced in high school would lead to the deterioration of every feeling I had left in my body.
My first year had not been a good year. In grade school, I had been utterly lazy. I understood everything quiet well, and was often asked to help write out questions for what was being taught. High school? Must be a cakewalk. I was mistaken.
Do you know what a classical education is comprised of? I really had no idea at first either. It is essentially a basic training to the mind, training a person to think critically and logically, and being able to orate as though you were speaking to the Roman senate. A utter load of crap in some respects, and yet a good path to making leaders. The first class I ever had was a Latin class, a language only used in describing specific names of parts of the body, plants, and animals. This was not a language normally spoken, and yet we were forced to anyways. I didn't understand it at all. In fact, I don't think in the five years of mandatory Latin I took I learned anything of value, much less anything at all. Aside from that, I took two forms of English that year, Reading Comprehension and English. Reading Comprehension was the most infuriating class I had ever experienced, yet the class that really prepared me for high school and college by teaching me how to stop using I in a paper. It's a really nit-picky, I admit, but it was a class where they taught people to express opinions naturally without the first person. The class included a mandatory exercise which would remain utterly useless in my eyes for most of my high school career: declamation.
Declamation taught me nothing of value, aside from the fact that I hate standing in front of crowds and talking. It also taught me how to memorize useless bits of data and recite them nervously while standing in front of a class. There would be prizes during the year for people of all grades who could do it professionally in front of several grades. It made me feel terrible, and made me wonder how it was that they were able to speak like this, so boldly with such passion and emotion without caring about the eyes following your every gesture. Watching people perform these with such gusto made me feel worse about every time after when I would do this.
English was similar to Reading Comprehension, but with less emphasis on caring about the little details. It was simply reading old books and plays which history proclaimed were great. Tom Sawyer, Romeo and Juliet, and other books were among the many piled into my backpack, semester after semester.
General Science was terrible. I had never felt so bored by anyone before. The teacher was just not interesting, as he proved to my friends as the Physics AP teacher. It's strange too, that when I was in second grade, I wanted to be a scientist. I thought learning the bits and pieces that make up the world was fascinating. This man made it utterly boring.
Gym was probably one of the worst experiences ever for me. Pretty much every year, being the fat kid doing jumping jacks poorly was one of the most embarrassing feelings to me. In catholic school, people were nice to each other because God didn't teach you to be a fucking prick. But in this godless world, I was just another person that everyone could dump shit on. I was so ashamed because of all those bastards whom I hated that I never changed with them, and just wore my gym clothes all day. I would sometimes just not come to class with the right clothes so I wouldn't have to participate. Music was better, because I didn't have to know music. I don't even remember what the hell we learned in that class. I can just assume it was a colossal waste of time, because like Art, we only took it for a year.
History was my biggest enemy my first year. I had nothing against learning about the past, but my teacher... that woman was just a mean bitch. I admit, I've never been a perfect student, but she just seemed more cruel than all the others. Her class was the first time I had failed in anything. I can't even remember if it was because I hadn't studied hard enough or what, but if I could change anything in my own life aside from being born, I would have tried during this year. This one mark of failure would just bring my morale down for a long time. I don't remember the consequences though. My parents always wanted my report card. It was all they cared about. How would they be able to brag to other people with out it. I can't remember what that moment must have been like, but I'll just assume it was like every other moment of my god forsaken life.
Screaming, being assaulted by that asshole, crying, avoiding talking to them, agreeing to their retarded promises to do better...
Fuck... I can't handle this right now. Let me get a drink.
Sorry about that. I get angry when I think about them. I don't usually drink much, but I find it calms my nerves a bit. A lot less to deal with than slashing your wrists too. See this? This is from when they first gave me the "what are you doing with your life?" speech. I hate that speech. It's a speech that just makes me want to scream "WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME, YOU FUCKERS? YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT ME TO BE!", but I can't. Their speeches aren't debates; they are more like rhetorical questions. You don't give an answer other the one they probably will slap out of you. This touched the top of my vein. I could never push deep, not unless I was really crying. I remember that bastard told me those scars are something everyone will see, and judge me because of. I thought that was stupid. These scars weren't something another person was going to judge me on; these were going to be part of my story. The story that their fake smiles can't hide. "Why are there scars on my arms? Because those two are such wonderful parents. This is a mark to remind me how wonderful I felt from their love."
High school for the most part could have been summed up like this. My parents were typical Asians: Straight A's or you're retarded. I couldn't live up to that. They were always throwing the impossible at me as reasonable goals. I just wished they would just be happy with what I do, stop this fucking judge me based on how the children of your friends did bullshit. They were not that kind of people.
