See You Never is the first attempt at a short story type blurb since. Well. The last time I posted one. It’s mediocre, but I post everything so I can read it later. To feel better about my writing in the future. Because with any sort of luck it would be better than this pile of nonsense.
See You Never.
“How often do you think about what you share the world with?”
He stared straight ahead into the windshield as if he were lost deep in thought. My interviewee is some shmuck from the internet who had little to no chance against my forever growing bitterness and distain toward the normal human interaction. I wanted so badly to inform him now before we go too deep. Just let him in on the fact that I am a spiny twenty something who always has some reason to be unhappy and spluttering complaints.
It wasn’t meant to be a question that needed much pondering. He watched everything going on outside with such intensity that it felt like he was searching for the correct answer somewhere in the terrain. I just wanted to feel a little less alone for a moment in my misery and worry. He was either confused or really feeling this question. The prolonged pause left me hopeful and unsure of if I should be. So used to disappointment, I just put the brakes on and anticipated the ridiculous response I was sure to receive. I wish I didn’t know better…
“You mean.. Like deep sea creatures and other shit we don’t know about?”
“Then I guess, no, not really?”
A pause falls heavy in our conversation and I feel my thoughts slipping into the darkest void where I drive my poor, pathetic Volvo off the road into a thick, intimidating oak tree or something equally painful. A mess of shrapnel, blood, guts, rubber, and heat. Perhaps I’d catch fire. A real state road barbeque. Though I highly doubt it, given my fucking luck. I’d live, he would die. I’d continue on forever with buckets of guilt and self loathing. Which is pretty much the path I’ve placed myself on anyway. So where’s the harm? What’s left to lose?
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know.”
My conscience yells loudly in the back of my head. “Tsk, tsk.” My fingers curl around my steering wheel a bit more, a bit tighter, to the extent that my knuckles are paling. The blood running from my fingers as if its afraid the skin will give, split, and the life force, my life force will be apt to spill and spurt from the tips of each bony utensil. Id like to think id be ready for such things and i would use my new carnival trick to scare the life out of my passenger. Blood guns. Crimson fountains. Maybe I would apologize and inform him that it’s the only way I’ve ever menstruated. Without meaning to I smile in response to the mental image. Without meaning to, I chuckle at my smile that is in response to the mental image. “Tsk, tsk” my conscience says. “You’ve given up, you’re just being rude now.”
“You must. You asked the question.” He chuckles as if trying to laugh with me and that just makes me want to laugh harder. He has no idea. I’m strange. This poor chump. I need to eject myself from the car sooner than later for the sake of my sanity. I’ll leave it up to him to figure out his fate. I think that’s a fair compromise. I’m willing to remove myself from the situation, all he has to do is survive it.
“Damn, I don’t know. Like the children that die every day. The people in other countries incapable of feeding their children because there is no food. War zones. Bombing sites. People suffering from radiation. Women with so many fewer rights than men in other countries that they opt to kill themselves while spoiled white girls complain about not being able to walk around without a shirt on or post topless pictures to the internet. Dictators. People without homes, without a job, without a family because their country is a fucking breeding ground for hate and depression. Except they don’t have a word for depression in their country. In their country its just called existing.”
At this point I think of stopping. The noise he makes in the back of his throat kind of confirms my suspicions but my mouth disobeys my head and my body is hurled back up on its soapbox. “Small corrupt cities within cities where money just circles and grows and circles and grows. Homeless people, people from other planets, planes, and time living around us. Deep forests where people live and thrive until found then killed. Children that are forced to fight in wars they’ve been brainwashed to believe are necessary. The ones that won’t have the chance to become adults.”
I draw a deep breath and he’s back to staring out the windshield, a bit more rigid than previously. He looks like a piece of petrified driftwood and i am the ocean bringing down the pain hammer. No reaction good or bad, just a dead stare into the approaching landscape. I try and do the same, try and remain quiet for as long as he does because I’m not even sure… Do I continue? Is he bothered now? I smile because I know that answer. I know its always a yes.
I want to laugh. I know its rude and all, but the discomfort is palpable. The only way I know how to make these situations better is to twist everything around and make it a joke, but he doesn’t look as if he would appreciate comic relief right now. All around us the sky grays as moments pass and we grow closer to our destination. In his head I bet he’s celebrating the fact that only five minutes exists between him and getting the fuck away from me. Far, far away from me. The clouds are rolling in and bringing rain with them.
“I try not to think of those things because they depress me.”
the jokes are never ending. I nod slowly and imagine all of the words built up in my chest flying past my miserable lips to assault every inch of him like a billion tiny daggers. Cutting and tearing, scalping and stripping, digging down to the real core of everything that makes him up. Pulling back the layers of skin, past the nerves, veins, muscle, down to the bone and all of the calcium that shapes them. And my words would chip them down and he would feel them. Forever. Just a constant ache that reminds him of how thick and ignorant he is. Precious, really.
Of course those things make you depressed. They’re supposed to make you feel sad and small, insignificant and nothing more than a spec on a scale that is the universe. Of course you feel like shit, you’re supposed to. Of course you have guilt from not being able to make a difference. Of course, I want to say. Of course you get fucking depressed. Only a fool would trick himself into believing he was always happy. That’s not being human. That’s not embracing reality.
The clouds pull in tighter, they bump and start to rumble everything around them, under them. Vibrations are sent through the ground, trees, cars, houses, mountains, hills, everything just vibrating in sync. As I pull up to his home I can see him reaching for the seatbelt before I’m even parked. The beautiful, gentle song that signifies freedom to his poor, assaulted ears. Click. Snap. Release.
“Well I had fun,” he says this gently, looking over at me with the sweetest smile he could offer. the kind that tells me that he’s thankful I didn’t kill us, but most importantly- I didn’t kill him. You’re welcome. Maybe next time, if we ever feel like putting ourselves through such an uncomfortable afternoon again. “Maybe we can do this again some time?”
“Totally!” I ooze excitement, faux anticipation and plan to never call him again. In fact when I get home I’ll probably delete his number as well as my dating profile. Because life and people and dating are all really big, sad, droopy, misery filled jokes. No one is laughing.
“Awesome, I’ll talk to you soon, Taylor.”
I try not to react. Try to keep myself together. Taylor. My name is not Taylor. It has never, will never, and currently is not Taylor. At least he tried. It’s not like I can recall his. I don’t think I even tried. As he closes the door I roll my window down. The squeak of the door masking the cry of the window. As I ready to pull away from the curb i wave dramatically. With the little effort i have in me I project my voice to the best of my ability and say, “You too Spike Lee!”
See you fucking never, homebro.