My family decided to move to another city when I was having real hard teenage years. I turned seventeen and things got very weird. I never cared about my age. Never wanted to grow up when I was kid, and as a grownup I don’t really want to be a kid. The life seemed interesting on every other level. So I just lived. I think I’m normal. I don’t have a lot of friends, just a couple, and they aren’t the best.
I didn’t really knew the reason of why we were moving. My mom and Dad separated. They fought a lot. That fact didn’t really disturbed me, I didn’t care, or… I don’t know. I had so many problems in my head, I wasn’t looking for more. Did I say problems? Huh… I think those were more like thoughts. A lot’s of thoughts. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep at night. I would think of everything, and connect anything with anything and hours went on. I was planning each day, thinking about different persons and the way they acted. I was figuring out the causes of their actions. I was thinking a lot about my future. I wanted to know who I wanted to be, and how to accomplish that. How could I achieve anything. Night went on and the last thing I knew – it was 8 am and I had to get up for school. So whenever my parents were arguing about something – I would just put my headphones on, or just leave the house.
I think they weren’t fighting because hated or loved each other. They both didn’t accomplish what they wanted in life. Everything was shitty. I didn’t wanted to live in that world, but wherever you go - I mean getting high, or getting drunk, or even those meditation guys on TV - you still get right back to this world. Smashed on the ground.
So we moved to the Rayge city. My mom and dad were living apart, but both lived in first block. Sometimes I would stay at my dad’s house, sometimes at mom’s house, sometimes just lie to both of them and wandered streets. I liked the darkness and beauty of silence in cold streets during the fall.
At some point, I realized I didn’t wanted to go home. Then I realized that I don’t have a home. The home is where your heart is. I didn’t really knew anything about my heart, just brain, supplying me with thoughts. And they would complex and get harder and harder. I was thinking of all the ways that things could possibly go down. I was thinking philosophically, psychologically, spiritually, this was my way of explaining and learning a life as a teenager.
As I said, I lived in first block, there’s second block, just a few streets across. My neighbors don’t like people from second block. And as I then found out, people from second block don’t liked us. Summer was over and fall started with rain. Leafs disappeared, streets got cold and gray.
And here I am, wondering in streets at night, as I realize how stupid I am. Everybody’s trying to be unique, I just realized I’m same. I think we all are same. And as we want to be different, we are different like others trying to be. It’s just so stupid. I should write down my thoughts, I’m always forgetting them. Oh.. my phone rings.
- Jimmy, where are you? At dad’s house?
- Um… yeah mom..
- Okay – she hang up.
I wish I could help her. I think I’m doing my best but… I’m just her son. I wish I could be that brother or friend she needs. My phone still rings.
- Son, where are you? At your mom’s?
- Yeah dad.
- Okay. Take care kid.
God, I want to sleep. I’ll just sit on that bench. I’m in park. I sat on the bench. My eyes are getting heavy. I’m sleeping.
Alarm on the phone wakes me up. It’s 7 am. Park is empty, nobody saw me sleeping here, I think. Better get going, don’t want to be late for school. Rayge city. Rayge city’s #1 public school. It’s pretty much ghetto school. They want to know everything about you, especially that I’m still pretty new around here. They are all the same. Ghetto kids, just like me… Just like me? My subconscious thinks I’m ghetto..? Well, I do sleep on the bench time at the time. Shit… I am. Here comes Tiffany
- Hey jimmy!
Get lost girl, don’t you see I’m wearing headphones, I can’t hear you!
- Hey Jimmy! wait up!
I can hear her yelling at maximum volume. She took my headphones.
- Hey gimmie that back!
- Here… Can’t you hear me?
- Can’t you see?
I’m poking her nose with my headphones. She gives me stupid face.
- You look like shit.
- Watch your mouth…
- How? Take my eyeballs out and turn them around?
- I told you that phrase, don’t repeat, it belongs to me.
- Well, you took it from a song
She’s so flattered.
- Didn’t slept well jimmy? Didn’t slept at all?
- None of your business.
- Oh really?.. When you call me in the middle of the night, telling me some bullshit you think and I’m listening like I care - That’s my business, right?
- First of all: I didn’t call you in the middle of the night, it was 10 pm. Second, I just talked about how stupid this “first block vs second” thing is.
- What? Are you serious? ..First block forever!
she makes crazy face.
- Are you seriously into that shit?
- Well, yeah…
- Then I was talking to a wall. Anyways, my class is on the right, yours – on the left. Cya on your funeral!
- there’s fifteen minutes before class…
- Don’t care!
I’m approaching Chad. He’s a friend of mine. Clap, clap and hug.
- What’s up Jimmy-man?
he has funny voice. He’s a bit slow, not retarded and but not smart.
- Not much… what’s up with you?
- Same. Man, you Jimmy look like shit.. Man.
- Hey… are you going to tt.. the um.. the party?
