Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Goodnight

Submitted into Contest #83 in response to: Write about someone who goes to extreme lengths to get themselves to a tropical island.... view prompt

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Fiction

My mind wasn't made the right way. It's a constant battle between reality and the thoughts inside of my head. They twist my reality like it's some contortionist at the circus.

I've sort of convinced myself that the only way I can achieve happiness is by going to Fiji. It happened when I was 13 and I watched the Truman Show. Just like how Truman thought that the girl of his dreams was in Fiji and that he had to go there to find her, I think that I have to go to Fiji to find out the truth. I don't know what I’m searching for but I know it’ll be there. You see, my brain is malleable, and the second I get some screwed up theory about the world it shifts my whole thought process. But basically I think the only way for me to see the real reality is by going to Fiji. I can't explain it with words because I get so confused and then I feel like I get sucked down a rabbit hole.

I'm 19 now, and I've saved all of my money to buy a one way ticket. It took a while because I don't exactly live lavishly. I don't have a job, my parents are God knows where, and all I have is government subsidies. I qualify for disability because I'm just so fucked in the head. I'm not a Jeffrey Dahmer type of crazy where I hurt animals and piss my bed, it's more of a subtle insanity. People only notice it once they really get to know me, so I don't do that.

I guess I'm a hermit. I always have been. I have a vivid memory from primary school where the whole class was singing and dancing and I felt like a ghost... Nobody knew I was there and I relished in that obscurity. There were times in school when people noticed me though, and I couldn't handle it. I think my first episode was in fourth grade and there was a substitute teacher. She asked me my name and I told myself that if I close my eyes hard enough she won't see me anymore. That didn't work, so I grabbed my pencil and started trying to erase myself. I rubbed so hard that I bled a bit. I was so unaware back then. I just assumed that everyone thought the same way I did.

I guess it's good that I'm aware now, but I don't really care. I don't want to think how everyone else thinks because everyone else is so mind numbingly dull. I think that's why I've never gotten 'better', because I don't have the will to. I like to think that going to Fiji will make all my problems go away, because the fact of the matter is that there isn't anything that can make me better. I am too far gone and I like it. The life everyone else seems to be living sounds hellish.

I've never understood why it was so bad that I was living in my fantasies. It doesn't hurt anybody or anything. I guess it makes it harder for me out in 'the real world' but I'm doing just fine. I go to the grocer, I do my chores, I eat three meals a day. The one issue is that I don't speak. Or maybe I can't. I can't remember if I can or not and I never try to.

When I get to Fiji I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. I spent all my money on the ticket, but the answer will come. That’s the whole point of going. Everything will be clear once I get there. I take a lot of medicines and it makes everything so foggy for me. I am a little nervous about what it’ll feel like. I want to be transparent. I’m not the religious type, but I imagine that it’s the same as having blind faith in God(s). Like I’ll look out at the ocean and the rest of my life will be sitting in front of me. 

I’m on the airplane right now, and it’s bringing back glimpses of my childhood. I mostly blocked out everything from back then. I think something really bad might’ve happened but I don’t know what, and I don’t want to know. I think it has something to do with my parents though. I haven’t seen them since primary school. I don’t even remember what they look like because in my head they don’t look human. I know they’re human because I am, but in my memory they’re morphed. Their skin is red and they have carnivorous teeth. I don’t really know what I look like either. In my head I have orange hair, and a tiny button nose, with a lot of freckles, but I don’t look in mirrors. It makes me sick. Just like how I hate when other people perceive me, I hate it when I perceive myself. 

I know that these things aren’t normal, I’m not oblivious to reality. I consciously choose to remain in my fantasies. Maybe I’m just scared of  the truth but I don’t mind that. I think the truth is soft. It changes depending on who you talk to. Nobody in the world has identical philosophies. Some people consciously choose to ignore global warming, and I consciously choose to live in my fantasies. It’s not that different because we’re both choosing what’s easier for us to live with. If Miami actually sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic then we’ll cross that bridge eventually.

I can sense that Fiji is near. My mind feels more alert. It’s like somebody is wiping the fog off my brain. I feel shiny and new. I can feel everything. Every time somebody steps, my body vibrates. Every time the plane goes through a cloud I float a little. 

My eyes are burning in a good way. I see a puzzle being built right before my eyes. It’s the puzzle of my life. It isn’t building an actual image, it’s abstract. It’s like an explosive Jackson Pollock painting. I was right. I knew Fiji was the answer.

I am looking out at the clear blue water. This is perfect. What am I supposed to do now though? I have some pretzels from the flight… I’ll eat those while I wait for the answer. I’m in a daze. It was a twenty hour flight so I understand why I’m tired. Maybe if I sleep when I wake up my head will be clear enough to see…

I know what I must do. I think I’ve always known but it just became so clear. This is the end for me. This is how it’s meant to end. My whole life, whatever it was, was just the preface. This is the beginning, middle, and end of my story. The puzzle is complete and it’s beautiful. It has splashes of bright red, black, and white. It’s all painted on top of a bright blue canvas. It’s the picture of how I must end. 

The water is warm. Each time I submerge my head I get flashbacks of being in my mother’s womb. It’s where I am meant to be. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life. I need to go far enough to be taken by the current. It will be a bit of a swim, but it’s what I must do. I want to leave this world as I lived on it… Unnoticed.

I’ve been swimming for about an hour. The sun is beginning to rise again. The sky looks exactly like my puzzle. I’m so fatigued that I could fall asleep right here. I’m going to take one last burning breath. It burns my lungs, my whole body is shaking. I’m just so tired. 

“Good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight”

February 28, 2021 21:38

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