The Bends pt.8// Everything In Its Right Place


Kyle only wanted 2 things: to either stay out of the house past 8:30, or to die. There was no in between. There was no compromise. Kyle was either gonna live or he was gonna die. Except every time Kyle was forced home early, it turned out to be a bluff and he went on breathing. Not living, but breathing. It’s a shame.


Kyle had a good time with his friends the other night. They hung out for a bit and played a ridiculous video game, in which the whole world collapses around you if you simply stand in one spot for long enough (here’s some proof of that). After the 4th friend arrived, they drove to a good burger place called Fuji’s on the cusp of Huntington Beach and pathetic Midway City, full of losers and crackheads. Thankfully, no one really knows Midway City exists.

After the burgers, they drove down PCH and listened to some of The Clash, becoming the most cliche teens ever. That didn’t really bother Kyle, however; everything is a cliche, and no one is original. There’s no shame in that. It’s an unoriginal world.

Bohemian Rhapsody played, and they sang their hearts out as the windows fogged up, confirming that it really was a beautiful night. They drove back to their starting point, the house, so Kyle could get back to where his car was parked. It was about 2 hours past Kyle’s curfew. He had to go home.

It was 8:00.

He looked at his friends, for what he didn’t know, would be the last time in this plane of existence. Handshakes for friend 1 and 2, side hug for friend 3.

The drive back home was odd. The freeway was mostly full, but his car phased through all the other industrial bundles of plastic, metal, and engine trying to get back home. He flew through matter and time and reality. And suddenly, there was no road.

There was no car. Kyle swam through the dark nothing of nothing. He then realized he was deep in thought, and that’s why there was nothing around him. Kyle was thinking about the lecture he was going to receive upon returning to his house. He was thinking about what his friends were doing without him. He was thinking about all that he was missing out on, what he’s always missed out on, and what he’ll miss out on for the rest of his short time he has left.

A stairway opened up amongst the nothing, and Kyle stepped onto it, not really concerned where it would take him.

But as soon as the bottom of his right foot connected with the flat surface of the first solitary stair, Kyle knew where he was going.

His eyes opened, and he was parked in front of his house. How anticlimactic. Turning his key through the lock on the front door of my house, Kyle entered a barrage from his mother about his inability to do anything right. “Disobedient kid”, “Should never have had you”, “You were a mistake”, “You don’t deserve anything your father and I provide for you”, etc. She just wanted Kyle to be be home on time. All Kyle asked was to be able to stay out past 8 and to enjoy an hour or 2 more with people that are gonna be gone in a few months, just like all good things.

Usually, this is where Kyle goes upstairs, and sulks to some background noise. Staring at a wall, forcing himself to go to sleep so he’ll either stop breathing while his soul is with God, or, at the very least, he can temporarily escape this pitiful sitcom reality he inhabits. Pitiful, but nonetheless hilarious.

This isn’t a usual situation, however.

Kyle sprints out of his house, and starts his car. He flies out of his neighborhood, and he’s never coming back. He’s going where he’s been fantasizing about for months now. He hears his mother’s yell through the shroud of night, which is usually one of disdain or authority. But now it’s one of desperation, regret, and the knowledge that she has well and truly mucked it up. Kyle’s not going to turn around now though. Her chance was that Oreo that you try to dip into the milk but it falls to the bottom of the cup; gone, forever.

At 100 MPH, Kyle’s 1985 300D Mercedes is quite literally falling apart at the seams. Where he was going, it’d have to float a bit better.

120 MPH now, on his way to the pier. Kyle takes Magnolia, because some of his closest friends live on Magnolia. There are no obstructions, just like on his way home. He’s passing through existence itself, which knows that it is about to lose its least prized possession.

Kyle is going to die. Kyle has The Bends. 

His car smashes through the concrete barriers that guard the pier, and now he’s racing against time itself on the damp wood of the Huntington Beach pier. 100 meters from the edge now.

50 meters.

25 meters.

10 meters.

5 meters.

And now, flying through the air. Kyle was finally free. In fact, his car wasn’t even there anymore. He was in the air, alone, as usual. He’s never had a smile on his face like the one etched upon it now. The Bends is in full force. 

But as soon as he hit the water, which was supposed to flood his lungs, he found himself somewhere else, and he certainly wasn’t drowning like he had always dreamed about.

He was in the backseat of his friend’s car, as he was earlier. Bohemian Rhapsody is on. The same wonderful moment, but this time instead of worrying about getting home, Kyle is looking around at his surroundings.

To his left is friend 3. Her blazing sun-colored hair was a sharp contrast to the encompassing darkness in the backseat and served as a beacon of hope to all of society. And there she was, sitting a foot from Kyle. A strand of golden hair hung on both sides, making the standard ponytail something entirely new. The moment culminated in his window smashing and its million little glass pieces lodging themselves into his eyes and his throat. He wasn’t dead, like he was hoping to be, but he was taken somewhere else.

Confused, Kyle finds himself at a place and time he couldn’t forget. Running as fast as they could, Kyle and his friend sprinted down the Newport Beach pier. The salty wind stung his eyes, prompting the most joyous tears he’s ever let drain from the windows to his soul.They came to Newport for donuts, but what they got was some dumb teenager stuff, which was probably less sugary, but equally intoxicating. Still sprinting down the pier, Kyle tripped and fell on my face, cracking his nose into 5 sections. Since the reality he now inhabited was clearly superimposed time, he didn’t feel physical pain. He brought himself to his feet, and a new destination surrounded him.

This happened for what seemed like forever, but Kyle would actually end up only spending 15 earth minutes trapped inside the good times. All of these were moments of the past. Finally, it all went black. But he still didn’t feel the sweet sensation of water clogging his lungs. He thought that this would be the end; he’d finally be able to drown in peace. But apparently he still had one more stop.

Kyle found himself in a graveyard. He was standing over a hole in the ground, with a fresh mound of dirt right next to it. 4 faceless people are trudging over with the casket. This is an open casket funeral. And as cliche would have it, the casket contains Kyle’s lifeless body. Finally at peace with himself, arms crossed over each other.

Whenever Kyle got really sad, he always thought of how no one was going to come to his funeral. It turns out the 4 faceless people were simply construction workers who had dug the hole. There really wasn’t anyone at Kyle’s funeral.  Only himself, pathetically watching as 4 faceless men dropped him into his final resting place. The dirt was shovelled back in, the men left, and Kyle was alone at his grave.

Kyle looked down at himself, and he saw that he was becoming nothing. His flesh was becoming sand and he was blowing away into the wind. He began to realize, that this whole process was him dying. His bones began to crumble, and tears flowed endlessly from his fading tear ducts. Death wasn’t what he expected. He thought he would get to feel the sweet release that came with it. But that was a facade, after all. Death was the reliving of your best moments, and then eternal slumber.

And in that moment Kyle wanted life back. He wanted to slam the brakes on my car before he flew into the night time sea. He wanted to sit in the back seat with friend 3. He was OK with coming home by 8, with a curfew of 6 usually. He wanted it all back.

But it was too late now. Kyle made a decision to take his own life, and he couldn’t go back on it. The good times are nothing now, and no one will remember Kyle. Burgers and foggy windows be damned.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.




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