Kansas | Teen Ink


December 17, 2018
By Corn_Cobz, Mashpee, Massachusetts
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Corn_Cobz, Mashpee, Massachusetts
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Favorite Quote:
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end"

Before I start, I just wanna say thanks, it’s been awhile since I’ve written down anything in my journal and it’s nice that you’re reading it. Though are you sure you wanna know my stupid little story? Seriously, I wouldn’t suggest it. It’s awful, it’s depressing, it’s the text equivalent to a frigging morgue for christ’s sake! Well if you’re still reading this, then that only means you’re still interested in what I’ve gotta vent, or at the very least, someone forced you to, like your teacher giving you an assignment to anonymously read this shit. Hell, I bet you’re just blindly reading off the words written down without even thinking for a second, as if you’re reading a dumb novel or something. I guess it’s your lucky day because this ain’t a novel, it’s not a very long tale. Think of it as one of them short-stories or something.

Anyway, most of these kinds of stories begin with an introduction I think, I guess I’ll start with that. My name’s Carter Brooks. There’s nothing really important about me, I’m just some schmuck from Alaska, the coldest place on Earth, well at least I think so. I’ve been into songwriting and poetry and all that deep, melancholic garbage for a few years now. Despite what my gut says, I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it, so good in fact that I made it my job. However if it wasn’t for that, my troubles would’ve never started.

You see, a long time ago I was helping out this shitty local Jamaican band, but hey, for a pretty penny I’d do anything. The band wasn’t big enough for the song they wanted to play, so they hired me and a few other guys to play some of the extra instruments, I got stuck with the melodica, god. I hate the melodica, it’s such a useless instrument that breaks easily. It doesn't help that the song sucked too, it was a cover of some shit called “A Fistful of Peanuts”, I hate that song. But that wasn’t even the worst part, I wish it was, believe me. The band lacked a percussionist, so the band hired this drummer, it was this punk-rock chick named “Rebecca Boyd”.

Oh man, Becky. Lemme tell you something here, Becky wasn’t just any one of those typical rebellious tramps. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that always have “daddy issues”, or calls their boyfriends “daddy”, or literally anything else that has to do with that frigging word. All a bunch of weird, freaky shit. But no, Becky wasn’t like that, not one damn bit. It’s funny, I don’t usually think too much about this stuff. Love is only some chemical reaction to make people breed, and most people can just piss off for all I care. Becky, however, was different and I dunno why, something about her just clicked with me. Like she was this kind of girl that gave people the time of day, the kind of girl that gives people respect, the kind of girl that never took anyone at face value. She was the most loyal soul in the world and she would never think twice about wronging or hurting anybody. And don’t get me started on her looks, god! She was tiny but always wore large punk-rock clothing that went down over her hips, her pale skin was as white as the glittering snow, she had short, wavy, and messy orange hair, big titties, and her eyes were as blue as the midday sky. I knew from the second she walked into that recording studio, that she was the most beautiful woman I ever laid my eyes on.

When I first saw her, I thought to myself that it seems too good to be true. A brod looking like that, no way can someone that perfect exist. Guess I was right, because about two years, three months, and twelve days later, I became stuck, stuck in my inevitable point of sorrow and instability. In other words, I became a drunken wreck.

But I’m getting a little side tracked, I’ll go into more about her later. The real meat of my little anecdote begins where I am now, Kansas, the garden state or sunflower state or whatever. Forgot which one it was. Anyway, I’ve been on a road trip for a while, trying to get over things that happened back home, hell, maybe even find a new place to live. I can’t stand living in Alaska anymore, so it’s not something I’d put off without a second thought.

 Life couldn’t get much worse for me, but irony’s a real bitch, ain’t it? After driving for what felt like 48 hours straight, an old washed out town appeared before me, as if it were an allusion. My need for a drink was killing me, so I parked my truck in front of this trashy pub, called the “Oil Olilo’s” or something like that. My head was super drowsy from the drive, I can’t recall much about the place. The first thing I did after walking in was order a jug full of whiskey. Sleepiness and alcohol don’t mix well, of course, so I ended up sleeping face first on this old, chipped, and messy table.

