Monday, July 09, 2007

Support Groups.

Support Groups.
Molecat Jumaway

Heroism is a tool of the media. It ain’t about those last few seconds, it’s about sales and marketing. Everyone loves a hero, everyone loves to cheer a live hero, everyone loves to mourn a dead hero. It’s on the news, the television; it’s in the papers; on the radio; on everyone’s lips. We live in a world of numbers; a story of heroic deeds is a spot of colour in a dreary grey world. Even if it were just a story.
In reality it’s all about instinct and thought. Which way does your instinct take you, charging in or begging for your life? Most of us would, in truth say the latter. But if you see a situation and given enough presence in mind to think you realise that there is only so much you can do. Looking like a twat isn’t going to save your bacon. If you’ve been through enough shit you realise that some things are just inevitable.
I haven’t realised all this yet.
I’m looking like a twat.
I’m crying like a baby and pleading for my life.
Considering there’s a gun at my head it’s quite understandable, most of you would be doing the same thing. Those of you that just shook their head would be the first to start tearing up.
He’s already killed the little girl, a man, a pregnant woman for god sakes and now me. He doesn’t want anything, we’re not hostages. The only reason why we’re not running is to spare ourselves those few extra seconds of life. This isn’t a robbery or anything reasonable this is just a man-gone nuts and he happens to own a gun.
My nose is running, nice way to find your cold dead body. I’m begging and I don’t even know what I’m saying. It’s all automatic and I have no real control over it. You know I think I’m talking about my runny nose. For Christ Sakes shut up man! If he killed a pregnant woman at point blank he’s not going to care about your sodden life!
The hammer draws back. Ohgodohgodohgodoghotdogshotdogshotdogs. Bang.
There’s the pain and all I’m wondering is how my Oh Gods turned into hot dogs. I think I’m alive, I think the bloody bastard missed me. I’m even still standing. I’m wondering about the pain but I’m alive and in pain and not dead and nothing.
“Fucking arsehole.” I yell and I hit him, I hit him hard. I don’t think I’ve ever hit someone that hard before. When you hit someone, you’re usually trying to warn them off, go away or I’ll hit you again. I’m hitting this person with intent to actually kill him with my fists. The gun’s gone now, he dropped it on the first punch, someone else came and picked it up. A little girl I think.
“I’m okay, I’m okay.” I say after getting tired of hitting the guy. Everyone is just standing around staring at me. I look down at my feet.
Ew, did I do that?
Okay, so now I’m a hero, Splat.
No, no, I’m not doing interviews. No, no, thank you but I must decline. How much? Jeeze, Nope, no, I don’t want to talk about it. Well maybe just one.
Then there’s the manslaughter charge. I really didn’t think I was hitting him that hard and he had just shot me damn it. I know he’s dead but I only got half a bloody ear. I was found guilty but in light of the circumstances the judge felt a suspended sentence was in order. It was all over the news.
I was hoping the group; the people that were there with me would welcome me in as one of their own. We were brethren after all and if I hadn’t of acted we’d all be dead. They don’t return my calls, they’ve set up some support group, I don’t know where it is and I don’t think I’m welcome.
I’m in my room without a support group and I’m recanting the events that threw me into this little spot. I still remember crying, balling my eyes out. I still remember the man falling to the ground, the pregnant woman on her knees and falling forward on her face, the little girl hurled sideways. I bet those other bastards are in a room right now discussing these very matters. No matter, I’ve got a bottle of red wine.
Today’s interview did not go as expected. I thought that I’d be asked questions about being a hero and all for the whole time. It started off like that and I was very good at being modest, I actually maintained the truth. I told them that I did not feel like a hero and that I was crying and pleading for my life. I told them that I would have been nothing if the guy had not of missed.
“And that’s when you killed him with your bare hands?”
I was a little speechless. I was remembering the moments before; I could barely remember the moments after the gun went off. My face was pale. I felt a little limp. It felt like all the blood in my body had now succumbed to gravity and was sitting in my feet. The lady interviewing me was unknown to me, had not ever seen her on the tele. She waited and I just looked around pale and listless. The camera crew were standing there patiently, there was a guy holding the big boom mike thingy. There was a little girl among them, all of them waiting for me.
“I could not remember the rest.” I said to the lady I did not know, had never met. Was this my support group? “I’d watched the man kill many people.” I sort of stuttered it out.
