As the kid stares into the bathroom mirror, he wonders. There are so many things that make his life hell. Well, nobody has a perfect life and everyone stumbles once in a while, but it seems to the kid that his life has spiraled ever since he met that one girl. Of course, he can't say this to the people who really need to hear it. Instead he stares into the mirror, looking at his outcrop of dirty blonde hair and the small scar that passes under his hair line, which is still full in his youth. He looks at his blood shot eyes. He hadn't slept the night before. He wants to sleep, knows he needs to sleep, but he can't. Whenever he tries to, a small voice rises in his cracked mind and tells him all the things he does not want to hear. And those things keep him awake for the rest of the night. Those things are an unstoppable force. They are a disease, a virus. They take over his mind day by day, leeching away his true being and replacing it with something else entirely.
The kid grips the porcelain sink, wondering why such hell has been thrust upon him. He had been a normal kid. He had had friends, a life, happiness. Now all of that was gone without a trace. And the wost part is he has no one to tell. He can't let out any of that anger, so it builds in him like a ticking bomb just waiting for the inevitable. The kid hears cries of pain from the kitchen. He grips the porcelain harder, his nails trying desperately to dig into it. Why has life chosen him to fuck with? Why couldn't it have been someone else? Why couldn't it have been one of the pricks that God decides must inhabit this Earth? But no. God chose to thrust this hell to a kid on the cusp of adulthood.
The kid thinks as he looks in the mirror. The problems weren't always the issue. The kid feels that need to try to carry the world on his shoulders. He wants everyone to go to him when they need help. The problem is that you can only hold up the world for so long until it comes crashing down onto you, pinning your body under its immense weight. And once you're pinned, you're fucked.
The kid turns on the faucet. He can still hear the sobbing outside the door. He looks at the water flowing. He does not put his hands under the water. He just watches the liquid flow and hit the drain and swirl gently down the pipe until it is winked out of existence, gone to the other world known as the sewage system. To the kid, that water is so fascinating. No matter what you put in the water's path, it finds it way to the drain. You stick your hands under the tap, and the water slides off your hands to the waiting drain. You try and plug up the tap, it sprays everywhere and still some gets into that drain. Water is ever adapting, never stopped. Not like humanity. You place a roadblock in a person's way and he spends his life thinking about how to move it. The thought to step over it never occurs to him.
The kid turns off the tap. He stares in the mirror again. He feels like such a hypocrite. When people come to him for advice he tells them to do what he cannot. He tells the broken hearted to move on, the suicidal to look ahead, and the vengeful to calm down. Yet he can do none of these things. He doesn't listen to his own conscious because it never speaks up when he screams for help.
Because that's all the kid wants to do. He just wants to let loose a blood curdling scream so that the whole world can see that he is in pain. But he can't do that, and he wouldn't even if he could. Because hidden deep beneath all the scarred emotions and false hopes is cowardice, and that feeling is strong. He can't face his own fears. Except when he is looking at himself through a mirror.
It wasn't his fault, but he blames himself regardless. When his grandfather died of cancer after a short battle, the kid felt that it was all his fault. And with these repressed feelings of guilt came the depression and the anger. Anger at everything. At God, at sickness, at himself. He hated himself for not doing more. He knows there was nothing he could do, but that voice says he could have done more. He hates God for choosing his grandfather, and hates cancer. That fucking poison that sneaks through the body like a cunning rat, nibbling away at what used to be a great man and stooping him to a level far below the norm.
The kid was one of the last to see his grandfather. He had chosen to be in the room when they pulled the plug. And when they did, he felt a cold shadow come over him. He knew it all to well. That was Death, come to collect his grandfather's soul. And while he looks around, wanting to kill Death itself, he doesn't see his grandfather take his last breath. And he blames himself for that.
The kid was out of school for two weeks after the death, and when he gets back nobody helps him. Everyone is blase about the matter, but the kid can tell they know. Everyone avoids his look as he walks by. Even his closest friends. And the kid learns that you cannot trust anyone in the world.
The kid feels so empty. He hates life. He knows that his talents could change the world in years to come, but he'd rather be dead now than have to wait through however many years of hell he has to go through.
The kid stares at the mirror once more and then walks out the door. He tells them that he is taking a bath. He walks back into the bathroom and draws the warm water. Not warm. Scalding. He wants to burn. He loves the pain it will cause. Because he'd rather feel that horribe agony than nothing at all. He wants to die a human, not an empty shell.
He grabs a hair dryer off the rack and plugs it into the outlet. The hair dryer has a long cord, and it easily will reach the bathtub without any strain. The kid walks over to the bathroom door and locks it from the inside. He then undresses. He looks at himself one more time in the mirror and then steps into the bathtub.
He looks at the hair dryer. The infection in his head is trying to stop him, but the kid will not listen to it. Instead he reaches out with his dry hand and grabs it firmly. No fear shows in his eyes. This is what he wants. The water burns his skin, but he savors the pain. He then turns on the hair dryer and drops it in the tub.
His body becomes a living rag doll. He is shaken side to side, back and forth. He is shaking with electricity. His eyes begin to burn and his skin begins to smoke. The kid is dead by now. But his body continues to shake. The power then goes out and the kid lays still, peaceful at last.
See, people expect others to live up to the status quo. People expect others to be exactly the same. We are trained as young children to look down on uniqueness. Think about all the Sesame Street episodes where it asked what didn't belong. And you would pick out the unique thing. We as a society look down on people. It's so fucking hard to find people who care about others and not their own rotten soul. The kid was all alone in the world. He looked at everyone with a huge, fake grin covering his face, and no one stopped to question him. Maybe the next time you see one of these grins, you'll second guess it. Maybe when you're friend says nothing is wrong, you'll contradict him. Maybe when someone reaches out for help, you'll respond. Maybe the world will work itself out.
I doubt it.
© Copyright 2016 Keith LaFountaine. All rights reserved.