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The International Writers Magazine
: Dreamscapes on identity

Will Carpenter

It really happened - luckily I took notes...

This is a boring ramble of a life not unusual. It’s sad. Grotesque. Often incoherent. It is forced:
Why should I bore you with details? This isn’t much of a story – to you, but its mine. All mine. Good and bad. Righteous and indispensable, if you ask me. To you, it may be insidious, awful, scary, and/or unbelievable.
Yet – it really happened. Now I am here and required to explain.
Luckily, I took notes.

It all lives here - my first literary thought. If you decide to stay long enough, the moral is complete, concise. Its only three words long. A word; a verb; a noun (maybe more?).
Note: Jack only saw what he wanted to see; Taudry never really loved me; Aaron is way too much like me.
Me – me – me.
A word; a verb; a noun.
This is no grammar lesson, its all-bad grammar, but remember, words-verbs-nouns.

Daniel Zimmerman loves coffee. That’s what our last names make up. The four of us have been inseparable since the fifth grade. It’s almost the same as any other story you’ve read about kids growing up together. Only difference here is what happens. We may be friends here, but I don’t know anymore. Jacob Zimmerman (me), Jack Love, Aaron Coffee, and, everyone’s interest, Taudry Daniels (say Taudry like Laundry without the ‘n’). DZLC was a password we used when trying to gain entrance into our ultra-secret hiding spot. This spot was great. Tucked deep into the forest and mountains, it takes something like an hour to get there. If anyone ever found it, we would all be dead or maybe just locked up. Wait. Someone did find it.

I remember having a thing for Taudry when I first met her. She was the only one that was born and raised in these parts. Jack, Aaron, and I had moved in. You know, parents looking for that bigger, better job. I was the first to move in, right next door to the illustrious Taudry. She looked just like the girl of your dreams complete with a brain. I was taken at first sight. She has this sort of raspy voice. Almost seductive, if you ask me. Thing is, she knows. She’s known it since she could retain thoughts. I think her beautiful mother had something to do with it. All mothers have something to do with how we end up.
Jack Love moved in next. A scrawny-no-guff-taking type. He loved to fight. He loved to experiment. He was all of 5’ 00" forever.
Lastly, the soft intellectual genius of Aaron Coffee made his way into our lives. Aaron was always the voice of reason. He would save us all. He just didn’t know it yet.

Before I go further, lets get some things straight. Reasons. Justification. Stuff like that. You need to know these things so that, when reading this American Tragedy, this Life of Me, you’ll understand. Maybe not fully, but to a degree.
Kerouac said that writing, when writing, the writer should be in a trance-like state. I cannot seem to find this state. So much is running through my mind. I don’t know where to start. I think King said the same thing. I am having a hard time remembering things.
Unlike most writers, authors, literary giants, I have done absolutely no research for this piece. Mostly because I hate to research and also because I am doing this Sad State of Human Life, this Story with No Ending, under duress.
Everything here happened. For a reason, I would hope. It did happen. Things happen – good, bad, and awful. I may have a tendency at points to over exaggerate people, places, and things. I may even lie to you. Who knows. Time will tell in this 'Terrifying Biopic, this Real Life that We All Want to Never See'.
Why are you reading this again?
…finding my trance-like state to get going is proving difficult and arduous. They’re waiting. I should get to the point.

The four of us began hanging out around the age of twelve. Oddly, we were born in the same month of the same year. We used to always think that we were cosmically joined or something. Even Jack thought so, but he’d never admit it. The hiding place I told you about earlier, we found that hole sometime within the month that we became friends. We would always go there – almost everyday. Especially when we had things that we shouldn’t have.
I remember Aaron, Jack, and I always fighting for Taudry’s attention. She was always so pretty and more than anything she enjoyed the attention. She didn’t get much of that at school or from her father. So, she settled on receiving it from her four fans, her mother and us.
Taudry embodied that smart sexy girl look. The intellect, people recoiled from. She intimidated everybody, especially Jack. He loved her for sure, but he didn’t much like to hold conversations with her. Aaron and I would construct diminutive debates about everything with her. She brought out the best in all of us. She also played a large role in bringing it all to a dramatic halt. I think of her everyday. I think I always will.
Aaron and I were the closest. I don’t know how that happened, it just did. The guy was a genius. Pure. Kind. Very afraid. I think fear brings out the best in us. Aaron is proof positive to such a theory.

