I simply fail to comprehend nearly everything happens to me, good or bad. Everything is baffling. There is some good, believe me. But it is all baffling. I have no way to express this besides simply stating it: I just do not understand anything anymore. I am unable to read anyone’s true feelings or intentions, which seemingly waver day to day. Others that I deserve equal treatment to are treates far better. It’s like a puzzle with only corner pieces. Peoole are not naturally like this, so it must be in my head. I must be the crazy one. I am a divisive figure and people certainly have their minds made up about me. So why am I unable to tell? What’s happening to me? I am gracious that you are still reading my thoughts transcribed.
I used to have such a good grip on people. I used to be charismatic. Now I’m just loud. Nothing I do or say is significant to myself.
Without meaning to sound dramatic (an ironic phrase, as it heightens the drama), I drift through the void. I have flesh you can touch and feel. I have eyes you can look into. I have feet that facilitate my movement.
But I am not here.
Note: This is the last edition of The Bends. I have no reason to continue writing them. If you’ve enjoyed this series, thank you.
This story is based entirely in reality. The subject will almost certainly be dead within a year.
You all know exactly who this one is about. Don’t be sorry. Keep your pity to yourself. He doesn’t want it.
The pizza is falling apart in His hands. It never does this. Usually, the cheese simmers perfectly on top of the crust and the sauce is perfectly spread, crimson red like a crushed squirrel’s brain matter. This time, however, the idiot 17 year old behind the counter with filthy hair and a massive inferiority complex overcooked the 2 slices of pizza (with chunks of chicken sprinkled on it). The cheese overlapped between the 2 slices, so when 1 slice was lifted, it took all the dairy goo off of the other.
He ate here once a week. There was no other pizza in the world. Him and his buds would drive down Magnolia, make a left right before Garfield, and have a delicious slice. Or two. There is no clock in Luparello’s, because there is no time at Luparello’s. Luparello’s is for pizza only, nothing more and certainly nothing less.
He had to resort to a fork to eat the pizza, which is the most degrading thing he’d ever put himself through. It didn’t taste the same. Nothing really did anymore. He always put garlic powder and Parmesan all over the pizza, with a side of bleu cheese, as some sort of stupid metaphor for the facade that masks His entire existence. What a loser.
Luparello’s has never been so empty. Usually He’s joined by a few friends that are gonna forget about His existence in a few months. But this time, it’s just Him and the war veteran that’s here every day, drinking away the horrors of suffering through 2 of his government’s mistakes. His friends, dead by Japanese and Korean bullets, die everyday in this pizza shop. They cry for help as the Imperial soldiers tear into their throats with their bare teeth, willing to do anything to defend an emperor that doesn’t even know of their existence. An emperor that’s ready to give up the war effort. A war effort that will end in the vaporization of thousands. All this pain has been in vain.
He continues on His pizza. All that’s left now is the crust and sauce, since the cheese and chicken fell off. The pizza is useless now, but He persists. The sauce sits impatiently on the bread, awaiting its inevitable consumption. The sauce exists only to be digested by the stomach acid of the hungry human. There is no other reason for it to be on the bread. But consumption never arrives. Realizing it won’t fulfill it’s prophecy, the sauce begins to shriek. It simmers and bubbles, freaking out now that it has no purpose. It’s supposed consumer, feels similarly useless. Lulled into a state of disinterest, he falls face first into the pizza.
The stench of disheartening delirium wakes him. The image of a worn down department store, peeling and tearing and curling at the seams blinks into focus. The shelves have nothing on them, but they are certainly not empty. The employees shuffle around, their feet stuck to the floor like magnets that have been on your refrigerator since you moved in. They’re all part time, as the only full time slaves here are the desperate teenagers who hang from nooses tied to the ceiling claiming they’re much smarter for shopping at a thrift store, when in reality they end up spending much more money due to the quantity of “low-cost” apparel they’re buying. These idiot teenagers, many of whom have “down with capitalism” stickers on their binders, and go to communist rallies in an ironically non-ironic fashion, are unintentionally ironically feeding the capitalist machine.
He mills through clothing racks and ducks under the outstretched arms of savers’ zombies, trying to get to the exit. But He keeps stumbling and falling over broken guitar hero guitars into piles of special edition N’sync Christmas CDs. The automatic doors are getting farther and farther away, and His legs are getting heavier. Out of breath, He settles on an Algerian ottoman and looks around Him. The plush surface swallows Him whole, and He’s floating down the Liffey. He’s not in Savers anymore. And the ottoman under Him becomes a school chair and desk in the back corner of class.
