Dreams are a curse
I had a dream one time.
A dream that felt so real.
I was a hero in this dream.
I saved people,
I helped them.
I made them laugh.
It had felt so real for so long.
That deep down,
I knew that even though I was growing up in a shadow,
Where I would never make any difference,
That I would one day rise up,
And change the world itself.
Suffered through many days of seeing no light.
Yet I felt it!
I was gonna be someone.
I would finally be important.
A few years passed,
And I was still no one.
I was working so hard-
But it never happened.
So it started to rot.
My mind started to rot.
I started wishing for something bad.
There was no one to save.
The streets were quiet.
What's a life without noise?
There was no reason for saving.
So I wished for something bad.
Something that would hurt people,
So I could save them.
I had become the person I told myself I would never be.
I looked at myself and asked
“Am I the bad guy?”
We live in a society so perfect.
I would kill for just a little chaos.
A little change in my boring life.
Maybe wishing was not how to do it.
I wanted to be something great,
And no matter how hard I worked,
I never saw it.
Holding to a day I never got to see.
Wishes do not exist.
They are fake.
I never had a dream,
That came true.
All it did was turn me into something I had promised myself I would never be.
Dreams are a curse.
I was a ravenous baby, and my appetite killed my brother.
When he and I came into this world, no one gave him a name. He didn’t have a body. My brother was born as a head fused to the top of my own. He had eyes and a nose that looked like mine, but he couldn’t see or breathe. The doctors told my parents to think of him as a ‘growth’ to be removed (never mind he had hair that looked like my father’s). He was a parasite they’d happily rid me of.
While in utero, my brother and I shared a single placenta. I ate and ate, while his body parts withered away to nothingness. He latched on to me in his last attempt to survive the damage my hunger caused, but it was no use. Parasitic twins are rare – only 10% of all conjoined twins are this kind – and there’s never been a case where both survive after birth. As far as the world was concerned, my brother was just another data point in a collection of morbid statistics. But to me, he was more important than any data could ever show. He was part of me, a constant reminder of how rotten I’d been from the very beginning.
When I was a child, I not only dreamt of him; I saw his ghost. So, one day, I asked my mother about the boy who looked just like me, the one who rested his head atop mine as I slept. She said, “Enzo, you were a dreadful little piggy in mommy’s belly. Before you were born, you gobbled up your brother so you could have me all to yourself,” and then she went back to dusting the coffee table.
I often thought back to this time, when she’d revealed what I’d done. I’d wonder what kind of mother would say such a thing to her child, though I already knew the answer. It was the kind of mother who would buy you new clothes for Christmas that were two sizes too small and say, “I guess Santa wants you to lose weight too.” It was the kind of mother who, when you fell off your bike and needed stitches, acted surprised that your “natural cushioning” didn’t protect you. And it was the kind of mother who, when she looked upon the scar on my face, was haunted by the same phantom child as me.
As I grew older, his visits became less frequent until they finally stopped altogether. I called for him in the darkness, “Brother!” but no one came. And from then on, I not only felt a deep ache of loss for him – my literal other half – but also an overwhelming guilt knowing that it was me who’d made him disappear in the first place. I tried to fill the emptiness inside me with food, and yes, I see the obvious irony in this, but over time I learned it was no good to fight my nature; the hunger was in my DNA.
Over the years, as I expanded in size, so too did people’s cruelty. In elementary school, the taunting was tame – just the occasional oinking in gym class and kids being scared to play Red Rover with me. “He’ll break your arms!” they’d shout. But when puberty struck in middle school, things took a turn. Changing in gym class provided quite the forum for my classmates to explore their newfound sense of toxic masculinity:
“Looks like Enzo’s got bigger boobs than your mom’s!”
“Did you forget your sports bra, fatty?!”
“I bet he can’t see his dick in the shower!”