Everything seems bad so far, but here’s where things get pulled into 12th gear. I woke up to some fatass poking on my arm. It was the bartender. He was this old, wrinkly guy with a pedo stache. He’s not important, what is important, however, is what he was doing up in my personal space. I can’t remember the specifics of what he told me, but basically, I parked in a bad spot and that my truck was being towed to some impound yard. You should’ve seen the look on my stupid little face, I was shocked. Oh, and don’t get me started with my head-ache. Waking up with the alcohol and the news gave me this terrible migraine, the worst one of my frigging life. The only thing that would help this dirty brain was some water, water always helps in these kinds of situations after all, so I reached into my pocket for a dollar or two. Oh. Oh shit! I ran out of money. I’m not using hyperbole or anything and that I had sixty-eight cents or whatever. No, I was as broke as a homeless man. Like at least the homeless get small bits of change, I didn’t even have a penny in these pockets. I guess I spent too much on the alcohol, whoops. Try to invision me in a hangover panicking about how there being nothing in my wallet. Yeah, lets just say it wasn’t a sight for sore eyes.

While I was in this “freak-out mode”, my eyes began to fill with water, I guess it was from all the stress, who knows. You see, I’m at a point in my life where I have nobody to come and help me through my problems, everybody thinks of me as a degenerate. It sucks to be thought of like that, but I’m used to it. Once you’ve been on the road alone for this long, you’d develop a callus for that kinda thing. But sometimes I wish I could make things different, but no matter what I try to do, everything and everyone always stays the same. Only when it’s for the worst do things seem to change, and honestly, I find that really bullshit. I rubbed my eyes to prevent any tears from coming out, I don’t wanna seem weak. Afterall, when in these predicaments I always repeat to myself, “I’m not gonna cry.”

But let me get back on track. So there I was, a man half-shit faced, half terrified, and my anxiety was going off the walls. I was a total mess, what in god’s name do I do? Think of all the worst possible things I can do to make the situation ten times worse, because I bet what I did was the dumbest thing possible. Get this, I hopped out of the pub like I was the Easter Bunny, I strolled my lousy ass across the street to this Motel 6 or whatever, and went up to the window of this old 1998 Toyota Camry. I didn’t see anyone in there, the only things in there were a StarBucks coffee and a nice leather purse. Then a lightbulb appeared over my head, what if I open the window and take some money out of the purse? It wasn’t a very nice thing to do, but I was desperate and needs some dough. Too bad I was so damn shit-faced that I accidentally smashed my fist through the window. The car started honking really loudly, I panicked. Quickly, I grabbed and looked through the purse. There was like two-hundred dollars, only some makeup, a driver’s license, and some keys. And let me just say, What are the frigging chances of this dummy leaving their car keys in their purse? Because I must’ve gotten a real deal of luck. Anyway, I drove off quicker than a roadrunner and escaped any consequences I could’ve gotten, for now at least. Also, if you’re wondering, a roadrunner can run up to twenty-five miles per hour. Yes, I did my research, it’s important for later, trust me.

Oh but yeah, I have no damn clue what was going through my head at the time. The alcohol must’ve still be kicking around if you get what I’m saying. But looking back on it, whoever owned that car must’ve been a real big -. I mean really, what kind of idiot leaves their purse with all this important shit in it inside their car?

I drove for an hour, Fear was running down my spine, sweat was dripping down my face, and I felt as if my days of freedom were fleeting. All the buildings over the horizon line slowly shifted to nothing, only plains, flatlands, and miles of corn crops. It was empty, a big field of isolation. Going through this land made me experience a shockwave of many thoughts, my favorite one being, “How can anybody live in this place, it’s boring as shit.” I needed a distraction from all of this, so I turned on the radio. It took awhile to find a station, the radio silence felt very close to home.