- What party?
- T-t-the party of first block, di-d-dn’t you heard?
- Nah… heard what?
He looks around, gets closer to me, gets focused.
- The shit is getting serious with second b-b-block. T-t-they say, they are going to talk some shit a-a-att the party… y-you know? When everybody’s there… and um.. And people… to hear it…
I moved lips.
- Ts… I don’t know, man. I’m not in to that. I don’t want to be involved and I don’t give a damn.
- Well… you. You must be on somebody’s s-s-side, Jimmy, or… uh.. things will get fucked up, you know what I mean? Especially that… you… you’re still the um… new guy.
- I’ll think about it Chad.
Classes are conducting. Time flies. I’m just drawing in my notebook. I like drawing, I put my emotions there. And I draw pretty good. It helps to kill time. I don’t like colors. Black and white is enough, if you’re good at it. ..and classes are over.
- Cya Chad… - I waved at him.
- Bye.. Jimmy!
I’m walking out from school yard, I hope Tiffany doesn’t show up, or I do want her to show up. Oh, there she is, with her friends. Whatever, I’ll go to park, maybe I’ll see Bogart. I’m heading that way. Bogart is homeless, he’s about forty-forty five years old. I’m at the park entrance, it says: “Park of beauty and dreams”. Heh, more like “park of dead beauty and dreams” to me. There’s Bogart, he’s waving at me. I’m going towards him. I took my headphones off.
- Hey Bogart! Whatchya doing?
- Can’t you see? I’m boiling some shit to eat…
He has a little campfire. Bogart is wearing old blue jeans and big green coat, Black Marijuana headband.
- Damn you, Jimmy! You couldn’t hear me calling you. Throw those headphones away! It’s bad for your ears!
- You know I won’t do that…
- Ah… screw you! – he sat down near fire – Do you have money? I need five bucks.
- Five bucks is all I got, man.
- Give me then!
- Nah, I need it.
- Go ask your Father, he will give you.
this makes me smile.
- My pops? Last time I asked him to give me five bucks he went all creepy. – I’ve deepen my voice - He was like: “when you will be working, will you give me five bucks, son? I don’t think so”.
- You’re doing it with funny voice, eh…
- Yeah… he’s talking that kind of shit all the time, man. And I can’t find a freaking job in this town.
- There’s some factory in second block. You could go there.
- Nah man, whole shit is going on with first block-second block thing, I wanted to ask you about it.
- It still goes on?
- Still? Well… Yeah. I heard some beef went down, now first block is throwing a big party and inviting everyone, they want to gather a crew or something, I think. Why do they have so much hate for each other?
- Who knows… World is crazy, people are even crazier.
- Well, it’s a problem for me. I must choose the side, or I’m a public enemy.
- You don’t have to choose the side, you don’t have to choose shit. Just stay out, they’ll just fight a bit.
- What is there in this shitty town to fight for?
- I don’t know… For someone it matters, for people… It’s just for fun. It’s pretty hard to explain. Just stay out of it and you’ll be cool.
- For who it matters?..
- Fuck it, kid. Whatever. People only see problems in each other, not in their selves. First block wants to dominate second, second wants to dominate the first. You don’t want to get involved, kid.
- And those who don’t give a damn are hated by both?
- Pretty much – yes.
- Anyways… I need a job, I need money, I think I could sell drugs.
- What’s so funny?
- Nothing. You’re saying that like it’s so easy.
- Well, it’s easy in this shitty town. I know drug dealers are quarreled with cops.
- Yes they are.
- So… Do you know a guy I can go to?
- I’ll ask around, come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you. And if it works, you must give me five bucks everyday!
Now I’m laughing.
- Alright. If it works. I’ll be going now. Bye…
- Take care, kid.
I see Tiffany on the bench nearby. I approached her.
- What are you doing here, Tiff?
I’m pretty interested.
- Nothing. Can’t I sit on the bench?
- Well what? You were talking to that homeless guy?
She makes me smile.
- You know him?
- He’s a friend.
- You have a homeless friend.
- My friends were right about you, you are weird.
- Your Friends don’t even know me!
I’m getting angry.
- So you just sit alone here?
- No, I’m waiting.
- For who?
- A guy
she makes happy face.
- A guy…
- Well, I’m here… what now?
- Not you!
- I don’t know any guys around…
- Well I do. And he’s very cute, he behaves normally and he doesn’t call me a bitch.
- I bet you don’t call him asshole too.
- None of your business.
- So it’s like that?
- Yes! – keeps her happy face.
I stop talking. I don’t want her to “see some other guy”.
- Oh, here he comes!
guy looks like a fag.
- It’s him?
- Yes, Jimmy, That’s him. You can leave now.
- Well… If you ever change orientation and stop being lesbian – you know my number.
Her happy face turns into disgusting stare.