After about a month of this, I took to changing in the toilet stall for the rest of eighth grade and decided to continue the trend in high school rather than take any more chances. Unfortunately – though wholly unsurprising – the ridicule continued even when I wasn’t standing before my classmates in my underwear. Some of it was subtle, of course, girls recoiling if any part of my body accidentally grazed theirs on the bus or being picked last for nearly every group project because being fat surely guaranteed I was stupid too.
But then there were the truly standout moments. Like the time my mother forced me to go on the senior camping trip where one of the planned activities was river tubing. They didn’t have one big enough for me, so I was sent out on my very own whitewater raft and fit with a life vest that, when I wore it, looked more like a bright orange necklace than a floatation device. And that wasn’t even the highlight of that year. Later, as a joke, my class voted me prom king. The tradition was to throw flowers and teddy bears donning the school colors at the winner, but instead, my classmates pelted me with donuts that covered my thrifted Big and Tall tuxedo in white powdered sugar.
“Look! A yeti!” Someone yelled.
“Are you gonna try to eat your outfit?!” (Another comedic gem, I know.)
The thing is, I wouldn’t have even been there to receive this “honor” had my mother not once again mandated my attendance. All she ever wanted me to do was to “pretend to be normal.”
So, when I entered the so-called “real world,” surrounded by supposed adults, I tried my hand at normal yet again. I secured a meaningless paper-pushing job, but the treatment of me as less than human continued. The boys from the locker room were the same bullies; the only thing that changed was they now occasionally wore suits and controlled my salary. Each day after work, I’d come home and lay on the floor, letting the immeasurable loneliness and seemingly unending misery sink into my bones, and then I’d wake up and do it all again the next day. Whenever I thought about throwing in the towel on existence, I’d look in the mirror and remember that this is the life I deserved.
By the time I entered my 30s, I worked from home and was fully resigned to living my remaining days alone. In my solitude, I tried to keep busy and numb with various food fixations, the last of which would be the macaroon. Those delicate cookies fascinated me, how they melted in my mouth like bitesize clouds made of sugar. How they weighed so little yet had such a powerful flavor that lingered on my tongue long after they’d been swallowed. I’d taken to ordering varieties from all over the world online nearly every day, all the while wondering when they’d no longer satisfy the hole in my gut like all the rest.
You see, before macaroons, I’d done a stint with pizza, but quickly exhausted all the delivery options and topping combinations. There were also the days of simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but the preparation quickly became much too labor intensive. My depression had a way of making the simplest tasks seem too much to bear, and as a result, I moved less and ate more. This, of course, made me even more depressed and more fat, and the cycle continued like that for years.
My only other real compulsion was daily Googling of my body mass index. I guess I hoped that someday I’d find a shred of evidence that someone out there might consider me normal, and my mother would be proud. Unfortunately, every day and without fail, each chart and virtual doctor and calculator agreed that a 5-foot 10-inch man should not weigh 453 pounds. So, the irony of my sad existence continued, as I spent many of those last days dribbling macaroon crumbs onto my keyboard while confirming over and over that I am, indeed, obese.
One morning, I began my usual routine, unaware of what was to come. After waking, I ate my first macaroon – stashed away in the drawer of my bedside table – for a pre-breakfast snack. I then spent some time struggling to sit up in bed of my own volition before eventually making my way to the door. Luckily, living in a motel meant I didn’t have far to walk.
I poked my head through the doorway to check that no one could bear witness before scooping up yet another delivery. The latest package of macaroons came from Scotland, and though I’d tried all sorts at this point, I somehow hadn’t had these yet. As such, I decided this called for a beverage worthy of the occasion, so I reached for the Scotch whiskey I kept in the cabinet above the minifridge. In the process, I tweaked a muscle in my back, but it was no bother. Every ache and pain were just a new punishment I was worthy of.