The only thing I can say that was good about high school was my friends. They got me through pretty much anything, and to be honest, I don't feel I ever showed my thanks to them enough. I'd say in eigth or ninth grade, I started hanging around a few kids. They were kind of geeky, but that was a good thing. Being a geek is great, because you already know how people perceive you, so you can do just about anything, because the judgement will always be the same from the masses. They taught me to love soccer, a game we played after school practically every day. I remember having played for a while after playing little league in school, but never being that into it. Because I wasn't that talented, I was usually goalkeeper, just standing there to block the ball. I had done the same with my friends, but it was different. I didn't care that I was in some random position because of a lack of skill, I was with friends having fun. It was something I didn't understand as well till this point. My childhood was much like the little people in a snowglobe, only understanding the world inside their surroundings, able to see beyond yet never able to go there. My parents didn't let me go outside to play like a normal kid, so I sat indoors a lot and played video games, a decision they later regretted, blaming that on my anti-social nature and lack of interest in studying.
Having good friends is important. They're the ones who are going to look at you, and keep you right on your feet when family can't. You can talk to them about things that you can't talk to your family about too. Hell, they'll even smack sense into you when your parents give you crap. Good friends are hard to find. There's one easy way I've always used to determine which friends are keepers. All you have to do is upon the first time meeting someone, act as though you will never see the person again. Say outrageous things, and even get on their case. Don't go and just chew their asses off, but just say silly things you wouldn't normally say to people you're trying to make a good impression on. If they just get offended, they probably are taking things too seriously. The people who joke back with you, those are the keepers. They see your game, and get how to play.
Anyways, I don't want to talk too much about the specific events of my high school years. It makes me angry, and there's a lot of things that can be summed up as "I got embarrassed" or "my parents beat the living shit out of me because that's their one collective talent." So I'll just tell you an important story.
We were all playing soccer in the field near my school. My parents had gotten used to picking me up at 4ish, because they knew I'd be playing soccer. They thought it was good that I was being active, because I had brushed off the idea of being on the football team. It wasn't the fact that I hated a lot of the football players because they were dicks, but because I couldn't be bothered to waste my vacation on it. I was goalkeeper that day, and someone had kicked the ball out of bounds. I walked over to pick it up, and I don't recall what specifically happened, but I slipped and hurt my knee. My friends all helped me to a bench, calling over a football coach for our school's team because their practice was nearby. My right kneecap had rotated about 90 degrees from its natural position. I was in great pain, and trying not to curse too much. We didn't know what to do aside from wait for the coaches. We were only in 11th grade at the time, and had more book smarts than street smarts. The coaches rushed over, and looked at my kneed cap, which had gone back in place without being pushed. They told me I had dislocated it, and should go to a hospital to have it examined. A few people rushed to the front of the school, where my parents were, while 3 others hailed a cab. My school had been fortunately situated in the medical district, and after sliding me in and the others getting in, we rode off a few blocks to the nearest hospital, the hospital I had been born at, Beth Israel.
I remember just wanting to scream in the emergency waiting room, but restraining it. A young woman next to me was sitting with her father, asking me what was wrong, and I told them it was just a fall. After an hour of waiting, I went into a room, where the doctor's confirmed what the coaches had said: I had dislocated my knee. The x-rays looked troubling: there may have been a mild hairline fracture which could require surgery. My old man waited with me in the emergency room while my mom went home. My friends had left after my mom told them I would be alright. There were many people demanding to be helped, wanting to be transferred to a less busy hospital. I wasn't interested in moving. The doctor said that my body had produced a fluid to prevent me from moving my knee, so I was immobile. They put me on crutches and a leg immobilizer to prevent more damage, and gave me a prescription for strong aspirin. I went home to some warm soup, and some normal aspirin.
The next day I took off. My old man took the day off too. I could tell it was because he didn't like his work, but whatever. He wasn't being his normal psychotic self, and I basically sat around goofing off. It was a rare thing for my parents to give me a sick day from school. First grade with chicken pox? Just go. Constant cases of bronchitis? Just take your medicine and go. I had a few times when I couldn't be forced in. The flu, sprained ankle, sprained knee. All were nice days off. After one day though, I was bored. I actually wanted to be back at school. When I got back, there were people worried about me. The football team had seen my injury, and it was the talk of my grade. It was all superficial kindness though. I had people who truly cared.
Why did I bore you with that story? It was the story that got me into college. I used it to show how important the people closest to me were. It was a moment that really showed me that someone cared about me. I never understood that feeling.
