I've decided to wait until Friday to ship off my laptop since I'll have a fun weekend and won't miss it as much :)
Now that I feel more comfortable, I'll post that essay I mentioned in the previous post. My writing style has evolved a lot since then, but it's one of those things that my English teachers said "whoa...you need to be a writer."
Without further adieu: Death and Rebirth
Most kids grow up happy. They run around with their friends, laughing like madmen, and enjoy life. Most kids cried when they skinned their knees. They cry and cry until mommy or daddy kisses it better. Most kids.
I spent my childhood envying those kids. I had friends, and I had good parents, but something was still missing. I hardly ever ran around, hardly ever cried except to get my way, and only laughed when people were expecting me to.
The other children hated me for being different. I’d be sitting alone on the grass, watching everyone during recess, and a few of them would come up to me. They, being raised with stranger danger, equated “different” with dangerous. In the security of their little cliques, they never left me to myself. All I wanted was to be alone. Was that too much to ask?
As a freshman in high school, being herded like livestock through the halls, it quickly became impossible to be alone. It had been so hard fighting against grade-schoolers that I gave in to the demands of society. The last thing I wanted was to be on the bad side of loud, anxious, angst-ridden teenagers.
I started making my first friends. At first I thought they were people like me: self-imposed outcasts. All these kids acting so different, they just wanted to fit in. They’d all been pushed away by everyone that a group that encouraged you to be a bit weird sounded wonderful. Eventually, it became one long pissing match everyone competing to be crowned weirdest of the group. Naturally, I left. They didn’t care, though. There were plenty of people strange enough to take my place.
It was about this time I started to become very depressed. I had spent most of my childhood watching how people act and interact, but didn’t understand the underlying nature of those interactions. Now that I was warming up to the people around me, I started noticing just how different I was. It went deeper than my desire to be alone. I thought emotions were all thought up until then. To me, sorrow was thinking “I wish that didn’t happen”, and that you cried until someone fixed it.
I really was different.
Everyone else loved, were happy, were sad, but I wasn’t. I could think about all those things, but I couldn’t feel them. I started wondering why I existed, why I had been born that way. I ended up coming to the conclusion that I was an abomination. I didn’t deserve to be alive with people who actually knew what it was like to be alive.
My enchantment with the human mind eventually lead me to psychedelics. I thought it was fascinating, the potential a handful of chemicals had to shatter someone’s ego and force them to pick up the pieces. Thanks to my new friends, I now had access to psilocybin mushrooms. I had no idea what the benign-looking fungus had in store for me.
On November 16, 2006, at 10:35 pm, I greedily ate the 3.5 grams I bought. At first, it was all waiting. It was an average Thursday night, lying in bed while my parents watched a movie in the next room over. I was documenting my experience on one of those tape recorders drunk writers use when they can’t be bothered to sit at their old and dusty typewriters. I spent the first hour or so talking about life. Gradually, everything became increasingly hilarious. I’d move my hand and chuckle at it. I started singing nonsense in to the tape recorder and laughing at my own voice.
Click. The tape recorder ran out of space for my madness. The click seemed to echo forever, to resonate through every thing. I realized I had just been truly happy, had really felt it, but it was suddenly gone again. In its place, I was overcome with fear. With pain.
Panicked, I went to my parents for help. I told them what I’d done. My mom, being the caring mother she is, gave me her mother’s embrace. My dad, being himself acquainted with psychedelics, sighed and started looking for a CD to calm me down. They took me to my room and laid me down, my mother trying to console me and my father playing the electronic music he had found. Somehow, I found the resolve to get through the experience. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, I told them “Buy the ticket. Take the ride.” They left, shutting the door and turning out the light behind them.
In the darkness, I had an odd sensation of floating above myself. Freed from my body, my soul wanted to float just above it, in the dark. I was confused for a moment, but soon after I felt like I was falling. Like invisible hands were pulling me down. Suddenly, it stopped. I couldn’t see anything around me. Dull moans and wails surrounded me. Something in the darkness was suffocating me, slowly turning me into nothing.
I drifted in the darkness for what seemed like an eternity. I thought for sure that I was dead, and that this was some sort of hell. I contemplated life and what had become of mine, what I could have done if I had another chance. I sometimes cried, because now I could actually feel everything. I missed my family, my friends, everyone.
I felt something approaching. It was a group of spirits shifting effortlessly through the Abyss. I soon found them inside my mind. I could feel them looking at everything I was, reading my life’s story like it was a book. I thought they’d finished, but I heard one of them speak.
“We like you. You should join us.”
“No,” I replied, “I don’t want anything to do with you.”
I woke up in my room with everything back in order. I breathed a sigh of relief, and got in the shower to get ready for school. I was thinking about what had happened the night before when I heard a commotion in the house. Suddenly, someone opened the shower door and threw me on the ground. A man with a shotgun, flanked by two others, shot me through my chest. I felt the pellets tear through my body and rip my heart to shreds. On my bathroom floor, I died while the three men just watched, like lions waiting for an antelope to die.
The spirit found me drifting through the darkness, whispering in my ear “Do you want to come with us now?
Defiantly, I said “No”. And, again, I awoke to the comforts of my bedroom. This time, aware of what might be going on, cautiously went through my morning routine. I made it all the way to the front doors of the high school. Relieved, I walked in without worrying about it. As soon as I entered, everyone in sight turned to look at me. Scared, I took a step back. They took this as a cue to rush me. They tackled me, tearing in to me like a pack of wolves.
The pattern repeated itself for what seemed like thousands of years. The little monster would ask me to join them. I’d say no. Some horrible thing would happen to me, and I’d wake up to that evil creature waiting for me. Eventually, I’d had enough. The demon told me: “This is going to keep happening until you give in.”
Angrily, I shouted “Fuck you. I’d rather kill myself than become one of you.”
I woke up in my room for real this time, still hallucinating. My body felt so heavy and clumsy, but I managed to roll over and bury my face in my pillows until I couldn’t breathe. After all the pain I’d gone through, it was just like falling asleep.
I now found myself somewhere new to this nightmare. Opening my eyes, I was greeted by the most beautiful moonlit sky I’ve ever seen. I looked down and saw that I was sitting on a massive stone pillar carved out of Lapis Lazuli, a dark blue rock with gold flecks in it. I looked out and saw the abyss, infinitely deep and infinitely black below me.
“Welcome” I heard a voice behind me, “to my home.” I turned around to see a raven perched on an inverted triangle, also carved out of lapis. It spoke again, before I could gather my thoughts. “You’ve lived your life as though it were a dream. It’s time you found the one thing that you live for.”
“What might that be?” I asked, still in a state of awe.
“Love. It’s the one thing that will keep you from giving up. You’ve spent your life rejecting it, but now it’s time to accept it. Don’t waste this second chance by denying it again.”
I was falling again. At first, I was sure I had gone back to the darkness. Imagine my surprise when I stopped on my back, in my bed, not breathing. The first thing I did was take a deep, panicked breath. Coughing and sputtering, I looked around. Everything was back to normal. There were a couple of visual distortions, but nothing to be scared of. It was 4 AM. After looking at the clock, I started chuckling softly.
After the years of isolation, pain, and resentment, I was finally free. Everything was so overwhelmingly beautiful, that for a minute I thought I was going to go insane trying to take it all in. I crawled between my covers and went to sleep smiling for the first time in my life.