Eventually, a song came on, frigging finally. It was a song Becky and I used to play a lot together, “Mr. Tembo” by Damon Albarn, it’s an alright song, Becky introduced me to it. She used to listen to Albarn’s music all the time. For example, whenever she was in the shower, she’d be playing Albarn albums for hours, I never got any sleep from that. Or like this time when we were driving to the movie theatre on our first date, she blasted the song and nearly blew out my speakers, I was so pissed, but I really didn’t wanna come off as a “bad guy” so I held it all in. She laughed at how my face was as red as a strawberry! Looking back on it, best date I ever been on. Man, she couldn’t get enough of that artist, hell, I used to be the exact same way, at least when I was around her.

Honestly, I can’t listen to this kinda shit anymore! Albarn’s songs all sound terrible to me now and it only makes me depressed. I don’t even know why anymore, it just does. I quickly changed the station, eventually I found something else. It was an entire radio station dedicated to U2. Fine, it’ll have to do, at least their music isn’t stupid.

While listening to U2, driving for what felt like an eternity, I started thinking about Becky again. Jesus, not again. Actually, I never cleared things up about that, didn’t I? Damn it, I don’t really like to gloss on it, but I did promise you a couple of pages ago that “I’ll go into more about her later”, plus, it’s a good time to bring this all up.

So if it wasn’t pretty clear before, I somehow managed to go out with Rebecca. I know, shocking. After the recording of that cover was done, I started casually chatting with Becky in the hallway, outside the studio. It was a nice talk if I do say so myself. Honestly, when I was originally talking to her, I was only interested in getting in her pants, but her personality started showing, bringing me back a few steps. A surprise to me was that from the way she looked, I expected her to be a total loner, but I was far from right, my assumptions weren’t even close! Becky was extremely extroverted and kind-hearted, just listening to the way she talking to me and the tone of her voice, I knew that she wouldn’t hurt a fly. She also showed traits of being extremely optimistic from getting into her passion of percussion and how she wanted to be the “very best”, which I could see. She was the hardest worker I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to, she seemed to be working her ass off practicing. Basically, she was a blast to talk to. I never met anyone like her, a woman that lifted the weights off my shoulders, a woman that made Alaska feel like New Mexico, a woman that gave off this “feel good” kinda vibe. This’ll sound all dumb and mushy, but I was falling for this brod, I really was. It’s hard to describe how far I fell down for her, I’d say down to  the Earth’s core.

The interesting part about it all was that Becky was the that popped the question, not me. Like the day after that chat, I saw her outside the studio building where I work, lighting a cigarette. I find smoking extremely unattractive, considering that nicotine smells like shit, but I was too head over heels to care. Feeling a little confident, I decided to stroll up to her to say hello, and mid-way through our small talk, she just randomly asked me for my number. It felt cool to know that she felt the same way about me, but damn did that caught me off guard! Normally, I think I’d wait a week or two before attempting that sort of thing, she did instantly, sorta creeped me out if I’m being honest. She seemed really joyful when I started writing my down my contact info though, she even coughed up a small smile, so I seemed a little less freaked out. So mission accomplished I guess?

Anyway like I said earlier, that first date was to the movie theatre and it was the best date I’ve ever been on, despite what happened to the truck speakers. But afterwards, Becky and I were smooth sailing, we were together for a long time. I was always told by my peers that we were the perfect match, which felt pretty good. I couldn’t be happier. Hell, we even wrote this stupid ass song together around a year ago, and that's not something I normally do, I only do it with people I have a really strong connection with. The song was this small duet we called “Point Nemo”, it’s about finding love while in the feeling of isolation, since you know, Point Nemo is in the middle of the ocean. Yeah, just think of it as a bunch of dumb lovey-dovey bullshit we wrote down, because that’s really all it was. Originally we made it with ukuleles but we later added some old drum machines and synthesisers lying around, it was nice.

