I don’t care if you’re black, yellow, red. Heck, I don’t even care if you’re a woman or nah. I don’t discriminate. I hate ya all. Simple as that. Get it? Got it? Good. Now scram you little piece of trash.
We ran and laughed at the same time, our lungs in agony for the most part. We knew Rory, had known him for years. But he didn’t know us, he never did. He always seemed to live in his own world, a fabric made of smoke, the scent of piss and a peculiar dose of alcohol. That’s what we thought. And as rumors had it, he had been occupying this particular corner of the street for decades now, even more so. Max even assumed the guy could reincarnate, that he had been living there in his pastlives too. I told him to shut the hell up, nobody reincarnates, and losers like Rory sure as hell don’t.
“Who gives a crap about his stories anyway?” I said as we entered the garden.
“Well my dad used to tell me stuff about Rory” Max answered.
Joe and I looked at him, I grinned.
“Your dad? Stuff?”
We laughed. I will let you in on this, I know you might not get it right the first time around. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Well, except me, but like Rory would say, I’m not exactly one of “us”. Anyhow, Max’s dad is a drunk. Another one. We got thousand of those after the crisis. It all started out as a running joke you know – people liked to go out, they liked to buy drinks and whatnot. Governments were on something else, something bigger at the time. And they needed the money. So they said, well, you know what dudes, let’s jack them up. They lowered the prices, and all these idiots ran to their local stores to buy thousands and thousands of bottles. It started out like that. Then the shit hit the fan, and when Europe took its beating, most of our parents and grand-parents developped an acute taste for the booze. At least that’s what I got from the various stories I heard. Max’s dad had been a sergeant in the army, or something like that. I still remember that story he once told us, we could smell whisky on him a million miles away. One day, he was on the field somewhere. That part was always unclear. He was about to get two of them down, when his gun froze. Nothing came out, so he thought, well that’s it, I’m done, I’ll never get home and see my kid again. The two grabbed their swords, yelled, and ran towards him. But as they did, one of them tripped and unwillingly stabbed his friend. All Max’s dad had to do was bash the skull of the one still in one piece, and go home. Not a fun story, I’ll give you that, but a perfect argument of what it is I’m trying to demonstrate. Nothing in that world was worth saving, and it became obvious that the entire gamut of representatives for the previous generations were idiots.
“My dad told me he saw Rory out there many times. He called him a crazy mofo, but I never really understood what it meant” Max said.
“A crazy mofo” I repeated.
“Yeah. And he told me he had actually done many more wars, you know? That he had seen stuff.”
“He had seen stuff. Like Vietnam?” Joe asked.
“Nobody cares about Nam,” I declared. “Nobody cares about what happened the week before the last. So can you imagine that? Caring about something that happened in the 50’s?”
“Name didn’t take place in the 50’s, you douche” Joe said.
“Oh no? Then when?”
We exchanged looks, I knew I was right. To some extent at least. I evaluated my chances to be 95% rights, and if I turned to be wrong, I could always make sure I was right. I had learned that from my own dad. Most of our dads were ex military, and drunks. Luckily for me, mine had conned his way out of the army. Well to be quite precise, he had conned his way into not going at all. My father was the most intelligent man I’ve ever met, even to this day. To say he swindled people for a living would be an understatement – I call that using people’s softness to a certain advantage, I call that helping them, to be more mindful, aware; I call that devotion, honour. But sadly enough, he didn’t stick around. That’s the thing about cons, they generally avoid languishing in the same spot too long – my dad took that rule to the letter and killed himself. No point in staying in a place crowded with morons; I got the feeling loud and clear.
Max went on with his story. Rory had been a killer, or something akin to that. To me, it always felt hard to imagine a guy like Rory, or like any I’d see in school for example, be anything more than a pile of trash. Rory was the same old dude who addressed toothless smiles and farts to girls he thought of seducing – and by seducing I obviously mean something else. Truth be told, it sort of made sense in a way. If Rory had been on the field on D Day, no wonder how we got there to begin with. Had he been there during World War I, we would all probably be speaking German by now. And Lord knows I hate German. But Max’s point was that anyone with a big name and a big present could turn out to become, well to become that. Some sort of mouthless zombie, drenched in his own vomit. Ah bollocks; even talking about him right now gives me the creeps. You know, Rory is one of these people that you don’t really have a hard time imagining. On the contrary, you see a lot of people like Rory. And I mean, a lot. I just wonder if the reason for that is because we’re all predestined to end up with shit up to our ankles, our toenails so long that they’re bent and making odd shapes. Somehow it depressed me too. Ever since I was a kid, I had dreams of being the one to free them all. Free them, not from whatever threat was there at a particular moment, but from themselves. In all honesty, people generally get in their own way, in the sense that their actions are never calculated, they don’t think big picture. They don’t think at all. They all think they’re happy, but maybe they’re just dumb. Somebody wrote that in a book fifteen years ago – we mass produce, give you thing to waste your money on, keep you dumb and occupy. That’s crazy to me, but it worked. And then the war needed to come, so it came.
Joe sat down on the fake grass. The emerald green reminded of something I often saw at my dad’s house, but I couldn’t get my mind to remember what.
“Some day, I’ll be there too, and you’ll hear of me.”
“I mean, I won’t end up like Rory, or any other.”
“Like hell you won’t.”
“Yeah, you won’t” Max said.
We fell silent. I’m sure we all knew. We all knew that like 99% of the population, Joe, Max and perhaps to some extent, myself, were doomed. Doomed to fall in the same traps, fall for the same girls, and the same bullshit that our parents did. We knew that if he ever stepped foot on any field, he wouldn’t have any legs to come home with. Not to say that he wasn’t capable of anything – but like millions and thousand and more before us, we’d been fed sobstories about how great we can be, about how we can change the world and better versions of ourselves if we deeply, strongly, with all our hearts, believe in ourselves. All of that, I knew right from my young age, was the biggest lie ever created.