On Post: The Go-Getter
Date: January 31
I’ll be honest, I more or less plagiarized myself with this entry.
When I was in middle school we had to write something every week. It could be a short story, a book report, movie reviews, a journal entry…whatever. Truth be told, I think my teacher was really just looking for journal entries and book reports. Instead, I turned in short story after short story after short story. I even wrote serialized stories for a time, awful, awful sci-fi things.
Anyway, one thing I particularly developed an enjoyment of was—and I don’t think I realized this is what they were, but I do now—O’Henry and Twilight Zone-esque endings. I just loved me some irony, evidently.
One story was all about me…pause here a sec for more backward.
I also went through a stage where I was often the lead in my stories. Not like a thinly veiled version of me. Just straight up me. Tim Stevens. I have no idea what I was doing. Alright, back to the explanation.
In it, I wake up in a triangle box—I distinctly remember making it triangular was important to me; I think it was because it was DIFFERENT and also, possibly, Superman symbol-esque. So I woke up in this box on the shore of the East River. No idea how got there. Wearing some kind of silver jumpsuit.
For the majority of the story it was like pure capitalism porn as imagined by a 12 year old. I also found a ton of money in my wooden triangle box and took it and bought cool clothes, went to what I guess we’d call a comic book convention now but I had no concept of that then so I think I described it as a big tag sale with comics, and generally spent my way through New York City. My teacher had emphasized early on the need for elaboration in writing so I described in aching detail every comic I bought, every piece of clothing, every crumb of food.
Then, the story took a weird sideways turn when I called my Dad to tell him where I was. He insisted his son was at school and that he did not appreciate the crank call. I reasoned that whatever had happened that brought me to New York in the first place no one else knew about yet: the school assumed I was home, my dad assumed I was at school, so I bought a bus ticket to Berlin, CT and headed back to the Constitution State. It took all night, but finally I arrived. I called my house and asked him to pick me up. This time he told me his son was home and hung up angrily.
Finally, I took a cab over and was stunned STUNNED to see me coming down the stairs to eat breakfast with my family even though I was outside looking in the window. Then I awoke…it was all a dream. Except as I came downstairs for breakfast, who was that crouching in the bushes.
Now, in that story, it just ended there. This one I took it a bit farther. But, as you can see, same basic idea: dreaming of an other who is you but not you who then turns out to be real.
My explanation not ring true? Do you have questions that this piece left unanswered? Reach out and touch me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ungajje on the Twitter. And, as always, spread the word.