A Point of View

cover design for a short story

I could try to explain but I doubt you’d get it. The thing is, you would want to know why and there is no why, there is no point to anything. That’s what people don’t understand, that nothing matters. Nothing you do will make any difference. That’s why I want to do this, that’s why I need to do this, to show you, to make you understand it doesn’t matter.

Today is not a special day. It’s not my birthday or anything like that. People always try to find an explanation, but they won’t find one because what they’re looking for doesn’t exist . That’s the whole point, there is nothing to understand. You see, we’re all nothing but worms grubbing through the earth, breeding more worms, eating what comes our way and leaving our shit behind.

***

It’s sunny today. My back is getting hot while I lay here. But I like being alone, I like that nobody knows where I am, this is my place, my view point. Nobody really cares where I am anyway, as long I’m not their problem. Nobody really cares about anyone.

They pretend, they make noises like they care, but they don’t, and I don’t. I don’t need their sympathy, their concern, their boring repetitive words of encouragement. I like it when they are a bit scared of me, worried about whether I’m going to do something, something they don’t expect. I can see the tension in their bodies, their readiness to jump, to escape. But when they go home they forget about me, they forget about everything. I’m going to make them remember me, make them wish they had listened. They will never forget me again.

I always feel at peace up here, comfortable, it’s my place now. On the roof there is nobody to tell me what to do, to look at me like I’m not one of them, like I’m not normal, a freak, an outsider, a waste of space, somebody they don’t want to acknowledge or talk to. Up here I am alone, I can be me, unjudged, unseen.

***

Did I tell you I have a new counsellor, she’s my third one. She talks to me like she knows me, like she understands me. She’s all crap, it’s her job to pretend like that, to pretend she cares. She goes home and forgets too. 

She always has to read her notes when I go to see her, flicking through the pages like she’s written down all the answers somewhere. I’m a file, a collection of words on sheets of paper to her. If I tore up the paper and threw it in the bin I’d still be there, but she wouldn’t know who I was. She doesn’t listen to what I say, only what she wants to hear, only what ticks the box she’s put me in.

***

On summer days, melted pitch seeps through the grit which covers the roof, so I took an old piece of carpet up there to lie on. I always wear black, so marks from the pitch wouldn’t show that badly, but I’d know they were there. I wouldn’t like that.

There’s noise below me now. Not individual people, but lots of voices mixed up so you can make sense out them. Random white noise, it comes in waves, in ripples, up to where I am. It washes over me. Up here I’m safe, nobody knows I’m here. They won’t until it’s too late. Too late to run, too late to hide. Too late to live. You have to understand that I don’t hate anyone, not anyone in particular. No one person is special enough to hate. It’s the system, the collective, the whole nest of stupid little people doing the same shit every day, thinking they’re important, thinking their stuff is important

I don’t have friends. I don’t want friends. I don’t even care what anyone’s name is, there’s no point. We’re all here then we’re gone. Leaving more shit behind. 

I don’t why it feels so right today. It just felt right when I got up. I knew. I dressed, checked myself in the mirror in the hall. My mum said goodbye. She looks at me like she’s disappointed, like she’s always been disappointed.

***

The sun is really hot today, burning through my hoody, but I won’t take it off. The metal is cool against my fingers. There’s no sweat on my palms, no excitement, no fear. I often think I should feel something, but I don’t. Why should I?

The metal is smooth. My fingers close round it, a perfect fit as I let it settle it in my hand, pointing it at the one person who is the centre of attention. His name is Mike. He kicked my crutch away when I had a broken leg last year. He apologised, but he’d done it on purpose. I heard him call me a weirdo, a loser. He will be the first. People will know then that I’m not a loser.

***

The noise of a rifle is not as loud as everyone thinks it is. It’s more like a dry stick snapping underfoot. And bodies don’t recoil when they’re hit, they just kind slump where they are. It’s not like in the movies. I’ve seen my father shoot a deer. If the bullet hits their heart, or their head, they just kinda fall down where they are. It takes a while before the other deer know what’s has happened. They run, but then they stop. Pretty soon they start eating again, eating and shitting, just like people do.

 I’ll be cool, methodical. The metal barrel will lift in my hand with the recoil of every shot. I will choose, aim, fire, and repeat the sequence. It will take a few seconds before anyone realises what’s happening. Maybe when the second or third kid drops they’ll realise. But they won’t know where I am, what I can see, where they can hide. When they work it all out they’ll find me, but I’ll be dead too by then. If anyone had listened, maybe just one person believe in me, they would understand.

***

I still have to walk with a stick. My leg never healed well. It’s gunmetal grey, about the length of one of my father’s hunting rifles. It rests in my hand now, I sight along the length of it, practising, selecting targets, quietly correcting life. If it was a real rifle I wouldn’t feel any different, maybe my heart would beat faster, but I doubt it.

***

If you were where I am, if you could see through my eyes, all those ants scurrying below me, you’d maybe understand. You might see the world differently. Then you might understand my point of view.

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