One day, near Christmas, Jack bought a quarter bag of weed. We met up at The Hole instantly. Aaron and I stole a twelve to accompany loosing our virginity to drugs. We were all excited, Jack – maybe more than the rest. Taudry kept her cool, like always, but you could see in her eyes that she knew exactly what would happen.
"Where did you get this stuff? I asked.
"From a dude I met through my brother." Replied Jack.
"How much did you pay?" Aaron asked, always concerned with the economic standpoint of things.
"Don’t worry about it, A. It’s all in good fun. What does it even matter?"
"It matters. You don’t have a job. These momentary possessions aren’t cheap. We all know that. I am assuming you paid at least $50 for this…"
Cutting him off, you could see the fire beginning to spread in Jack’s eyes:
"What are you trying to say, little man? I said not to worry and here you go totally disobeying a direct order…"
I jump in as Taudry is cleaning out the seeds and starting to role this uncontrollable substance.
"Jack…we aren’t in the fucking military. Just let him be. If he wants to ask these things, why don’t you just answer him?"
I smile….here we go.
"Answer the question, Jack. Where did you get the money?" AARON
"I stole it." JACK
"From?" AARON
"What the fuck is this, an interrogation? You guys, sometimes I just don’t know." JACK
"You don’t think someone will find out their money is gone?" AARON
I am, the whole time, staring at Taudry as she is oblivious to this idiotic banter and focused so heavily on the moment of smoking God’s Green Earth. We had names for everything.
"I don’t give a shit about that person, so it doesn’t matter. If he wants a piece, he can bring it" JACK
"Who did to steal it from? I will not stop asking until you are in the ground, so you might as well tell me." AARON
"Moses, I thieved it from Moses. Are you happy?" JACK
"I can’t stand that guy." TAUDRY
"She’s alive." JACK
"Great. Of all people, you pick Moses Gentry." AARON
"Dude. Can we get on with it? Drop it, the both of you." ME
I was their leader, but they never followed. Except Aaron.

I opened a beer and continued my study of Taudry. God, how I loved her. The only one I would ever truly love. I despise women. I have always hated the holidays. They just seem pointless. Indirect ways to show you care with out actually saying it. The best holidays come in the winter, for sure. You get stuff. Worthless, but you don’t have to pay for it. So, eating way too much is more popular than honoring those that fought for their country. Giving and receiving insignificant items is more important than celebrating a country’s independence. Shall I continue? Yes.
Drinking holidays. Time off 'cause you have a job. Time off for really important dead people. Parades for something that doesn’t involve your race or gender or preference. Never made much since to me. Neither did Taudry. She is very much like these mortal days of partying. Then again, she is not. Why do I let her get to me like she does? Why do I even bother with her, when I know how this will all end? When I find her in a coma in my room in some far off place in the middle of nowhere. Is she dying? It is Christmas again. Everything happens around Christmas.
Think about the whole ordeal involved in telling your story. Never mind that you are forced to do so, just imagine riffling through everything only hoping to get your point across. Not that get the point across is important. It is. Only for personal reasons, though.
Think about thinking here for a second. Everything that comes with thinking. All the minutia.
You’re thinking of your very own Taudry. Jack. And Aaron. You’re trying to identify with me, Jacob. Simultaneously, your head thickens. Shrouds. You want to cry.
You understand what it is to be this guy. Me. To have these people in your life. To wish they never existed, but couldn’t dream about not having them around. You ponder. You query. You try to move on. Finish the story.

Taudry is awake and she is staring out the window smoking the remains of last night. No doubt she is running through her mind considering, trying to remember the evening before. She has on the flannel-like pants that are really baggie. I think they’re mine. Her shirt is a skintight muscle shirt. A wife-beater. Her hair is up in a rubber band on its last leg. She is grasping, making her knuckles white with the coffee cup she holds. I begin my own stare. Looking at her. How could you not? I should talk less of my admiration for this woman. Girl. Thing. Someone said that would fit nicely right here, but I forget what. Aaron and Jack aren’t with us. I don’t know were they are. Picture Kerouac (again) and Hunter Thompson’s Samoan lawyer set loose in the smallest of towns on a Sunday morning looking for some bible-belt-run-convenience that will sell them beer. Not sell. Take that back. A store that is open is all they need. They are not the breaking and entering type. At least Aaron says they aren’t.

