Old 08-19-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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Default Tell me your life story.

It seems that in just about every thread I see somebody posting about some issues they've had in life, (i have too, no worries friends) and I feel it's necessary to have a whole thread dedicated to people spilling their guts.

Go ahead, don't be shy. Let me see what you guys have on your minds.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'

I begged and pleaded with her day after day
But she packed my suit case and sent me on my way
She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket.
I put my Walkman on and said, 'I might as well kick it'.

First class, yo this is bad
Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass.
Is this what the people of Bel-Air living like?
Hmmmmm this might be alright.

But wait I hear they're prissy, bourgeois, all that
Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat?
I don't think so
I'll see when I get there
I hope they're prepared for the prince of Bel-Air

Well, the plane landed and when I came out
There was a dude who looked like a cop standing there with my name out
I ain't trying to get arrested yet
I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought 'Nah, forget it' - 'Yo, homes to Bel Air'

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie 'Yo homes smell ya later'
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air

In all seriousness I suppose:

I was born in Renton Washington to a mother who smoked all her pregnancy.

I got hit in the face with a bat, by my brother. It was a metal bat.

I went to elementary and had three friends. Two of which moved around the beginning of third grade. I was also made fun of by a lot of the kids there, the worst offender being my brother.

ADHD "diagnosis"

I lived in Renton till the end of fourth grade. Had one friend from 3rd grade on. I still talk to him here and there.

Moved out to Puyallup.

Went through a bit more bullying from one load of trash kid. I hit him in the face with a very thick stick outside of school.

6th grade camp got into a physical fight with my brother at "6th grade camp" and won.

7th grade - 9th grade. Kept to myself. Didn't talk much, had a few friends. Mostly just bolted from class to class and went the hell home.

10th grade, things picked up a bit. I stopped being as withdrawn as I was, finally let a few things go. Had some damn good people near me at this time, which I will say helped immensely.

11th grade, figured out how much I liked Videography and Photography. Did a lot of things with that. Took some "advanced" courses. Got into a fight with my mother in which she actually asked me to speak my mind, so I told her I thought she was a bitch. Got bitch slapped 7 times, but worth it. Had a girlfriend here who lasted longer than a few weeks. Met a few of my friends I work with now.

12th grade, became actively involved in the school news stuff, photography things, my "advisory instructor" pretty much hated me, despite being one of the few people in that room who could be trusted with the master key to the school on many occasions. Pretty much everyone who I never talked to before, tried talking to me here, but having been so shut off it was a huge "why the fuck are you talking to me" ordeal. I actually asked someone that, and his answer was fucking awful.

4 years of college pretty much nothing changed. I played a lot of FFR, picked up League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and the like.

Now I'm employed at a Wal-mart a mile down the road, I work 9 hours 4 days a week. Casually gaming and stuff. I live at home with my parents still.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

Well I had a really difficult time in my first year of on-campus housing in college. For my first semester, I hadn't cleaned the house regularly before college, so I wasn't used to cleaning the dishes everyday. I also wasn't used to vacuuming and sweeping every week, so my roommates ended up resenting me and never wanted to talk with me. In the end, they kicked me out at the end of the semester (even though you're supposed to stay in the same room for the whole year), and I had move into a different building and room for my second semester. Unfortunately, my second semester living on-campus was an even worse experience for me.

I was a lot better at cleaning by then, so that wasn't the problem. Two of my roommates were really nice to me, and we got along fairly well. However, my other roommate who lived in the same room as me (we're assigned three different people for our unit, and there's two bedrooms with two people living in each bedroom) ended up hating me. I think it first started when she was talking on the phone in our bedroom at 3 a.m. in the morning, and I politely, but assertively, asked her to please stop talking on the phone, since I was trying to sleep. Instead of complying, she told me in a very rude way that it's her room too and she can do whatever she would like. I then said that's fine and that I would just get our floor advisor to handle the situation, but before I left, she said that she would stop. After that day, I noticed her being rude to me all the time by ignoring me when I spoke to her, and insulting me every once in awhile when she was talking to me, which wasn't very often. Towards the end of the semester, she apparently resented me so much that she put a curtain over her bed so we wouldn't see each other while in the same room. I was so glad to be leaving for summer vacation, but I hope that my second year of college will be a lot better!
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

This summer I worked in a summer camp with a bunch (60) of mindless other individuals who worked there for apparently all the wrong reasons. Being the random and intellectual fellow that I am, I seldom felt out of place among them, even if I was one of the kids' favorite dude. Because I felt that way for 8 weeks in a row, I am starting more and more to feel reclusiveness to avoid it. It is the first time I felt this way in my whole life, and it scares me. I am getting more and more cynical, it is making me quite sad. I need to have a positive relationship with someone else than my girlfriend and my family to make me stay on the right track.

Basically, I feel so alone at times. And I feel so sad about being sad about what seems such a small problem compared to other people, like you guys who posted before me. This needs to end.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

in seoul, generic korean kid from 1993 to 2002 playing starcraft and skipping after school classes to go to arcades

2002: moved to US (california, san jose)
2002~2004: went to elem school and made a bunch of friends, fond memories include wallball, 4square, playing GTA on the xbox and swimming pool parties
2004~2007: made even more friends in middle school, went to same high school together with elementary/middle school friends, so many awesome memories from middle school.. a few include rite aid & target heists heh
2007~2011: went to high school, pretty much hung out with everyone and knew everyone since our class was average sized (400 people), really awesome 4(pretty much 7) years imo
did shit like a typical asian, took AP classes, talked about dream schools and SAT scores all the time.. did shit like badminton, speech & debate, basketball, and other shit just because my friends did it

2011~2013: got into berkeley for statistics & economics, studying and taking tests to become an actuary at the moment, and i'm rooming with my high school buddies.. since like 80 of 400 seniors from our school chose to go to berkeley

pretty awesome 11 years in the US in my opinion

every summer and winter i go back to korea for a brief 1-3 weeks and see family, then the rest of the time i come back to berkeley and study

currently a junior in college and shit's getting hard but i'm pretty satisfied with the way things have turned out

now all i gotta do is land a good internship next summer and then land an actuarial analytics job in SF in 2015, 2016 and i'm good to go for the next 30 ish years

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

oh and college life

#ramen
#yolo
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

born in texas, had a fairly standard first 8 years of my life
moved 45 minutes away when i was 8
homeschooled most of my life with the exceptions of kindergarten, 6th grade and high school
moved to florida with my grandma after completing 6th grade
had the most fucked up period of my life from ages 12 to 14. dad was having PTSD issues and mom had to stay home to make sure my grandma didn't cause trouble for us (me and my brother). she's an evil bitch who can only be loved from a distance. developed anxiety issues from various traumatizing experiences, such as my dad's seizures and delusions.

i should mention that the reason we moved both times in the first place was because "God called us there". notable that i don't consider myself a very religious person anymore.

after that period of my life we moved to ohio. my dad got better and is now working as a therapist. high school was really tough because it was accompanied by my anxiety (both social and general, social anxiety is mostly gone now) but aside from that probably some of the best years of my life so far, having met rly good friends both irl and on the internet. also overcame my social anxiety through high school and medication although in some situations it still persists.

now i'm just excited for college i guess. i can only hope my issues won't get in the way of my future.

as a result of my own problems i take depression and anxiety very seriously. i know people like to exaggerate but there are so many people who say they're depressed that don't even know what it actually feels like. i'm just glad to be done with that part of my life tho, i shouldn't have had to gone through what i did at such a young age
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:32 AM   #8
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college is awesome dude, go and meet new peeps, join the gaming club too
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

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oh and college life

#ramen
#yolo
Everyone deserves to live that life lol.


Kind of digging the honesty in this thread
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:39 AM   #10
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

Holy shit I wrote a lot so... feel free to read if you want. I left a lot of boring stuff out, so this is practically all of the juicy bits from my life. Enjoy.

Born in 1990, parents weren't married, drunken sex type shit. My biological father dipped out when I turned 1, practically disappeared for 11 years. My mom marries my first step-dad, and gets pregnant with my first little brother.

For some reason, Mom and I are beaten constantly. Finally, in the third grade, her and I leave, although I'll continue to get beaten when I go over to his house with my brother (he had the video games and I thought "he would change").

From 3rd to 6th grade, my mom starts seeing my second step-dad, Derek. Very different fathering skills than the first two, also has three daughters. Big ol' happy family, mom and Derek get married in... 2001? 2002? Somewhere around that time frame. When I turn 12, my mom finally sits me down and tells me about my real father, and that he'd like to meet me again. We meet, and it turns out that I am literally the splitting image of him. We continue to talk on and off, I eventually go with to Arizona for a few weeks, and meet my family on his side. Everyone is tight as fuck.

Around 2005, my mother finds out that she has a huge brain tumor. It's the size of a golf ball and by the time she finally finds out about it, she has about 6 months to live. She undergoes emergency surgery, which puts our family back by hundreds of thousands of dollars, and practically changes our lives. At this point, I'm spiraling into delinquency, not doing homework, skipping school, anger issues, that sort of stuff. 2007 rolls along, and I take the ASVAB. I end up scoring an 88, so every branch calls me, trying to recruit. I eventually get pressured by my mother to join the National Guard, so I do. I swear into the Army in March 2008, slated for boot camp during the summer between junior and senior year of high school.

Basic combat training was a trip, as I had never experienced anything like it. I wasn't a top soldier, but I wasn't a shitbag. I glided through boot camp with very little issue, and learned a lot from it. I get back from basic training and realize quickly, that moving from a very strict environment to school is impossible. I dropout of high school right before my second semester, and get my AIT date moved from July to June. I also learn that my mom is actively dating my old national guard recruiter. Interesting.

