School killed Him. Work killed Him. I killed Him.
He realized, like all who are killed, too late of his impending doom. His second to last thought was that maybe if He had realized sooner that the things around Him were killing Him, He could have prevented it. His last thought was that He had begun being killed on his first day of school.
School – What a joke He thought. All of that time that He spent there, and what did it get Him? A personal sense of worth on somebody else’s scale. A thought process that began and ended with “what do others need me to do?” The more He thought about school, the more He realized that the first cut in his death by a thousand, was from school.
“The teachers only taught what us students needed to know for The Test” He thought. “What was on the test anyway? Basic reading comprehension and even more basic mathematics? How depressing it would have been to be one of the people that didn’t pass.”
A fateful smile crept appeared on Him as He put together a body and a face for this dark shadow that had been about Him all through school. “They were celebrating the mediocre,” and a forlorn chuckle escaped his lips.
“They only wanted people just good enough to not need assistance in life, but not so good as to see through Their ruse.”
“Well I saw through the ruse, but only in my last minutes” and the threadbare smile faded and the chuckle turned to silence.
He thought back to his “Critical Thinking” class that He was forced to take – It isn’t really critical thinking if you have to agree with the teacher in order to get credit.
He thought back to group projects – The other members of the group were lazy slobs, and yet He received poor marks on the project. “Surely the Real World is not like this” He remembers thinking when seeing his marks.
Work – The Real World.
“No,” He thought, “the Real World was just as bleak as school had been.” He had had what others would call a decent job. He had climbed all of the ladders, but no rung was what He was looking for. Every new rung that He passed, the same old thought occurred, “Someday I am going to leave this place and do My Own Thing.” But there was always another rung, and always another reason to wait to do His Own Thing. He was paid to solve problems for The Company, but He could only give solutions that The Boss wanted to Hear – He could never give the correct solution. He thought back to his co-workers and thought that his lazy co-workers were the same people from his school that had passed through without significance; They were good enough at their jobs to not lose them, but not so good as to turn The Company’s boat away from where it was always Heading.
Me – I bear the most guilt in his death. I led the lamb to the slaughter. At first, I lead through innocence; At the end, I lead through apathy. It was my job to keep Him alive, and for most of his life, He only stayed alive through sheer dumb luck.
That one saving math teacher – that one fulfilling job – those are what kept Him alive.
I always knew deep down that one day He would become all of me or none of me. He had always been a part of me; Telling me that smart-ass remark to make, showing me that clever solution. I had just thought that everybody had a companion like this, but no, I was of a rare breed I guess. That part of me is gone now. Like any living thing, eventually it will lose some battle and be lost forever. Now I am just a drone to do what others tell me and not what I want. My Own Thing is now Their Thing.
I wrote this some time ago in an act of catharsis, and am just finally getting around to publishing it. I hesitated to share it originally for some now unknown reason – I share it now because it feels more right to share it than to keep it only for myself to read.