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Something from Nothing


Author: hybridmagnolia
ASL Info:    19/male
Elite Ratio:    3.44 - 198 /273 /75
Words: 2281
Class/Type: Prose /Misc
Total Views: 1008
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 11493



Description:


my long awaited return to the world of ES! ok, not really. unless you really were waiting. it's been, what, a month or two since my last post? this is quite a piece. i came up with it while watching fight club and doing research on depression, so they somehow intertwined. please, DON'T HOLD BACK! be as harsh as you want with the critique


Something from Nothing



“Tragedy strikes a local high school today. Littleton High School’s graduation ceremonies have been postponed indefinitely as word got out today of the death of Reggie Thompson. His body was found by his father in their home late last night. No word yet on how he died. Medical officials suspect that he died of a drug overdose. This comes as quite a shock to both the students and faculty of Littleton High. Reggie ranked valedictorian of his class, was a football all-star, and was well known throughout his local community for his volunteer efforts. He was only 18. We’ll bring you more as the situation develops.”
The TV shut off, and I woke up in a cold sweat. Lord knows how long I’ve been dreaming of this. Lord knows why I’ve been dreaming like this. It didn’t seem right. Why would I dream about giving up after going through so much? It just doesn’t seem right.
I got out of bed to wash up and get ready for the day. I didn’t realize till I had gotten dressed that it was only 3AM. I’ve had trouble sleep for the past few weeks, yet I think nothing of it. I have enough energy to make it through the day, and when the day is done, I have just enough energy to fall asleep. Why strive for more?
I sat in bed reading for the next three hours. The words seemed to be nothing more than gibberish and had lost the wonder they once brought to my imagination. Words I once found poetic now seemed to be mixed-up, discarded scraps. Each line of each page progressively became a struggle to read. I found myself giving up by 6AM.
My head hurt. Was it because of the reading, or was it the lack of sleep? Either way, motrin never tasted so good. I’ve found myself taking higher and higher doses as the days went by. What once started as 200mg has now grown to 1200mg, and that’s only enough to mask the pain for an hour. I know I shouldn’t take that much; it’s bad for your liver. It hurts more if I don’t.
I skipped breakfast again. I didn’t feel it necessary to eat in the morning. One meal in the afternoon was all I needed to get by. Dad didn’t seem to thrilled. He made pancakes this morning. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve gorged through a stack and a half. Today was different. Today was much different.
I chose to leave early. I wasn’t in a rush to get to school. I didn’t want to be surrounded by the people that ruin the bus ride to school. They make middle school feel like elementary school all over again. I decided to walk. It’s two miles to school, but I didn’t care. It was quiet. It was lonely. It was peaceful. Best of all, it was me.
The sun didn’t shine on this tropical paradise today. Clouds continued to grow, turning the sky from blue to gray to black within the 30-minute walk. By the time I arrived at the school, my hair was wet and my clothes moist. It was cold out. I hadn’t been sweating. The clouds let loose with all they could. Nature didn’t like me today.
The rest of the day within the confines of the institutionalized education system seemed to drag its nails across every chalkboard. My head would pound throughout every class, and I would find myself taking pill after pill to numb the pain. The bottle was empty by the time lunch came around. I opted not to eat today. I was full from the pills. By the end of the day, the pain had moved from my head to my chest, then to my side. I knew what was happening.
I got home the same way I left it, though stopping ever so often to wince in pain. On one of my stops, I noticed a group of children playing in someone’s front yard. I had the sudden urge to hurl rocks at them. I wondered how they could be so happy on such a horrible day. I went straight from the house door to the porcelain throne and sent every last pill back the way it came. After brushing my teeth, I locked myself in my sanctuary in an attempt to further my solitude.
I didn’t bother to start my homework. I found the information being sought to be useless in the long run. I don’t intend on traveling to Burkina Faso, why should I do a report on the economy of the third-world nation? When am I ever going to need to know who William Blake was? Why should I know how to prove that one plus one does not equal zero? I picked up my guitar, slapped on some headphone, and riffed my heart out. Every single shred leaving my fingertips seemed to relieve the pressure a little more. I played till I passed out that night.
“Tragedy strikes a local high school today. Littleton High School’s graduation ceremonies have been postponed indefinitely as word got out today of the death of Reggie Thompson. His body was found by his father in their home late last night. No word yet on how he died. Medical officials suspect that he died of a drug overdose. This comes as quite a shock to both the students and faculty of Littleton High. Reggie ranked valedictorian of his class, was a football all-star, and was well known throughout his local community for his volunteer efforts. He was only 18. We’ll bring you more as the situation develops.”
A new day, an old beginning. I had the dream again. It won’t stop haunting me. It goes on and off like a switch in the back of my head. It’s been that way for several years now. It’s gotten to the point where I can recite every last word by memory. I can see the reporter. I can see the school. I can see the people crying. Why? Why, God, why? Why do you do this to me? Why do you show me these dreams that have nothing to do with my life?
The room was spinning this morning. I emptied out another bottle last night and chased it down with some of Dad’s liquor. What once started as a pill and a shot has grown to 40 by 40. The masquerade I was put on to conceal my pay was now over. The mask has been taken off. I wear my pain on my sleeve. People know I have problems, that must be why they leave me alone. Problems are contagious. They spread like weeds in the garden of life. You wish to spray the weeds and get rid of them permanently, but refuse to in fear that you may ruin those that are not the problem. Slowly, the pain spreads, consuming all life one by one.
Society fears me. I know it does. I don’t blame them. I fear myself. We all fear that which we do not know. That is human nature. It is unavoidable. We fear change, yet we accept the inevitable. If the inevitable brings about a change, we fear it. Thus, conscience makes cowards of us all, and we are nothing more than walking contradictions. This runs through my head as skip out on school today. I choose to learn what I need to know from the streets.
I found myself in bed by 11PM tonight, much earlier than usual I must admit. I didn’t pick up a bottle tonight. I found something else to ease the pain. On the way home, I noticed a box on the side of the road. Inside was some of the most beautiful hand-me-downs I had only dreamed of owning. Photos, trinkets, memories that span several generations. Beside this box was a much bigger one. This box was empty, yet once contained something only those with security could ever dream of. They say money can buy happiness. I found mine free on the side of the road.
“Tragedy strikes a local high school today. Littleton High School’s graduation ceremonies have been postponed indefinitely as word got out today of the death of Reggie Thompson. His body was found by his father in their home late last night. No word yet on how he died. Medical officials suspect that he died of a drug overdose. This comes as quite a shock to both the students and faculty of Littleton High. Reggie ranked valedictorian of his class, was a football all-star, and was well known throughout his local community for his volunteer efforts. He was only 18. We’ll bring you more as the situation develops.”
I never thought it would come true. Now I know why I’ve been dreaming this for so long. Unfortunately, it is too late to do anything about it. He’s already dead. If I had actually shown up to school every now and again, there could have been a chance for me to do something about it. But I am human. I fear change. I accept the inevitable. If change is inevitable, then I fear it, and will do nothing about it. My presence wouldn’t have changed anything. Then again, optimism tells me that there is the slight chance of change being an idea not to fear. Optimism. Yeah, right. Optimism only brings about more grievances when you realize your hopes and dreams are smashed before your very eyes.
I bet he was optimistic. I bet he had a wonderful outlook on life. I bet that all changed when he got rejected by the ivy league schools he applied to. I bet he couldn’t bear the fact that he would have to go from somebody to nobody. That’s reality. The only way to stay a somebody is to built yourself from a nobody, then once you get there, fight for your right to stay there.
I am a nobody. I have been for the vast majority of my life. It’s who I am, and most likely will be for quite a while. If change would bring about the opportunity to become somebody, I would fear it, and reject it. The change is evitable. It will never happen by chance. It will only happen if I make it happen. I am happen being the bottom rung in the ladder that is society.
I am the one that shines your shoes, that takes out your trash, that washes your car, that cuts your grass. I am that scrap you scrape off the bottom of your shoes so you won’t ruin your Persian rug or your BMW. I am the one you does all of the dirty work so you don’t have to. Without me, you are nothing. But what do I get in return? You missed a spot. This steak isn’t cooked enough. You call that clean?
They wonder why I choose not to look for work. They wonder why I have left my position on the bottom rung. I have decided to move to the top. I have decided to move up so that I may one day force someone else on par with me to become that which I once was. I have decided to move up so that one day, I may be the one to noticed missed spots and uncooked portions of food. I have decided that I do not want to have to worry about when my next meal is, but instead, worry about how warm it is.
“Tragedy strikes a local high school today. Littleton High School’s graduation ceremonies have been postponed indefinitely as word got out today of the death of Reggie Thompson. His body was found by his father in their home late last night. No word yet on how he died. Medical officials suspect that he died of a drug overdose. This comes as quite a shock to both the students and faculty of Littleton High. Reggie ranked valedictorian of his class, was a football all-star, and was well known throughout his local community for his volunteer efforts. He was only 18. We’ll bring you more as the situation develops.”
I have decided to become the reporter. I am the bearer of bad news. I am the one who can tell you that your life is miserable, and unless you get up and decide to do something with it, it will only become worse. I am the one who has defied the confines of society and am now the one confining others to their place. I was nothing. I am something.




