Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chapter 2: Last night I felt, real arms around me...

Out of the blue

and into the black

You pay for this,

but they give you that

And once you're gone,

you can't come back

When you're out of the blue

and into the black.


In the mornings they're asleep so that's my chance. I rummage around in his pockets and bags and grab what I can. The more I get, the better it is. For staying away I mean. I'm pretty careful with how I do it. Usually I'll only take a couple of gold coins. I'll only take a note if there's more than one of the same kind. I figure he must think, was there two twenty dollar notes or one? And that'll confuse him enough not to worry about it. He's rich, you know. I wouldn't do it if he wasn't. Or maybe I would. I try not to think about it, especially when I have to listen real carefully and be ready to pretend I'm just tying my shoelaces or something. I don't know, maybe if he wasn't rich he wouldn't be like he is. But he is, so the way I figure, he deserves it. And so do I. Anyway, I've noticed that the more money someone has, the more they care about it. I thought it was meant to make you free, money, but it seems it just buys you a bigger prison. So really I'm setting him free and punishing myself. That's what I think when I'm doing it. Thoughts like that make me smile. I'm good at telling myself jokes.

So I'll have some money and I'll be free, if only for that day. I'll go to school, not because I want to, but because I'm good at it. All the teachers know that. I don't know what else they know. I can tell they know something. It's in the way they talk to me, sort of softly, like they're sorry, but they don't know what they're sorry for. I mean, it's not like I have any marks on me, not usually anyway. I like it. I like it when they ask me questions, because I always know the answer. None of the other kids ever really say anything, I guess they like me for answering the questions too because they never tease me about it. They're a lot more cruel when they decide to turn on me. Kids know. They see the truth, bang, even though they don't know what it is. I guess I reek of it, and I guess that frightens them. So they take it out on me. That's the least of my problems anyway.

Lunchtimes when I've got money I'm happiest. I'll go down to the shops near the roundabout and buy some potato cakes and a can of coke and a packet of cigarettes. The guy in the shop doesn't even blink. He just hands them over. I guess everyone wants me to hurt myself, even him. Or I guess it just doesn't make any difference. I don't care. I'll take my bounty and sit on the grass behind the gym. No-one ever really sits there except for me. I'll sit there and read my books and I'll be gone, gone, gone. At the moment I'm reading Alistair Maclean. He writes about World War II, secret missions behind enemy lines, Nazis, stuff like that. Good and Evil. Black and White. I enjoy them for what they are, but I'm smart enough to know that things are different these days. Evil never wears a uniform, Evil just sneaks right up on you and you never see it coming. Some days I think the whole world is Evil, and I'm the last man who can see it, like this is my mission, to liberate everyone from everything. But it's one thing to know what your mission is, and another to know how to complete it. I don't think I'm the man for the job. I think I'd just have to hide, forever, and hope that someone else saved the world. I'd come out after that and we'd be friends. The guy who saved the world, and the guy who believed in him. We'd just hang out and talk after that, a couple of friends until The End of the World.

I do have one friend at school. His name's Archie, but he's in a different class than me and he's got other friends who live in the same street as him and they've got a whole thing going on and I don't want to mess it up for him. Not that he invites me over there with them, but he'll talk to me when he sees me, and this one time we both wore the same t-shirt, Joy Division, and it was kind of funny.

You listen to Joy Division?
I love Joy Division!
And I could tell he was excited about it too.
Maybe you should come over to mine and we can listen to 'em sometime?
Yeah, cool. Okay.


That was his friends, waving at him. He says see ya soon - let's do it soon! and lurches and swings back across the quadrangle. I still haven't been, but that was good enough. I usually wear the Joy Division t-shirt once a week now. I've got a few others, The Cramps, Sonic Youth. I don't have Nirvana or The Ramones, but everyone has them and my sister says they don't know shit. She's the one that gave me the t-shirts, she's the one that gives me CDs - my favourite is Neil Young, or maybe The Smiths - she gave me a bike, a skateboard, a remote control car, some jeans. She gives me everything. I know she knows. That's why she gives me so much stuff. I don't care about the stuff, I just wish she was home with me. Or even better, that I was away with her. But she's just as helpless as everyone, and sometimes I think she needs my help, more than I need hers. You need to be with with mum, she says, she needs you there. But there's something in her eyes, like, I need you to be there because I'm all used up and I don't know if I can face it. I know how she feels. But you know what? I'll stay for her, and I'll stay for my mum. I guess that's what I'm here for. Them. Everyone's got to have a purpose right? Right.

Secretly? Secretly, I hate my purpose. Then I hate myself for hating it. I think that's why I'm frozen, inside, because when you've got two different voices in your head, how do you know which is you, and which is Good and which is Evil? Not that it matters, I mean I might have two voices in my head, but that doesn't mean I've got a choice.

Besides, I've only got two smokes left and no more money. So I'll go home and take it like a man, then take it like a thief. A man's gotta do to survive and all that.

A man.
I sure don't feel like a man.
Not tonight.

Please, not tonight.