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From your sleep
The voice of Thomas Yorke drifts into your ear as you open your eyes to the darkness.
“Get up, get up, time for school” the nagging voice of your mother echoes through your ears. You rise from your resting space, the voices in your head still lingering in your brain.
You touch your face. Wet. The tears are still there from yesterday. You wipe it off with a tissue.
The drying of your tears
But today is the day.
Today, you escape.
You shower, pack, and get dressed. Your backpack is heavier than usual, but you hardly notice.
Pack, and get dressed, before your father, hears us.
You step out from the warmth of your house out into the cold wet weather. It’s dark. The sun hasn’t even risen out. Some of the lamps are flickering to life like the lightning strikes of the thunderstorm. You trudge alongside the wet grass, heading to your car just parked right alongside the curb.
It’s eerily quiet out. There are no sounds except for the raps of raindrops on the pavement and the voice of old Tom Yorke still in your head.
You suddenly remember that you forgot to say “I love you” to your parents.
“Too late to turn back, I’ll be late” you say. But the thought lingers on as you drive. Thinking, thinking. Maybe you should’ve gone back. It’s worth it to be late as long as you tell your loved ones you love them, your heart tells you. You’re so preoccupied with this predicament that you almost don’t notice the traffic lights on red and the car coming right toward you.
You swerve to the right, barely avoiding the ongoing car.
You swore. “Sh*t.”
You weren’t paying attention.
You never pay attention.
The outline of your school comes into vision first, then your schoolmates do, their bright smiles juxtaposing the cold, grim weather. They laugh amongst themselves, sharing jokes, telling stories. You scream in your head. How could they laugh, you shout, how could you when the world’s about to go crashing down on your head and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it? How could they when the world’s on fire?
Breathe, Keep breathing
I can’t, do this,
You fumble through your locker trying to find the materials for the next period. Outside, the cloudy skies seem to get darker and darker, the voices in your head louder and more intense like the raindrops falling on the pavement. Your hand touches across a small metallic object, and you take it out with a slight smile. The nagging voices are silenced as you inhale the fumes that come out of the device.
“Not yet” you say to them,
But the voices won’t stop. They get louder and louder, more and more intensive.
Us a song
A song to keep us warm
They chant, and you comply
You could never sing in front of your schoolmates, but in your head you’re singing along with Yorke, you are Yorke. In that moment, you are him, singing that song with him, trying to block out the rising dread in your stomach.
Such a chill,
Such a chill.
Your teacher is calling your name, but you’re not responding. Deep in your mind, you’re still singing. Silence permeates the classroom, as she calls your name a second time. A half hearted response, a witty comeback from the teacher, and the classroom explodes. Laughter from all directions, the embarrassment suffocating.
You can laugh
You’re helpless. The laughter converges on you, coming from all directions, strangling you. You run away, running away from the pain, running away from the laughter. Running away from the fear. Running away from the regret.
A spineless laugh
You’re back at your locker again. Reaching out to your bag. Unzipping your backpack. Feeling for that familiar feel of metal again. This time, there are no smiles on your face.
You grip it like your life depends on it.
We hope your
Rules And Wisdom,
The pavement taints red as you pull the trigger.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Over and over and over and over again.
The screams of children splitting the sky.
We are one
The police are coming. You lock yourself in the bathroom.
In everlasting peace.
The adrenaline is fading. Your face is wet, but you’re not sure what it’s wet from.
that you choke
That you choke
Exit Music still plays through your head as you raise the 9mm to your forehead.
that you choke
That you choke
The click of a trigger.
Then there’s nothing.
That you choke
That you choke
We live in a tough time. In America, riots are happening because of the racial injustices and crimes that police commit and can get away due to their position. America recently has had multiple school shootings. The Las Vegas shooting only happened 3 years ago. We haven’t had this level of political and social unrest for a long time in America, and it seems that everything is just getting worse, especially with the threat of a global pandemic above us.
When I wrote this piece I kept in mind the absolute horror that a tragedy like this elicits, and knew that this was a very sensitive object to touch upon. One wrong move and you’ll have a pack of hounds on you, talking about how insensitive this piece was and how the families of the victims will always feel pain that is incomprehensible to me.
But I felt that this was something I needed to write. I know it’s ignorant and perhaps even insensitive to try and attempt to understand people and their motives, and this is even more so the case when trying to understand a person who commits such a vile act. But part of me feels that I owe it to the victims, the world, and even the perpetrator to try. Try to get in their head. Try and understand why these things happen, and how we can prevent them in the future. The first step is to figure that out.
I wrote this with the hit Radiohead song Exit Music(For a film) in mind, hence the title, and although the original creators may not have intended for the song to be used in a setting like this one, I feel the mood and the lyrics create a perfect atmosphere for the way I wanted to emotionally impact my audience. I’d highly recommend listening to it a few times before reading this piece.
I hope that this piece isn’t insensitive. I hope that my words and the impact are able to enable you to look past the violence and the tragic events. I hope that my writing was able to make an impact, and not have people look on it as insensitive.
Usually I don’t really put these disclaimers or endings, but for such a touchy subject I felt that I needed to. I don’t want to offend anyone, I just want to write to impact someone, something. Make someone’s day. That’s all I want.
Thank you for reading.