At AIT, I realize how much of a knack for computers I have; having taken computer science and hardware classes all throughout high school only enforced that. AIT goes without much of a hitch. When I get back, I start drilling with my national guard unit, and fucking hate it. After going through the 5 months of military training, I'm still on fire. I want to go back to that lifestyle, so I submit paperwork to move over to Active Duty. (fun fact, I was held for an extra day at MEPS because of paperwork, so I missed a The Devil Wears Prada concert) At MEPS, they give me four different options: Fort Hood, TX, Fort Drum, NY, Korea, and Fort Bliss, TX. Me, being the dumb shit that I was, was anxious to get out of Vegas, so I picked one arbitrarily.

To be honest, had I not gone to Fort Bliss, I would still be in the military right now.

I leave MEPS with a report date of April 1st, 2010. I learn, about a month before I leave, that my mother is pregnant. Again. With another brother. The father is my National Guard recruiter. Fun. I get to my unit, and I'm instantly thrown into a system administration position. Nothing to special, although I'm generally working on the computers of senior enlisted and officers.

It's at this point that I start to become pretty homesick. Coupled with the fact that I'm getting ridiculed almost every day because of my supposed homosexuality (at this point in time, I strongly considered myself asexual (I realize now that that was dumb as shit rofl)), and that I'm kind of confrontational, the first stages of depression begin to set in. Around this time, I'm trying my hardest to follow my Christian values, but to no avail. Too many questions remain unanswered, so I begin to read the Bible more often, and educate myself. I eventually give up on Christianity, and religion as a whole, and come out to my friends as an atheist. What's interesting is that the majority of the people I met at church stop talking to me. They want nothing to do with me, now that I don't hold the same viewpoint as them. Fortunately, I have a handful of friends who respect my viewpoints, and, ironically, become even closer friends once I get chaptered out of the military.

So while I'm reevaluating my belief in God, (or lack there of), I go through an even more depressing phase, and I end up attempting suicide around Labor Day weekend in 2010, by overdosing. I'm rushed to the hospital, where my first sergeant tells me that he and the company commander put in paperwork to get me on leave for Labor Day. After I get back, it's the same ol' stuff. Christmas rolls around, and everyone's getting presents from friends back home. Everyone except me. I kind of shrug this off in front of my coworkers, but I let it fester, instead of talking to someone.

After we get back from a field training exercise in January 2011, we get a 4 day weekend. I decide to celebrate by going and getting some energy drinks for WoW. I get to the shopette, realize it's closed, and head off post. Little did I know that I didn't have my driver's license, my registration and insurance was expired, and I didn't have decals. So I get arrested by the military police (okay, not arrested, I basically follow the MPs in my car to the station, where I wait for my platoon leader to pick me up). He picks me up, we have a heart to heart about my depression, and he tells me he'll try to get me some help.

The following Tuesday, I get to work and I have an Article 15 waiting for me. Fortunately, it's just a company level article 15, so I wouldn't have gotten any punishment other than some pushups and labor. However, that, piled on top of my deepening depression, drives me to simply walk back to my barracks, where I begin cutting myself. About an hour later, my NCO finds me in my room, with a rather impressive puddle of blood on the floor. He calls an ambulance, follows me to the hospital, and submits me to the psych ward. Once I'm there, I'm greeted with fantastic doctors and officers, and I eventually break my silence and tell them that getting out of the military would be fantastic. So they start paperwork to get me medically discharged. Convenience of the Government, medical discharge, honorable. March 2011 rolls around. I say goodbye to the people on Rear Detachment (my unit had deployed at that point), and make my way to the airport for the flight home.

I still have a bit of PTSD from the past year, so I decide to just coast on unemployment for a little bit. I mean, the unemployment rate in Vegas is so high, it's pointless, right? I move in with my uncle and mom, which is fine for a little bit. When I turn 21, I start drinking (of course). Nothing too crazy, just a drink here and there. What turns out being a bad idea, though, is smoking spice. I start smoking spice, and it's FANTASTIC for a while. Up until about May 2012.

Now a bit of some interesting stepmania trivia: Almost all of Robotomy was stepped while I was smoking spice. I had never heard anything like Robotomy, and I knew that I just HAD to step it. And stepping was much more interesting while high, so I smoked more and more while I stepped it. It got to a point where I was smoking about 12 hours a day, and days were simply fading by. I was eating ramen, peanut butter and jelly, drinking a lot of energy drinks, and smoking a lot of spice. It finally caught up with me, and I had a panic attack so bad that I had to call my brother because I was freaking the fuck out. And when he didn't come in time, I called 911. Needless to say, I don't smoke anymore.

Fast forward to summer of 2012. I say to myself, "fuck Vegas," and move to Arizona briefly. I work with my dad for three months on a house, and I'm having the time of my life. I bounce between working with my dad, and staying with my grandparents. But, of course, I end up homesick, so I go back to Vegas. I start looking for a job, and my sister hooks me up with a job at... Chuck E Cheese. Which is cool. I guess. At least the first few months were.

After Christmas 2012, I start getting depressed again. And instead of doing what any normal person would do (talk to people), I do the exact opposite: Keep it to myself and pick up drinking. I become a pretty heavy alcoholic. Most of my money is spent on rent and alcohol, and if I couldn't afford alcohol, I'd ask my roommate to borrow money. To buy alcohol. I also pick up smoking cigarettes, which I heavily regret now. Eventually, I begin to look for another job, and fail. I'm losing hours at work, because I lose all willingness to work, and it's just making me more depressed.

In about April, I find out about this Veteran IT program through Craigslist. Obviously, I'm skeptical, but mostly desperate. So I go ahead and submit my info. I totally forget about it for a month, when they email me again, asking for the information I forgot to send to them. I hustle around, get the info, and send. Still thinking nothing of it. I'm still drinking heavily, but I finally put my two weeks notice in, assuming that I'll be getting the job I have an interview for. Unfortunately, I completely bomb the interview, so I never hear from them again.

I'm out of a job, with no backup plan, and no money. Time to move in with Derek! Oh, and his sister... and her fucking piece of shit boyfriend... thing.

Pretty much, the month I'm with my step-dad is uneventful. I play Minecraft a lot with mister neckbeard, while spending as much time as humanly possible away from the house, looking for a job. Still drinking. And smoking weed here and there. UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF JUNE.

On May 24th, I'm chillin' at my brother's house. He's out picking up his girlfriend, so I'm derping around on my laptop in his room. I notice that I have a new email so I open it. Turns out that I've been accepted into this IT program. I scramble to get ready for the program, and, honestly, it feels like a bit of a gamble. I had never heard of Acuitis before, no one had, so I was still coming into the program with a bit of trepidation. But I figured that anything was better than my dead end life. Anything. At one point, I was trying to find a job out in Arizona again, but I didn't have work because my dad was in jail. Whoops.

A week before I leave for Cali, I party fucking hard. Drinking with my brother and his rapper friends at the studio, partying on the strip, goin' HAM. I wake up on the day we have to leave hungover as shit, but I pour into the back seat of the car and we drive the 8 hours to San Jose, CA.

2 months later and I could be getting jobs with a plethora of different companies and I don't think I've ever been this happy in my life. Ever.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:50 AM   #12
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San Jose, CA

welcome to one of the best neighborhoods in america my friend
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:13 AM   #13
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+1 san jose'rs
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

So, there's a man crawling through the desert.

He'd decided to try his SUV in a little bit of cross-country travel, had great fun zooming over the badlands and through the sand, got lost, hit a big rock, and then he couldn't get it started again. There were no cell phone towers anywhere near, so his cell phone was useless. He had no family, his parents had died a few years before in an auto accident, and his few friends had no idea he was out here.

He stayed with the car for a day or so, but his one bottle of water ran out
and he was getting thirsty. He thought maybe he knew the direction back, now that he'd paid attention to the sun and thought he'd figured out which way was north, so he decided to start walking. He figured he only had to go about 30 miles or so and he'd be back to the small town he'd gotten gas in last.

He thinks about walking at night to avoid the heat and sun, but based upon
how dark it actually was the night before, and given that he has no flashlight, he's afraid that he'll break a leg or step on a rattlesnake. So,
he puts on some sun block, puts the rest in his pocket for reapplication
later, brings an umbrella he'd had in the back of the SUV with him to give
him a little shade, pours the windshield wiper fluid into his water bottle
in case he gets that desperate, brings his pocket knife in case he finds a cactus that looks like it might have water in it, and heads out in the
direction he thinks is right.

He walks for the entire day. By the end of the day he's really thirsty. He's
been sweating all day, and his lips are starting to crack. He's reapplied the sunblock twice, and tried to stay under the umbrella, but he still feels sunburned. The windshield wiper fluid sloshing in the bottle in his pocket is really getting tempting now. He knows that it's mainly water and some ethanol and coloring, but he also knows that they add some kind of poison to it to keep people from drinking it. He wonders what the poison is, and
whether the poison would be worse than dying of thirst.

He pushes on, trying to get to that small town before dark.

By the end of the day he starts getting worried. He figures he's been walking at least 3 miles an hour, according to his watch for over 10 hours. That means that if his estimate was right that he should be close to the
town. But he doesn't recognize any of this. He had to cross a dry creek bed a mile or two back, and he doesn't remember coming through it in the SUV. He figures that maybe he got his direction off just a little and that the dry creek bed was just off to one side of his path. He tells himself that he's close, and that after dark he'll start seeing the town lights over one of these hills, and that'll be all he needs.

As it gets dim enough that he starts stumbling over small rocks and things,
he finds a spot and sits down to wait for full dark and the town lights.

Full dark comes before he knows it. He must have dozed off. He stands back
up and turns all the way around. He sees nothing but stars.

He wakes up the next morning feeling absolutely lousy. His eyes are gummy and his mouth and nose feel like they're full of sand. He so thirsty that he can't even swallow. He barely got any sleep because it was so cold. He'd forgotten how cold it got at night in the desert and hadn't noticed it the night before because he'd been in his car.

