Gray Matter -- 1 – A Expositori

D'Neronique et d'égoïsme

There were many instances in his life where Leon seriously thought that he was exactly like everyone else – and not in a comforting sense. As most adolescents, Leon longed for individuality, a sort of self-defined clique in which he would be convinced no one else but those he had hand-picked would belong in it. However, sometime between getting kicked out of that clique and enviously watching it, Leon learned to what he thought to be the truth: that no one, especially himself, was unique.

This discovery seemed profound to him to the point that he found himself continually angered at the self-flattery of others, thinking that they were unique, flaunting in a such a way, it could be nothing be predictable. Horribly predictable; boring.

It was the height of this frustration that Leon entered his senior year at high school – something else that irritated him. His angst at seeing the lack of originality among his peers was only mirrored exactly what he hated the most; Leon suffered what is commonly most referred to as 'self-pity,' which is, let it be assured, as annoying as it sounds.

Luckily for Leon, his self-inflicted exile from his clique had left the boy at an almost noble disposition, making few others realize how annoying he actually was. While this kept him from losing friends, Leon's jealousy of all the other cliques kept him from making them.

It was also in his fortune that senior year was filled with all sorts of things to keep your mind busy, making the concept of 'friendship' obsolete. The euphoria of high math, the reliability of physics, and the familiarity of literature all combined with the inevitable gravity of what it means to truly know yourself filled the metaphorical void that Leon would have felt, if he believed the void to be literal. It was merely who Leon was, to not trust anything he could not see, and no one would blame him for it.

"…perceived his mother and father to be literally one. So when Claudius killed his dad, Hamlet was all like 'man and wife are one, so oh-my-gawd, my mother must not have been true to her marriage with my dad, because when he was murdered, she didn't die as a true wife would. My mom equals whore!' Which sort of makes Hamlet equal retarded." The commenter paused to breath. "Though it would make sense, though, if Gertrude was unfaithful for a long time– especially if it was with Claudius – because Hamlet and Claudius are actually a lot alike, and I wouldn't be surprised if Claudius is his real father."

The teacher smirked and raised an eyebrow, unable to hide her amusement. "This isn't Star Wars, Chelsea. Nevertheless, you have a good point. There are insurmountable parallels between Claudius and Hamlet. Remember the scene where – yes, John?"

The student, John, rolled his eyes. "There is no way the queen was fooling around with Claudius for that long. I mean, even if we assume Gertrude was having a consensual affair with Claudius briefly before the time of her husbands death, we would have to assume that she herself had something to do with the murder – which, according to Hamlet, is like killing herself. Speaking of which, although Gertrude did not die at the same time as her husband, don't forget: she died by the same murderer by what we can assume to be the same poison."

Leon remained silent in his chair, starring at the picture of young Kenneth Branagh on his Hamlet book. He personally didn't care for the play. There was no one worth connecting to in it – they all died. Horrible deaths, too – vain deaths that meant nothing. Despite Yorick's lesson, Hamlet died a man who had accomplished nothing, a man who believed the opposite of what he did – a man too clever for wisdom. Leon hated the play, and of the characters, hated Hamlet the most.

As the class continued to discuss the true motives of Hamlet, – or Claudius, was it? – Leon amused himself by shifting his focus from his book to the wall.

Now, let it be said right now that Leon has a thing for walls. To him, walls symbolized everything worth attempting to become, and yet humanly impossible to achieve. The idea of such a tragic hope was oddly appealing to Leon. Yet there was something else about the wall that Leon's couldn't exactly place – something that instinctively induced him to stare at it. While not incredibly interesting, the wall was never boring, and something in Leon wanted to stare at the wall endlessly until it was boring. The wall, however, never was.