Monday, April 25, 2011


Jason and I have been friends for about four years.  We really started hanging out towards the end of eighth grade, having banded together to try to work through our horrible science class, horrible because we were literally expected to teach ourselves.  I think it was the humor -- we're both pretty funny guys, and the projects we did together were always comedic.

Lately we haven't seen as much of each other, but he's still a really good friend.  He also likes to get into some of the more interesting things in life... we've actually gone on ghost hunts together.  Unsuccessful ghost hunts, but you get the idea.  He's smart and open minded, and I guess that's why I decided to try asking him for help.

"Hey, Jason..."  It was our second hour AP Writers Workshop class.  Everyone else was too busy talking to each other and not actually doing classwork to pay any attention to our little conversation, so I felt secure enough to bring it up.  He turned to me immediately -- I guess I must be looking the part of a paranoid mess, because he already looked concerned for me.  Damn, less than a month and it's already taken this kind of toll?

"Yeah?  Oh, before you go on, I signed the both of us up for The Taming of the Shrew.  Anyways?"

"Oh, great.."  The Taming of the Shrew.  A free show is being put on for English classes next week, and I asked him to sign me up.  I'd almost forgotten.  I almost didn't care anymore, but then again, in times so harsh and uncertain to as fragile a mind as my own had become, a little Shakespeare was a much-needed positive to look forward to.  "Right, well, have you ever heard of.."  I paused.  I couldn't say it.  That horrible fucking face was staring back at me in my minds eye, daring me to utter what it had come to be called, and I couldn't take the challenge.  "Have you ever heard of things.. like.. from other dimensions?  Things that are in our world, but aren't from our world?"

He blinked a few times and leaned over the table, his voice lowering.  "Nothing that's real.  Jon, tell me what's wrong.  You've been looking terrible for weeks, you haven't been talking to people, and it seems like it's getting worse.  What is it?"

"Nothing."  I averted my eyes.  "What was the name of that Metallica song you played in speech class after you read that Lovecraft story?"

"The Thing That Should Not Be?"


"What about it?"

I paused again.  I wanted to choose my words carefully, but I knew that I'd already dug myself into a hole with this conversation.  "Maybe you should consider that some things might be real.  Things that you wouldn't think should be, or could be."

"What the fuck are you talking about?  Jon, I want to help you out, alright?  I'm worried about you.  But I can't if you're so vague.  Say something definite for once.  You know I hate it when you act like this."

I'd been worrying him, and now I was worrying him more.  This wasn't helping either of us, so I ended it by going to a computer and pretending to work on my short story.  I actually did think for a minute about the subject matter I'd chosen -- an apocalyptic allegory for Genesis, but this one ended in despair rather than creation.  But then I thought, how could there have been despair if nothing was created?  In the long run, they are one and the same, and God is an eternal sadist.

I'm so sorry, Olivia.

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