Base

 

 


 

 

"Yeah, I am surprised you came. You see, nobody normally notices me. Yeah, I guess I'm just the kinda guy that people don't take any notice of.  Sometimes it's like I just don't exist... you know, like I'm invisible or something. 

 

“You know, I can be in a shopping mall or somewhere, and it's like people don't even see me.  You wait to be served in a shop and everyone else gets served before you as though the assistant is ignoring you, like she doesn't even see you.

 

“It's like sometimes when you're walking along the beach and the sun's shining and the sea's all foamy, and all you're aware of is yourself and the sun and the sea, and beneath your feet are millions and millions of grains of glittering sand, but there among the sand are bits of shell, sharp little bits of shell that you never ever notice. Never even know they’re there... until you step on a piece and it cuts your feet.  The pain and blood soon makes you notice the shell doesn't it? 

 

“Well that's me!  I'm like that little bit of shell... unnoticed among the grains of humanity, until they bleed.  Hasn't always been me.  I've always just been invisible... that was me.  You've read 'The Invisible Man'?  Great book... I knew how the guy felt. Like, you're in a bank queue and when you get up to the counter the teller just puts up the Closed sign as if he didn't even see you there, as if you didn't even exist. Yeah, it does make me angry. Of course it makes me bloody angry.  It always has. Even at school."

 

"You must have done pretty well at school, you seem to have a grasp on words, you seem fairly educated."

 

"Four years in here is a long time, isn't it? I've spent a lot of time in the library, you know, just reading about things."

 

"How did the other guys feel about that? You spending time in the library reading books."

 

"Ha! I don't think they even knew. They don't really pay me no mind."

 

"So what about school? You want to tell me about it?"

 

"Sure, but it ain't nothing special. All the other kids used to ignore me. Gee, as far back as I can remember I'd wander out to the sandpit in the kindergarten being all friendly-like and everything, looking to play with some of the other kids, and they wouldn't play with me. They'd ignore me, or sometimes even worse, tease me and then run away. You know, just kinda cast me aside like they did with their bucket and spade when they were finished with them. I remember that. Same right through school. Like, you know, when all the kids are playing a game of kickball or something and the two popular kids would pick teams. Nobody ever picked me. Overlooked. Sometimes I think they didn't even notice that I was there, waiting to be picked."

 

"So what did you do?"

 

"I guess I tried to get people to notice me. You know, I'd muck up in class, crack jokes at the teacher and stuff. The kids would laugh, but because I was always on detention, they never spoke to me. So, I'd do more and more outrageous things. I was suspended a couple of times. Then finally I was expelled."

 

"How did your parents feel about that?"

 

"Aw, come on! They didn't give a shit. Dad left us when I was about four, and Mom didn't even know I was around half the time, she was mostly drunk. I doubt whether she even knew I was expelled. She never noticed!"

 

"Um, well, so what did you do after you left school?"

 

"Kinda just hung around. I tried to join a couple gangs. You know, just groups of kids that just hung around together. But I guess I didn't cut it. I knocked over a couple service stations to try to impress them, but it didn't work, no one cared. I don't even think the cops cared. I mean I got away with it. Well, up to the time I started knocking off cars. They caught me then, didn't they? Couldn't ignore me any longer, I guess. That's when I got sent to Juvie.  Kid's jail!"

 

"So you were noticed then?"

 

"Only by the cops. The judge didn't even talk to me at the court, just spoke to the lawyers, and some Youth Counselor or somebody. Never even looked at me, just shuffled me through so they could get onto the next case. Then in Juvie, I was just a number. Just do what you're told, and people don't notice you. That's why I didn't do what I was told!"

 

"What did you do?"

 

"Refused to work and stuff. Like, stay up after Lights Out. Sometimes some kid's friends would smuggle in smokes or grass, and like I kept on getting caught smoking. Just stuff like that. But mostly they left you alone, didn't really care much, just waiting for you to do your time. Ignoring you mostly."

 

"So you ran away? Escaped?"

 

"Yeah, good one, eh? Didn't think they'd notice! Anyway, got caught, did some extra time, then they finally let me out. Don't know why they let me out now that I think about it. Ha, one might say an indictment on society and the functioning of the justice system as a whole, wouldn't you say?  What? Not funny? Ah, well never mind."

 

"So what brought you here?"

 

"Well, you know how it is, you can take something for just so long. Like, I used to just hang around the shopping mall, you know, I'd try to talk to some of the girls, acting really cool, but they'd just ignore me. Just like I was still invisible. Sometimes, I think I thought I really was invisible. I'd hang around and listen to them talk, and they wouldn't even know I was there. Maybe I was a ghost and if I wanted I could even walk through walls! It was! It was as if I was already dead, and nobody could see me and nobody cared. And if they did look at me it was like they were just looking right through me. And the shop clerks hadn't changed, they still ignored me. 

 

“Do you know how it is to be made to feel that you're nothing? Nothing at all! That you don't even exist? Like you're already dead? Well, there comes a time when you want to prove that you're alive! When you want to stand up and shout, Hey, this is me! I'm here! I exist!  Well, there is a time when you just want people to notice you!"

 

"Uh-uh."

 

"So I took my .22 to the mall, and I made people notice me. They bled, man. They hurt! Like they hurt me! They didn't care if I was dead, so when they were dying I reckon they would've cared. Well, they wouldn't would they?"

 

"But you killed seven people, mercilessly, in cold blood. Don't you feel some remorse?"

 

"Hey, they asked for it! They were there, they didn't think I was! No, I don't feel sorry for what I did. Not at all. Hey, I think I can hear them coming."

 

"Yes, they're coming now. Are you ready, my son?"

 

"Yes, Father."

 

"The Lord is my shepherd... "

 

"You know, Father, I was thinking that maybe the guards won't even notice me.  Maybe they'll look into this cell and look right through me, like I'm invisible, you know?"

 

"... I shall not want... "

 

"Actually, I know what will happen, Father. They'll lead me into that room, in front of the warden and all those prison guards, and reporters, and all the lawyers and all the other witnesses and they'll strap me into the chair, and all those people won't even notice me! They won't even look at me! They'll be too busy looking at the guards, and at the chair and all the leads, and leather straps. And they'll watch the guy walk to the switch and they'll watch him pull that switch. They'll see the lights dim and the flash of electricity, but they won't even notice me!"

 

“Oh, they’ll notice you okay.”

 

“Well I guess that’ll make a nice change.”

 

 


 

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