My Toaster Thinks I'm Crazy
Chapter One: Psycho Killer
I twiddle my thumbs, trying to ignore the couch that insisted on talking to me as the psychiatrist got ready his notepad and his mocha latte.
-I swear! Half of his clients are morbidly obese whining about their weight! The least they could do is not siton me while they blubber like whales!-
"Ben," I mumble, looking up.
"Right, Ben," he makes a note and smiled at me. "My name is Dr. Simon Royce, please call me Simon." He is rather handsome, fairly young. He has nicely coiffed brown hair and inquisitive green eyes behind his frameless glasses. He is wearing a stuck up burgundy polo shirt and quiet khakis; he is trying to look relaxed in this childish setting I am forced into. The place is the colors of building blocks and there are toys and games all over.
-Now he's gonna ask you how you're feeling today while he draws a screw and a baseball on his paper,- mumbles the polo shirt snootily as the khakis sigh.
-Don't listen to him, dear, he's actually doodling Batman,- replies his notepad. I sigh, rubbing the bridge of my nose.
"Are you okay? You don't have a headache, do you?" asks the shrink with a touch of concern.
"Yeah, it started at breakfast and just got worse," I lie. Well, it was kind of true. This morning I had to listen to the fridge and the stove bicker nonstop. It was an age-old feud between the two. I tried to mediate it, but I ended up making the milk spoil and burning my mom's roast. To this day, I try to stay on good terms with the toaster and microwave so I won't go hungry. I actually like talking to the toaster; it's the only thing that understands I don't like to carry out conversations in front of other people to inanimate objects.
-No, I totally understand, kiddo. I mean, your family is crazy enough as it is, and you've been dubbed the sane one. Your secret's safe with me.....your pop tarts are done, by the way.-
"Would you like some aspirin?"
Aspirin liked to sing of its pain-killing qualities while working its way down to my stomach. I politely decline. There is silence for a couple minutes when I finally, timidly, say, "Your couch says that you should really stop taking on fat patients."
"I'll speak to my... couch.... later about not being prejudiced. So Ben, let's keep this simple? What do you like to do?"
I contemplate whether or not I should tell him anything, but suddenly the words drop off my tongue, "I like staying in my room. Mom says I do it too much...but it's quiet in there.
"Okay, it isn't quiet. But I trained the walls to have ears, but not mouths. My window doesn't say much, but it's insightful when it says something. My carpet just occasionally asks not be stepped on in particular pieces. It's really sensitive in the patch just to the right of my door. So I avoid that area. It appreciates it. My bed likes to hit on me, which is a tad weird. But I like to drown it out. I don't have a lot of stuff in my room. It's too loud when there's a lot of stuff. I soundproof my closet so all the banter my clothes make I can't hear until I open it. Yes, it works that way. It isn't like I hear them in my head, I actually physically hear them.
"Unless...that's just my mind making me believe that. So when I think soundproofing my closet will work...it does."
"I try not to think about it. If I do, I start questioning everything, and end up nowhere except farther into that hole of despair.
"Holes don't like me for some reason. And I mean holes in the dirt. Like the kind you put flowers in.
"My room is really bare. I have a futon instead of the whole shebang of a bed. Too many parts. I have a pillow and a sheet and a blanket. My pillow doesn't even have a pillowcase....
"I might have to explain something here. When I say things speak to me, I don't mean everything. It's like....take my pillow for example. Now, a pillow is comprised of a lot of stuff. There's the thread, the cloth, the stuffing, the pillowcase, the pillow protector (which is like a case, only it zips), and not to mention all the thread and tags on those.
"Each of these things can speak individually. But...when they are thrown together to create a single object, they meld together into one voice. It's weird, I know, but I pulled off my pillow cover once to use as a trick-or-treat bag. My pillow and the pillowcase started to talk separately.
."..okay, you can stop looking at me funny."
"I wasn't," he states, but he still has his eyebrows furrowed and his chin dropped against his neck to peer inquisitively or disbelievingly over his glasses. I sigh, sinking lower into the couch. "It's okay...it isn't like I tell anyone about it. I try to go through life ignoring it all. But it's really hard to take a math test when your pencil is chuckling and saying, 'Oh, that's not the answer Einstein!'"
-Now he's writing, 'Just wanted him to say sports'.- says his pen.
I sink even lower and stare at my shoes. They are arguing about who was better. They were starting to get when Simon clears his throat and says, "Well, I think we are just about out of time here, Ben. Anything else you'd like to say before we end this session?"
Looking up from my feet, I smile and reply, "Yes, there's a teddy bear that fell behind your bookcase that has become very lonely and scared. It has been there for about six months now, if I'm not mistaken."
I can tell he looks surprised as I walk away. I hear him get up and move towards the bookcase as I close the door. He will probably ask how I did that the next time I see him.
My name is Benvolio Abruzzi. I am not Italian. Some distant male relative was. My first name is the result of my mother's "intimate relationship" with Shakespeare. My brothers' names too.
