That was the sound of me walking in on The Third the other day. He flinched. Good. He's still human.
"That perception filter nonsense you keep talking about. You can just do that where ever you go, right?" I asked as he stared back at with a mix of something between supreme irritation and utter confusion.
"Yes?" he slowly responded, "Why...?"
"Liquor Store." I replied bluntly, stepping further into the room. "NOW."
"Of course. Let me get right on that." he smiled politely and turn back to his work... or whatever he was doing, I didn't really care. I stood there for about half a minute before I slammed my first against something.
"What part of NOW did you not understand?"
"The part where I care." he didn't even look back that time.
"Oh-Kaaaaaaaay! In that case mister smiley pants... How many expense looking things in this room do I have to BREAK before you take me where I want to go??"
I assume that got his attention because he at least turned back to me again, glaring at me with a much more familiar expression. "So we've moved back into the threating me with violence stages, have we? Delightful. Perhaps then you can explain to me just what good going to a liquor store is going to do for you? I pick you up a couple of bottles of fancy ales, the kind you like, not that you remember liking them, but you'd thank me for it later. Lets say I do that. What then?"
"Then I fucking Drink Them, stupid."
"And that serves what purpose?"
"It will make me fucking Feel Better!"
"Listen, since you seem to have a poor memory, allow me to fill in the gaps. Getting drunk will not improve your present situation. In fact, it could only serve to make matters exponentially worse. You don't remember how crazy things used to get when you were like that. If you think some of the sober fits you've thrown were bad, then you don't even know the half of it. And I'm not going to allow you to endanger yourself and others simply because you feel the need to sate your masochistic streak. What are you even upset for in the first place?"
I give him credit for seeming legitimately concerned. Maybe that's why I calmed down a bit. Or maybe I was just tired. "Mark Four. I'm going to run out of Roman Numerals if things keep moving at this rate."
"Pardon?" I started to say something in response, but he held up a hand and stopped me. "Nevermind. You've been reading the blogs again, right? I can take a few guesses then and I'm not particularly impressed by this little outburst if that's the case. Why do you concern yourself so heavily in other people's problems? Especially when half of the people you worry so much over would more likely kill you then take you out for this friendly drink you're after if they met you."
"Somebody has to care... when no one else does."
"But they really don't." He dodged to the left as a- ....actually I'm not sure what I threw at him. Something on a table next to me that was small and felt heavy, I wasn't really paying attention. "....really? We're doing this now? You're so unamusingly childish. Do you think this is a game?"
"Maybe you weren't paying attention to your own little nightmares, so here's another little refresher. Nothing you have ever said, or done, to me has ever convinced me to be silent. So save your breath. You came in here in a huff and provoked a conversation with me, so now you're going to sit there and listen to what I have to say and you're going to like it."
Forget what I said about having calmed down. I'm surprised he managed to dodge the chair... I thought that one was pretty spot on with that one. I'd have probably tried again, but he threw me out a window. Not literally, exactly... more of his Path shit I guess. I just sort of recognized that I was suddenly on the wrong side of a window and that there was nothing standing underneath me.
There is a particularly fascinating form of fear that grips you when you suddenly realize that you're free falling from gods knows how high up without a parachute. I've never really claimed to have a fear of heights, but I think I just earned one. I'd explain this more but I'd kind of like to stop thinking about it now. Forever. You already know I'm still here to type this, so just know that he grabbed me back somehow, though not until after I'd already fallen several dozen feet.
I hit the floor of a bathtub still screaming. Then the nausea from the Path hit me and I couldn't exactly scream for a couple of seconds. Then the fucking cold water hit me. Fun times.
"Sorry, Reflex." was the first thing I heard that I remember. "If you're still carrying that tape recorder, good time to hand it over." The water started coming down harder. I fished the stupid thing out and tossed it at him. "Good boy~ now then... where were we? Oh right, you were being a stupid, reckless, emotional, cry-baby."
"Hate you- ...so fucking much-"
"It's mutual. Regardless, I'm getting about sick of you acting like you're responsible for caring about the whole damned world. Like you're the only person that understands. When in fact you don't understand a thing. What do you think you're accomplishing? Take that thing off!"
"They'll wash off-
Furious, I practically tore my shirt off. He caught the wet piece of garbage when I threw it at him and flung it aside.
"Now Look At Yourself."
Dead people's names.
I've been running out of places to put them. Some of them, I don't even know who they belong to. But I'd hear them, see them... in those stupid visions or on someone's blog... and I wrote them down. Told myself I had to remember them. My body is pretty much covered in sharpie marks... has been for some time now... or... it was...
"You run around like you're some sort of heroic figure, like your life is supposed to mean something. You emulate those sages of yours, try to pretend you're making a difference, when you're really only making the same mistakes. You've accomplished absolutely nothing in all this time. You're just another man at the end of his rope trying desperately to make his life mean something. So it will be remembered. But it won't. Because there's nothing special about you. All the caring in the world isn't going to stop these people you 'like' from dying. From suffering the same, if not worse, fate as you. You can't save anyone. You can't even save yourself."
He points at the names on my chest. None of them in particular, just to make sure my attention was on them. "There's no point in remembering them. Because you're determined to die. Try as you like to deny it, you've done nothing but throw yourself at the reaper since this whole mess began, both in the version you know AND in the version you don't. And you won't remember a thing when you're dead. And no one will remember You."
"Wash Them Off."