He knows the Rule of Threes - three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food - then you die. Some people can make it a little longer, in the best situations. But the desert heat and having to walk and sweat isn't the best situation to be without water. He figures, unless he finds water, this is his last day.

He rinses his mouth out with a little of the windshield wiper fluid. He waits a while after spitting that little bit out, to see if his mouth goes numb, or he feels dizzy or something. Has his mouth gone numb? Is it just in
his mind? He's not sure. He'll go a little farther, and if he still doesn't
find water, he'll try drinking some of the fluid.

Then he has to face his next, harder question - which way does he go from here? Does he keep walking the same way he was yesterday (assuming that he still knows which way that is), or does he try a new direction? He has no idea what to do.

Looking at the hills and dunes around him, he thinks he knows the direction he was heading before. Just going by a feeling, he points himself somewhat to the left of that, and starts walking.

As he walks, the day starts heating up. The desert, too cold just a couple of hours before, soon becomes an oven again. He sweats a little at first, and then stops. He starts getting worried at that - when you stop sweating he knows that means you're in trouble - usually right before heat stroke.

He decides that it's time to try the windshield wiper fluid. He can't wait
any longer - if he passes out, he's dead. He stops in the shade of a large
rock, takes the bottle out, opens it, and takes a mouthful. He slowly
swallows it, making it last as long as he can. It feels so good in his dry
and cracked throat that he doesn't even care about the nasty taste. He takes
another mouthful, and makes it last too. Slowly, he drinks half the bottle.
He figures that since he's drinking it, he might as well drink enough to
make some difference and keep himself from passing out.

He's quit worrying about the denaturing of the wiper fluid. If it kills him,
it kills him - if he didn't drink it, he'd die anyway. Besides, he's pretty
sure that whatever substance they denature the fluid with is just designed to make you sick - their way of keeping winos from buying cheap wiper fluid for the ethanol content. He can handle throwing up, if it comes to that.

He walks. He walks in the hot, dry, windless desert. Sand, rocks, hills,
dunes, the occasional scrawny cactus or dried bush. No sign of water.
Sometimes he'll see a little movement to one side or the other, but whatever moved is usually gone before he can focus his eyes on it. Probably birds, lizards, or mice. Maybe snakes, though they usually move more at night. He's careful to stay away from the movements.

After a while, he begins to stagger. He's not sure if it's fatigue, heat
stroke finally catching him, or maybe he was wrong and the denaturing of the wiper fluid was worse than he thought. He tries to steady himself, and keep going.

After more walking, he comes to a large stretch of sand. This is good! He
knows he passed over a stretch of sand in the SUV - he remembers doing
donuts in it. Or at least he thinks he remembers it - he's getting woozy
enough and tired enough that he's not sure what he remembers any more or if
he's hallucinating. But he thinks he remembers it. So he heads off into it,
trying to get to the other side, hoping that it gets him closer to the town.

He was heading for a town, wasn't he? He thinks he was. He isn't sure any more. He's not even sure how long he's been walking any more. Is it still morning? Or has it moved into afternoon and the sun is going down again? It must be afternoon - it seems like it's been too long since he started out.

He walks through the sand.

After a while, he comes to a big dune in the sand. This is bad. He doesn't
remember any dunes when driving over the sand in his SUV. Or at least he
doesn't think he remembers any. This is bad.

But, he has no other direction to go. Too late to turn back now. He figures
that he'll get to the top of the dune and see if he can see anything from
there that helps him find the town. He keeps going up the dune.

Halfway up, he slips in the bad footing of the sand for the second or third
time, and falls to his knees. He doesn't feel like getting back up - he'll
just fall down again. So, he keeps going up the dune on his hand and knees.

While crawling, if his throat weren't so dry, he'd laugh. He's finally
gotten to the hackneyed image of a man lost in the desert - crawling through
the sand on his hands and knees. If would be the perfect image, he imagines, if only his clothes were more ragged. The people crawling through the desert
in the cartoons always had ragged clothes. But his have lasted without any
rips so far. Somebody will probably find his dessicated corpse half buried in the sand years from now, and his clothes will still be in fine shape -
shake the sand out, and a good wash, and they'd be wearable again. He wishes his throat were wet enough to laugh. He coughs a little instead, and it hurts.

He finally makes it to the top of the sand dune. Now that he's at the top,
he struggles a little, but manages to stand up and look around. All he sees
is sand. Sand, and more sand. Behind him, about a mile away, he thinks he
sees the rocky ground he left to head into this sand. Ahead of him, more
dunes, more sand. This isn't where he drove his SUV. This is Hell. Or close enough.

Again, he doesn't know what to do. He decides to drink the rest of the wiper
fluid while figuring it out. He takes out the bottle, and is removing the
cap, when he glances to the side and sees something. Something in the sand. At the bottom of the dune, off to the side, he sees something strange. It's a flat area, in the sand. He stops taking the cap of the bottle off, and tries to look closer. The area seems to be circular. And it's dark - darker than the sand. And, there seems to be something in the middle of it, but he can't tell what it is. He looks as hard as he can, and still can tell from
here. He's going to have to go down there and look.

He puts the bottle back in his pocket, and starts to stumble down the dune.
After a few steps, he realizes that he's in trouble - he's not going to be able to keep his balance. After a couple of more sliding, tottering steps, he falls and starts to roll down the dune. The sand it so hot when his body hits it that for a minute he thinks he's caught fire on the way down - like a movie car wreck flashing into flames as it goes over the cliff, before it ever even hits the ground. He closes his eyes and mouth, covers his face with his hands, and waits to stop rolling.

He stops, at the bottom of the dune. After a minute or two, he finds enough
energy to try to sit up and get the sand out of his face and clothes. When
he clears his eyes enough, he looks around to make sure that the dark spot
in the sand it still there and he hadn't just imagined it.

So, seeing the large, flat, dark spot on the sand is still there, he begins
to crawl towards it. He'd get up and walk towards it, but he doesn't seem to
have the energy to get up and walk right now. He must be in the final stages
of dehydration he figures, as he crawls. If this place in the sand doesn't
have water, he'll likely never make it anywhere else. This is his last
chance.

He gets closer and closer, but still can't see what's in the middle of the
dark area. His eyes won't quite focus any more for some reason. And lifting
his head up to look takes so much effort that he gives up trying. He just
keeps crawling.

Finally, he reaches the area he'd seen from the dune. It takes him a minute of crawling on it before he realizes that he's no longer on sand - he's now crawling on some kind of dark stone. Stone with some kind of marking on it - a pattern cut into the stone. He's too tired to stand up and try to see what the pattern is - so he just keeps crawling. He crawls towards the center,
where his blurry eyes still see something in the middle of the dark stone
area.

His mind, detached in a strange way, notes that either his hands and knees are so burnt by the sand that they no longer feel pain, or that this dark
stone, in the middle of a burning desert with a pounding, punishing sun
overhead, doesn't seem to be hot. It almost feels cool. He considers lying
down on the nice cool surface.

Cool, dark stone. Not a good sign. He must be hallucinating this. He's
probably in the middle of a patch of sand, already lying face down and
dying, and just imagining this whole thing. A desert mirage. Soon the
beautiful women carrying pitchers of water will come up and start giving him
a drink. Then he'll know he's gone.

He decides against laying down on the cool stone. If he's going to die here
in the middle of this hallucination, he at least wants to see what's in the
center before he goes. He keeps crawling.

It's the third time that he hears the voice before he realizes what he's
hearing. He would swear that someone just said, "Greetings, traveler. You do
not look well. Do you hear me?"

He stops crawling. He tries to look up from where he is on his hands and
knees, but it's too much effort to lift his head. So he tries something
different - he leans back and tries to sit up on the stone. After a few
seconds, he catches his balance, avoids falling on his face, sits up, and
tries to focus his eyes. Blurry. He rubs his eyes with the back of his hands
and tries again. Better this time.

Yep. He can see. He's sitting in the middle of a large, flat, dark expanse
of stone. Directly next to him, about three feet away, is a white post or
pole about two inches in diameter and sticking up about four or five feet
out of the stone, at an angle.

And wrapped around this white rod, tail with rattle on it hovering and
seeming to be ready to start rattling, is what must be a fifteen foot long
desert diamondback rattlesnake, looking directly at him.

He stares at the snake in shock. He doesn't have the energy to get up and
run away. He doesn't even have the energy to crawl away. This is it, his
final resting place. No matter what happens, he's not going to be able to
move from this spot.

Well, at least dying of a bite from this monster should be quicker than
dying of thirst. He'll face his end like a man. He struggles to sit up a
little straighter. The snake keeps watching him. He lifts one hand and waves
it in the snake's direction, feebly. The snake watches the hand for a
moment, then goes back to watching the man, looking into his eyes.

Hmmm. Maybe the snake had no interest in biting him? It hadn't rattled yet -
that was a good sign. Maybe he wasn't going to die of snake bite after all.

He then remembers that he'd looked up when he'd reached the center here
because he thought he'd heard a voice. He was still very woozy - he was
likely to pass out soon, the sun still beat down on him even though he was
now on cool stone. He still didn't have anything to drink. But maybe he had
actually heard a voice. This stone didn't look natural. Nor did that white
post sticking up out of the stone. Someone had to have built this. Maybe
they were still nearby. Maybe that was who talked to him. Maybe this snake
was even their pet, and that's why it wasn't biting.

He tries to clear his throat to say, "Hello," but his throat is too dry. All
that comes out is a coughing or wheezing sound. There is no way he's going
to be able to talk without something to drink. He feels his pocket, and the
bottle with the wiper fluid is still there. He shakily pulls the bottle out,
almost losing his balance and falling on his back in the process. This isn't
good. He doesn't have much time left, by his reckoning, before he passes
out.

