It Must Be Nice to Disappear
I could see the sun peeking over the horizon. This was my alarm clock. I got a call from my mom last night. She isn't coming back.
The tunnels were empty as usual. I could watch as mile after mile clicked away at the odometer. I made it to school before I realized that I even made it out of the tunnels. This was my life; a random blur of events that leave me speechless and utterly alone.
I parked at my usual spot and made my way down to level C, the bottom level of the school. I went into my locker room and stripped down. I turned on the shower and let the warm water cascade over my body. This was when I was most vulnerable. Naked in the showers, anyone could see my bruises. I let the warm water begin to melt away my problems. This was my favorite part of the day.
I got into my "warm up" uniform and went to color guard practice. Another stupid routine bending my wrists in ways I never thought possible. Coach was critiquing me on a left down spin, something I should have been doing with no problem. Everyone knew something was up with me, but I finally got it and made my way though the routine. Finnaly the ear shattering tone of the bell told us all 0 period was over and it was time to get ready for normal school.
I ran up the stairs. A block, world history with the teacher from hell. I run into the classroom just as the late bell rings. Mr. Hons decides to make me the example for the day.
"Ahh mister Andrews, I see it must be far to difficult for you to be on time to this class. Perhaps it would better suit you to spend your day in the office doing nothing."
"Well Mr. Hons, seeing as how you have no life and have no problem getting here on time every day, and seeing as how your precious class time is being wasted while you lecture me, just write me the fucking pass and ill be out of your way."
The look on his face was priceless. It made me feel so superior to know that I could manipulate this teacher into getting what I wanted, 2 hours to sleep.
I walked through the abandoned quads, the wind whistling in the vines overhead. There was a subtle beauty in everything. I started off to the lobby. That's when I saw him, getting beaten up by some guys who thought they were tough shit. I ran over and pulled them off him.
"What the fuck are you doing, you actually want to stand up for this piece of shit?"
I could see Sebastian wanting to cry right there. He was holding it in to look tough. I know the look of those eyes. I know the pain that hides behind that hate and fear.
"Look you fucking queer, I asked why you want to stand up for this pussy"
I let go, all my hate for my father. All the pain of everything he did to me I took out on this one kid who thought he was god. My first punch connected with his left eye, followed quickly by my other fist hitting his lower lip. In 2 hits I had him on the ground, he was spitting blood like some whore who got beat.
"Hey Sebastian, you ok man?"
"Yeah, thanks Damien."
"Look kid, I know your not all right, I know the look in your eyes."
"Dude its no problem, really I'm fine."
"If you say so kid, but remember after you get hit in the face your fašade cracks a bit"
I could see the tears welling up in his eyes. I could see his entire fašade crumbling down. It was like a mirror to myself, to how I wish I could be around someone. He started to cry, I just went over and held him. I don't know why I did it, but I did. He cried his eyes out on my shoulder. What should have been my nap block became me being a Kleenex block.
I looked at the main clock in the quad, 5 minutes till the bell was about to ring.
"Hey kid, the masses are about to be let out of the pens, we might want to clean up a bit"
He looked at me with those big black eyes. I almost wanted to cry myself. I could see so much pain in him.
"Yeah Damien, ill go to the bathroom and clean up really quick, and ill let you chill with your `friends'"
"You come and chill with us at break, ill introduce you"
"Nah man I don't want to be a bother"
This is when I got my fatherly angry, you will do what I say tone.
"Look your chilling with me at break and that's all there is to it."
He looked at me with those puppy dog eyes again, but this time it was more of a look of happiness then despair.
"Now go wash up, 1 minute till the bell rings"
He ran over to the bathrooms and I started for the food lines.
"So Damien, who's the new kid?" Sam asked before she even set her shit down.
"The kids name is Sebastian, he's actually a pretty cool kid"
"And why may I ask is he sitting at our table?"
"Cuz I figured that we could show him the ropes of this school, make him `cool'"
Sam bought it. She would never win the award for smartest person. She expected that because she was hot that the world would bow to her. And since the high school did I didn't doubt the rest of the world would.
The rest of the crowd gathered around Sam for her new dose of gossip. This time about her beloved Nicole who apparently had sex with some black guy and is home pregnant. Sometimes I don't know where she gets this stuff in her head but I guess that's what happens, she's betraying her friend because she got with her ex. Ahh the joys of high school drama.
I motioned to Sebastian that we should start to hit it. The bell would be ringing soon and the droves would be mauling the stairwells to get to there classrooms. He had bio, I had English. He went upstairs to the biolab and I went to my English class. Finally a class without an insane teacher.
"Damien, how nice to see you today"
"And nice to see you as well Mrs. Delaney"
The high-pitched tone of the bell rang once again, signifying the beginning of the mob. The rush to the stairs to get where they needed to go. I took a simple satisfaction knowing that I was here and Sebastian was safe.
