Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about inaction.... view prompt



I’m nameless. My name is not important. When you see me, you look right through me because I do not have a face. 

I have no identity.  I am a great big lie. A phoney. I’m ashamed of who I am. More then that,  I am ashamed of who I am not. 

This great struggle for existence does not pertain to one who’s existence has no value to begin with. My existence is one great big apology. I stand behind enemy lines with only one question In my mind: Why?

Beneath this aberration there was once a child. Before he ever saw his reflection in a puddle and saw himself for the monster that he was, he was simply happy. There was no identity needed. 

Now, an identity is everything. An identity is worth more than a life. While everyone was busy getting theirs, I was nowhere to be found. 

Everyone wanted to stand for something except me. My friends have deserted me. I didn’t take a stand and so I became trampled. Today was the last straw; today I lost Paul.

Paul and I had been walking the block this morning.  

“How could you abandon me like this? How could you abandon us?”

“What do you mean?” I asked him 

“Abandon you?”

“Abandon us?”

My genuine confusion transmuted itself into excitement when it erupted through my voice. That very excitement was damning. It made me seem emotional. Paul pounced on me. 

“Look at how defensive you are. “

“Look how fragile you are.”

“Look how fucking weak you are. I can’t believe I was ever friends with someone as weak as you. You people make me fucking sick.”

“You people?” I said. I was dismayed. 

Suddenly I felt myself choking. I wanted to turn back the clocks. I didn’t want anymore of this strife. I didn’t want this thing that everyone including Paul seemed to be fighting for. 

“Paul, what the fuck are you on about, man?”

I forced a smile. I hoped to break the tension somehow. I never took things seriously enough. At least, that's what everyone else said...

“You’re not with us, you’re against us.” He said with a cold gaze. His gaze reflected his pain. It reflected the gravity and the seriousness surrounding the issue at hand. 

“Paul you look like you’re gonna murder someone. “ 

I tried to joke. That’s all I knew how to do in those situations. The tighter I felt my ass clench the more I wanted to release it. A little humour; was that so much to ask for? 

“ I just might... “ he said, his face unmoving. 

We locked eyes for a moment and his eyes narrowed and suddenly eight years of friendship seemed to shatter on the ground between us. 

I noticed his fists were clenched by his side. Paul’s left eye squinted slightly as the side of his face tensed from the grinding of his molars.  I had seen that look before.  My nerves locked me in place. I didn’t know what to do.

I laughed. 

“You just don’t get it, do you, man?” 

His face was inching closer towards mine and he was breathing heavily. 

Against every effort I made not to, I sputtered out another laugh. 

“You’re scum. “ 

Said Paul.

And he spat a thick wad that landed with a thud against my temple. 

Paul turned and walked away. The spit dropped down my face. I didn’t bother to wipe it. Maybe Paul was right. 

Maybe that spit was a gift. Maybe it signified what my life had became up to that point. Maybe it was me. Human excrement, slowly dripping down to soak into into the cement.

The world burned all around me. The screams of revolution became louder every moment. The blasts of sirens and the screeches of cars still weren’t enough to make me stir. 

As I walked the streets that night, the unwiped glob of spit now hardening into my skull, it seemed as though everything, yet nothing had changed. 

My girlfriend, my best friend, and my own sister earlier that week— everyone was done with me. Clearly having nothing to stand for meant my life, my value as a person, wasn’t worth all that much. I was disposable as the trash I kicked around with my shuffling feet. 

Still, I couldn’t care. Even if I wanted to I couldn't. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t find it In myself to care.  All the memories of Paul and I sneaking girls into my room late one summer night, or ditching school, or the times we fought over baseball. That was all stupid, and so was this. Just a bunch of kids arguing over baseball. 

Suddenly I knew what to had to do.

I started running. I took off so suddenly My left shoe went flying. I pushed through the crowds of people with a vengeance. I was a bull on steroids. 

“Hey! What the fuck! Watch yourself!” 

“Stop him! Stop him”

“Oh no! he made me drop my pizza!” 

“Fuck! My foot! That crazy lunatic stomped my foot!” 

“Get him! He’s only got one shoe!”

A revolution was a horrible time to be running through the streets. But of course, I didn’t give a fuck about the revolution or the people whose feet I had to stomp on or whose sodas I had to knock out from there hands. 

Admidst all the chaos, the burning of buildings, the teargas, the fistfights, I kept my eyes fixed on the empty black sky above. The emptiness shrouded me and encapsulated me into a world of my own. A safe place. 

And now, I knew what had to be done. I knew my purpose. I only had one mission in life and it was this moment.

I had to find Paul.

I had something to tell him.

Pushing through a crowd of people with slanted eyebrows and prickly pickled red faces, I saw Paul shouting into a megaphone standing before everyone else.  His face was redder and more sour and prickly than anyone else there. His voice was loud enough on its own, but the megaphone made it physically invasive.  I couldn’t believe that same voice through the megaphone was Paul’s. It was almost as though he had a took on a different identity. 

I didn’t know how I could possibly get his attention but I tried the first thing that came to my mind. I yelled, “Hey, Paul!”

To my amazement, it worked. 

At the sound of my voice, Paul stopped and immediately looked stupifided. He scanned through the crowd and at once his eyes fell on me like daggers. 

“Is that, is that?” 

“Yes, Paul, it’s ME!”

I said. 

The whole crowd was now turning to face me. I’d never seen so many bewildered faces at once. 

“Paul I need to tell you something...” 

Paul stared at me with eagerness, as did everyone else. 

“You’re wrong! The Pittsburgh Pirates WERE and ALWAYS WILL BE  better than The piss-stain Baltimore Orioles. GO FUCK YOURSELF!”

June 13, 2020 02:26

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