To make it a proper breakfast, I added the scotch to some day-old coffee and easily finished the mug in two swigs. I then ate my new macaroons while nestled in the grooves of the well-worn loveseat where I spent most hours of my day. Occasionally, I’d get up to relieve myself or answer the door for an afternoon delivery, but other than that, I conducted all my business from those cushions.
On this day, as was custom, I started by flipping open my laptop and researching for any new developments on the most accurate ways to measure your BMI. After a few hours of coming up empty, I moved on to check the E-Bay items I’d listed to make rent and keep up my macaroon habit. Most were vintage Star Wars figurines that I’d had no choice but to part with if I wanted to keep living at the motel. Though, of course, I would never part with Jabba the Hutt, as he and I had a kinship, what with his voracious appetite and general slug-like appearance, but most of all, he was a good reminder of the monster in me.
Around noon, I flipped on the TV for some background noise. Admittedly, my habit of doing this had to do with a deeply buried desire to feel connected to humanity, even though it had so firmly rejected me. And this wanting always inevitably brought me more feelings of shame – after all, why would I want to feel like I belonged in a place that had never once welcomed me?
I ate another macaroon.
As the news droned on – garbled noise filling the space around the glow of my computer screen – one story caught my attention. The anchor mentioned the NASA space mission, and as you can imagine, space travel naturally piques the interest of a man who spends a significant amount of time comparing himself to an intergalactic beast.
In 2018, NASA finally got the funding they needed from Congress to send a team of astronauts to explore Mars. They had two years to get there, two years to explore and two years to return. On this day, they finally came home.
News Anchor: “After a six-year journey, the astronauts of the Moros 21 mission to Mars have returned safely to Earth, but their work is far from finished. Over the coming months, specially trained astrobiologists and chemists will examine hundreds of artifacts, including rocks, sediment and, most notably, liquid water samples found deep within canyons located beneath the planet’s surface.”
Scientist: “The presence of water on Mars is an exciting finding, as it supports the idea that microbial life can and may still exist on the planet. The current surface environment on Mars is dry and subfreezing, so we once thought that living organisms stood little chance of survival. But we’ve now learned that an entire subsurface biosphere exists that could support a wide array of life.”
News Anchor: “And there you have it. Perhaps our old pal E.T. was phoning home to Mars! Channel 6 news will continue to follow this story as it develops.”
Typical, I thought. The local news station ruins a compelling and important story with a completely nonsensical Spielberg reference. Not to mention, E.T. is one of the most depressing Hollywood blockbusters ever made. Never mind the alien being persecuted by evil government scientists; Elliot’s should be the one we focus on. He loses his father, has a brother who torments him and is stuck, isolated in suburbia with a bunch of other broken, lonely people. In the end, even E.T. leaves him.
I switched the TV off and remembered the time I’d watched that movie with my mother when I was a teenager. It was right after my father decided that he had a more promising future with a 22-year-old beautician than with his cancer-ridden wife that we sat down to watch it together for the first time. She’d warmed to me some since the sickness took hold and said that it would “help take our minds off things”, but when I watched, it did the opposite. All I wanted to know was how Elliot and I were going to go on with our lives alone.
When she died, it seemed so cruel because I’d just recently seen signs, however small, that she was beginning to see me as her human son. During her last days, she asked me to take care of her favorite spider plant. She’d often tap me on the knee when she saw something on the news she’d found interesting. She’d even let me help her with her slippers each night before bed. And as I sat in front of her casket at the funeral, I couldn’t help but feel that I was simply born into this world with pain woven into my every atom. This pain was only ever destined to grow, and my body needed to grow with it to shoulder the load.
Over the course of the next week, nothing else out of the ordinary happened. On Wednesday, I gave in to my own stench and decided to wash myself. This only usually happens once a week, since for one, I never have any visitors, and for two, it requires a lot of movement. I’d outgrown the small shower stall in my room several months back, so I just sat on a towel on the bathroom floor and rubbed myself as clean as possible with a wet washcloth and soap. The process was grueling, with scrubbing in between the creases of my raw and irritated skin folds being the worst of it. At that point, I’d wretched and cried at the sorry state of my flesh so many times I’d lost count.
