A Rose On The Coffin

It was a cold day when they placed a rose on the coffin.  Peopled wondered how this tragedy had come about, but never the less it did.  It came without noise, digging away at the earth until it had succeeded in creating a hole in the dirt and a crater in the hearts of the people around.  Everyone who was loved and cherished had gathered for this day, to witness the final departure and goodbye of a young soul.   The tombstone read,

Thomas James Dawson
Loving friend, son, and brother
June 30, 1992 – December 16, 2009

I was on my bed after we got home; I just sat staring at the empty one across from me, letting the world pass.  I noticed nothing, not even my parents who came in several times, as well as my relatives, to see how I was doing.  They would try to come in but were merely able to stick their heads in, for something in my face told them not to touch, speak, or draw near to me.  I needed to be alone, I was scared and I was hurting.

A year had passed since the funeral and I had grown distant from all my friends.  My parents tried everything they could but I remained a secluded mess.  He died and I couldn’t handle it, I still couldn’t.  I went into my bedroom, locking the door behind me, and looked into the mirror between the two beds.  I did this every day, so it shouldn’t have been different, but it was. I was sick of what I saw.  I balled up my fist and swung it at the mirror but I couldn’t hit it; no matter how hard I tried I would stop an inch away.  I just stood there with my arm and fist raised and just stared into those eyes.  It was never me that I saw on the reflective surface; it was him, always him.    I fell to my knees and cried out in anguish, leaning forward with my hands stretched out over my head, digging into my scalp and hair, as I rocked back and forth.  Sobs and screams wracked my body as I rolled into a ball on the floor.  I lay there for what seemed like hours until my eyes dried out like a desert and grew so red and puffy I couldn’t see through them.

When I had finally quieted down I slowly removed my hands from the back of my head and looked at them.  I could see better now but flattened them out, palms in front of me, and saw that I had ripped out some of my hair and scraped off some of my skin with my nails.   I lay in a curled position in front of the mirror and that is when I spoke in a whisper, still looking at my hands, “This is your fault!  Why would you do this to me?  You left me here to suffer through life.”  I was exasperated but I still stared into the reflection of the person in the mirror.  Nothing happened, no response.  Merely a face, that was clearly in pain, stared back. “It’s been a year and I have tried….I’ve tried to go on in life, I whispered and sat up, close to tears again but never taking my eyes off of his, “but I can’t; it will never be the same.  I don’t understand why this would happen!  How could you just go and leave me like this?!”  I sat up with my legs propped up and stretched my arms over my knees and I tucked my head down and just sat there for a while.   “Mom and dad aren’t here today,” I said with my head still down and then looked up and with a desperate, disappointed chuckle when I said, “I’m not surprised, they’re disappointed in me and didn’t take me to your memorial service today.  I wi- I wish it could have been me that had died in that stupid car instead of you.”  My words began to get nasty as I continued to say, “You were always the ‘golden boy’, the one they could be proud of no matter what you did! I hated you for it too!  Mom and dad never loved me the same as you. It didn’t help that you were older!  They treated us like we were years apart when it was really a few minutes.”  I was nearly shouting at the mirror then but then I calmed myself somewhat and put my head back down before saying in a distressed voice, “I still remember that night…….”Come on Andrew just come pick me up!” The voice on the phone slurred out.  “I told you I’m not doing it anymore Tommy! I have a life and responsibilities!” I replied getting annoyed, but then Thomas responded by saying, “You can study for your test later! Please just this one last time pick me up, I pro-” I cut him off before he could finished, I could tell Thomas was getting annoyed now and his drunken state didn’t help him, but I had had enough! “Tommy! You make excuses every time! Taking me down on a guilt trip, ‘Oh Andy this is the last time I promise’ I’ll stop drinking if you come pick me up! Think of mom and dad’s disappointed faces when they hear that you didn’t help me!’ You and I both know mom and dad love you more and you use it! I’m SICK of it Tommy, I’m sick of you! Get your own ride home!” and I hung up.
                “I still remember being down stairs in the living room watching the football game with dad while mom was in the kitchen cleaning.” I paused before continuing, “I don’t even remember her answering the phone, just when she dropped and it smashed on the tile floor.   Everything was a blur after that.  We were told that you had been stupid and tried driving yourself home, drunk.  On the way you crashed and you were killed instantly.”  I stood up quickly and walked toward the door and unlocked it.  I strode down the carpeted stairs that shown proof of my entering the house without taking my shoes off.  I left another set of muddy tracks going down to the front door.  I swung it open and strode out of the house.  I walked to the cemetery, the cold wind whipping around me dragging the snow with it.  Quickly my nose began to run and I hugged my leather jacket closer to my body for warmth.  The air bit my nose and numbed my cheeks but it wasn’t from that which I felt pain.  I crossed a main street to the wooded edge on the other side and found the icy snow covered path.  I picked my way along it till I got to the cemetery where I reached a rusty iron gate and proceeded to walk through.  I have never seen anything more chilling than the graves of people’s loved ones.  When I finally reach Tommy’s headstone and froze in front of it.  As much as I hated him, I loved him.  There was nothing I could do to change that.  “It-It’s my fault you died Tommy,” I said with tears painfully crawling into my eyes again.  “I-I didn’t wa- want you to die man.” I fought the tears as best I could and said, “If I had just picked you up from the bar….instead of….instead of yelling at you!” then they came, the tears poured out of me.