He gets the lid off of the bottle, manages to get the bottle to his lips,
and pours some of the fluid into his mouth. He sloshes it around, and then
swallows it. He coughs a little. His throat feels better. Maybe he can talk
now.

He tries again. Ignoring the snake, he turns to look around him, hoping to
spot the owner of this place, and croaks out, "Hello? Is there anyone here?"

He hears, from his side, "Greetings. What is it that you want?"

He turns his head, back towards the snake. That's where the sound had seemed
to come from. The only thing he can think of is that there must be a
speaker, hidden under the snake, or maybe built into that post. He decides
to try asking for help.

"Please," he croaks again, suddenly feeling dizzy, "I'd love to not be
thirsty any more. I've been a long time without water. Can you help me?"

Looking in the direction of the snake, hoping to see where the voice was
coming from this time, he is shocked to see the snake rear back, open its
mouth, and speak. He hears it say, as the dizziness overtakes him and he
falls forward, face first on the stone, "Very well. Coming up."

A piercing pain shoots through his shoulder. Suddenly he is awake. He sits
up and grabs his shoulder, wincing at the throbbing pain. He's momentarily
disoriented as he looks around, and then he remembers - the crawl across the
sand, the dark area of stone, the snake. He sees the snake, still wrapped
around the tilted white post, still looking at him.

He reaches up and feels his shoulder, where it hurts. It feels slightly wet.
He pulls his fingers away and looks at them - blood. He feels his shoulder
again - his shirt has what feels like two holes in it - two puncture holes -
they match up with the two aching spots of pain on his shoulder. He had been
bitten. By the snake.

"It'll feel better in a minute." He looks up - it's the snake talking. He
hadn't dreamed it. Suddenly he notices - he's not dizzy any more. And more
importantly, he's not thirsty any more - at all!

"Have I died? Is this the afterlife? Why are you biting me in the
afterlife?"

"Sorry about that, but I had to bite you," says the snake. "That's the way I
work. It all comes through the bite. Think of it as natural medicine."

"You bit me to help me? Why aren't I thirsty any more? Did you give me a
drink before you bit me? How did I drink enough while unconscious to not be
thirsty any more? I haven't had a drink for over two days. Well, except for
the windshield wiper fluid... hold it, how in the world does a snake talk?
Are you real? Are you some sort of Disney animation?"

"No," says the snake, "I'm real. As real as you or anyone is, anyway. I
didn't give you a drink. I bit you. That's how it works - it's what I do. I
bite. I don't have hands to give you a drink, even if I had water just
sitting around here."

The man sat stunned for a minute. Here he was, sitting in the middle of the
desert on some strange stone that should be hot but wasn't, talking to a
snake that could talk back and had just bitten him. And he felt better. Not
great - he was still starving and exhausted, but much better - he was no
longer thirsty. He had started to sweat again, but only slightly. He felt
hot, in this sun, but it was starting to get lower in the sky, and the cool
stone beneath him was a relief he could notice now that he was no longer
dying of thirst.

"I might suggest that we take care of that methanol you now have in your
system with the next request," continued the snake. "I can guess why you
drank it, but I'm not sure how much you drank, or how much methanol was left
in the wiper fluid. That stuff is nasty. It'll make you go blind in a day or
two, if you drank enough of it."

"Ummm, n-next request?" said the man. He put his hand back on his hurting
shoulder and backed away from the snake a little.

"That's the way it works. If you like, that is," explained the snake. "You
get three requests. Call them wishes, if you wish." The snake grinned at his
own joke, and the man drew back a little further from the show of fangs.

"But there are rules," the snake continued. "The first request is free. The
second requires an agreement of secrecy. The third requires the binding of
responsibility." The snake looks at the man seriously.

"By the way," the snake says suddenly, "my name is Nathan. Old Nathan,
Samuel used to call me. He gave me the name. Before that, most of the Bound
used to just call me 'Snake'. But that got old, and Samuel wouldn't stand
for it. He said that anything that could talk needed a name. He was big into
names. You can call me Nate, if you wish." Again, the snake grinned. "Sorry
if I don't offer to shake, but I think you can understand - my shake sounds
somewhat threatening." The snake give his rattle a little shake.

"Umm, my name is Jack," said the man, trying to absorb all of this. "Jack
Samson.

"Can I ask you a question?" Jack says suddenly. "What happened to the
poison...umm, in your bite. Why aren't I dying now? How did you do that?
What do you mean by that's how you work?"

"That's more than one question," grins Nate. "But I'll still try to answer
all of them. First, yes, you can ask me a question." The snake's grin gets
wider. "Second, the poison is in you. It changed you. You now no longer need
to drink. That's what you asked for. Or, well, technically, you asked to not
be thirsty any more - but 'any more' is such a vague term. I decided to make
it permanent - now, as long as you live, you shouldn't need to drink much at
all. Your body will conserve water very efficiently. You should be able to
get enough just from the food you eat - much like a creature of the desert.
You've been changed.

"For the third question," Nate continues, "you are still dying. Besides the
effects of that methanol in your system, you're a man - and men are mortal.
In your current state, I give you no more than about another 50 years.
Assuming you get out of this desert, alive, that is." Nate seemed vastly
amused at his own humor, and continued his wide grin.

"As for the fourth question," Nate said, looking more serious as far as Jack
could tell, as Jack was just now working on his ability to read
talking-snake emotions from snake facial features, "first you have to agree
to make a second request and become bound by the secrecy, or I can't tell
you."

"Wait," joked Jack, "isn't this where you say you could tell me, but you'd
have to kill me?"

"I thought that was implied." Nate continued to look serious.

"Ummm...yeah." Jack leaned back a little as he remembered again that he was
talking to a fifteen foot poisonous reptile with a reputation for having a
nasty temper. "So, what is this 'Bound by Secrecy' stuff, and can you really
stop the effects of the methanol?" Jack thought for a second. "And, what do
you mean methanol, anyway? I thought these days they use ethanol in wiper
fluid, and just denature it?"

"They may, I don't really know," said Nate. "I haven't gotten out in a
while. Maybe they do. All I know is that I smell methanol on your breath and
on that bottle in your pocket. And the blue color of the liquid when you
pulled it out to drink some let me guess that it was wiper fluid. I assume
that they still color wiper fluid blue?"

"Yeah, they do," said Jack.

"I figured," replied Nate. "As for being bound by secrecy - with the
fulfillment of your next request, you will be bound to say nothing about me,
this place, or any of the information I will tell you after that, when you
decide to go back out to your kind. You won't be allowed to talk about me,
write about me, use sign language, charades, or even act in a way that will
lead someone to guess correctly about me. You'll be bound to secrecy. Of
course, I'll also ask you to promise not to give me away, and as I'm
guessing that you're a man of your word, you'll never test the binding
anyway, so you won't notice." Nate said the last part with utter confidence.

Jack, who had always prided himself on being a man of his word, felt a
little nervous at this. "Ummm, hey, Nate, who are you? How did you know
that? Are you, umm, omniscient, or something?"

Well, Jack," said Nate sadly, "I can't tell you that, unless you make the
second request." Nate looked away for a minute, then looked back.

"Umm, well, ok," said Jack, "what is this about a second request? What can I
ask for? Are you allowed to tell me that?"

"Sure!" said Nate, brightening. "You're allowed to ask for changes. Changes
to yourself. They're like wishes, but they can only affect you. Oh, and
before you ask, I can't give you immortality. Or omniscience. Or
omnipresence, for that matter. Though I might be able to make you gaseous
and yet remain alive, and then you could spread through the atmosphere and
sort of be omnipresent. But what good would that be - you still wouldn't be
omniscient and thus still could only focus on one thing at a time. Not very
useful, at least in my opinion." Nate stopped when he realized that Jack was
staring at him.

"Well, anyway," continued Nate, "I'd probably suggest giving you permanent
good health. It would negate the methanol now in your system, you'd be
immune to most poisons and diseases, and you'd tend to live a very long
time, barring accident, of course. And you'll even have a tendency to
recover from accidents well. It always seemed like a good choice for a
request to me."

"Cure the methanol poisoning, huh?" said Jack. "And keep me healthy for a
long time? Hmmm. It doesn't sound bad at that. And it has to be a request
about a change to me? I can't ask to be rich, right? Because that's not
really a change to me?"

"Right," nodded Nate.

"Could I ask to be a genius and permanently healthy?" Jack asked, hopefully.

"That takes two requests, Jack."

"Yeah, I figured so," said Jack. "But I could ask to be a genius? I could
become the smartest scientist in the world? Or the best athlete?"

"Well, I could make you very smart," admitted Nate, "but that wouldn't
necessarily make you the best scientist in the world. Or, I could make you
very athletic, but it wouldn't necessarily make you the best athlete either.
You've heard the saying that 99% of genius is hard work? Well, there's some
truth to that. I can give you the talent, but I can't make you work hard. It
all depends on what you decide to do with it."

"Hmmm," said Jack. "Ok, I think I understand. And I get a third request,
after this one?"

"Maybe," said Nate, "it depends on what you decide then. There are more
rules for the third request that I can only tell you about after the second
request. You know how it goes." Nate looked like he'd shrug, if he had
shoulders.

"Ok, well, since I'd rather not be blind in a day or two, and permanent
health doesn't sound bad, then consider that my second request. Officially.
Do I need to sign in blood or something?"

"No," said Nate. "Just hold out your hand. Or heel." Nate grinned. "Or
whatever part you want me to bite. I have to bite you again. Like I said,
that's how it works - the poison, you know," Nate said apologetically.

Jack winced a little and felt his shoulder, where the last bite was. Hey, it
didn't hurt any more. Just like Nate had said. That made Jack feel better
about the biting business. But still, standing still while a fifteen foot
snake sunk it's fangs into you. Jack stood up. Ignoring how good it felt to
be able to stand again, and the hunger starting to gnaw at his stomach, Jack
tried to decide where he wanted to get bitten. Despite knowing that it
wouldn't hurt for long, Jack knew that this wasn't going to be easy.