It’s the perfect view of Her. She has no name, because She’s different every year. She’s a revolving door, and He’s the idiot in every Adam Sandler movie that gets stuck trying to get into the hotel, and there’s a fart joke in there somewhere. He believes himself to be this enlightened human being surrounded by idiot kids who fall in love with anything that has two legs and a beating heart. He’s renounced love, and believes that He’ll never love anyone in high school because everyone graduates and forgets. Everyone leaves school and pushes 4 horrid years of awkward conversation and bad relationships right out of their memory. That’s what He thinks at least. However, none of this “profound” thought adds up to the fact that He can’t stop looking at Her. He can’t stop thinking of sitting in a park with Her, throwing bread at ducks with Her. Every one of these Girls has come and gone with nothing special about them. He just loses interest, and tells himself there’s no point to this stuff at this stage of His life.
And She wasn’t any different. Except Her eyes were bright as the stars that shine. Hair filling the void, like midnight. And He loves Her. His heart swelled for Her. His veins and arteries switched places when He saw Her. The mortar holding the stones in His face melted a bit. The tank of water He constantly submerged Himself in burst. The water soaked His new shoes, but He didn’t care. She wore t-shirts of bands She’s never listened to.
She’s the airbag that saved his life.
He never talks about Her, because She’s a secret. Only his closest friend knows, and he would never cross Him.
Obviously, he would cross Him. And he totally did. Oblivious to Him, His best friend was flirting with Her and wooing Her behind His back. And when they started hanging out on the weekends and making long phone calls to each other, He just cried. He sat in the back of his friend’s broken Audi and cried. His tears flowed, like the nectar of Zeus, down his face and onto the shirt he bought at a thrift shop that was actually a women’s shirt. The shirt was soaked in tears, so He tossed it out the window onto the unforgiving highway roads. The shirt is torn to shreds by the rubber of a passing car. Good riddance. The tears aren’t worth a damn anyway.
He trusted His best friend with His most carefully guarded secret, and he let Him down. He really got screwed over this time.
But don’t you DARE feel bad for Him. He doesn’t deserve your sympathy, He doesn’t want your pity. He wants Her, and He can’t have Her and “love” is a stupid concept created by stupid people and acted upon by stupid people and perpetuated by stupid people. To Him, in these moments, love is nothing and it’ll never be anything ever again. And that’s why you shouldn’t feel bad for Him. He says stupid things and holds unintelligent beliefs because a Girl got away from him.
Through eyes glazed with tears He gazes upon their interlocking hands, young romance In Bloom. He’s not the victim here, and he’s not the villain. She’s not at fault either. It’ll happen another 1000 times. Another 1000 years, another 1000 hapless love stories like this.
The moral of this story isn’t to make you feel sad, or to make you sympathize. He doesn’t want your sympathy. The moral of this story is see life through the eyes of someone who’s struggling. And then move on. It’s just another sad story.
The desk that’s been confining Him, forcing Him to tell a painful story and watch the nasty scene unfold, finally melts away.
He sits at His laptop and taps away, writing useless, over the top stories that people skim through and drop a compliment. No one means anything they say. No one cares. His art is dead. He taps at a blazing speed, writing every detail, concrete and abstract, that comes to His mind. Every shred of vivid description His hamster brain can muster. He types and types and types. It takes his mind of things, while simultaneously running those things non stop through his head. This is his paradise. Everyone’s paradise is different. To some, paradise is in the gem-like eyes of someone else. Falling off of a tall building. Jumping into oncoming traffic. Going nowhere at 1000 feet per second. Never stopping to breathe the air. Paradise.
He has The Bends.
And His Bends, His peak, His highest place in life before the fall from grace, is pathetic. His Bends is wallowing in a hate for Himself that runs deeper than any conceivable human emotion. The disdain He feels for Himself is so fiery that other interpret it as out-going and annoying. The Bends is in full force.
He doesn’t expect a fall from grace as is necessary with The Bends. His success is misery. How can He fall from his lowest point?
The Devil considered the same thing.
So he grabbed a shovel.
And The Devil dug into the surface of such a shallow human being. The Devil plunged the shovel into His being, and the evil flowed through Him.
He stops writing. He smashes His laptop into the bedside wall. He regrets writing about love, because it’s a cliche topic and He doesn’t quite understand love yet. He only regrets love. He never writes again.
His tea is cold. The chains are shackled. He stares out the window.