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2: 45, October 2

           I’m going to die one day. Mom’s going to die. My friends are going to die, my teachers are going to die. Every single person I’ve ever met is going to die – even my dog is going to die! The house gets so quiet at this time. Even Jeremy’s gone to bed and Buddy’s lying at the foot of my bed. It always happens at about this time, I can’t – I can’t stop thinking that I’m going to die.

           Jesus Christ if the counselor reads that she’s probably going to put me on some kind of watch list, next I should just write about how I’ve stockpiling copies of Mein Kampf and the Anarchist Cookbook.

           The thing is I’m tired at school. I’m just tired. Why? Because how am I supposed to sleep when I know that no matter what I do I’m going to die? I’ve been staring at the ceiling for who knows how long. I’m surrounded by darkness and I know, I just know that one day sooner or later – and hell, 80ish years isn’t even that long when you think about it – I’m going to be in another kind of darkness. And in that darkness I’m not going to be able to get up and write in this stupid book. I’m not even going to be able to scream. All I’ll see is what it looks like when I close my eyes – without all the weird shapes and colors – and I’ll be all tied up and not able to move, not able to breath, just watching a blacked out TV for EVER! So yeah, it’s easier to sleep in Mrs. Rutcka’s math class. Big surprise.

           This is scaring me. That counselor lady doesn’t know what she’s talking about diaries suck.

 

5: 16pm, October 3

           I think I don’t need to worry about sleeping anymore. Last night I snuck into Dad’s old liquor cabinet. I drank a cup of something clear that tasted like chemicals, but I get why he liked it so much. I feel asleep really fast after. I wish it didn’t taste so bad though. I asked Mr. Bruner today why the Greeks and Romans drank so much wine, and he said that it was because they had lots of grapes. I’m going to try and sneak some of Mom’s wine and see if that tastes better after she and Jeremy go to bed.

4:45am

           My head feels like it wants to rip open… so I found out wine sucks. The fact that its sweet makes it even worse. Like that cotton candy flavored cough syrup crap Mom used to give me when I was a kid. Trying to make something that tastes awful sweet is its own special kind of disgusting. And I had to dig the cork out with my pocket knife – what the hell is wrong with a twist lid? Went back to the clear stuff in Dad’s cabinet. Problem was after that I couldn’t sleep cause every time I’d close my eyes my head would spin like a fucking merry-go-round. Puked and made the toilet look like a murder-scene.

           Things got worse. I went outside and forgot my coat and didn’t realize till I was a block away (I think it was a block, didn’t want Mom to find my puke in the lawn or driveway). Anyway when things got a little more stabled I was over at the school and laying on the bleachers – and I was just looking at the sky. And I felt scared. So fucking scared. Not shit your pants, oh crap Taylor’s on his way to beat my ass. I felt this fear in my bones. I don’t think there is anything scarier than the night sky. Like, there’s nothing up there. Nothing. Miles, billions – trillions! – of miles of absolutely fucking nothing.

           I don’t get it. I used to think night was pretty. Driving with Dad back to Mom’s house and seeing all the pretty lights was beautiful. But that’s stupid! All the lights in Brampton are just a drop in a bucket – ocean! – of infinite nothingness. I was just laying on the top bleacher staring into that nothingness and I felt like I was falling up into it! I rolled off and landed in the dirt. I’m not scared of the dark or any pussy shit like that – I’m fine in my house at night, but that’s nothing like this.

           Like, how the hell am I supposed to sleep with this? Nothingness is above me, and an even worse nothingness is coming! How is anyone supposed to be happy with this? I mean everyone at school might be stupid, but Mom seems fine. How is she not freaking the fuck out all the time? Dad died out of fucking nowhere, how the hell is she so sure the same thing’s not going to happen to her today? Or in the next five minutes!

           I’m almost looking forward to school now. I’m sick and tired as hell, but at least I’m not going to have to think about this for a few hours and I’ll maybe be able to even get some shut eye.

6: 00pm, October 7

           Slept like a log when as soon as I got home the other night. But I’ve noticed something since then: Every day around this time I start to get nervous. I see the sun going down, and I just get this feeling that something bad is coming. It’s stupid I know. Sun’s gone, whatever, it’ll be back tomorrow and I’ve been fine at night before thousands of times. But now, when the sky starts to turn from blue to orange, it’s just promising me that soon I be reminded every single time I look out the window that that blackness is there.

           I don’t like this. I’ve been fine for 16 years. Why am I so bothered by this now? Why couldn’t I just not think about this stuff like everyone else does until I’m 80? Am I going to be this freaked out every night forever now? Is this what I have to look forward to forever?

           Well not forever… obviously.

11:30 am October 8

           Okay so apparently reading helps people fall asleep, well I figured I’d try to face this and flip through that astronomy book I got last Christmas. Kinda like when people who hate spiders look at them to get over it? BIG MISTAKE. First thing I opened up to was the section about the Sun, and it said something like ‘out of all the stuff in our entire system, 98% of it went into the Sun, 1% into Jupiter, and the remaining made up everything else.”

           Everything else! That means that all the other planets, the asteroids, and oh no big deal EARTH, the lakes, the mountains, the fish and us! That’s how little we matter, compared to a huge ball of fire that’s going to one day eat the entire system! What’s to stop it from exploding earlier? Like today??

           Fuck that book and fuck space.

8:00pm October 8

           God-damn it, what a shit day. So drank too much of from Dad’s cabinet, and it must have been on my breath today. Now I don’t think that would have been a problem but I got in a fight, THAT was when Mrs. Wolfe noticed. Once we got home Mom went looking through Dad’s cabinet and saw one of the bottle’s was almost empty. So she did some yelling but mostly just cried – but in that way when she’s trying really hard to hold it in and she’s trying to seem more angry than sad. I already don’t like seeing her cry but watching her try to be strong and failing was even worse.