"Hey, Jack," Nate suddenly said, looking past Jack towards the dunes behind
him, "is that someone else coming up over there?"

Jack spun around and looked. Who else could be out here in the middle of
nowhere? And did they bring food?

Wait a minute, there was nobody over there. What was Nate...

Jack let out a bellow as he felt two fangs sink into his rear end, through
his jeans...

Jack sat down carefully, favoring his more tender buttock. "I would have
decided, eventually, Nate. I was just thinking about it. You didn't have to
hoodwink me like that."

"I've been doing this a long time, Jack," said Nate, confidently. "You
humans have a hard time sitting still and letting a snake bite you -
especially one my size. And besides, admit it - it's only been a couple of
minutes and it already doesn't hurt any more, does it? That's because of the
health benefit with this one. I told you that you'd heal quickly now."

"Yeah, well, still," said Jack, "it's the principle of the thing. And nobody
likes being bitten in the butt! Couldn't you have gotten my calf or
something instead?"

"More meat in the typical human butt," replied Nate. "And less chance you
accidentally kick me or move at the last second."

"Yeah, right. So, tell me all of these wonderful secrets that I now qualify
to hear," answered Jack.

"Ok," said Nate. "Do you want to ask questions first, or do you want me to
just start talking?"

"Just talk," said Jack. "I'll sit here and try to not think about food."

"We could go try to rustle up some food for you first, if you like,"
answered Nate.

"Hey! You didn't tell me you had food around here, Nate!" Jack jumped up.
"What do we have? Am I in walking distance to town? Or can you magically
whip up food along with your other powers?" Jack was almost shouting with
excitement. His stomach had been growling for hours.

"I was thinking more like I could flush something out of its hole and bite
it for you, and you could skin it and eat it. Assuming you have a knife,
that is," replied Nate, with the grin that Jack was starting to get used to.

"Ugh," said Jack, sitting back down. "I think I'll pass. I can last a little
longer before I get desperate enough to eat desert rat, or whatever else it
is you find out here. And there's nothing to burn - I'd have to eat it raw.
No thanks. Just talk."

"Ok," replied Nate, still grinning. "But I'd better hurry, before you start
looking at me as food.

Nate reared back a little, looked around for a second, and then continued.
"You, Jack, are sitting in the middle of the Garden of Eden."

Jack looked around at the sand and dunes and then looked back at Nate
sceptically.

"Well, that's the best I can figure it, anyway, Jack," said Nate. "Stand up
and look at the symbol on the rock here." Nate gestured around the dark
stone they were both sitting on with his nose.

Jack stood up and looked. Carved into the stone in a bas-relief was a
representation of a large tree. The angled-pole that Nate was wrapped around
was coming out of the trunk of the tree, right below where the main branches
left the truck to reach out across the stone. It was very well done - it
looked more like a tree had been reduced to almost two dimensions and
embedded in the stone than it did like a carving.

Jack walked around and looked at the details in the fading light of the
setting sun. He wished he'd looked at it while the sun was higher in the
sky.

Wait! The sun was setting! That meant he was going to have to spend another
night out here! Arrrgh!

Jack looked out across the desert for a little bit, and then came back and
stood next to Nate. "In all the excitement, I almost forgot, Nate," said
Jack. "Which way is it back to town? And how far? I'm eventually going to
have to head back - I'm not sure I'll be able to survive by eating raw
desert critters for long. And even if I can, I'm not sure I'll want to."

"It's about 30 miles that way." Nate pointed, with the rattle on his tail
this time. As far as Jack could tell, it was a direction at right angles to
the way he'd been going when he was crawling here. "But that's 30 miles by
the way the crow flies. It's about 40 by the way a man walks. You should be
able to do it in about half a day with your improved endurance, if you head
out early tomorrow, Jack."

Jack looked out the way the snake had pointed for a few seconds more, and
then sat back down. It was getting dark. Not much he could do about heading
out right now. And besides, Nate was just about to get to the interesting
stuff. "Garden of Eden? As best as you can figure it?"

"Well, yeah, as best as I and Samuel could figure it anyway," said Nate. "He
figured that the story just got a little mixed up. You know, snake, in a
'tree', offering 'temptations', making bargains. That kind stuff. But he
could never quite figure out how the Hebrews found out about this spot from
across the ocean. He worried about that for a while."

"Garden of Eden, hunh?" said Jack. "How long have you been here, Nate?"

"No idea, really," replied Nate. "A long time. It never occurred to me to
count years, until recently, and by then, of course, it was too late. But I
do remember when this whole place was green, so I figure it's been thousands
of years, at least."

"So, are you the snake that tempted Eve?" said Jack.

"Beats me," said Nate. "Maybe. I can't remember if the first one of your
kind that I talked to was female or not, and I never got a name, but it
could have been. And I suppose she could have considered my offer to grant
requests a 'temptation', though I've rarely had refusals."

"Well, umm, how did you get here then? And why is that white pole stuck out
of the stone there?" asked Jack.

"Dad left me here. Or, I assume it was my dad. It was another snake - much
bigger than I was back then. I remember talking to him, but I don't remember
if it was in a language, or just kind of understanding what he wanted. But
one day, he brought me to this stone, told me about it, and asked me to do
something for him. I talked it over with him for a while, then agreed. I've
been here ever since.

"What is this place?" said Jack. "And what did he ask you to do?"

"Well, you see this pole here, sticking out of the stone?" Nate loosened his
coils around the tilted white pole and showed Jack where it descended into
the stone. The pole was tilted at about a 45 degree angle and seemed to
enter the stone in an eighteen inch slot cut into the stone. Jack leaned
over and looked. The slot was dark and the pole went down into it as far as
Jack could see in the dim light. Jack reached out to touch the pole, but
Nate was suddenly there in the way.

"You can't touch that yet, Jack," said Nate.

"Why not?" asked Jack.

"I haven't explained it to you yet," replied Nate.

"Well, it kinda looks like a lever or something," said Jack. "You'd push it
that way, and it would move in the slot."

"Yep, that's what it is," replied Nate.

"What does it do?" asked Jack. "End the world?"

"Oh, no," said Nate. "Nothing that drastic. It just ends humanity. I call it
'The Lever of Doom'." For the last few words Nate had used a deeper, ringing
voice. He tried to look serious for a few seconds, and then gave up and
grinned.

Jack was initially startled by Nate's pronouncement, but when Nate grinned
Jack laughed. "Ha! You almost had me fooled for a second there. What does it
really do?"

"Oh, it really ends humanity, like I said," smirked Nate. "I just thought
the voice I used was funny, didn't you?"

Nate continued to grin.

"A lever to end humanity?" asked Jack. "What in the world is that for? Why
would anyone need to end humanity?"

"Well," replied Nate, "I get the idea that maybe humanity was an experiment.
Or maybe the Big Guy just thought, that if humanity started going really
bad, there should be a way to end it. I'm not really sure. All I know are
the rules, and the guesses that Samuel and I had about why it's here. I
didn't think to ask back when I started here."

"Rules? What rules?" asked Jack.

"The rules are that I can't tell anybody about it or let them touch it
unless they agree to be bound to secrecy by a bite. And that only one human
can be bound in that way at a time. That's it." explained Nate.

Jack looked somewhat shocked. "You mean that I could pull the lever now?
You'd let me end humanity?"

"Yep," replied Nate, "if you want to." Nate looked at Jack carefully. "Do
you want to, Jack?"

"Umm, no." said Jack, stepping a little further back from the lever. "Why in
the world would anyone want to end humanity? It'd take a psychotic to want
that! Or worse, a suicidal psychotic, because it would kill him too,
wouldn't it?"

"Yep," replied Nate, "being as he'd be human too."

"Has anyone ever seriously considered it?" asked Nate. "Any of those bound
to secrecy, that is?"

"Well, of course, I think they've all seriously considered it at one time or
another. Being given that kind of responsibility makes you sit down and
think, or so I'm told. Samuel considered it several times. He'd often get
disgusted with humanity, come out here, and just hold the lever for a while.
But he never pulled it. Or you wouldn't be here." Nate grinned some more.

Jack sat down, well back from the lever. He looked thoughtful and puzzled at
the same time. After a bit, he said, "So this makes me the Judge of
humanity? I get to decide whether they keep going or just end? Me?"

"That seems to be it," agreed Nate.

"What kind of criteria do I use to decide?" said Jack. "How do I make this
decision? Am I supposed to decide if they're good? Or too many of them are
bad? Or that they're going the wrong way? Is there a set of rules for that?"

"Nope," replied Nate. "You pretty much just have to decide on your own. It's
up to you, however you want to decide it. I guess that you're just supposed
to know."

"But what if I get mad at someone? Or some girl dumps me and I feel
horrible? Couldn't I make a mistake? How do I know that I won't screw up?"
protested Jack.

Nate gave his kind of snake-like shrug again. "You don't. You just have to
try your best, Jack."

Jack sat there for a while, staring off into the desert that was rapidly
getting dark, chewing on a fingernail.

Suddenly, Jack turned around and looked at the snake. "Nate, was Samuel the
one bound to this before me?"

"Yep," replied Nate. "He was a good guy. Talked to me a lot. Taught me to
read and brought me books. I think I still have a good pile of them buried
in the sand around here somewhere. I still miss him. He died a few months
ago."

"Sounds like a good guy," agreed Jack. "How did he handle this, when you
first told him. What did he do?"

"Well," said Nate, "he sat down for a while, thought about it for a bit, and
then asked me some questions, much like you're doing."

"What did he ask you, if you're allowed to tell me?" asked Jack.

"He asked me about the third request," replied Nate.