Submitted on 2005-03-27 22:06:32     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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Comments


  Interesting piece. All through it I thought that the main character/narrator was going to end up being like Reggie Thompson. I thought that's what the build up was for. To end it with him/her being the reporter, that adds a shred of optimism...very interesting. Keep up the good work.

Stw
| Posted on 2005-03-31 00:00:00 | by Stwcjj | [ Reply to This ]
  THIS WAS A NICE READ. It was a lot of reading but it had a nice message. This is what growing up is all about. Keep it up T
| Posted on 2005-03-28 00:00:00 | by Tameson | [ Reply to This ]
  WHOA. I really enjoyed this. I don't enjoy it because the 18 year old died or anything but because it was captivating. The ideals and aspects of change you brought into the piece really paid off. Especially in the ending. At first I thought that maybe the narrorator was Reggie but soon I figured it out. You are a really great writer. I can hardly pull out a 200 word poem much less a story with this much feeling and depth to it. It was really great. ;) Welcome back to Elite as well! ! ! ! I'm glad you came back. I hope more people read this, but for the amount of words it is most probably won't. :( But I really enjoyed it. Great job!
-blt
| Posted on 2005-03-27 00:00:00 | by borderlinetears | [ Reply to This ]
  I loved that movie fight club. I could watch it all day, I loved how you did this, yeah it was a litttle long but I think if you did confine it a little it would only take away from it. I think we all missed you. more computer trouble? if I were you I would just give up and buy a different computer, but I am not you so do what you want. Good read.
Keep it up.
Kacey
in latin this would be quid pro nihil. sorry I am in altin, and I try to practice as much as possible.
| Posted on 2005-03-28 00:00:00 | by Lachesis | [ Reply to This ]


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