It wasn’t until the following Monday, when I flipped on the news at noon again, that I realized things were about to change for me. For everyone, really. I was a bit more attuned to the TV than was usual, since I had been awaiting more space-related stories, and that day, the update on the NASA mission turned out to be their headlining piece. Unfortunately for me, that’s the story they consistently tease before commercials, but leave until the last 10 minutes of the broadcast.
News Anchor: “An isolated incident, or the beginning of something much more dangerous? We’ll tell you more about NASA’s out of this world findings after the break.”
“Will NASA be blamed for the next national pandemic? Find out more on this story when we return.”
“Still to come, one expert tells us a real alien invasion is here. We’ll tell you what he means, coming up.”
I resisted the urge to throw something at the screen and instead settled for yelling profanities the entire length of each commercial break until, finally, they cut to the chase: NASA’s scientists were right. There is life on Mars, and they’d also just happened to bring it back with them.
Now, we weren’t talking about little green men popping out from some unmanned place in the space shuttle. This was something much less flashy, but also much more insidious. It turns out the water samples the crew brought back from Mars contained a never-before-seen parasitic organism that was only visible with the use of high-powered microscope.
The nation’s top astrochemists, biologists and geneticists were simultaneously amazed by and petrified of it. And though they worked feverishly to try to figure out even the most basic of its functions, they were too late in discovering that something in the Earth’s atmosphere was like super-fertilizer to this thing, feeding it exactly what it needed to grow with unimaginable speed. And what’s more is that no one could figure out how to contain or neutralize the spread once it started.
That’s when the world very quickly learned just what a parasite could do.
It was pegged as the next bubonic plague, even though anyone with a basic understanding of science and history could see it was easily much worse. The whole thing seemed to spiral into a worldwide crisis with such speed that it almost made me too queasy to eat (almost). It started with one of the scientists who studied it. Her first symptom resembled frostbite on the tips of her toes. And then, within 72 hours, she was dead. The invisible invader fed on everything – flesh, organs, you name it – in such a way that it caused necrosis, making your appendages turn black before they crumbled off completely. If the plague was the black death, then surely this was a black hole, sucking human flesh into its orbit and spitting out nothing but star dust.
Over the next several weeks, CDC officials urged a self-quarantine, telling everyone to stay indoors as much as possible to reduce contact risk. To me, that seemed about as good of an idea as hiding under your desk in a nuclear bomb attack, but I complied for the next month and half since I rarely left my house anyway. Every morning I woke, I was surprised to find myself still breathing. My only real problem, as I saw it, was not being able to go outside to get my deliveries. And near the end, on a cool day in October, I ran out of macaroons.
I’d finished the last macaroon I had in my room by noon, but it was almost midnight before I started to make a move. 12 hours might not seem like a long time for most people, but the gnawing in my stomach and the knowing that new boxes of macaroons lay so close – just outside the door – made it seem an eternity. When I couldn’t bear it any longer, I stood up and managed two wobbly steps before fear paralyzed me. I collapsed onto the floor and tucked my knees to my chest. I then wrapped my arms around them and buried my head, slowly rocking back and forth. Every once and a while, I peaked through the crack between my arms. I could see the doorknob there, shimmering in the lamplight, and it teased me.
My thoughts spiraled as I attempted to calculate the risks and rewards of retrieving the macaroons that lay on my doorstep, but eventually, I convinced myself that I would, indeed, need to eat them. It was either definitely die of starvation or maybe die by alien space bug. It seemed obvious I should choose the bug.