“The coroner said that the man would have died after the second punch and yet you hit him over seventy times.” Said the lady. I’m thinking that maybe I was really shot and killed and this is my purgatory. It certainly feels like it. I look over to the lady, I guess they’re loving it, this is prime time stuff. At least there’s going to be a cheque in the mail.
“I don’t think I was thinking straight.” I tell her, or the viewers, or the mike, or the little girl. I don’t know really, I’m just saying the words.
“The courts would have acquitted you then.” Said the lady. “They didn’t.”
“Then why am I here?” I asked listlessly. “Why am I not in jail?”
“You tell me.” Said the lady who I didn’t know.
Well that went well, I watched it on the news. They replaced the unknown lady with the face of the primetime television. I got a letter from the courts instead of a cheque saying that I would not be receiving payment as I could not profit from a crime that I had been found guilty of.
Not a very good support group really. I wonder what the others are doing now?
I don’t really have any hobbies, nothing to take my mind off these things. I guess my hobby now is drinking red wine and thinking about my shit life. I fell asleep and dreamt of how one luck lustre life can turn into a painful excuse for an existence and those powerful minutes that caused the transition. I woke up pickled; today is the day I miss another day at work. Today is also they day that I get fired from work.
There’s a little girl waiting in my cupboard when I open it. I slide the door open to grab some pants and she’s there between a couple of jackets staring out at me. I ignore her and her eyes, if she’s not going to hand me my pants then I’ll just take my pants and close the door.
I’m going to have to remind myself one of these days that I’m alive and that’s what counts.
I go out to have a drink, maybe something at a bar or something.
“Hey you’re that guy.” I’m sitting at a bar, it’s pretty upmarket and I’m wondering how much of my money I can spend until I completely run out. There’s a burly kind of guy behind me and he’s addressing me as that guy. Probably seen me on the tele.
“Fuckin’ arsehole.” He says and spits in my general direction. “You’re as bad as the killer.” I get up and turn around. I forget that I’d just killed a man with my bare hands but no one else does. Suddenly people are rushing away from me. I leave a tip and go on home.
I feel as though I’ve missed something.
I’m in the corner with my bottle of red. I’ve got the phone in the other hand. I passed the support group on the way home, all filing in to the large hall to talk about their woes. They see me walking by and stopped one by one to stare at me. A little semi-circle of people that shared the worst day of their lives. All standing silently around the lit entrance staring at me.
I’m having deep drinks of wine and ringing the hall’s number in between times. I could imagine them all sitting around the ringing phone, knowing it’s me, letting it ring.
Here’s ya fuckin’ support you bloody wankers!
Or maybe the phone rings out into another office. Maybe I’m just an incredibly stupid person. I have another scull of the wine. I lower the bottle to see the girl looking out at me from the hallway across the room. I’m about to say something but she’s suffered enough, because of me she’s suffered enough. I fall asleep, on the floor, in the corner.
The bottle must have dropped into my lap because I’m all wet there. I don’t know which would be better the wine spilling or me wetting myself. I’m sitting their in the corner thinking about it, I decide that urine would be easier to clean out of the carpet. I open my eyes and there are eyes staring into mine. It’s her.
I’m not a babbling fool of a person. It’s not called courage, it’s called not caring. I don’t give a flying fuck what happens anymore. I don’t care if there is red wine or urine in my lap and I don’t give a shit whether there is a little dead girl up close and in my face. She smiles and she draws back silently.
She’s now at the end of my feet, she slowly retrieves something from under her dress. She places it at the base of my feet; I’m staring at it. I’m not shocked when she is thrown backwards in the air. Out the door as though my apartment was suddenly in space and everything was pulled out with the air.
I look at the object at my feet, why am I not surprised to find the gun that was once pointed at my head there? I stare at it and something fills my mind with unease. I pass out again.
The next day I’m him. There’s a list of people that I’m apart of. We’ve formed a sort of support group of our own, like a father would support a son. I know the tradition and I have to follow.
I’m in a large room, there’s only one exit and that’s all locked up. There’s a sniffling little man sitting in a corner, snot is coming out of his nose as he pleads for his life.
“Next!” I’m not a demanding man but tradition dictates. I’ve made him pick out three people already; they’ll have this support group set up next week. The man is crying as he points to a little girl.
“I’m sorry.” I say to the little girl who is now a ball of arms and legs, trying to hide from what is about to happen. “But he chose you.”
As tradition dictates, I’ll leave the runny nose man until last and just clip his ear or something. It’ll be fun.