"Aha!" It was Jack's turn to grin. "And what did you tell him?"

"I told him the rules for the third request. That to get the third request
you have to agree to this whole thing. That if it ever comes to the point
that you really think that humanity should be ended, that you'll come here
and end it. You won't avoid it, and you won't wimp out." Nate looked serious
again. "And you'll be bound to do it too, Jack."

"Hmmm." Jack looked back out into the darkness for a while.

Nate watched him, waiting.

"Nate," continued Jack, quietly, eventually. "What did Samuel ask for with
his third request?"

Nate sounded like he was grinning again as he replied, also quietly,
"Wisdom, Jack. He asked for wisdom. As much as I could give him."

"Ok," said Jack, suddenly, standing up and facing away from Nate, "give it
to me.

Nate looked at Jack's backside. "Give you what, Jack?"

"Give me that wisdom. The same stuff that Samuel asked for. If it helped
him, maybe it'll help me too." Jack turned his head to look back over his
shoulder at Nate. "It did help him, right?"

"He said it did," replied Nate. "But he seemed a little quieter afterward.
Like he had a lot to think about."

"Well, yeah, I can see that," said Jack. "So, give it to me." Jack turned to
face away from Nate again, bent over slightly and tensed up.

Nate watched Jack tense up with a little exasperation. If he bit Jack now,
Jack would likely jump out of his skin and maybe hurt them both.

"You remember that you'll be bound to destroy humanity if it ever looks like
it needs it, right Jack?" asked Nate, shifting position.

"Yeah, yeah, I got that," replied Jack, eyes squeezed tightly shut and body
tense, not noticing the change in direction of Nate's voice.

"And," continued Nate, from his new position, "do you remember that you'll
turn bright purple, and grow big horns and extra eyes?"

"Yeah, yeah...Hey, wait a minute!" said Jack, opening his eyes,
straightening up and turning around. "Purple?!" He didn't see Nate there.
With the moonlight Jack could see that the lever extended up from its slot
in the rock without the snake wrapped around it.

Jack heard, from behind him, Nate's "Just Kidding!" right before he felt the
now familiar piercing pain, this time in the other buttock.

Jack sat on the edge of the dark stone in the rapidly cooling air, his feet
extending out into the sand. He stared out into the darkness, listening to
the wind stir the sand, occasionally rubbing his butt where he'd been
recently bitten.

Nate had left for a little while, had come back with a desert-rodent-shaped
bulge somewhere in his middle, and was now wrapped back around the lever,
his tongue flicking out into the desert night's air the only sign that he
was still awake.

Occasionally Jack, with his toes absentmindedly digging in the sand while he
thought, would ask Nate a question without turning around.

"Nate, do accidents count?"

Nate lifted his head a little bit. "What do you mean, Jack?"

Jack tilted his head back like he was looking at the stars. "You know,
accidents. If I accidentally fall on the lever, without meaning to, does
that still wipe out humanity?"

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure it does, Jack. I'd suggest you be careful about that
if you start feeling wobbly," said Nate with some amusement.

A little later - "Does it have to be me that pulls the lever?" asked Jack.

"That's the rule, Jack. Nobody else can pull it," answered Nate.

"No," Jack shook his head, "I meant does it have to be my hand? Could I pull
the lever with a rope tied around it? Or push it with a stick? Or throw a
rock?"

"Yes, those should work," replied Nate. "Though I'm not sure how complicated
you could get. Samuel thought about trying to build some kind of remote
control for it once, but gave it up. Everything he'd build would be gone by
the next sunrise, if it was touching the stone, or over it. I told him that
in the past others that had been bound had tried to bury the lever so they
wouldn't be tempted to pull it, but every time the stones or sand or
whatever had disappeared."

"Wow," said Jack, "Cool." Jack leaned back until only his elbows kept him
off of the stone and looked up into the sky.

"Nate, how long did Samuel live? One of his wishes was for health too,
right?" asked Jack.

"Yes," replied Nate, "it was. He lived 167 years, Jack."

"Wow, 167 years. That's almost 140 more years I'll live if I live as long.
Do you know what he died of, Nate?"

"He died of getting tired of living, Jack," Nate said, sounding somewhat
sad.

Jack turned his head to look at Nate in the starlight.

Nate looked back. "Samuel knew he wasn't going to be able to stay in
society. He figured that they'd eventually see him still alive and start
questioning it, so he decided that he'd have to disappear after a while. He
faked his death once, but changed his mind - he decided it was too early and
he could stay for a little longer. He wasn't very fond of mankind, but he
liked the attention. Most of the time, anyway.

"His daughter and then his wife dying almost did him in though. He didn't
stay in society much longer after that. He eventually came out here to spend
time talking to me and thinking about pulling the lever. A few months ago he
told me he'd had enough. It was his time."

"And then he just died?" asked Jack.

Nate shook his head a little. "He made his forth request, Jack. There's only
one thing you can ask for the fourth request. The last bite.

After a bit Nate continued, "He told me that he was tired, that it was his
time. He reassured me that someone new would show up soon, like they always
had.

After another pause, Nate finished, "Samuel's body disappeared off the stone
with the sunrise."

Jack lay back down and looked at the sky, leaving Nate alone with his
memories. It was a long time until Jack's breathing evened out into sleep.

Jack woke with the sunrise the next morning. He was a little chilled with
the morning desert air, but overall was feeling pretty good. Well, except
that his stomach was grumbling and he wasn't willing to eat raw desert rat.

So, after getting directions to town from Nate, making sure he knew how to
get back, and reassuring Nate that he'd be back soon, Jack started the long
walk back to town. With his new health and Nate's good directions, he made
it back easily.

Jack caught a bus back to the city, and showed up for work the next day,
little worse for the wear and with a story about getting lost in the desert
and walking back out. Within a couple of days Jack had talked a friend with
a tow truck into going back out into the desert with him to fetch the SUV.
They found it after a couple of hours of searching and towed it back without
incident. Jack was careful not to even look in the direction of Nate's
lever, though their path back didn't come within sight of it.

Before the next weekend, Jack had gone to a couple of stores, including a
book store, and had gotten his SUV back from the mechanic, with a warning to
avoid any more joyriding in the desert. On Saturday, Jack headed back to see
Nate.

Jack parked a little way out of the small town near Nate, loaded up his new
backpack with camping gear and the things he was bringing for Nate, and then
started walking. He figured that walking would leave the least trail, and he
knew that while not many people camped in the desert, it wasn't unheard of,
and shouldn't really raise suspicions.

Jack had brought more books for Nate - recent books, magazines, newspapers.
Some things that would catch Nate up with what was happening in the world,
others that were just good books to read. He spent the weekend with Nate,
and then headed out again, telling Nate that he'd be back again soon, but
that he had things to do first.

Over four months later Jack was back to see Nate again. This time he brought
a laptop with him - a specially modified laptop. It had a solar recharger,
special filters and seals to keep out the sand, a satellite link-up, and a
special keyboard and joystick that Jack hoped that a fifteen-foot
rattlesnake would be able to use. And, it had been hacked to not give out
its location to the satellite.

After that Jack could e-mail Nate to keep in touch, but still visited him
fairly regularly - at least once or twice a year.

After the first year, Jack quit his job. For some reason, with the wisdom he
'd been given, and the knowledge that he could live for over 150 years,
working in a nine to five job for someone else didn't seem that worthwhile
any more. Jack went back to school.

Eventually, Jack started writing. Perhaps because of the wisdom, or perhaps
because of his new perspective, he wrote well. People liked what he wrote,
and he became well known for it. After a time, Jack bought an RV and started
traveling around the country for book signings and readings.

But, he still remembered to drop by and visit Nate occasionally.

On one of the visits Nate seemed quieter than usual. Not that Nate had been
a fountain of joy lately. Jack's best guess was that Nate was still missing
Samuel, and though Jack had tried, he still hadn't been able to replace
Samuel in Nate's eyes. Nate had been getting quieter each visit. But on this
visit Nate didn't even speak when Jack walked up to the lever. He nodded at
Jack, and then went back to staring into the desert. Jack, respecting Nate's
silence, sat down and waited.

After a few minutes, Nate spoke. "Jack, I have someone to introduce you to."

Jack looked surprised. "Someone to introduce me to?" Jack looked around, and then looked carefully back at Nate. "This something to do with the Big Guy?

"No, no," replied Nate. "This is more personal. I want you to meet my son."
Nate looked over at the nearest sand dune. "Sammy!"

Jack watched as a four foot long desert rattlesnake crawled from behind the
dune and up to the stone base of the lever.

"Yo, Jack," said the new, much smaller snake.

"Yo, Sammy" replied Jack. Jack looked at Nate. "Named after Samuel, I
assume?"

Nate nodded. "Jack, I've got a favor to ask you. Could you show Sammy around
for me?" Nate unwrapped himself from the lever and slithered over to the
edge of the stone and looked across the sands. "When Samuel first told me
about the world, and brought me books and pictures, I wished that I could go see it. I wanted to see the great forests, the canyons, the cities, even the
other deserts, to see if they felt and smelled the same. I want my son to
have that chance - to see the world. Before he becomes bound here like I have been.

"He's seen it in pictures, over the computer that you brought me. But I hear that it's not the same. That being there is different. I want him to have
that. Think you can do that for me, Jack?"

Jack nodded. This was obviously very important to Nate, so Jack didn't even
joke about taking a talking rattlesnake out to see the world. "Yeah, I can
do that for you, Nate. Is that all you need?" Jack could sense that was
something more.

Nate looked at Sammy. Sammy looked back at Nate for a second and then said,
"Oh, yeah. Ummm, I've gotta go pack. Back in a little bit Jack. Nice to meet
ya!" Sammy slithered back over the dune and out of sight.

