I Just Wanna Be

I Just Wanna Be

A Chapter by Victor Cartel

This is a totally true story. Even I don't fully understand it but still, it's totally true.

I come home and sit on my bed, take a deep breath, and grab my computer from the left side of my bed where I always keep it when it's being unused.  I put it right in front of me and adjust the blankets in a way that both gets me warm and pulls the laptop closer.  Click, click, click... music is a necessity.  Not just any music, but that music.  The only music that can both crush me and keep me alive in the same song.  It used to be one song, that song that we all listened to on stage the day that we all had peace, and it slowly moved on to purely that artist.  I can't listen to anything else.  It's different from the music I usually listen to in my free time, not too far off but kinda different, however at this point it feels almost wrong to listen to anything else.  I tried going back to my old music, but right now it only hurts me.  This music at least makes me feel...real.

After turning on the music, all but the lyrics are a blur.  I don't know what amount of time passed, what I did in that time, or if anyone came into my room between the time I hit play to the time I realized I was tired.  I know I was texting you, but about what doesn't seem to matter.  I forget: was I trying to cheer you up or was it the other way around?  It always seems to be one or the other.  That's just how our relationship works the majority of the time.  We keep each other from falling apart as best we can.

Goodnight, I love you.  I never let you know that anymore, but tonight it just felt important to let you know.  So I said it.  As usual, you only respond with "night" and I keep that text up for a little while, let the screen on my phone go black, then plug it in to charge.  The screen comes back up brightly so I finally hit off, and there goes your text.  All I see is a painting, a painting of a crow and blood.  Others think it's negative, but it makes me think of another very important person.  I say goodnight for no real reason.  Her and I weren't even talking, but I was just...pulled to.  I can't explain it.

Nothing felt wrong, nothing felt bad or negative, I just felt that not telling you I love you or telling her goodnight was extremely important.  That left one more person on the list: yours.  I know she's not awake so late, but I text her anyway knowing she'll get it in the morning.  I ask her a question, letting her know that I want her to feel better from her sickness at the same time.  Now to bed...go to bed before your body does it for you.

The moment my head hits the pillow and my eyes close, the world begins to drift away.  I've never had such a solid sleep before.  It was like I left all existence in a simple blackness.  Everything I dreamt of was of good times.  My life without the negativity, the sorrow.  It doesn't mean I got what I wanted, but it's ok because I was only happy to see you happy.  Then I was pulled away.  Being torn from you hurt, just like being torn in half and reaching out only to see you ignore me as I fell away...

BANG.  BANG.  BANG.  I'm awake, I'm awake.  I don't let anything or anyone know that, though.  Don't make sudden movements.  If someone is right behind you, you don't want them to know you know that.  BANG.  BANG.  BANG.  It's as if they can't get in my room.  I have no lock...so why didn't they just walk in?  Is someone in here trying to protect me, keeping the door closed tight?  I can only hope.  BANG.  BANG.  BANG.  It's consistent, long, and never stopping.  No hesitation more than between each banging of a fist on my door.  It's like the banging that a frustrated Nazi would bash into the door of a Jewish family in the midst of WWII.  Of course I'd make than analogy; I just met a Holocaust survivor.  This is a dream, a dream.  A really stupid, frightening dream.  I try to drift back to sleep so that this dream can continue and end quickly...

...nothing.  I'm awake, and it's apparent.  I'm damn exhausted, but unless this fearful curiosity is served my body will not let me sleep.  I must turn my head, I must.  But if I wake myself up more, how will I get to sleep?  BANG.  BANG.  BANG.  Metronome...that's all the banging is: a very loud metronome... Yes, I can do this... I'll lull myself to sleep with a song... that song that makes me think of you, of good times, of the dream I was just having.  The only good dream I've had in a long, long time... With that song embedded into my mind I dare to slowly look up, to slowly turn to the door.  I'm still scared.  I expect for my head to finally turn after this slow turn that feels like forever, and to see eyes staring back at me in the dark, some sort of weapon in one hand, maybe a back up weapon in the other.  I expect a terrifying figure with dark intentions to be there.  Who this person may be doesn't matter to me, and guessing who it could be matters even less.  I just turn to see if my death is awaiting me and how long I might have.

...but there's nothing there.  Nobody.  Nobody in my room, at least.  BANG.  BANG.  BANG.  My door is shaking like crazy.  It's like a lame horror movie where the ghost jiggles the handle and shakes the door back and forth with bangs and bangs of unseen fists.  It's like my door is locked for some reason, and whatever is on the other side can't get in.  I listen for the dryer...off.  I look at my dogs...asleep.  I slowly let my eyes drift down to the crack at the bottom of the door.  That is where the most terrifying thing is... I can see the shadows of feet shining through the crack under my door, making shadows in the hall light my sister keeps on every night because she can't sleep otherwise.

Why can they not get through?  The thought never crosses my mind.  All that I can think at this point is not lyrics, not needless, time wasting questions about my situation...just one, simple, matter-of-factly sentence.  I let my mouth utter it out loud, for whatever reason.  My lips curve to the words my mind has found to explain the situation:

"Funny how the moment I have no desire at all to die happens to be the moment I'm going to."

At that moment, my body gave up.  It's curiosity was satisfied, it's fear too great, and it's exhaustion deepening.  I fall asleep and dream of nothing but blackness.  I'm not afraid to go to sleep, I'm afraid to stay awake.  I'm glad to see nothing but black in my dreams, something that usually scares me, because at this moment it means closer to a peaceful death than one I have to stare into the eyes of.  It was my last form of defense, in a way: Play Dead.

I woke up the next morning to the alarm on my phone.  I look at the screen and see the words I put so as to remind my tired self what to do: Get up lazy a*s.  I click snooze and look around my room.  F**k, what a dream...  That's all that I can think as I look at my surroundings.  Everything is as it was before I went to bed.  Nothing changed besides the dogs position...and mine.  I pay the closest attention to the position my body was in.  It's exactly as I was last night, last night when I looked at my door, when I told myself that I was going to die, when I heard the bangs of someone outside my door that for whatever reason could not enter.  That's enough to let me know that I was awake, that it was no nightmare.

I need proof.  I need to know I'm alive.  How do I do that, though?  I go under my pillow again and reach for my phone, scrambling to see the time.  I expect that for me, time would have frozen if I were dead.  If time was frozen for me, why would my phone tell me it's about 6:32?  That's not enough to settle me, though.  A text.  Communication.  I need someone to respond to me, to let me know they acknowledge me.  I am here.  If I'm dead, however, I'm not.

"Good morning.  I'm pretty sure I'll be late to school, my dad's not feeling well." I don't know for sure if any of this is true, but assuming that's the reason he didn't get me up before my alarm - not that I'm dead - I continue: "I'll be there today, though.  See you soon!" Send.

Please respond, please.  One reply.  "Ok.  Gotcha."  Everything is so...surreal.  I can't believe it... I literally can't believe it.  I'm... alive...?

© 2012 Victor Cartel

Author's Note

Victor Cartel
[Inspired by the song "Here is Gone" by Goo Goo Dolls; referencing "I'm Still Here" by Goo Goo Dolls] This is an entirely true story. So for reviews, please just focus on HOW it was written, not WHAT was written.


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Added on May 1, 2011
Last Updated on May 31, 2012
Tags: memoir


Victor Cartel
Victor Cartel

Westminster, CO

Check the about me page on my website, Ashira's Notebook, for an extensive survey about myself. more..

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