For a year I had tried not to blame myself for his death but it was the truth, if I had just gone and picked him up he would still be here today and it killed me.   I couldn’t handle it, I couldn’t handle his being gone, his bed across from me still empty every morning, the fact that my parents were even more distant from me now, I couldn’t take it.  I stood there silently crying for a while until when I finally shifted my position to leave I had realized how dark it had gotten.  I looked at my watch, it read 9:00 p.m. then before leaving I reached out my freezing hand and placed it on the head stone saying, “Talk to you later man.”  I turned around and trudged back the way I came, I went through the icy path until I got to the main road on the way home and stepped out onto it.

It was a cold day when they placed a rose on the coffin.  Peopled wondered how this tragedy had come about but never the less it did.  It came without noise, digging away at the earth until it had succeeded in creating a hole in the dirt and a crater in the hearts of the people around.  Everyone who was loved and cherished had gathered for this day, to witness the final departure and goodbye of a young soul.  The tombstone read,

Andrew Casey Dawson
Loving friend, son, and brother
June 30, 1992 – December 16, 2010

So that was a short story a wrote back in grade 10, mind you it hasn’t really been edited, but I thought I would share it anyways.  My purpose behind it really was that I wanted to give a glimpse into the guilt tortured mind of a kid and what can kind of come of it when it isn’t dealt with.  I also left the circumstances around Andrew’s death open to interpretation by the reader because that’s one thing I enjoy as a reader myself.  I crave the unexpected in stories and sometimes get sick of happy endings. Also, I’m curious as to what you think happened.  Suicide or accident?

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“Fun”ds

So i was sitting at starbucks yesterday, waiting for my brother to get off work, and a man who was waiting for his wife sat down next to me.  He saw me drawing in my sketchbook and commented on how his daughter had just finished a two year animation course in vancouver.  Anyways, it turns out it cost her $40,000 for those two years. Nowadays that isn’t bad for a two year program but to any prospective student, it would seem impossible.  I myself am looking into going to school in the fall of 2014 (hopefully) but I’m trying to save up money before that so i don’t have to take out too much, if any, in student loans.  Getting a good education these days is something that parents put a lot of stress on and i feel sorry for kids who feel like they go straight into college or university right after highschool.  The cost for a higher education is a major turn off for so many people (including me) which has a lot to do with the government.  Sure we get alot of it back, but most people don’t realize or see that.  They also may not even be able to afford a good education even with student loans.  Then even if you do get a good education, there is no gaurantee you’re going to get a job to go with it afterwards.  That’s where so many people get stuck.  The’ve paid thousands of dollars for school and in the end are stuck working one or two minimum wage jobs to pay rent and just possibly their student loans, and those loans are a killer once you are out of school what with thelr interest rates and everything.  I was looking up top universities like Yale and Harvard the other day and saw that their tuition is about $40,000 per year, per year!!  Now this just seems rediculous!  Now I understand that it’s a really good school but seriously?! It would probably be cheaper to move to another country and get the same education there even if the teachers aren’t necessarily as good.  There are lots of passions that I would like to pursue in school, but i simply just can’t afford it.  To take two two-year programs and a 15 week class, i’m looking at about $79,500.  I’ve never seen that much money before and so it just blows my mind.  And this is coming from someone who’s middle class.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for someone less fortunate to be able to have that much money.  It’s sad when you see kids who’s parent pay for their college or university and all they do it party.  They don’t realize how much work actually goes into paying for their education.  I’m glad really though that my parents are making me pay my own way.  It makes me learn responsibility, especially when it comes to money management.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing if parents help their kids out, i’m just saying that they shouldn’t necessarily make them dependent.  The birds have to leave the nest sometime.  All in all, I think school should be less expensive so that everyone can have the chance to explore their passions and get a better education.