I crawled across the carpet to the door and used the knob to help pull myself up. The door groaned in response, and for a moment I feared it would snap off its hinges. Luckily it stood firm and allowed me to get upright at last. I unlocked the dead bolt and turned back around. Then, to avoid having to bend my knees again so soon – they crunched and popped like Rice Krispies in a bowl of milk – I pushed my back against the door and let myself slowly slide to the ground, digging my heels into the carpet and letting my legs spread straight out in front of me. Above my head, I reached backwards to turn the knob and then scooted forward so I could open the door just wide enough to reach my hand outside. Quickly, I groped for the edges of the packages I knew would be waiting there for me.
There were four in total. Dominican. Spanish. French. Scottish. Chocolate. Vanilla. Pistachio. Raspberry. All the best kinds. This helped me summon the strength to stand up and make my way back to the loveseat for a final time. I opened the boxes and piled a few plates with each variety so that the coffee table was covered in small rainbow mountains. What would it have been like to visit the places where these pastries were made? I’d never know, but as I settled into the familiar dent of the loveseat, I let myself imagine it for just a little while.
I didn’t get up for two days. I ate and I ate. I used empty soda bottles to relieve myself and luckily did not feel the urge to move my bowels. I couldn’t conjure the will to do anything else, nor did I really see the point. It wasn’t until the third day that I’d be forced to move.
I’d been laying with my eyes closed, picturing myself adrift in space. I’d done this many times before, especially late at night when the loneliness most often threatened to swallow me whole. I floated by the moon. I watched as comets whizzed by with bright burning tails in the distance. I reveled in my weightlessness. And then, I saw something new in my mind’s eye. It was him, sitting cross-legged and comfortable atop a satellite whose flashing red light seemed to shout, “warning!”
He raised his slender arm and waved, and then pointed at his moving hand. Confused, I raised my own in greeting, but he just kept slowly pointing, his arm buoyant in zero gravity. Eventually, I realized where he wanted to me to look, and I glanced up at my own waving hand to discover that it had simply disappeared. I moved it in front of my face, and though I could still feel it there, attached to my wrist, I saw nothing but the infinite space behind it. I looked back to my brother for an explanation, but like my hand, he’d vanished too.
I opened my eyes, and the popcorn ceiling of my motel room came back into focus. My fingertips ached. The pain, first just a faint pulse, soon transformed into a tingling that spread from my fingers to the rest of my hand. It was sort of like the feeling you get when a body part falls asleep, only it was angrier and more persistent. It buzzed like a nest of bees underneath my skin, swarming so fast it created a heat that burned from the inside out.
And that’s when I noticed a small, fuzzy black spot on the nail bed of my index finger.
Sweaty and shaking, I sat up and delicately tapped it with the middle finger of my other hand, half-expecting this to trigger a slimy, fanged creature to emerge from my pores and bite it off, but nothing happened. I squinted at it for several minutes, twisting my hand this way and that in the light, not really knowing what I was looking for, until my other hand began to tingle, and my nerves took hold. I began furiously scratching and picking at the black spot until, with some blood and puss, it fell away, looking as innocuous as a scab. But my success was short-lived. Within minutes, the rest of my fingernail turned black like the spot and fell off too.
At the sight of this, my heart did summersaults. All the sound in the room suddenly became dull and distorted, as if I’d plunged my head underwater. And then the darkness began to creep in. At first, I thought I might be going blind, not realizing that this is simply what happens you’re about to faint. But somehow, I managed to stay conscious. Instead of passing out, I gingerly laid myself back down on the loveseat and just laughed. I laughed for what seemed like an hour because I’d realized that while this was certainly terrifying, it was also exciting – exhilarating even. I couldn’t remember a time when I’d felt anything other than emptiness, grief or self-loathing. Like the rushing water of an opened dam, these new feelings filled all the spaces inside me.
As the adrenaline danced gleefully through my veins over the next day, it kept the pain quelled just enough so I could stay awake for the show of it all. I intently watched, both in horror and in awe, as the tips of each of my fingers turned black and crumbled away before my eyes, devoured by the insatiable parasite. As each minute passed, the pain grew exponentially, but still I delighted in being consumed.
