Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boy With No Face

Here's a short story I wrote:

Some time ago, but not too long ago, there lived a boy with no face. When I say no face I mean just that... no face. He was born without an actual face. He could still talk and eat through a very small hole located beneath his chin. But he had no proper mouth.

He did not have very many friends during the most formative years of his life. You could say he was one of those "late bloomers" but that moniker just would not be accurate. It might be somewhat more accurate to say he was the quintessential loner type. Even though he did not enjoy being a loner he eventually learned to tolerate it.

Please, do not feel sorry for him. For he never really felt sorry for himself. If he had then he probably would not have lived as long as he did.

He was born on a cold December morning in the year of the rat. His parents were not of any particular descent but certainly resembled beings of great cultural significance. They were both very happy when he was born. They did not care that he was born without a face. They loved him and taught him about self-awareness and self-confidence.

When he first attended elementary school all the kids made fun of him. They would chant things like, "No face! No face! Where's your face?" For the most part he was able to ignore their ignorant chants and jeers. Then one day a cute little girl in his class approached him and asked, "How are you able to see?" "I do not see in the same way that you might. But I can feel the energetic vibrations that everyone and everything emits. It's like a unique form of sonar." The little girl did not understand his answer so she just waved bye and walked back to her group of friends.

The remainder of his elementary career continued in the same fashion. Most of the kids did their best to ignore him but every once in a while one of 'em would approach him and ask a question. Of course, he always answered. It may not have been the answer they were expecting but it was an answer nonetheless.

By the time he reached middle school he was pretty sick and tired of being ignored by his fellow peers. He kept a journal and wrote in it daily. It helped somewhat but not entirely. He practiced karate and learned to break wooden boards with his forehead. It also helped him relieve his frustrations but the effect did not last very long.

In high school he became more involved in the creative arts. In particular, painting and sculpting. He painted a lot of still lifes, portraits and nudes. He sculpted mostly from his own subconscious desires. He once tried sculpting the head of the most popular and beautiful girl in school but it took him longer than expected and so he lost interest.

It wasn't until his senior year that he was invited to numerous parties by some of the popular kids. He didn't attend them initially because he figured they just wanted to have someone strange looking at their parties in order to serve as some kind of entertainment. But he ended up attending one, as a bit of a social experiment.

At this particular party just about everyone was drunk or in the process of becoming drunk. Nobody recognized him because he cleverly disguised himself by donning a very detailed latex mask. He ordered the mask via ebay then repainted it with his own special mix of acrylic paints. As soon as it dried it resembled some sort of androgynous being.

He slipped in between groups and cliques with great ease. A couple of peers asked him who he was; he said his name was Allen. One young lady came onto him in the most peculiar way. She asked him if he had any drugs on him because she wanted to get high and then engage in sexual relations with him. He of course did not have any drugs on him so he politely told her he didn't. She still seemed interested in his company but quickly succumbed to her own inebriation and passed out on an old tattered armchair.

He then sat outside for a while underneath a patio umbrella and watched as his generation spiraled out of control. He witnessed boys throwing up in bushes and girls throwing up in handbags. A part of him wanted to cry and another part of him wanted to laugh. But he maintained his countenance.

Soon he found himself enjoying a hot dog or two and partaking of something called flan. It was tasty but its texture was comparable to a skiddish slug. He also ate a handful of salted pretzels and a bushel of popcorn. He then washed it all down with a diet root beer.

Just as he was about to leave the god forsaken party he noticed someone hiding behind a rose bush. It was a small girl. She was sitting cross-legged with a notepad in one hand and a ballpoint pen in the other. She looked up at him and smiled. He tried to smile back but of course he could not but he imagined the mask he was wearing formed somewhat of a smile.

"Hello. My name's Caroline. What's yours?" The small girl asked. She appeared to be no more than eight or nine years old. "Nice to meet you, Caroline. My name is Allen." He did his best to make sure he believed himself to be an Allen. Caroline did not seem to buy it. "You're probably wondering why I'm sitting here behind this rose bush." She stood up and dusted her knees. "Why yes I guess I am." "I'm actually just taking notes." "Notes?" "Yes. Notes." "Notes for what?" "Oh just a book idea I've been tinkering with."

He had a hard time believing a little girl could or would want to write a book but he played along nonetheless. "You're writing a book? What is it about?" He asked. "Oh it's just about a girl who hides behind bushes and spies on people and takes notes about what those people do when they are drunk." "Hmm. Sounds familiar." "Yeah I know it does but no one has written anything like it yet. So I figured I could write it." Caroline dusted her knees a little more then slipped her pen into the spiral binding of her notepad. "Do you have a title yet?" He asked. "I think I'm gonna' title it Rose Bush." "Hmm. Not a bad title."

"I should probably get home now. My Mom might be wondering where I am. It was nice meeting you, Allen." "Same here." They shook hands and she skipped out of the backyard then down the street.

As he watched her skip away he couldn't help but feel some sort of affinity for the girl's keen wisdom. He also felt very much like an observer who was in danger of becoming an enabler. An enabler of truth? Perhaps.

He sat back down under the umbrella and had a moment of extreme clarity. His classmates weren't getting drunk because they were weak willed or hollow. It was simply their way of numbing themselves. That's right, they numbed away their emotional pains much like the way a doctor numbs his patient before any serious surgery.

"How could I not see this before?" He asked himself. "It's as if they are all in much greater pain than I am. My entire life has consisted of embracing my own uniqueness and shrugging off whatever insults were hurled my way. But what about them? They've been locked into a perpetual cycle of insults and bullying since kindergarten. Maybe even longer than that. I can see now that someone must break the cycle. It needs to be broken otherwise it will be passed on to their children and their children's children. And so on and so forth."

With that he ran back inside, jumped onto a stool and shouted a message of hope. "My fellow peers! Please heed my words! Stop all of your senseless debauchery! I know you are hurting! I know you feel like no one understands you! Believe me when I tell you that I completely sympathize with you!" A few kids payed attention to him but most kept dancing and drinking.

"I urge you to put down the alcohol and turn on your minds!" They continued to ignore him. Then one peer approached him emphatically and sincerely spoke. "Hey, man. I know what you're talking about and I agree with you for the most part. But it's just easier to ignore all the bullshit in the world and get drunk. I mean... as teenagers we hardly have a say in what goes on around us and most of our parents are too busy with trying to pay the bills to really give a damn about anything else." He handed him a cold can of beer.

The boy with no face reluctantly took the can of beer, stared at it for some time, and popped it open. He squirted the golden alcohol all over his face-mask then spilled the rest on the floor. He felt anew so ran around and shouted. "I am reborn! I am reborn! I am reborn!"

Later that night, he stumbled home with a smile on his face-mask and the phone numbers of seven beautiful girls in his pocket.

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