I absent-mindedly made my way though the English assignment and slept the last half of the block. Another system I had in place since the beginning of the year. Mrs. Delaney was all too happy to let me sleep; I had an A in her class and was always respectful in comparison with the ghettos in the class. Sometimes I felt like a ghost and other times I felt like the star of the play. And it always seemed I craved the opposite of what was actually happening.
Another ear shattering tone of the bell signaled the end of English. Lucky for me being a junior I had open campus privileges. Nicole and Sam were waiting at the table for me to take them to whatever fast food we would consume for the lunch block. I put up my fašade and we all just made our ways my car.
"Sam you fucking bitch, why would you talk all that shit about me."
"Nicole, someone else told me it was what happened so don't get pissed at me"
This was the monthly ritual, Sam would say something about Nicole, they would fight in my car and by the time we were back at school there best friends again.
"Well god Sam, you have my cell number if you hear something like that tell me so I can kick the bitches ass that's saying it."
"Ok Colie, ill do it from now on"
"So girls, where are we off to for the massive consumption of food?" I finally interjected.
"I guess Del Taco, im so craving their nachos."
"I'm with Sam, a burrito sounds damn good right now"
I hit the gas and we were off. When we got to Del Taco, it was crowded as usual, I left the girls to decide what they wanted and went to talk to a few of the other guys in my group.
"Nada, what up with you hommie?"
"Same, just brought the girls so they can feed, they get bitchey when they're hungry."
Joe was a kid much like me. In fact I had a crush on him for a while before I learned what a jackass he could be. His dark brown eyes and nicely tanned skin gave me chills when I would see him. Now he just looks like another guy to me. Another asshole propelling me to the top of the high school food chain, the place I wanted to be the least.
"Well dude looks like they got there food, guess ill see you around."
"Yeah man, later"
The girls sat down with there food and ate like it was there first time eating in a while (although I was sure they would be seeing the food again soon). I was left to myself, I bought a cup of coke and just chilled till my watch started beeping.
"Ok girls, alarm clock went off, time to go back to your cells"
"god Damien does everything have to be a prison joke with you?"
"yes actually, everything does, now lets motor, I cant be late for bio again"
We left and headed back to school, I ran into my bio class, finished my lab and chilled. The ear shattering bell again signaled end of block, but to the relief of everyone it also meant the end of school. I hoped in my car and left, contemplating where I would be going.
My car was silent; all that could be heard was the gentile winding of the engine and the rush of the air outside. I wasn't talking or rocking out to the music. I was like a convict going to his execution. I was cold and complacent.
Shit, my car needed gas, and I was still another mile until I was out of the tunnel. No matter, there was a station after the first exit on the freeway. I went around the last turn of the tunnel into the blinding sunlight.
I got home and immediately could smell the smoke. The fumes of tweak getting smoked. I just walked to the kitchen, got myself some food and sat down, waiting for the verbal assault I knew was to follow.
"Ahh yes here is this disgrace that I call a son," he said with a certain amount of glee in his voice.
"And there is the pile of infectious human waste that I share half my chromosomes with" I replied sarcastically.
Nancy (my stepmom) walked in, looking as exhausted as ever. "Boys, please don't start this shit today, I had a bad day at work and I don't need to hear you two fighting in my house"
My dad became red with rage, I got up from the table and stopped the hit from ever hitting Nancy.
"dad, your vandeta is against me, not her. DO NOT bring her into this, ok"
I could tell I just signed my own death warrant, so I grabbed my stuff and headed to the roof. As usual the door was open, so I just walked up the stairs to the roof. Im sure I was distorting someones stolen satellite or ghetto antennas, but I didn't care. I layed down thinking there were so many stars in the sky.
"Dad, what are you doing?" I said groggily
"Getting rid of another fucking fag, another disgrace to society"
I felt the 2x4 hit me square in the chest.I fell to the ground. Another hit to my back and another to legs.
I woke up, cold sweat running down my body. I had the dream again. This is why I couldn't sleep. That asshole sleeps so soundly after what he did but I lie tormented by the memory he gave me. This was my life, sleepless night followed by insane days.
This was my life, a never-ending saga of drama at school and drama at home. I was sick of it. I wanted it all to go away. I wanted to act like me. I wanted to be free. But I was a slave to the teenage stereotype. A slave to the MTV generation of clicks and backstabbing. I was born into the bondage of corporate greed and chronic alcoholism.
Once again lying on the roof of this apartment complex I wonder. What would happen if I were just to not wake up? Would I be remembered or forgotten instantaneously. If I were remembered would I be a saint or a sinner.
I looked at the valley laid out at my feet. It was almost sunrise. The traffic on the avenues was beginning to pick up. It was time for me to leave. Another day at school, where I would only wish to disappear.