Eventually, the parasite ate its way toward my elbows, gnawing into the flesh between my thighs and the skin across my chest. It was a searing, white hot agony that caught the breath in my throat and brought tears to my eyes.
It was wonderful. It was terrible. It was pure poetry. I could not have imagined a more perfect punishment to bring my salvation. And on the third day, as the blackness wrapped itself around my neck, I closed my eyes and smiled.
Finally, I felt full.
Be a good Human
I’m so sick of saying hello to people.
I’m so sick of people worrying about me...
I’m so sick of hearing the words “Think positive”
I’m so sick of the looks they give me.
I’m so sick of people feeling like they need to look after me like there’s something wrong with my head...
I’m just hurt.
And I’m at the point where I want to break something.
Just flee from this monster within me...
Not from myself-
But stop looking at me.
I will hurt you.
I’m at that moment now.
I want to break something beautiful.
I want to break anything that smiles at me!
Anything that still has their ability to laugh....
Anything that still feels!
I want to break everyone who survived the pain I’m witnessing.
Another villain will be born today.
IF I WANTED TO,
I COULD DESTROY EVERYTHING WITH MY ANGER!
Unfortunately, I was raised to be a good girl...
I cannot do anything like that...
I cannot hurt anyone because I’m hurting myself.
I cannot take what they all rightfully earned.
I cannot break something, for I will have to clean up the mess.
I have to be a good human.
So I’ll just cry instead.
All This Coming From An Atheist. Take All the Time You Need to Think About That.
You can’t be a Christian and hate gay people.
You can’t be a Christian and hate people with a different skin color.
You can’t be a Christian and hate people for living differently than you.
You can’t be a Christian and hate people.
That’s not Christianity.
#atheist #atheism #Christianity #religion #ChristianRightisChristianWrong
I’m not good for me, I’m good for you.
I think I’m gonna change my Username.
I was Biohazard, but that doesn’t fit with what I post anymore.
Now, promise me not to laugh.
I think I should name myself “toebeans” assuming it’s not already taken.
You see that and the first thought that comes to my head is “oh he’s such a doggy boi”
And it’s also a lot less self-depracating.
If you lose whatever respect you had for me, whatever, I’m sure I’ll live.
I’m gonna sleep on it, but I think I’m gonna go for it. Just letting you know I might.
You’re in Love for the first time.
I'm gonna write about what it is like in love in a long distance relationship because I've been in one and I kinda guess I'm in one now???
Constantly checking the phone. I can't describe to you how it feels having the shit scared out of you during practice. I keep my phone on silent or vibrate, but usually silent. I look at discord. Instagram. Anything. Any sign of contact. None? Okay, fine. I'll check in five seconds. Constant practice. Practice makes permanent. Not perfect. I have to perfect. Perfection makes a good impression. I need to make this work or I can't live.
One word replies suck ass but paragraph texts are ass.
Send a two sentence response.
did i disappoint them?
did i make it too long?
did i make it too short?
Oh thank fuck.
My heart drops. I haven't told them good morning.
Ooh, I got first text!
OOH THEY REPLIED!!!
Yummy, food. I wish you were here to share it.
I wish I could give you a hug.
I wish I could-
I need to get my shit together.
Do they understand how I want this text to come across?
(Significant other is typing ... )
oh no did I fuck up?
(Significant other is typing ... )
("That's good to hear!")
Did the joke land?
Oh thank god.
My heart drops.
I feel like I'm going to throw up.
:( oh no
Have a good day.
Make sure you eat."
Make sure y'all sleep well and/or have a good day!
A beautiful lie
Flash will be permanently enabled for google. Coolmathgames forever.
Elder Scrolls 6 will come out soon.
I care about everything you have to say. (Directed to Marching Band.)
Okay, this isn't a lie, but season 9 of Letterkenny comes out on the 25th and I'm so stoked.