Eventually, everything has to end at some point, in my case it was less of a satisfying one and more like a frigging plane crash. Around half a year ago, Becky started acting all crazy, telling me that I’ve been “distant”, despite the fact that I literally moved into her apartment the month prior. Later on, while I was cleaning the dishes, I began to eavesdrop on this conversation she was having with her friend over the phone. She was ranting about how I was apparently hiding drugs all over the house and that I’m apparently a junkie. Like what the hell was she on about? The only people that do drugs are retards and assholes looking for attention, I ain’t either of those two things! I’m not gonna lie, I was kinda pissed. A few days went by and I confronted her about it, I tried to be as civil as possible, and I think I did a pretty good job at it, but Becky, she didn’t think so. It’s really pathetic and embarrassing to admit it, but Becky got very angry. She grabbed this bottle of whiskey and  all of a sudden, she started to beat the ever-living shit out of me.

As you can probably imagine, things only gotten worse. Becky kept using me as her personal punching bag whenever she gotten frustrated or whenever we got into an argument or really whenever she wanted. I wanted to tell someone about it so damn badly, but Becky wasn’t like everyone else. She was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I didn’t desire for that to go away. But eventually, everything came crashing down. One night when I came home, I caught her snorting coke off the kitchen counter. I had a massive fight with her about it, I was so damn scared for her physical and mental health, I mean who wouldn’t? Plus, a girl that pretty’s gonna look like a real freak show after snorting that shit! However, all the begging and pleading in the world wouldn’t work, and like that, it was all over, she called it quits. It happened so fast. She kicked me out of her apartment, but I had nowhere to go. Thanks to her, all of my friends believed that I’m a frigging junkie! At the very least, my truck’s seats were pretty comfy.

But before I could finish my thoughts, smoke started coming out of the hood of the car. Jesus, I got so wrapped up in my head that I completely forgot I was driving. God-damn it, I should’ve paid attention to the outside world, not my brain! Son of a bitch!

I parked on the side of the road. The clouds overhead were slowly blocking out the sun, clearly it was gonna rain soon. God, I wish I would’ve known that ahead of time, too bad I was too busy thinking about better times! I got out of the car and checked under the hood, there was smoke everywhere, the radiator must’ve been overheated or something. Shit, I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, ain’t I? With a sigh of disappointment I called a tow-truck to pick me up while secluding myself back into the car, turning on the radio through my iTunes app, the first and probably only time I’ll ever have to use that feature. Once again, my mind started drifting away again.

I started thinking, why did Becky treat me like that? How can someone so damn perfect turn into such a huge mess? Why did she do all that, was I the cause of this all along? Damn, it’s hurting my brain just thinking about it! I just want to know, how come every woman I ever met always seems to become such a frigging bitch all of a sudden. Whenever I try to get close to one or everytime I start noticing some weird connection, they just call me a schmuck and leave me in the shade. It’s so frigging frustrating. Maybe the only person to blame is myself, I mean look at me! I’m only two steps away from looking like a god-damn neanderthal! My nose is large and pointy, my body’s thin and lanky, my black-ish hair is greasy and full of dandruff, and my face is still full of cuts and bruises. It’s no wonder why I keep getting myself in these situations, I shouldn’t have to ask myself this question, the answer’s in a mirror! Hell, listen to me talk! I’m such an asshole, it’s as if I can’t write a single paragraph without insulting someone or swearing! I’m so negative, pessimistic, cruel, forgetful, stubborn, reckless. I’m such a terrible, awful person! What’s up with me?

I had to stop myself from thinking about this. I’ll be man-to-man with you, my eyes started to fill with water again, but like I said earlier, I ain’t gonna be weak. So I repeated to myself, “I’m not gonna cry”.

