A Story by Jesse Lancaster

Has the world changed, or is it you that's changed?


This is not a small house. Yet, it's not something you'd find in the hills of your town.
This is still Hampton, just at a nicer angle. They drink the same poorly filtered water. They all shop at the same supermarkets. You simply have a nicer house. I digress.
I know you'll be here. I have known.

I won't be surprised if I start to shake.
I won't be surprised if you don't want to talk.
I won't be surprised if you arrive in one of my hoodies, looking great--showing yourself off as you once did.
I won't be surprised if you bring him.

I hate going to parties. No matter what time you arrive, it's bound to be awkward.
If you get there too early, you're waiting for the party to start.
If you get there in the midst of things, some people have already left, the food is probably lukewarm at best and everyone wants to know where you've been.
If you somehow get there near the end, why the f**k did you even bother in the first place?

We don't come from the same place. No matter how close it seemed at some point, it's become miles that we both refuse to walk.

Everything here is stale.
I can't taste this soda.
I can't taste the rum I've put in this soda.
I can't taste the Vicodin I tried to overdose on the night before. 
Yet I can still feel the pills on my tongue.

Imagine them dissolving. Flushing out everything I could possibly care about, but not replacing it with anything worthwhile.

This is how my mind has come to work. Fractured. A trainwreck of what it used to be, parts slowly coalescing in an attempt to become whole once again. Hardly structured.

You arrive, passenger seat, but the car doesn't leave.

But I'm not surprised.

I don't stay to watch what will happen next. I know. 
5 months. It's been 5 months since I've smelled you. Touched you. Won't matter. I've heard you. Seen you. Tried to talk to you. But this is different. Relapse seems imminent, my mind begins to rattle my body and I can't feel the ground under my feet. But I'm not. I'm not shaking.

I'm stable.
Maybe that's what bothers me.

You arrive with a hop in your step. We don't share my phobia of parties. I'm nervous. But I can tell you won't stay long. You won't be able to stand me. You'll writhe in your seat from across the room until you feel so uncomfortable that you physically won't be able to take it anymore. I wouldn't be surprised. I don't need to be introduced to him, nor would I want to, so I stay back. Sip the root beer. Sip the stale root beer. Sip the stale root beer with rum. Stay away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Out of heart.

He introduces himself to the new faces around him. He is a clone, yet we are nothing alike. He is Jason. With a 'y'. Jayson, with a 'y', is not visibly uneasy, yet clearly not in his element. He knows some of these people. He knows of me, and I know of him. It's been 6 months since I last saw him. In hindsight, that coincidence doesn't seem likely.

I think of what she calls him. 
How often they've kissed. 
If they've fucked.
If she thought of me the first time they fucked.
If she likes him more than me.

I've become the former, and he, the latter. It's not sickening, but it's unbearable and I shift my attention to the grooves on the wooden table in front of me. 
This table is weak. Like me. Like you.

We are all f*****g weak.

However, dining room table, it takes much more to leave a mark. Take a knife to me and I'll bleed until scabs form, yet I'll eventually flake and be whole again. I'll take my knife to you, and make history, because I know you'll never be the same again.
I drift away from you, table, mentally. Think about what Amanda's boyfriend would do if he knew the things she said to me. Think about the pills I had for dinner. Think about how you've been staring from across the room, like I knew you would, averting your gaze at the slightest twitch of my head.

What happened to you?

What happened to us?
I used to think I was okay with not knowing.
Maybe not so much. But, it's not really a question worth asking now. I'll bring the bags you left on the lawn inside for you, don't worry. I'll look down, avoid your face as you take them. You're looking away, too. You can't even stand alone with me in the same hallway for 2 minutes before scrambling to find a seat next to someone you know. Anyone, anywhere but in this hallway. Somewhere you feel comfortable.

I am uncomfortable, now.
I am a stranger, now.
I am alone, now.

It's that f*****g red hair. Blame the hair. Make the connection. Forget.
Past love interests fill the room, conversate and break from the reality of what's occurring.

Jayson, with a 'y', is nowhere to be seen. 
Yes, I am looking for him.
Yes, I want to hit him--beat him f*****g senseless until he goes limp and simply fills with air. Or deflates. A balloon. 

Maybe he was never here at all. I wouldn't be surprised.

Tonight, I am fortunate.
I will be walking the 2 hours home along the highway tonight.
Tonight, headlights will blur, amalgamate and show the way.

I won't be surprised.

© 2011 Jesse Lancaster

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Author's Note

Jesse Lancaster
Written a couple of months ago. One of my longer pieces, obviously, aside from the many attempts at writing whole novels. Be aware, it is intentionally fractured thought-wise and some information may not be complete, but that's just the mindset of the persona. Enjoy, criticism is welcomed. ["Solus" is latin for 'alone'. Cliche and angsty, but it described the picture and the story pretty well. The picture isn't one of my better works, but I'm proud of it nonetheless. If you haven't yet read "Your Streets", I suggest you do as some of the same motifs are present in "Solus". Thanks.]

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Featured Review

oh my Lord Tyler, make this your profession or I'll simply go mad.
this, is a completely beautiful piece. it brought me back to a time very similar, and nothing I've ever read has brought me back to that place. This is touching and raw and. perfect.

I absolutely love it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


oh my Lord Tyler, make this your profession or I'll simply go mad.
this, is a completely beautiful piece. it brought me back to a time very similar, and nothing I've ever read has brought me back to that place. This is touching and raw and. perfect.

I absolutely love it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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1 Review
Added on August 30, 2011
Last Updated on November 5, 2011
Tags: surprised, town, water, supermarkets, red, shake, amalgamate, coalesce, Jayson, Jason, Amanda, party, phobia


Jesse Lancaster
Jesse Lancaster

Manchester, CT

I'm Jesse Lancaster. No I'm not. I am: 19 And now: @ Uni for my sophomore year. My writing draws heavy influences from the music I listen to, other writers (such as Chuck Palahniuk, John Green a.. more..