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Contrasting Son Of A Bitch (NTR #13)

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Ever woken up in the middle of the night to find that youíve forgotten to turn off your computer? You rise aimlessly, stumble across the room to flick the light switch on and mutter something profane under your breath as the light fills the room and your eyes begin to sting like as someone had suddenly shoved a needle through them. Itís taken me a while now, you see, but my eyes have adjusted to the light and I am now cursing no more. I remember a night a couple of weeks ago when I couldnít sleep at all. Iíd rolled out of bed and with the computer on (strange enough), I turned the switch on the monitor and the light nearly blinded me. It was so powerful that it knocked me senseless to the floor for a few minutes. Why all this talk of lights? Donít know yet. See what comes to me. The contrast between light and darkness is well played. The changing of the days and seasons. The orange suburban night sky lit up by street lamps. Batman and the Joker.

True, one cannot classify things as black and white. I have religious acquaintances that beg to differ. ďThis is right. And this, this is wrong.Ē Ridiculous. Historically, this is shown to be true. Things were either right or they were wrong. Morality and the ethics in historical societies that were instilled in peopleís minds provided final word on even a hope for argument. There were no eyebrows raised, there were no questions, no speculation. Serve the Lord and you shall live a good life. Simple people and simple times. So, what happened? How did we realize the flaw in both the light and the darkness? People began venturing out, hoping for a glimpse of a world outside their own. People looked to the stars and saw endless possibility. For some, curiosity spelled certain death. Galileo imprisoned, Copernicusís works banned. And why? For telling the truth. It is what Spider Jerusalem does best and that is why, despite being the bastard he is, he presents a highly accessible, admirable character. People naturally fear the unknown and the different. Just take a look at the Second World War and what the Nazi beliefs centered around. So, if the world is really round and the planets spin around the sun, what is there to fear? Change. Convention. Having someone tell you that all this time you believed in bullshit. There is great fear in truth. Fact makes some vulnerable. In current times (for better or for worse), deny fact and one is instantly segregated. Shoved into a corner with the ďotherĒ weirdoes.

I remember when going out at night used to be an adventure and upon my return home having some good stories to tell. Back home, back in Sweden, the winters are dark and cold and the summers are warm and lit throughout the night. Makes for screwy weather and interesting contrast. In winter, on a good day, the sun might be visible for a few hours in the afternoon. In summer, on a good day, the sun stays firmly in the sky throughout the night. Itís an eerie, beautiful sight that everyone should experience at least once in their life. To say the least, summers and winters were fantastic. Here in Toronto, there is no true darkness during the night. The suburban neighborhood streets are lit with tall, cheap lamps that radiate an orange glow. One looks up to the night sky on a clear night and is lucky to get a glimpse of a moving satellite. I have not seen stars in many months. Itís tragic that industrialism has obscured natureís beauty. A rush of nostalgia greets me at the open door to my mind. Memories are peculiar. Especially childhood memories. At least I tend to remember some obscure things. Iíve been told I have quite the organized photographic memory. I remember the sweater my Mom wore for her 35th birthday party. It was a bright red covered with annoying little knits that however hard you tried you just couldnít remove. They always seemed to creep back after the wash. It is a good memory. A good party. Back home where in summer, the sun never sets.

When I was young and foolish and had a lot of ideas, but an ill sense in writing them down as stories I tended to find the idea of memory appealing. A lot of mind bending ďhuhĒ and ďoh, I seeĒ stories could be told. There is potential in any genre. As a writer, itís your job to exploit it. To use your experiences and imagination to tell a story that youíre proud of. In writing anything, thatís the most important fact. What you, yourself think of it. If youíre happy with it. Your personal happiness in anything that comes your way in life should be top priority. I donít want to get too sappy, so Iíll move on. Hereís a story I wrote a couple years ago for a contest. I was thinking of changing it a bit, and I may sometime in future, but Iíd just like to see how much Iíve grown in the past few years as a writer. Itís an aforementioned memory story. Anyways, enjoy and as always, tell me what you think. Always appreciated.

I sit here writing this account, the only account of my being in this psyche. I will leave this world and myself for I have committed terrible crimes that in my memories I do not wish to exist. I see the sun stream into the bedroom from the window above me, reflecting off the tabletop and casting moving shadows against the walls.
Shivers run down my spine as I sit in this dark corner, listening, waiting for the two hands to simultaneously hit the twelve. It is then when I will leave this world and myself. Out there, in the real world there are those who are willing to help me, to give me a second chance at life.
There is a man lurking in the electronic wires of the worldwide Internet networks whom I contacted. He told me he could help me. He has promised me the freedom of new memories and a new life. I canít stand living. The memory of what Iíd done forever haunts me. I have tried suicide but then something stops me. A little voice, a breath of air tickling my ear, whispering, ďYouíre a fucking coward.Ē Yes. Yes I am.
Iíd killed someone. Not out of necessity, but of need. I was broke and needed cash. Desperately. Fell in with the wrong city crowd and got swept away in a funnel of sex, drugs and loud rock and roll. It was the high life. Not a care in the world. Iíd been hired to take out a man who was messing shit up. Iíd gone and killed him, right in his own home with his wife and his two daughters watching. Iíd lined him up against the wall. Iíd shoved the barrel down his throat. Iíd made him beg for forgiveness. He begged.
BLAM!
I shot him. One by one they all fell. My hands were shaking. I tasted vile bile in my throat. I must have vomited several times. I ran and woke the next day in an alleyway lit by the morning sun. I cried for days. Sometimes still, I cry at the memory of what Iíd done. I was paid and for the next several weeks I was living the high life again. But the money went away and the cycle continued. This was what, a year ago now? I canít keep living like this. I canít bear the thought of recalling that night.
The Internet man, the one that can help me says that memories are but images in time. He says they can be erased. He tells me he will help. Iíve killed more since then. The Internet man says he needs money, lots of money. I desperately hope he can give me a new life. The migraines are returning frequently, more so than ever before. I donít have much time. Theyíll be looking for me. Someone will tip the cops off and theyíll find me. They will surround me within four walls and with each passing day wear me down. Itís no life for a man that has sinned and has repented in blood, tears and promises that will forever be kept locked in my mind.
I put down my pen for the ink is wearing short. My last written words will be a simple good bye and thanks. For the people in my life and for the times, however good and bad.

A.L.


The story will conclude next week. For now, Iím going to go in search of some good memory stories. Comics, film and otherwise. The concept, even after all these years, still intrigues me. If you have any good suggestions of memory stories, please send them along. You can reach me by e-mailing me with the link above or posting a message on SBCís very own message board. Looking forward to what you have to say.

See you in a week.

R.F.






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