My senior year was pretty frustrating. The legend of "senioritis" had hit many people hard, especially people like me taking the easiest group of classes. The big worry was trying to figure out where to go to college. The University of Massachusetts Amherst was a safety school for us all. We all knew we could get in. It wasn't even something we had to try hard for. They looked at honor and advanced placement classes with an extra 1 point to the GPA, and .5 to regular classes, or something like that. I had been to my guidence counselor, a crude troll woman who reminded me of a boar. She told me with my grades, many of my schools were reach schools, places she didn't think I would be get into without trying very hard. MIT I knew was out of my league, but all parents want their kids to apply to Harvard and MIT. I hadn't even had a clue what I wanted to do with my life, much less where I wanted to go. I really wanted to do something I enjoyed, so I thought graphics designs. I loved using Photoshop for making graphics, and I thought a career in that would be enjoyable. After much arguing between family and that bitch, I had given into applying to UMass Amherst and MIT, as well as other local schools such as Boston University, Boston College, and Bentley. The April of that year was very nerve-wracking for me. I remember taking a few letters to school to open, because we had all been celebrating getting in. I knew I was going to have a tough time getting in, but I had friends helped me out again. After being removed from a position in a club, my friends had made me secretary of their club, a club with multiple officers in the same position to boost our appearnce on our college applications. The club was pretty strange, having nothing to do with academics or social service, but rather gaming and anime. We were a direct affront to an anime club we had attended before, but we didn't care. We just had gaming right after school once a week, and the moment we got accepted, we locked out the underclassmen and just used it for afterschool gaming. I remember even just putting in some random major for UMass Amherst, Japanese, and getting in. The big package was beautiful, and was less worrying than a rejection letter. The few I had gotten I expected. The interview at MIT was just worrying, but I felt I should just do it. BU rejected me for not having a proper art portfolio. Apparantly having a digital portfolio for doing digital graphics as a major without real art talent. The one that had surprised me was Boston College. They only give out interviews for my high school, and their own private high school. I went in, amongst a few girls I knew, dressed up in a ridiculous green suit, and went in explaining the kind of person I was. Apparantly, I was not the right stuff for them. The school I ended up going to was an hour to the west, and was a school for true techies. After going to the open house invitation at Bentley, a college for business (whose essay about why I was interested in business I lied through my teeth about; I had no interest at all in business) with a quarter mile of vertical campus and tiny dorms, I had gone to see Worcester Polytechnic. It was an impressive school, with a small campus, good facilities, and had given me a small scholarship to attend. I knew on arrival I wanted to go there.
It's interesting though, because my friends all wanted to stay together in the area and go to Boston University. However, most of us had either gone elsewhere with better scholarships and cheaper tuition, or not gotten in. It was sad for us to all break apart, but we knew it was not the end of us.
One of the last things we had to do was help a friend get into a college. One of our closest friends had never been great in school. I know, I'm not one to talk, but this kid was on the verge of not graduating. We were not going to cross a stage without him. He was like a brother to all of us. We all began to gather in the library, trying to teach him calculus by any means. We worked ourselves to the bone, but it paid off. He made it with us.
By that time, we were able to relax a bit. We had earned ourselves two weeks off to do anything after doing 100 hours of community service. I had done various things, from helping to clean up Chinatown after two festivals, working in a hospital, and working in youth groups. In the end, I had about 80 hours, but the librarian knew I would always be in the computer area, helping out people, and so he awarded me with the time I needed. However, a few of us were bored, and in those 2 weeks, we'd come back to school. We just hung out in the computer labs, and played games over the location connection.
Anyways, I've already given enough details that you don't care about, but they still sort of mean something me. More interesting than the girls I liked but didn't like me, getting beaten by a pro gamer when my friend got mad I beat him and got up, getting to tell off a teacher who yelled at me for leaving class often on the day I tripped and slammed my foot into a door, spraining my ankle, or even having to help with that stupid Asian event I helped out at a club. I'll just skip to the ending.
Graduation day had been a big one. We only got a limited number of tickets, and so I gave them to my family. My folks, and my grandmothers showed up to watch. The weather was terrible and rainy, and we were out on the waterfront. But the ceremony itself was wonderful. Early in the day, my parents met my mentor in high school, the most important person in my life at the time. Mrs. Middleton had been a saint, personally writing my MIT recommendation, and teaching me for two of the six years I had attended BLS. She had always encouraged her students to reach for the skies, and do what you want. I think she was truly my muse later on, guiding me toward my future aspirations, and my folks knew this. They knew I loved her more than I loved them, and they were glad to finally meet her.