Nate watched Sammy disappear and then looked back at Jack. "Jack, this is my
first son. My first offspring through all the years. You don't even want to
know what it took for me to find a mate." Nate grinned to himself. "But
anyway, I had a son for a reason. I'm tired. I'm ready for it to be over. I
needed a replacement."

Jack considered this for a minute. "So, you're ready to come see the world,
and you wanted him to watch the lever while you were gone?"

Nate shook his head. "No, Jack - you're a better guesser than that. You've
already figured out - I'm bound here - there's only one way for me to leave
here. And I'm ready. It's my time to die."

Jack looked more closely at Nate. He could tell Nate had thought about
this - probably for quite a while. Jack had trouble imagining what it would
be like to be as old as Nate, but Jack could already tell that in another
hundred or two hundred years, he might be getting tired of life himself.
Jack could understand Samuel's decision, and now Nate's. So, all Jack said
was, "What do you want me to do?"

Nate nodded. "Thanks, Jack. I only want two things. One - show Sammy around
the world - let him get his fill of it, until he's ready to come back here
and take over. Two - give me the fourth request.

"I can't just decide to die, not any more than you can. I won't even die of
old age like you eventually will, even though it'll be a long time from now.
I need to be killed. Once Sammy is back here, ready to take over, I'll be
able to die. And I need you to kill me.

"I've even thought about how. Poisons and other drugs won't work on me. And
I've seen pictures of snakes that were shot - some of them live for days, so
that's out too. So, I want you to bring back a sword.

Nate turned away to look back to the dune that Sammy had gone behind. "I'd
say an axe, but that's somewhat undignified - putting my head on the ground
or a chopping block like that. No, I like a sword. A time-honored way of
going out. A dignified way to die. And, most importantly, it should work,
even on me.

"You willing to do that for me, Jack?" Nate turned back to look at Jack.

"Yeah, Nate," replied Jack solemnly, "I think I can handle that."

Nate nodded. "Good!" He turned back toward the dune and shouted, "Sammy!
Jack's about ready to leave!" Then quietly, "Thanks, Jack."

Jack didn't have anything to say to that, so he waited for Sammy to make it
back to the lever, nodded to him, nodded a final time to Nate, and then
headed into the desert with Sammy following.
Over the next several years Sammy and Jack kept in touch with Nate through
e-mail as they went about their adventures. They made a goal of visiting
every country in the world, and did a respectable job of it. Sammy had a
natural gift for languages, as Jack expected he would, and even ended up
acting as a translator for Jack in a few of the countries. Jack managed to
keep the talking rattlesnake hidden, even so, and by the time they were
nearing the end of their tour of countries, Sammy had only been spotted a
few times. While there were several people that had seen enough to startle
them greatly, nobody had enough evidence to prove anything, and while a few
wild rumors and storied followed Jack and Sammy around, nothing ever hit the
newspapers or the public in general.

When they finished the tour of countries, Jack suggested that they try some
undersea diving. They did. And spelunking. They did that too. Sammy finally
drew the line at visiting Antarctica. He'd come to realize that Jack was
stalling. After talking to his Dad about it over e-mail, he figured out that
Jack probably didn't want to have to kill Nate. Nate told Sammy that humans
could be squeamish about killing friends and acquaintances.

So, Sammy eventually put his tail down (as he didn't have a foot) and told
Jack that it was time - he was ready to go back and take up his duties from
his dad. Jack, delayed it a little more by insisting that they go back to
Japan and buy an appropriate sword. He even stretched it a little more by
getting lessons in how to use the sword. But, eventually, he'd learned as
much as he was likely to without dedicating his life to it, and was
definitely competent enough to take the head off of a snake. It was time to
head back and see Nate.

When they got back to the US, Jack got the old RV out of storage where he
and Sammy had left it after their tour of the fifty states, he loaded up
Sammy and the sword, and they headed for the desert.

When they got to the small town that Jack had been trying to find those
years ago when he'd met Nate, Jack was in a funk. He didn't really feel like
walking all of the way out there. Not only that, but he'd forgotten to
figure the travel time correctly, and it was late afternoon. They'd either
have to spend the night in town and walk out tomorrow, or walk in the dark.

As Jack was afraid that if he waited one more night he might lose his
resolve, he decided that he'd go ahead and drive the RV out there. It was
only going to be this once, and Jack would go back and cover the tracks
afterward. They ought to be able to make it out there by nightfall if they
drove, and then they could get it over tonight.

Jack told Sammy to e-mail Nate that they were coming as he drove out of
sight of the town on the road. They then pulled off the road and headed out
into the desert.

Everything went well, until they got to the sand dunes. Jack had been
nursing the RV along the whole time, over the rocks, through the creek beds,
revving the engine the few times they almost got stuck. When they came to
the dunes, Jack didn't really think about it, he just downshifted and headed
up the first one. By the third dune, Jack started to regret that he'd
decided to try driving on the sand. The RV was fishtailling and losing
traction. Jack was having to work it up each dune slowly and was trying to
keep from losing control each time they came over the top and slid down the
other side. Sammy had come up to sit in the passenger seat, coiled up and
laughing at Jack's driving.

As they came over the top of the fourth dune, the biggest one yet, Jack saw
that this was the final dune - the stone, the lever, and somewhere Nate,
waited below. Jack put on the brakes, but he'd gone a little too far. The RV
started slipping down the other side.

Jack tried turning the wheel, but he didn't have enough traction. He pumped
the brakes - no response. They started sliding down the hill, faster and
faster.

Jack felt a shock go through him as he suddenly realized that they were
heading for the lever. He looked down - the RV was directly on course for
it. If Jack didn't do something, the RV would hit it. He was about to end
humanity.

Jack steered more frantically, trying to get traction. It still wasn't
working. The dune was too steep, and the sand too loose. In a split second,
Jack realized that his only chance would be once he hit the stone around the
lever - he should have traction on the stone for just a second before he hit
the lever - he wouldn't have time to stop, but he should be able to steer
away.

Jack took a better grip on the steering wheel and tried to turn the RV a
little bit - every little bit would help. He'd have to time his turn just
right.

The RV got to the bottom of the dune, sliding at an amazing speed in the
sand. Just before they reached the stone Jack looked across it to check that
they were still heading for the lever. They were. But Jack noticed something
else that he hadn't seen from the top of the dune. Nate wasn't wrapped
around the lever. He was off to the side of the lever, but still on the
stone, waiting for them. The problem was, he was waiting on the same side of
the lever that Jack had picked to steer towards to avoid the lever. The RV
was already starting to drift that way a little in its mad rush across the
sand and there was no way that Jack was going to be able to go around the
lever to the other side.

Jack had an instant of realization. He was either going to have to hit the
lever, or run over Nate. He glanced over at Sammy and saw that Sammy
realized the same thing.

Jack took a firmer grip on the steering wheel as the RV ran up on the stone.
Shouting to Sammy as he pulled the steering wheel, "BETTER NATE THAN LEVER!"

Last edited by Tps222; 08-20-2013 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:34 AM   #15
Choofers
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

world's longest joke, gg
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:29 AM   #16
smartdude1212
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

Holy fucking hell this is an enormous wall of text. Fuck it though, you asked for a life story... spoiler'd for ease I guess.

1992-2001: Grew up in a small town of ~250 people called Wymark. It was great until my parents divorced, and then it was a very bizarre, almost isolated feeling because it felt like I was the only person who didn't have married parents (and in a fairly religious area, this was pretty much true). I also got glasses in grade 3, and I was one of only two students in my grade to have glasses, so I was incredibly distraught because I thought I would eventually go blind. I got over it.

2001-2002: Moved to the slightly larger city of Swift Current (where I was born, and where all my immediate family lived at the time), into a townhouse. Soon after, my sister (technically half-sister) left in the middle of the night to go live with my dad because she was sick of my mother's rules. Not long after that, she left his house in the middle of the night to go live with my maternal grandparents because she was sick of his religious nuttiness and rules. I made a few new friends.

2002-2007: Moved to a townhouse in Regina because my mother was sick of single-parenthood small-city life (where everybody knows everybody, and everybody talks). She escaped to single-parenthood large-city life, which was, perhaps, better. I was sick of having to make new friends everywhere I went, though I managed. In grades 5 and 6 I was bullied pretty hard for ridiculous reasons, and it's amazing just how useless some teachers can be in these situations. I had no backbone whatsoever. Also, in 2005, my father got remarried to a perceptibly enormous cunt, and I had some horrendous camping trips with them where she would take away my Stephen King novels (such as It) because they included homosexual characters and some characters called each other n*ggers and she was as much of a religious nutbag as my father so these evils of the world were to be banished from their household. I normally spent my summers half-and-half (and every second weekend during the year I went to see my father, which was always a 2-hour trip from Regina to Swift Current, over 3 if I went by bus in the winter), but that summer I said fuck it and returned home early. From that point, I stopped going to see my father every second weekend. There were periods of time where I wouldn't see him for a few months to half a year, and return trips were never fun anyway. Ugh.

2007-2009: My mother and I moved from the townhouse to an actual house because she was sick of constantly throwing her money out of the window due to monthly rent. I continued to excel in high school, though I was fairly timid until I got my first job at McD's in 2008. I worked there for 4.5 years (somewhat of a break in-between for various reasons), but about a year into that job, after working some tough weekend graveyard shifts in a scary D/T with many drunks, I finally established my self-confidence, gained an ability to talk back (if you can call that an ability), and started growing that sought-after backbone of mine.