You see I'm the middle of a set of triplets. The eldest is Mercutio; my youngest brother is Romeo. Then there is our older half-brother, ten years our senior, Tybalt.
Tibs, Tybalt, is the only "normal" one in the family. Allow me to explain.
Romeo suffers from a disorder called echolalia. Basically, he's a friggin' parrot. He can't say anything unless it has already been said. But he has a type called "delayed echolalia" which basically means he can repeat things that have been said weeks ago, even years ago, and that's about it. So, he watches a lot of TV, and goes to a lot of plays and things. This is probably why he's so good in drama, aside from his acting ability.
Mercutio has anterograde amnesia. Short term memory loss. And for those who can't quite grasp this, watch Memento. And for those who can't grasp that confusing drama, watch Finding Nemo. Merc is like Dory, except not a fish. It is hard for him in school, but somehow he scrapes by. If you say something to him twenty times, once a minute, he can most likely remember it. Or we write post-it notes and stick them on his forehead. He doesn't like this, but it helps when you send him to go take the trash out and he keeps forgetting.
And I suffer schizophrenia. At least, that's what the doctors say. Or used to say when I was younger. But then I played it off as one big joke. The thing was, they actually believed me. I hated being constantly surveyed by my "treatment team". Thankfully, during my long stay away from home, my mother told my brothers that I was just at a summer camp for people like me. Merc probably forgot it all and Ro was gullible. He still is.
Tybalt left when he was sixteen to live with his birth father who lived halfway across the country. When he was eighteen, he practically vanished. We get a Christmas and a birthday card, if he remembers. Sometimes a postcard from the exotic place he visits. I think I used to be somewhat close to him, before he left. I haven't seen him since I was eleven, I think. I don't consider much of a brother anymore...more like some distant relative.
I'm only seeing Simon because I need to vent. I used to go to this really nice old lady shrink in my old school. Unfortunately, due to some rather interesting events, I had to switch schools. My brothers and I now attend Stanley T. Fullerton University. It isn't a university, but it's called that anyway. It isn't a private school, just some really old one that used to be Catholic or Lutheran or something. It no longer has any religious affiliation, but we still use the old chapel's tower bells instead of the bell system over a speaker. At least, that's what I'm told, we are starting officially tomorrow. I always hear a lot of yelling from the bell tower. I guess the bells are loud and talkative.
And yes. I am WELL aware that the acronym for our school is STFU. I personally think this is hilarious.
"Mom, I'm home!" I call as I enter the house. The shrink's was only a couple blocks away from home
-Welcome back, Benny!- shouts the coat rack merrily as I put my jacket on it. -How was your day at school?-
"Fine," I whisper. The coat rack is at least nice to me, so it is one of the few things I actually reply to. Half the time I ignore objects so I don't look so crazy. At school, I try to avoid telling off my ballpoint pen and my textbook. I get enough stares as is.
Another thing is that I'm rather popular. I'm well known because one, I'm a triplet, two, my brothers suffer from bizarre disorders, three, we are all rather 'gorgeous' (at least according to the majority of the female population), and four, I am currently first up for valedictorian.
I don't particularly agree with three, since I find myself rather the plainest of the three of us. Romeo is the shortest and the youngest. Not the dominant one in the womb, that's for sure. He had dimpled cheeks, baby blue eyes, and a fair complexion. His hair is a light brown that was cut long enough to put into a pathetic ponytail when he was under the hot lights of the stage. He is very expressive, which makes up for his limited dialogue.
Merc certainly looks the part of being the oldest. He is the largest, three inches taller than me and six inches taller than Romeo. He has thick dark hair that reaches past his shoulders. He often wears it in a ponytail that shows off his ear piercings.
Whenever one of us wants to do something that alters our bodies (tattoos, piercings, etc.), our mother only gives one permission if he also convinces the other two to join him. Merc wanted piercings. So he convinced Romeo and I to get some too. He got several ear piercings; Romeo only got one ear pierced and his belly button. I got my tongue pierced. My blue barbell, thankfully, was not the talking type. If it did say anything, my tongue usually muffled it.
Not all objects like to talk. Some things I found don't have the ability. Or maybe their voices died? I don't know. All I found is that some things talked to me while others didn't. Believe me, if everything started to talk to me, I'd go insane. I'd probably put a drill to temple. Then again, the drill might talk to me too...
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suicidal. Though sometimes I wish everything would just shut up!
-Romeo has a black eye, you might want to check it out,- mumbles Romeo's hoodie. I blink before heading towards my brother's room. This can't be good.
I knock softly (but the door still yells, -Ow! That hurts!-) and call out, "Ro?"
Not waiting for him to answer, I open the door and step inside. I'm hit by a loud wave of his things talking all at once as he stood at his mirror and examined a livid bruise around his eye. A piece of tissue was stuck up his nose and bloodied on one end. It wasn't very happy about it, and the mirror kept making motherly comments to Ro, who couldn't hear it anyway.