I had been behind the scenes, awaiting the big march. We went and sat in our seats, preparing for a big moment. We had been given one preparation run for the big walk, and told to be on good behavior. They didn't want the craziness they had had before, or risk the students graduating next year not being allowed to have a ceremony as nice as this. In good spirit, we basically said to fuck the next generation of seniors and tossed inflatable toys around, some of them being confiscated. After several speeches and ceremonies, we made the walk. The first set of claps were loud, full of exuberence as one would expect at such a ceremony, but as the time passed, the claps died down. People were happy they had gotten ther diplomas and their school insignia pin, and were waiting for the end. When my turn finally came, I was surprised. I thought I had been a nobody, a loser. But the claps were rather heavy for me, an average student in this school of prodigies. I could not have been happier.
After the ceremony, we had all went to a nice restaurant in Haymarket for a very nice piece of prime rib, and headed home.
I know, I said it would be much worse, but that's because I summarized everything. I could summarize the screaming as the same shit over and over. I could summarize the tears and the laughs as the same thing. I can't share it all with you, but I give you the important moments.
I've got to go get something to drink. Something not laced with Kahlua.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hello. I guess by some grave misfortune you have arrived here. Oh well.
I'll just say that this is for my own personal musings. I like writing trivial nonsense. It gets the steam out of my system from the days when the world is just too much for me, and it's much healthier than slashing your wrists or running in front of moving traffic.
Alright, that was a pretty terrible introduction, but whatever. All I really will say about myself is that I enjoy writing, and I wanted to make a little place to post my own strange musings.
With that said, I wanted to start writing down ideas and chapters for something that has been brewing in my head. So here goes.
There's something I keep seeing in my dreams. It always starts off the same way. The two shadows in the distance. Tears dripping down my face. The wind is strong, and as those shadows move closer, I see myself screaming. There are no words coming from my lips, just an incomprehensible noise, an empty noise signifying nothing. I look off into the distance, and everything looks so small. I can see the city lights under the night sky.
A cold hand touches my shoulder as I stand over the city, and in the wind I hear those three words I stopped believing in so long ago. I descend, feeling nothing but the air. I am free. It will end now. It will finally end.
The experience of freefalling makes me vomit into the air. The partially digested chunks of my last dinner, a salmon fillet and a slice of strawberry cake fly into the air, tiny heart shaped chunks scattered in the sky.
I prepare myself for the descent, but as the ground comes closer, I begin to disipate into nothingness.
The best advice I can give you, always walk on yellows. It's the safest way to walk in the city. If there's a car trying to beat the red, you'll be taking him to the bank. I know what you're thinking, they might be poor or worse off than you. Well, the world is a cruel place and if you aren't ready, it'll eat you alive, bones and all. I don't want to see you crying, needing someone to make things right. The strongest person in your life will always be you.
You're probably wondering why I'm not telling you a story that might make you smile, or laugh, or even put you at ease. Well, this is the only set of life lessons I'll ever give you, so you should take them to heart. After this, just make your own mistakes. Live your own life. It's a dream I sure wish I had.
I grew up in a place just like this, a quiet suburb of Boston. First real memory I have is when I was little, just sitting with my grandpa, watching TV. I never really knew him. I was too young, too uninterested in most things. You probably know the feeling, right? He really did care a lot about me, even though I didn't know him. He took care of me while the folks were at work every day after school. Just when I had grown old enough to start being curious about my roots, Old Grim goes and takes him away. Don't even remember what it was that took him either. I remember the funeral, standing in front of so many people dressed in black, crying out for my grandfather, and putting some of the fake dollars in the fire so he would be ok.
We're like that, you know. Superstitious. I always used to see this "hell money" and never understood it till this moment. I cast the stacks of paper into the fire, and bowed my head to pray.
Growing up was tough for me. My parents worked downtown, and till I was out of kindergarten, I never saw them. We lived in a small apartment till the day we found the little white house near my relatives. Those folks, they'd always be burning the midnight oil, y'know? They still had little bits of their youth left, their joints and hearts not fully hardened by the real world. Kinda hit me hard though. I always wanted the family that I saw on TV, where everyone was together and happy. I had two people who were usually passed out or too tired to deal with me. I only vaguely. Even after my grandpa went on, my grandma would come pick me up from school and take care of me till someone got off work. I would just sit in front of the TV, watching whatever was on. I was kind of like how you are, just looking at the pictures, getting bored, and waiting for something else to show up on the screen. My cousins were all in high school, with their own social dramas to deal with, and being an only child meant I was always alone.