NOTES: Date Unknown
...god, I am so high right now and I cannot believe I am doing this all by myself cause you know if Taudry was here we would for sure be having a good time cause that’s what she likes to do, have a good time and Jack would probably be trying to start a fight and I am I think I am Hemingway’s love child it has to be I mean look at me. Where are my parents, my family, why aren’t they ever here for me and they’re never here for and I am sure I hate them for that and I hate everybody, Aaron, Jack, and Taudry and myself. I hate myself but this zanax really helps take that away cause every thirty minutes or so I popping a bar and chasing it with Stoli trying so hard to die and I cant take this anymore...There is a knock on the door where I am. Where am I? Some hotel some where in nothing but underwear and the knocking keeps coming…stop…knock and I guess I will answer it and I am never truly alone.

"Listen, Jacob, we have to talk."
"About?" ME
"What I did to you. We cannot go on thinking or wishing it didn’t happen."
"I really don’t want to do this right now." ME
"Jacob, I am sorry. Don’t you know that?"
"Does it matter? You being all sorry doesn’t change anything." ME
"Quit saying my fucking name. You’re truly pathetic. Sure, you have tons do with why everything is all fucked up. You make a mistake and assume that saying your apologies changes what you did. I am just supposed to take your words and make myself feel better with them and all this so you can try and feel better about the person, the woman, the…no doubt, you feel shame…you should. You should, fuck, I don’t know…you should probably lay your head down at night and find at least one reason not to blow your brains out and if you needed help, I can pull the trigger. But, you don’t, do you? Let me be. When I am ready, I will come to you. From now on, it happens on my terms…according to me, mother, not you."
I walk away mumbling loudly so I could be heard. My anger and disdain must be heard.

I woke up somewhere. I hate this, not knowing what’s happening, where I am. My head is killing me and I cannot find my pills. I check my cell phone, the message box is full with, surely, nothing but messages from her and I am missing Taudry so much. I wish it were her that called. Last time I saw any of them had to be about a month ago. They just disappeared the day my mother died. They always disappear.
I shower. I smoke. Drink coffee from the one-cup maker and pack my things for another day of walking around and for sure some sort of mayhem. Even without Aaron and Jack, I can make some trouble. I don’t know how I do it, though. Seems to just follow me. But anyway. As soon as I open the door to leave, I am greeted by the barrel of a gun. Someone yelling at me to get down. You know, hands up!! Down on the ground!! I comply. Not again.

So here I am. State Hospital. I have my own room and two pair of slippers and two gowns to last me for 25 to Life. That’s my sentence. I was sent here because they couldn’t see sending someone like me to jail or prison or death row. I am what they call Mentally Disturbed.
That’s how my court-appointed lawyer explained me chopping my mother up with an ax and painting pictures with her blood on the walls of our house. The pictures were of what she did to me, beautiful pictures if you asked me.
She had me when she was 15. Her parents sent her out of the house well before that. She didn’t have enough to kill me (abortion, and I wished she had), and daddy was only a thought. So, she kept me. She "sold" me out to people, perverts, and pedophiles on an hourly rate. I was a prostitute for my own mother. She abused me when she couldn’t find someone else to sleep with. Now, from what I am told by highly qualified doctors, this is how Jack and Aaron and Taudry were born. You see, they’re all me. My only friends. I never had real life ones. Apparently, I made these people as images I wanted to be. Strong, smart, beautiful, headstrong, opinionated. You get the point.
All the traits I do not posses. All the above that you’ve already read is all that I can remember. After I killed the worst thing in my life, I somehow blacked-out and ran across the country fleeing to what, I don’t know. Maybe my father. Maybe an answer. Maybe I just wanted to get caught. The drugs stopped working and I couldn’t drink enough to dilute any feelings I had. That’s how I managed this concoction of a life. I made things up and lived by them religiously. And that’s ok.
Everyone who has entered my life is dead, even Aaron, Jack, and Taudry. Everyone is gone and I am left in this window-less hell to try and get better.
They all say "its not your fault", "we can help you" and the like.

This is what our world has become. We can commit the most atrocious crime, and, if sick enough, be relieved of our actions by a pious court and hospital and governmental systems. And you get to foot my bill. All this because a young woman got pregnant too early (by contemporary standards) and used her son as a way to punish him, me, and everyone else for me being born and her misfortune. Look around it happens everyday. I have to live with that. What do you have to live with?
all the same
© Will Carpenter 17.05 2004

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