           It was a really stupid fight, and it wasn’t even my fault. Nicole was doing that thing in the cafeteria where she’s going off about Jesus and all that. I mean whatever, but I got thinking that if I believed this stuff like she did my problems would be over. I mean yeah, we’re going to die, but we get to go to Heaven, so problem solved?

Thing is God would be a pretty shit Dad if he let his kids live like this. We’re not special, we’re just smart animals. And that smartness actually makes life even worse. Dog’s are way dumber than us and they seem to have the best lives ever. Hell most of us are starving, but even if that changed we would still be fucked. Even if everyone lived like Bill Gates we’d still be fucked because we know that anything that really matters, like our friends our friends, our memories, and our dogs are all gonna fucking go. And we will never see them again. This isn’t that problem of evil they brought up in philosophy class, this is just a problem with life.

So I start talking with her about this and we’re going back and forth, and all her answers suck. Like God-damn it Nicole I know your Nanny died this summer, but it doesn’t matter! If life is really supposed to be about having a ‘relationship’ with God why does he leave the fucking phone off the hook? Like you don’t think I’ve tried talking to him? I’ve prayed but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t say anything back! And it’s not like I’m asking for money or a new phone, or Kira to go out with me, or shit like that, just something to let me know He’s there!

So we’re going at it and I tell her that her Nanny’s just worm-food by now, that even after the Sun supernova’s and eats the solar system Nicole’s never gonna see her again. Okay, so she goes off crying and then before lunch is over she sends Isaac over to deck me (I had to piss of the actual quarterback’s girl, fuck my life). So we get sent to the principal’s office and she notices that I smell like I just spent a night in the drunk tank.

I’m actually so pissed off right now I’m not even nervous about night. But Mom did make an embarrassment of herself when she poured out all of her wine and Dad’s entire liquor cabinet on the front lawn. So I’m dry. Maybe Kyle can get me some, his dad doesn’t care.

1:15am October 10

           I feel better. And I’m really, really surprised. I fell asleep pretty easily the other night just cause I was so pissed off about the whole Nicole thing, and I went up to go take a pee. I noticed light coming from the living room. I creep down the stairs and see it’s Mom watching TV. Weird, she’s usually in bed by 8 and this was after 2 in the morning. She’s crying. Not trying to hold it in this time, but just bawling her fucking eyes out. She was watching the tapes. The ones Dad made on his recorder, the ones that I’ve keep putting off watching myself.

           I never knew that it hurt her that much. I mean I knew she was sad when it happened, but she seemed to keep it all together in front of me. It never really dawned on me till then that she missed him as much as I did.

           I went back to my room. That was her moment, it didn’t seem right to watch.

           So fast forward to after dinner last night: I was washing up and she’s just sitting at the table reading. It’s been one of those uncomfortable silences since the other day. So I just asked her “Do you miss him?” And of course she did. And I asked her, well all of it. How does she seem okay all the time? She knows that the same thing is going to happen to her, and me, and Jeremy right? Of course she does, but then how does she ever smile? Like last week she made that new banana bread, she seemed really into it. But what the fuck does banana bread matter when we don’t?

           Now I never really put much stock in Mom’s intelligence – I mean she got super caught up in that whole Twilight thing for Christ’s sake – but what she said it, it made no sense but it made all the sense in the world. She said that of course Dad matters. That no matter what I say, he really is more than ‘just bones’ as I said he was. She said that just because something isn’t around anymore doesn’t mean that it is worthless. Dad gave me all these great memories, Christmas morning, birthdays, trips and watching movies together. And those aren’t gone. Not really. I mean sure I can’t touch him or talk to him anymore but – and I can’t believe she put it this way – but just because I can’t touch something as simple as a number doesn’t mean it’s not there right?

           Everything that Dad was and he did, Mom’s got all of that inside her just like I’ve got it inside of me. I mean I can’t talk to him sure, but what mattered about him and who he was I can still visit anytime I want.

           But that’s pretty weak, right? I mean I’m going to die one day. Dad will really be gone then, and so will she. How do any of us matter then? And she just says even if that’s true it doesn’t matter. Once she’s dead, she’ll either get to see Dad again or she won’t exist. And if she doesn’t exist, she won’t care – she won’t even be able to care. So why should that bother her?

           I never thought of it that way. Like, I matter. I can say that, I matter and if I think it is true then it’s true! And when I’m gone? Well, that only matters if I think it matters! It goes both ways!

           I don’t think I’ve ever talked to Mom about anything important like that before. I really didn’t know she was that smart. I hugged her and told her I was sorry about the drinking. We didn’t cry, but I don’t think I would have mind if we did. I’m glad I talked to her.

           So it’s late now, and I’ve just been on the porch looking up at the stars all night. And I’m fine. Yeah, space is big and empty but so what? It doesn’t matter. It’s not going to hurt me so long as I don’t try to actually go the space, but heck even the road outside my house is dangerous if I get smoked by a truck. And you know what? For something so big and dangerous, it sure can look beautiful.

           I’m going to bed now. I love you Dad. And if I don’t see you ever again, thank you.

           The end.

April 08, 2020 20:22

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2 comments

Noel Thomas
01:52 Apr 17, 2020

Great read! I think you did a good job transitioning and unfolding the story. I felt the emotional torrent the character was dealing with. Keep writing!

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Chris Kovaliv
03:08 Apr 17, 2020

Thank you.

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