-I don't appreciate being ripped and stuck up your bloody nose, boy!-
-Oh, darling! You need to put a slab of cold steak on that there shiner!-
He turns around, surprised to see me. My younger brother smiles sheepishly, eyebrows innocently rising. Trying hard to push away all the colliding voices of the stuff that cluttered his room, I walk over and tilt his chin up. Ro rolls his good eye as I tilt his head this way and that, assessing his injury.
"Alright, where'd you get it?" I ask, plopping my fists onto my hips as he blinked his good eye.
"Got in a fight," he says simply, brushing his hair back with limp fingers. My hair is a bit darker than his, but lighter than Merc's. I'm the middle child through and through. Even though I'm technically the second youngest, third oldest, I'm still the middle triplet. And for those of you who share my position, it isn't fun.
...Even though Merc, Ro, and I are separated by mere minutes...
Romeo leans against his dresser, bracing his hands on the edge. His eyes shift about before landing on me, staring up from his thick eyelashes. I sigh and realize he can't say the name of the person.
"Do you even know who the person was?" I press. Ro shook his head but held up four fingers. I blink before exclaiming, "There were four of them?!"
He nods, crossing his arms. As I stare in disbelief, he nibbles on his lower lip. I sit down on his bed with an exasperated sigh. It makes an 'oof!' sound and sniffles sadly.
"Sorry," I mumble before I can catch myself. My eyes widen and Romeo raises an eyebrow at me. I clear my throat and continue, "Sorry, but you've got to tell me what happened. I need to fulfill my 'concerned brother' quota for the day."
"Concerned brother quota?" he mimics, eyeing me suspiciously. Ro rummages through his drawer before pulling out a little stack of yellow post it notes and a blue pen. He starts to write in that elaborate cursive he mastered, filling up three of the notes before peeling them off.
-Dude, stick me on the mirror! That'd be so cool!- cries one as he hands them to me.
-Well I never!- huffed the mirror indignantly. I sigh and squint to read the notes. My eyesight is not so good, but I hate glasses. Contacts are worse. So I have a pair of reading glasses only. They are quiet but like it when I read the classics. Or paperback eroticism. I never read either often.
'I went to visit Rosaline,' his note started. Rosaline was a good friend of the family who was in the entertainment business. 'And this group of assholes decided to play keep away with Killer.'
Killer was Rosaline's pet duck that walked on a leash. I kid you not.
'After trying to avoid any trouble, I ended up trying to defend my darling's honor! And get Killer out of their dirty mitts!'
"And you got your ass kicked?" I ask. He motions to the third and final post it note. I glance at it and laugh.
'Killer attacked one guy's unspeakables and Rosaline handled two of them; I got the bigger of the four and was punched twice in the face by the fucker. Downed him though!'
"Ah, so Killer has caused yet another man to become sterile," I comment, standing and putting the notes on the mirror. The little yellow papers cheer and the mirror flusteredly demands them to be removed. I ignore it all, along with the flurry of voices from the other things in his room, from his hairbrush to a movie poster of Much Ado About Nothing. "Ah well, then that's a good thing. Good way to get a bruise, defending Rosaline."
"I feel so much better knowing that he broke my face in a 'good' way. It's a 'good' bruise," he says. For some reason, I just know he's quoting Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
"You alright?" he asks as I place one hand over my ear and wince at the sudden high pitch complaints issuing from the mirror towards the rather rudely responding post it notes. I force a smile and wave my other hand to dismiss it. His eyebrows draw together in concern but I leave before he can question me further. Hurriedly, I go into my room down the hall. Closing the door softly, because it didn't like being slammed, I let out a sigh.
I pull of my feuding shoes, which started to get on my nerves with their battle.
-Ben! Who's better? Leftie or me?- asks my right shoe in a serious tone as I open my closet and set them inside. You know that silence that happens when you walk into a room full of people who were just talking about you? That's what happens when I open my closet.
-I think he needs his comfy Batman boxers and t-shirt tonight,- states one of the hangars, the only pink one. It had the personality of a little sweet girl and always seemed to pin what I needed to wear at that moment. -He doesn't look so good.-
I can't help but smile as I start to strip out of my shirt and pants. It's past sunset, but I always went to bed early. The more time I spend sleeping, the less time there is for me to be pulling my hair out while I hear a hoi polloi of voices assaulting me that no one else could hear.
As I pull on my boxers and tee, which bid me a good night and pleasant dreams, I look out my window. Tomorrow would be a hassle. I'd have to get used to a new school with new sounds, new people, new problems, and who knows what else. Hurrah STFU.
-Hey there, baby, I missed you,- purrs my futon as I snuggle in.
"The feeling's mutual, honey," I mumble humouredly with a small smile, like I usually would. It giggles coquettishly as I pull my blanket close and close my eyes.
Why am I so messed up?
A/N: This is an entirely random story. No idea why I wrote it. I just thought it'd be interesting. This is my b-day present to all of you. Happy birthday to me!