I Exist

Chapter One

Sometimes, I'm not really sure what to believe. Or who. They all lie, in their happy little dream-worlds, telling themselves and each other how beautifully perfect everything is laid out for them. They know nothing, but tell themselves that they do. They tell me that I'm human, and that their God has a purpose for me. They believe that He has a purpose for them. What a lot of fools. They hate me, you know. They put on their fake smiles, pretending that I'm something they actually care about. They don't. They're waiting for me to finally show proof enough of my lost mind, show myself enough of a danger to society that they can lock me up in that proverbial white room with padded walls, with the doctors in white coats watching me through the Plexiglas, nodding every now and then, remarking on my instability, all the while taking pointless notes on their little clipboards.

Maybe I'm just paranoid.

The bed is soft, the sheets freshly laundered, smelling of some flowery fragrance, I'm warm, and I'm comfortable. Why can't I sleep? Every night it is the same question, the same process, the same thoughts, the same hopes. If I wasn't staring out the window into a star-less night, wondering why the world hated me and why I already knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night, what else would I be doing? Slumbering in that precious world of dreams? Perhaps I would find myself curled up in the arms of someone caring, and kind, who would whisper each night their words of undying love. I might like that. After all, how often is it that a nobody like me is told that they are loved?

But I have no memory of my younger years, so maybe I was once told I was loved very often. Perhaps not. I don't know. The only recollections I have of life show these people with eyes that look at me with loathing. Many of those eyes despise me for no other reason than that I don't follow them, that I don't know who I am, and, unlike the rest of them, I actually admit that I don't.

Back to the window. It's dark, but I can see the darker outline of a tree. This tree is my friend. Every night I look out my window and I see it. It is always there. It never looks at me like I'm the worst kind of scum, it never laughs in my face, it never tells me I'm special with an empty face. It is there, and it is the only thing that I can love. I hope that it feels the same for me. I doubt it. At least it tolerates me, and soothes me with a swaying dance whenever I feel too lonely. I can be grateful for that at least.

The night passes slowly, or quickly, I'm not really sure. I just know that it passes without my eyes even once shutting for sleep. I watch the sun rise; I get out of bed. My feet hit a cold floor, and I resist the urge to crawl back under the blankets. It is winter, and my small apartment does not have a heater. But I live. I brush my teeth over a rusted sink, staring at my face in a cracked mirror. Eyes the color of dull sandstone look back at me. Faded eyes without faith and without a purpose. But they are my eyes, and that is enough for me. They don't glisten, they don't sparkle with the knowledge of untold tales, they're just there. I don't ask for more, because I know I will not get more. If I ask, I am only bound to be disappointed.

I don't realize at first that I've stopped brushing. Not until a small splatter of toothpaste falls on my bare chest from my open mouth do I remember what I was doing. Getting ready for work. Just one more sorry excuse for a job I must arrive at on time. I can't afford to get fired from this one, or I end up outside again. This time in the freezing snow. No thank-you.

It's time to stop listlessly thinking, get ready, and get the hell out of here. I glance once more at the mirror, this reflection that shows me all that I actually know about myself. I have brown eyes, hair only a shade darker falling in my face, a slightly crooked nose on a face only a little marred by two long scars. I don't know how I got them - the scars, I mean - they're just there like everything else about me. I'm tall, I'm thin, though I have the look of a man once in the best of shape. I have more scars than those two on my face. My chest and arms have a few, and if I reach around to my back I can trace the long-healed remains of a deep gash, now no more than a slightly raised line. This is me. I'm just a body with no mind, no memory, no past. I exist. But I do not understand why.

I wish that I could remember who I am.