Later in 2008 or in early 2009, I met probably the girl of my dreams. She went to a different high school, but she was gorgeous, had the sharpest wit of anyone I have ever met, was incredibly book- and street-smart, had a stellar vocabulary, lived in a shitty household, genuinely ignored me in our first few encounters (these were always larger group get-togethers at that time), had some serious anxiety and self-esteem issues, and always had something to say. I truly thought that I never had a chance with her, and she was already dating someone, but I was fine with all of that, because she was a blast to be around. I eventually ended up with her number because I was texting her with someone else's cell phone and we were calling each other immensely creative names, until we finally exchanged numbers so that I didn't have to do this vicariously through someone else. These epic matches continued, we ended up sharing a lot of information about our past and current situations, and then she eventually broke up with her then-boyfriend because he was more interested in gaming than her, even with her in the room. I still never expected anything to happen, but we did grow closer and closer.

This was throughout grade 11, which was, for some reason, a horrendous year for me. I continued to do well in school, but I felt like I was suffocating emotionally. My mother was seeing a guy who she had blatantly caught cheating on her (yet she continued to see him, because he "filled that need" or whatever the fuck it was she saw in him), which did nothing to help me with my already fucked up views on relationships, especially after watching my parents' marriage crumble and then steadily losing a father figure to a woman who I still perceived to be an insufferable cunt. I had another close friend dealing with relationship issues, and somehow I was able to talk him through it, despite having literally no experience on the matter (or at least it felt like I talked him through it). McDonald's was also getting incredibly stressful, because I only had my partial backbone by then (this is how I describe my slow ascent to gaining self-confidence), and there weren't many supportive people there at the time. Finally, I was doing poorly in the physics class I was taking in high school (for me, "poorly" ended up being an 87 in the class, so you can see my penchant for perfection right there), but the fact that I didn't understand basically anything made me feel very lost. Hence, the emotional asphyxiation.

That summer, right after school finished, I was still feeling the incredible stress from work (perceptibly greater than what it really was, I'm sure). Canada Day came along, and I ended up going to Wascana Park late at night with a bunch of friends (including that aforementioned girl), and she was nestled basically in my lap as we watched the fireworks on that cool night. My friend also got attacked by a Canada goose that night because I don't think it was expecting a bunch of people to be sitting near the water. That was funny.

I didn't have my licence yet so she drove me home, and when we got back to my house, my mother was staying over at her new boyfriend's house (soon-to-be fiancÚ). As a result, we sat outside for a while, and just talked... and then as we said goodnight, in a swirl of thought and non-thought on both of our parts, we simultaneously moved in and shared a kiss. I recall not having a single coherent thought at that time... it literally felt like a daze of swelling emotion and utter confusion, and every time I think of that moment, my eyes start welling up... because it felt so perfect and so right.

Unfortunately, however, that euphoric feeling of having somebody supposedly want to like me, and maybe even want to love me, did not last. Going along with everything I've already mentioned, it should be clear that relationships scare me because of the possible end result: emotional trauma. I saw this with my parents' divorce, my father's remarriage, my mother's fuck-up of a boyfriend (she tried to justify it, saying he'd change, etc.), and even because my sister moved out. I haven't mentioned this yet, but when my sister ultimately moved in with my mother's parents, my mother refused to talk to them for the longest time. She's a stubborn woman, though I can at least understand her anger toward them because they took my sister in without putting up much resistance in the "oh you should really consider living with your mother" sense. If they said anything like that, I can imagine it was half-heartedly.

So, now, following the sensation of two mouths embracing in a way that felt like love, I felt even more trapped. The expectation placed upon me to succeed in school was gone (for the summer, anyway), but now I felt like there was a certain expectation to make a move toward a relationship, even though I was very apprehensive because of these past events in my life. I wish I could say that there was a happy ending to this part of the story, and I suppose in some minor, twisted way there is... so instead, I'll wish that I could say it was an ending that gave me that euphoric feeling I still long for again.

We shared a few more intimate moments that July. One night, we were in her car outside my house for approximately four hours (my mother was at her fiancÚ's house now), and we were talking for a long time as I had my hand up her shirt. Funny enough, we had been opening and closing the car doors for various humidity related reasons, and a cop eventually pulled up and wondered what was going on because the neighbours had seen this car parked ominously in the neighbourhood for the past while and the lights kept going on and off. We claimed that we were just talking, and it was true... there was no, as they say, particularly funny business.

Another night, we had a whipped cream extravaganza throughout my house, spraying it on each other and licking it off, wrestling, etc. It was strange. She stayed the night, and all we did was make out in my bed... again, because I was overly apprehensive about going any further. I did sleep well that night, perhaps because I had somebody to put my arm around. She smelled divine, even through the remnants of whipped cream.

From that point, though, I felt awkward. We weren't truly dating (it wasn't Facebook-official!!), but she had inherently professed her willingness to go further. Even now, I'm still baffled by the things we would say to each other, especially through text messages. They were overly ambiguous, yet almost crystal clear. It's difficult to explain, but that's how it was. That's probably why I remained so apprehensive.

Then, after one particularly horrendous day at work, it was as if someone had dropped a brick off of the Empire State Building onto a poor camel waiting below, and I was that camel... I went home, and in an almost blacked-out fit of fury wrote a really nasty email to her, nitpicking the stupidest, most insignificant quirks of hers and telling her that she was, essentially, a horribly bitchy cunt. I remember absolutely zero of what I said, and deleted that email from its existence in my mailbox almost immediately. From that point, though, our friendship was over. I hadn't burned those bridges so much as vaporized them instantaneously, and it's my single biggest regret of my entire life. There was very little rhyme or reason for what I did, and I know I did nothing to help her anxiety issues regarding relationships (she had gone on at length about how the men she had previously dated would essentially string her along, promise to never hurt her emotionally, and then ultimately do just that). What did I do? I essentially strung her along, promised that I would never be like those guys, and then virtually slapped her in the face with that email. I heard from one of our mutual friends that even months later she would still talk about something enjoyable the two of us had done, and then break down in tears. I was devastated approximately 24 hours after sending that email, and having such things recounted to me sure as fuck didn't help. I've never wanted to turn back time so fucking much in my life.

2009-now: At the end of that summer, we moved across the city to a different house, as my newly engaged mother and soon-to-be stepfather each wanted to move out of their houses so we could combine households while having something of a fresh start. I got my licence just before school started, and grade 12 was an amazing year for me. I participated in most extracurricular activities, had many incredible friends, had my best school year ever (nailed all the big awards at the graduation ceremony wahoo), and then sometime that spring I received a text from "some number" that I immediately recognized as that girl I had so viciously abandoned, even though it had been 8 or 9 months since I had deleted that number from my phone. She was informing me that her grandfather had been recently diagnosed with cancer and that she had nobody in whom she could truly confide. She had close friends, yes, but somehow I had been that much closer. She wanted to meet me after school, and I was very curious, because even though I had been so nicely distracted by a hectic grade 12 year, she had always been lingering at the back of my mind, and I always wondered how she was doing. We met in a Denny's parking lot in the pouring rain, and she sat in the passenger seat of my vehicle. Saying hello to her was a weird, almost hollow experience, because we hadn't seen or spoken to each other in so long ever since she had responded to my email with a cruel rebuttal of her own.

She was never one to shed tears around other people, but telling me about what her grandfather had been going through sure destroyed her. All I could do was sit in silence, in the driver's seat, fidgeting nervously as I listened. I wanted to reach out to her, but that would've been awkward; I wanted to apologize for everything that I had done, but that seemed highly out of place in that moment; I wanted to tell her that everything would be okay, but that could've been an outright lie given the circumstances. Instead I felt like I was staring at her from outside a display case, and she was the rare, fragile artifact from within. It wasn't a good feeling, for me and I'm sure for her as well.

She let it all out though, and I did end up hugging her to make her feel better. The last thing she asked me before she stepped back into the rain, and I'm sure my heart probably ceased to work for several seconds, was "Are we okay?" My response was simply an affirmation. We are now excellent friends again, her grandfather has recovered nicely, and by leaps and bounds she has become the most admirable person in my life due to all the shit she has put up with since her childhood and how she has dealt with it all. This is the happy ending part. The euphoric ending would be if we could go back to that summer of 2009 and I could do it right. I'm sure that will never happen, and I can only partially accept that.

Aside from that aspect of my life, in July of 2010, after grade 12, I went on a trip to Greece which included a cruise around the Aegean sea (and a day-long stop in Turkey), I went on to kick some serious ass in university, and now I'm going into my fourth year in a Math Honours program. I'll be taking my first semester in Moscow, as I applied for this Math in Moscow program and its associated scholarship and was one of two lucky recipients of that $9000 award. It'll be the first time that I've ever lived away from family for longer than about two weeks, and I'm both excited and nervous. Not much else incredibly exciting has happened to me since 2010, except that I've inherently forgiven my stepmother for how she acted toward me in the past, and I truly enjoy visiting my father whenever I get a free moment away from studying and being a university badass. He's not as much of a religious nutbag as he used to be (which is good, because I abhor religion primarily for the ridiculous beliefs that people have as a result toward things like abortion, homosexuality, etc.), and I find that I can talk to him a lot better than I can talk with my over-exaggerating, hastily concluding, drama-seeking conspiracy theorist of a mother. I also have fantastic university friends with whom I enjoy being fanatical about mathematics. I still have relationship issues out the ass, and I haven't been as emotionally close to anyone as in that summer of 2009, but one thing is for certain: I still love life.

tl;dr: When it comes to relationships, I'm emotionally fucked up, and I've fucked up other people. I'm also going to Russia this fall. Holla! (and fuck you for taking the tl;dr route heehee)


Edit: Oh man Choof, I'm glad you're enjoying life again... not once in my emotional turmoil have I ever felt the desire to attempt suicide, cut myself, etc., so I can't imagine how elated you must feel now.

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Old 08-20-2013, 03:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

if i kiss you can i get all your math skills through osmosis
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

Apply the scientific method.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:21 AM   #19
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i love this thread
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tell me your life story.

i would love to post my life story too bad 30%-40% of my story is probably tied to stepmania and the community

EDIT: Actually, I'll type it out some time later.
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