Creativity

I admit it, I play sims.  But I don’t just do it to waste hours of my time (which ends up happening anyways), i do it to create.  I’ll go and look up house plans on the internet and see how closely I can recreate them.  With the third installment, it’s much easier because you can customize just about everything and anything!  Anywhere from the texture of the wood grain on a window to the colour of a small patch of fur on a dog.  Some people look at the game and think if you spend hours on it, you are wasting your life and while this is sometimes the case, they don’t always see the creativity of it.  It makes me wonder if games like The Sims or Minecraft will go on to inspire people to become architects, if it hasn’t already.  Ever since I was little i enjoyed building houses and designing floor plans when all i had was a notebook and pencil.  Now that I have The Sims, I can indulge myself in seeing my ideas come to life in 3D and colour.  I watch my brother play minecraft and he has built extraordinary things.  So many people look at computers as only a bad things for kids where as I think they can do wonders for opening a child’s creative mind.  Please Note: The above image isn’t mine but borrowed from google because I haven’t taken any pictures of the houses i’ve built.  Also, obsession isn’t always good or bad.

Another tidbit on the creative aspect, the Viewbug photography competition I entered a while back just told my that one of my photos I entered, was ranked in the Top 30 most voted percentile in it’s contest during week 1 of the voting.  I was quite surprised because I didn’t think it was that amazing of a photo.  Then I watched for a little bit and saw that picture’s views jump from 22 to 54 in about twenty minutes.  Needless to say, I was shocked!  If you would like to check it out yourself here’s the link:  http://www.viewbug.com/photo/3881406

Our Society Through “Alien” Eyes

Thanks to a friend on Facebook who shared this video today, I chanced upon it in my News Feed and have found that it disgusts me. It disgusts me because of how true so much of it really is. The world constantly looks at North Korea as being the bad guys, but how much do we really know about them? We rely on media for information about the rest of the world and yet we don’t really get any from them. We only ever hear about the bad things they do because our media has deemed it as the only important thing for us to know about them. (Every story needs a good, old fashioned villain.) North America, and many other countries, have subjected themselves to the whims of media. We have allowed and encouraged it to destroy our live and the lives of the next generations, whether we have realized it or not. It has become so much a part of our lives that we can’t truly imagine our lives without it. Now I know that North Korea is not perfect, nor is it a very happy place to live, but they get judged so terribly by people who really have no idea what is going on and have instead based their opinions on what their government and media is telling them. Because we have made ourselves so vulnerable to media, North Korea can see right through us. Now I do not believe everything in this video but like it or not, it hits the nail on the head on so many points. Sadly even after watching many people will ignore the issues that are being raised and this is because they are comfortable and scared that if they really paid attention, it might take them out of their comfort zone. We have become complacent zombies. I cannot excuse myself either, for I too enjoy having the freedom to just sit on my computer for hours and not worry about anything else. I don’t want to always go out and try and change the world and be different because it seems so tiring and we are fed the idea that change must be big and drastic, if it’s going to make a difference. This of course is a lie and any deed, no matter how small, will affect our world in an incomprehensible way whether it’s realized now or in a hundred years. If we tried to completely remove media now, I think our world would probably fall apart because we wouldn’t know what to do without it. I think we need to try and change how it’s used. I’m not saying that this is The answer, but it is a start. I know it may seem like such an impossible feat now, but the longer we put it off the harder it will become. We need to have confidence in our ability as person, to bring about change. I realize that it may seems strange to use a quote from an American politician after watching the video above, but the words are good nonetheless.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy

Knee Surgery

ImageLife has been a bit frustrating lately because as of two weeks and 1 day ago, I had to get knee surgery done to repair my ACL and apparently meniscus too (found during surgery). It’s been healing pretty well but I still have to be on crutches for about four more weeks. {Picture taken 5 days after} I think this has been good for me though, albeit very annoying, it showing me that I need to spend more time slowing down and enjoying the finer things in life and that I don’t have to travel to see beauty and have adventure.