The old cliche goes something like, “if you’ve got nothing to live for, you’re able to do anything.” High school kids all over the world write their own versions of it in the margins of textbooks and on bathroom walls. It makes them feel consequential. Or significant. Or free. Or something.
They’re not, of course. But they’ve got enough youthful optimism to keep the bottle of pills away from their stomachs or the razor away from their soft wrists.
Well, most of them. A few can see things for how they are. They act accordingly.
And good for them, really. It’s that youthful initiative the baby boomers say is absent in kids these days. Someone should tell the boomers they haven’t been looking in the right place. If they checked the morgue, they’d see slabs full of proactivity and initiative. There’s a bunch of real success stories cooling and congealing in there. Continue reading “I pressed my hands against my eyes for twenty straight hours.”
I was seventeen when I broke into the neighbor’s garage. I’d locked myself out of our house and it was pouring rain. My parents wouldn’t be home for hours. The neighbor, Louis Schaffer, had passed away two weeks before. It was a tough blow; he was a good friend of our family and used to babysit me when I was a toddler when my parents were working nights.
If it didn’t seem like a tornado might come through at any minute, I would’ve just sucked it up and walked the few miles back to school. The weather was worsening, though, and as hail started to fall, I knew I had to get inside.
Both the main garage door and the side door were locked tight. I ran around to the back. There was a window. The glass was blacked out. While I initially found that strange, my inquisitiveness dissipated as hail the size of ping-pong balls pelted my head.
Social norms dictate thought. It’s as simple as that. Take gender, for example. If the idea is that people are only men and women and there’s no room for anyone in between or outside, that’s what everyone will believe. That’ll be the foundation of their convictions. Their “common sense.”
Two nights ago, I was home alone when Alexa laughed. I’d read about the software issue the devices had been having all over the world, so it wasn’t that big a shock. Thank God for that, too, because I would’ve jumped out of my skin otherwise. Still, I was unsettled. It’s creepy to hear laughter when you think you’re alone.
“Alexa, shut up,” I instructed. The blue ring on top flashed, and the laughing stopped.
Whenever I see him on the screen, I feel my fingers clenching. It’s as if they’re practicing the motion for when I squeeze the life from his small body. And it will happen soon. Finally.
I’ve watched the boy for years. Watched him grow from an infant to a toddler to the preteen he is now. He smiles easily. His heart is innocent and carefree. I will make sure it stops beating.
One of my recent breakthroughs took me beyond the viewing screen and allowed me to transport into his room as he slept. I hadn’t perfected my technique to be there physically at that point, but that was coming. Just my consciousness would travel. I floated over his bed and gazed down. My hatred seethed, and, for a moment, I feared he sensed my presence because his eyes flew open and he gasped. Continue reading “The Only Solution”
Carter doesn’t like it when I call him “Daddy” when we’re making love. He says it’s creepy. Sometimes I can’t help myself, though. Sometimes things are too intense. Like, just the other night I was bent over his knee as he delivered slap after slap on my tender little bottom and I whispered, “spank me more, Daddy.” Then he stopped and stood me up and lectured me about how he doesn’t like that word. I nodded and we went on with our fun.
This past Tuesday, I was home alone. I get lonely when Carter’s at work. There was nothing on TV and I was bored and not feeling great. Plus, it doesn’t help that our house is old and makes weird noises all the time. It can be frightening. Pupperdelle, our big German Shepherd, helps with that a little. I know nothing can hurt me when he’s around.
I don’t provide my services in a back alley. Far from it. The spare bedroom of my home is warm and calming and safe for those who, at the peak of their emotional burdens, can feel the weight of their worry and sorrow lift from their bellies.
I accept no payment.
I ask no names.
My wife, the light of my life and my partner in our secret community outreach, passed away five years ago. It still hurts to mention her.
Her loss was a singular catastrophe for my health and wellbeing. I meandered without purpose or direction for months before I could resume a semblance of my day-to-day activity. With no one left to love, and I include myself in that calculation, I had little remaining but my work and charity. Those would have to suffice. It was either that, or to join my wife in death. I knew it wasn’t time yet.