I walked away. First block, second block… They both suck. Both are same shit. I wish this drug selling thing works out. I’m sick and tired of being broke little bitch. At least I have headphones - Thank me for buying it.
I’m at my mom’s house. I’m ringing the bell. She opens.
- Come in baby… You look awful. What happened to ya?
- Are you hungry?
I’m starving. I didn’t had supper yesterday, breakfast today and a dinner too.
- How are you? How’s school?
- I’m fine. School’s fine too.
- How’s your father?
- He lives across the street. You can go and see him.
She gives me straight face like “you know I won’t do that”.
- Go wash your hands young man! And take off those goddamn headphones! …and that hood!
I’m listening to her with one ear.
- Whatever you say ma’…
Later on, we sit in kitchen. Drinking tea.
- Mom, you know, there’s something going on between the two blocks.
- I heard. You must not get involved…
- No I won’t.
- Yes… I’ll be going now.
- Where are you going?
- With who?
- With friends.
- Who are your friends?
- I don’t know, just friends…
- Jimmy, I don’t even know one of them. I don’t know who are your friends.
I’m outside, walking in the streets. I see buildings, trees, yards, kids. They seem so empty without music. I’ll just press “play” and the world changes. Everything express their self, every face gets more emotional, every tree and building gets their story. Time flies. Friends… I don’t have any friends. I see Chad.
- What’s up man?
Chad looks happy.
- H-h-hey Jimmy! Y-you remember what I told ya?
- About the um.. the party.
- Yes. So..?
- So I’m with the guys!
- What guys?
- Guys that represent first block!
- What? Who are they?
- Well.. There’s Jack and um… John… He’s like a boss, you know… and um.. uh.. I don’t remember names…
- Chad, you can’t be serious. Come on man, fuck this beef or whatever it is… They’re crazy.
- No, they’re not.
- They are crazy in first place, because they got you.
- Those are my friends, ..Jimmy.
- Friends? Pft… You don’t even remember their names. Man how fucked up are you?
His face changed, got confused.
- Look what I have.
He pulled out a pistol from jacket.
- Man get that shit away! Where did you get it?
- We all have one.
- Hide it god damn it!
- Okay… Jimmy so are you with us?
- So you’re for second block…
- No. I’m for no one. You all suck.
- That shit won’t fly… J-j-jimmy.
- I’ll hit you in the face and you’ll fly.
- Well… um… Party is tomorrow and uh… If you change your mind, I could, um… introduce you to the guys.
- No I won’t.
- Okay… whatever… I’ll be going now. Cya, Jimmy…
- Bye Chad…
I don’t know if it’s for this city, or it’s just me, but sometimes – I don’t notice how time goes on. I just walk around, hours are passing, days and I’m like asleep. I do sleep bad, is it because of this?.. Just living through everyday life. Sometimes I’m waking up and I hear voice “Wake up Jimmy!” like this city is alive and I’m not. Like I’m a settlement and he is living in me. He’s changing, but I’m not. He’s wandering in my streets, in my veins, observes the shifting nature of my blood. I’m just standing aside.
“Wake up Jimmy!”
I’m at Mom’s house. We’re in the kitchen. There’s food in front of me.
- Why don’t you eat Jimmy?.. You don’t like it? – I’m tired of Moms tired face.
- Nah mom… - I start eating. Damn! I’m hungry.
- How’s your life Jimmy?
- It’s fine…
- Come on Jimmy! You are my only son and I don’t know a god damn thing about you..!
I feel her pain. But I’m barely dealing with my own.
- There’s nothing too much to know. I’m just a regular guy, from regular school, in a … messed up city. I love you ma’…
- I know, I know. But there’s so much terrible things are going around here: Gang banging, drug dealers… and you are teenager, and I… me… I can’t look after you…
- Come on mom. You know I’m not in to those kinds of things.
- How can I know? You’re just coming and going…
- You must trust me. I’m like Samurai Jack, in a land of evil… You remember how we watched that together?
- I remember…
- None shall stand in my way.
I’m starting to act funny, this situation is getting really tense.
- …But one samurai warrior, wielding a magic sword, stepped forth to oppose.
I’m waving my fork like it’s a katana.
- Before final blow was struck, They tore open a portal in this city and flung me in to the land, where evil is law!..
- Yeah Jimmy, but you forgot the words…
- What words?
- It was like this: …But the foolish samurai warrior stepped forth to oppose.
- I’ll stay tonight mom.
Awhile later I’m in bed. It feels so good. I haven’t slept in a normal bed for days. I think I’ll sleep well. …And portal in time tore. I see some horrible pictures in dream. I’m running. I’m running but falling. The monster, or darkness… - it’s chasing me. I’m running, running for my life, but way ends and I’m standing on the edge of a cliff. I jump in darkness. It surrounds me, I surround it, we are one. The Beast flees. I’m afraid of myself. I open my eyes.
“Wake up Jimmy!”