Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head
"Red, crying's not for me,
Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain
Because I'm free,
Nothing's worryin me."
-"Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," BJ Thomas
By the time you read this, I'll be dead. I just wanted to have the last say.
Once upon a time, everybody was sympathetic. People were nice to me, and I got lots of attention, lots of people curious about my accident, and what it was like.
I always answered as best I could, but after what I'm planning to do today, I expect this goodbye note will become famous. Instead of being the guy who survived a lightning strike, I'll be the guy who went on a campus rampage with two pistols and bad aim.
It started with the lightning, obviously. I was golfing. (Yes, I used to golf, which proves I was an asshole even before all this.) I was finishing the back nine just ahead of a fast approaching thunderstorm. I didn't know lightning could strike without rain. Before rain, I mean. Why should I even have considered that? I still think it's fucking ridiculous.
I was in a fully extended backswing when it struck. My senses were overloaded. The sharp, sudden noise, the all-enveloping hotness, the feeling that every last cell in my body was popping like grease in a hot pan. Then I was out, gone. If my partners hadn't sought medical help, I probably would've died. I wish I had.
Okay, okay. Might as well be honest on this day, my last. That was all bullshit. I always told people that because it sounded more interesting, but I wasn't golfing. (I have no opinion on golf itself, but I do think all golfers are useless assholes.) I wasn't even outside. I was taking a shower. During a thunderstorm. I'd never heard about the danger, never even thought about it. (which kind of fits with my lightning before rain fiction.) It was actually my girlfriend who saved me. All the power in the house went out and I fell out of the shower at the same time, wet and crispy all at once, like that cereal. She heard the thud and came running, yelling my name. My arm broke when I landed. So that's the actual truth. Anyways.
There were permanent effects, of course, both physical and mental. At first, it seemed like only my body was damaged. I lost all hearing in my left ear and half of it in my right. Due to this I frequently turned my head when people spoke to me, facing my right ear towards them. Needless to say, people found this very off-putting, and those who didn't know about the strike found it rude. The hearing problems also affected my equilibrium. I became clumsy and prone to toppling over without realizing it until I was halfway to the ground. Let's see, what else? I broke my arm. Mentioned that already. Ummm... oh yeah. My nose. Ever since I woke up in the hospital, I always smelled semen. Constantly, without interruption. It was very strange to smell other, normal, everyday things, except mixed with spunk. Spunk flowers. Pearly pizza. Jizz chocolate chip cookies. Sperm blacktop.
There were mental effects, too. These destroyed my social life; my ability to play well with others. I became afraid of water, particularly showering and bathing. Sometimes, just the sight of a running tap would drop an uncomfortable rock in the pit of my stomach, the dread and memory making me sweat with a familiar but imagined pain.
My girlfriend left me once she realized she couldn't convince me to overcome my water problem. My friends stopped answering my calls after giving me ultimatums. When I went out in public, anywhere really, people looked at me with disgust. Gave me a wide berth. Those who got close enough to smell me often made rude comments. You can imagine.
People cited statistics. Explained my irrationality. Pleaded with me to clean myself up. Some said these things with pity while standing upwind of me. Some said them with disgust. They said I had to accept logic. Who knows, maybe that part of my brain was fried. My emotional response to water trumped any logical sense. I lost all my so-called friends.
I did try, once, to shower. I think it caused a nervous breakdown. I was standing under the water for two minutes, frightened as hell, and finally I broke, jumped out, and frantically toweled myself off. I laid on the carpet hyperventilating, trying to calm down. I wasn't in there long enough to get anywhere near clean. All I managed to do was wet the scum on me before I smeared it around with the towel.
I did wash my clothes (drop-off service) and sure, I tried deodorants and colognes. They sort of worked for a while, but eventually, you just can't cover it up anymore.
The lightning strike was a year ago today. I've gotten used to my smell. Sometimes having my skin and hair all oily bothers me, or makes me feel itchy. For a while I told myself I was living the rustic life, dirty ass pioneer style. In more ways that one. Afraid of the toilet, I dug a ditch in the back yard to be my latrine. When it was raining, I shat in a paper bag and waited for sunshine before I went out back to dispose of the mess.
Enough details. Enough colorful anecdotes. Time to get to the point.
I've been alone for a while now, caught between my fear of water and my hatred for everyone. The way I'm treated... my experiences in public... things like: people in movie theatres getting up to move away from me; grocery clerks holding their breath... The last time I was out of the house, my professor ordered me out of the lecture hall after every student I sat near got up and squeezed into the opposite side of the room, many muttering and glaring, a few outright insulting me. He said I was a disruption and a disgrace.
So I isolated myself. I grew alienated from everyone. I became angry. I am angry.
I go back and forth from rage and hatred to depression and defeat. By now, you know where this led me. To all you fuckers who just don't get it.
And I have guns.
James Wesley Dobbs Jr. 7:32 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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