My folks enrolled me in a Catholic school since I was in kindergarten. They weren't religious. It was just close to home, and to my grandma. All I can say is it made me never want to be religious. They'd drag us over to the church, to pray and listen to sermons. The sense that there was someone watching over me felt good, and for I while, I wondered if my life would be better if I put my faith in someone else. Having someone make fun of me for it made me throw all that faith to the curb.
I know, I did have little faith if I was deterred so quickly. I don't see having only a little faith in things to be a bad thing. There are sure as hell enough people who have too much faith. It evens things out in my book.
Grade school was probably one of the best times in my life. Everyone praises you. You don't even have to do anything that special, and they fawn over you. I mean, those standardized tests said I was smart, but those things are full of crap. Don't ever believe them. Standardized tests are what adults think prove everything. They are just full of worthless information you could guess your way through. Aside from running around outside doing nothing, classes were a joke. I just sat around waiting for the days to pass.
It was around 6th grade when I took a test that most of us (by that, I mean our parents) had been waiting to take. I don't remember much about it, aside from sitting in a cafeteria, and filling in bubbles for a few hours. My folks wanted me to take it because it was to go to a place that even my cousin, who my mom always wanted me to be like, didn't get into. The test was the typical standardized test: questions that test basic knowledge of things that are pretty irrelevant to the real world. For those who did well on the exam, there were three schools that were available as a reward who did well. One was the O'Bryant, a school for sciences which was pretty much crap. Above that was Boston Latin Academy, a school my cousin attended and was pretty far away in a community my folks didn't like. The holy grail of them all was the exclusive Boston Latin School, the oldest high school in the country. A place where presidents and other great minds had been educated in the classical manner. This was the place that they yelled at me to get into, and it was certainly better than the nearby high school, which appeared to be a place that pumped out gangbangers.
I still remember my anticipation for it. It had choked me up, worrying me at every second. I remember someone taunting me, and my response was something around the lines of, "Well, I'll be going to Boston Latin and making something of myself, unlike you!" That's actually a pretty funny story, because a few years later, I remember my mom had told me that she had talked to that kid's mom, and he was in jail.
It's important to laugh. There's a lot of times when you'll be sad in life, and laughter is important, regardless of who you laugh at or why you laugh at them. Trust me on this. It keeps your morale up.
Anyways, my mom called me some days later while at work at the local post office. In her hands was the letter that would tell me where I had gotten into. I told her I wanted to open it up myself. That night, I ripped open the top of the letter, and accepted my fate: I had gotten into all three schools. Out of the three hundred students who would be accepted, I had ranked in the top 100. This was without that stupid policy of letting kids in because they're a minority. That's another stupid law in place. They give certain people an advantage of getting in just because they're a different race. It's stupid. Some people are smart because they try hard or know things, and they shouldn't be punished for it. We don't get a taste of it. No sir. They say we get on fine without it. What a load of shit.
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I get that way sometimes. Just worked up without the right words to say. Here's a lesson for you: an intelligent person can yell at you without swearing. That said, my folks were as dumb as doornails.
Oh right, the letter. I keep forgetting where I was. It was obvious where I would choose to go. The folks were ecstatic. They usually were. If all you had left was to live out your sad, deferred dreams out on your kids, you'd be happy when they do well too.
The only thing I needed to prepare was my clothes. Catholic schools are only nice for one reason: you don't get a chance to dress cool. You just wear the uniform, and sit there. I may have had to take a test to get in, but this was a public school. I knew dressing like I had in school photos would probably not be good. I asked my mom to buy me some jeans, so I'd fit in and look normal.
Fitting in and looking normal are important. Those people who tell you to be yourself are full of crap. Once people really get to know you and accept you as you are, that's when you can be yourself, regardless of how weird you are. I've always been a weird one. It's not my fault I think. I had missing parents for the first 7 years of my life, then they became parents who were too guarded and suffocating. The kind who watched one too many news reports and thought, "Wow, being alive is dangerous! We'd better lock our kid inside and never let him go out!" Not a joke. I never went outside much as a kid. Maybe once in a while in the winter to go sledding. but other than that no. Going to a library? Full of pedophiles. Going to the park? Home for gangs to fight out turf wars. Walking down the street? Strangers that want to kidnap you. You can see how it may have been hard for me to be normal. The best bet I'd say is just fake it. Just try to act like the people on TV. You'll fool everyone.
We should go to sleep. It's gotten late, and every time I think of high school, I get angry. Sleep tight.