Suddenly, an interesting song started playing on the radio, nothing I heard being played on the station before, but something that sounded familiar. Then it hit me like a tidal wave, that song, that singer. It was Becky, it was our song. Holy shit, they were playing our song on the radio, but something about it was different. Despite the sorrow filling in my face from just the thought of hearing Becky’s voice again, I continued to listen. Over a minute into the recording, I still haven’t heard myself sing, I’m not what I’d call a very good vocalist or anything but something seemed off. Then, I realized, she cut my voice out of the song. Every time I’d be singing, a synthesiser played over the instrumental. This duet we made, about love and shit, she took everything about me out of it, turning it into a ballad. That bitch!

No matter how many times I repeated it, “I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry...” I couldn’t stop the despair erupting from my face. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. An uncontrollable waterfall of misery shot out of my eyes. I was drowning in this ocean of tears and there was nothing I could do to swim out. This was my low point, this is where I truly knew, I was broken.

Eventually, after crying for what felt like forever, my guardian angel came. Don’t worry, I’m being slightly sarcastic, though imagine if that did happen? That’d be frigging fantastic! But no, what actually happened was that the tow-truck guy I called earlier finally showed up. He saw me having that mental breakdown in the car and I guess he had a lot of pity for me. Throughout the ride to the service station, he acted pretty supportive, telling me that everyone has my kind of problems and that I reminded him about his son or something like that. I even mentioned to him the details about the car, he seemed a bit surprised but he didn’t seem to care much. Honestly, it was a little weird how nice he was being, but its whatever.

I forgot to mention, the tow-truck driver, his name was Guy. Immediately I felt kinda bad for him, Guy is such a lame and unoriginal name, but he doesn't seem to be a bad person. Guy’s a hairy and big person, he’s got muscle on his arms but fat on his belly. He’s also the kind of a hillbilly. The man’s got Christian imagery all over the inside of the tow-truck, clearly he’s one of them “religious nuts”, he apparently owns three firearms, and he’s a crazy conservative. I’d normally complain about all that, but I’ve developed a soft spot for this guy, get it? There’s nothing wrong with religion and I don’t really care much about politics, I hear it on the radio all the time, but I choose to ignore it. But most important part about Guy is that he’s a direct, but kind person. Hell, he’s so kind that he bought me dinner, I mean it tasted like plastic, but I’ll take it.

I haven’t even told you the funniest part about him yet! After listening to what i basically just told to you now, he decided to let me stay at his place for next few days. I know right? It’s great! I really don’t know why this guy’s being this damn generous, is it his religion or does it have to do with me reminding him of his son. Probably both, I don’t know.

And this is where I am now, currently while I’m writing all of this down, I’m in Guy’s house, specifically his son’s old room. I don’t know much about his son, but he must’ve been a big music nerd, this guy’s got a bunch of CDs just laying around, what a chump! I actually should be in bed right around now, my court case is tomorrow, too bad Guy keeps shouting at the TV! I don’t know what he’s yapping about, something to do with protests and illegal immigrants or something stupid like that. I could care less.

I’m nervous about tomorrow, not gonna lie. I never should’ve stolen that frigging car, but I can’t change the past. Thankfully, Guy seems to be pretty cool about it. He’s been telling me that the Kansas court system sucks so bad that I shouldn’t even need to have a public defender, but who knows.

It’s getting late. This experience in Kansas was educational, I must say. I’m glad Guy found me, if it weren’t for that, I probably still would’ve been crying inside of that car. Actually, looking back on it, my entire journey here seemed pretty pointless. It’s as if I had this goal but never even came close to reaching it! But it’s whatever, at the very least I was able to tell a stupid short-story I guess. I don’t know what I’m going to do after all this, am I gonna stay in Kansas? Will I go back to traveling on my lonesome trail? Will I go back to Alaska and break that bitch’s jaw? I honestly don’t know. But then again, when have I ever known what I was gonna do, or what’s going to happen, because I sure as hell don’t.

Anyway, thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Now stop reading and leave me alone, I gotta get some frigging shut eye!

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