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The Spot Where is YOUR happy place?

WE HEAR FROM YOU! Reader submitted stories page.


An escape. A getaway of a lifetime. It’s summertime which mean family vacations. Instead of breaking the bank on expensive trip to Maui, why not take the kids to grandma and grandpas. For many people family can be a time of fun and provide an escape without the stress on

your wallet. Our Andrew Carpenter tells us about how he gets away from the world.


A four bedroom, two-story house sitting on thirteen acres of land in the Ohio River valley, surrounding it is a small town one would only know if they lived in it, or the close surrounding area. The house sits at the end of a long gravel road. When first entered one would find themselves in the kitchen, to the right a fire place room and to the left a living room with a television. Upstairs are the main bedroom, and two guest beds. Past the kitchen is a dining room with big windowed doors leading to the porch. From the sitting room window, you can see riverboats guiding barges up and down the river. The property contains a large back yard with a barn, which was recently painted blue. Behind the main property lies a wooded area that leads to the river on

divided up into smaller parcels that are now where

baked. Because of the crowding

from one of the numerous proj-

the neighbors live. There are cows in the pasture

and pressure to get things done

ects he is working on at the time.

next to the yard. Cousins collect wood for bonfires

on time, tensions are sometimes

The grandchildren, however, do

on cold winter nights. Kids climb out the upstairs

created among family members,

their fair share of contribution as

window onto a gable and hang out on the roof.

but it all settles down eventually.

well. Clearing sticks and branches

There are dogs, cats & chickens. The chickens are a

Many different aromas arise, but

from the yard or finding old

new addition and are the first transition to making

usually the smell of the holiday

planks of wood in the barn, they

the property into a proper farm, with talks of goats

bird dominates all. Just walk-

all throw them into this pile. The

next. Grandpa is turning the barn into a workshop

ing through one can almost taste

stack of wood gets to be around

because the garage got too small for his projects. He

the feast being prepared. When

thirty feet in diameter and eigh-

has been working on the house since its purchase,

the time for football comes the

teen feet high, although these

and seems to always be doing something to it. There

kitchen is cleared of most of the

numbers can be much greater

is a quilting room with a large quilting machine used

men, but not before the refrigera-

depending on recent events such

by Grandma. She made each of her grandchildren

tor is raided for beer. After the

as a windy night. At dusk the

quilts years ago and has taken the hobby on head on

meal, the plates are cleared from

wood is set ablaze, usually ten

since.

the table into a mountain in the

minutes pass before the fire is

sink. The days following are spent

al full force but when it is it can

noshing on the enormous amount

warm the coldest of bodies. This

of left overs. Usually turned into

is the time when people start to

a sandwich with whatever side

bring chairs around, trying to

dishes remain. Grocery shopping

find the perfect distance from

usually isn’t needed for at least

the fire. On a night when some-

five days after the holiday.

one had gone to the store earlier,

the horizon. The main house is at least 80 years old and has had many rooms added over the years. Because the house has been added onto over the years, it is a combination of old style construction and materials with new. It used to be a farm that was

* When first entered one would find themselves in the kitchen. During Christmas and Thanksgiving,

When the time for football comes the kitchen is cleared of most of the men, but not before the refrigerator is raided for beer.

it seems as many people

Many dishes are made

as possible are crammed

before the day of, but

into the kitchen, each

without fail the kitchen

family cooking their

becomes a warzone. Pots

respective dishes with

bubble, potatoes mashed,

help from the children.

pies created, and cookies

* Cousins collect wood for

marshmallows are roasted. The younger children scramble to find long pointed sticks when they

bonfires on cold winter nights.

hear of the marshmallows, while

Once every two or three days

the older kids usually steal their

an enormous pile of wood, tree

chairs. This is where the family

branches, cardboard, and any-

eventually gathers during the

thing else flammable and non-

evenings when their daily tasks

toxic is created. Grandpa usually

are finished.

contributes most of these materials because they are mostly scrap

*


like the scene from A Christmas Story when the little

and quickly returned to receive my reward. This was

in window sills and by Memorial Day are proudly

that leads to the river on the horizon. About a mile

boy gets his tongue stuck to the flag pole. Being the

done by the next two people to follow me as well.

pointing to their eight to twelve inch high green

from the house towards the river is a drainage tunnel

oldest and of course the bravest, I decided I would

The last of us, however, had a different experience.

plants. From then on it is a race to see who gets the

that runs off into the Ohio River. We first discovered

go first. I crouched down and found which wire was

Just before he was going to touch the bull Patrick

first tomato. Your Great Uncle Greg beat me the

the drainage tunnel on a hike in search of nothing

filled with currents of electricity. After a couple of

and I looked at each other and screamed Bailey’s

last two years and your Great Uncle Ray always

in particular but just for the sake of exploring. We

flinches my finger found its way on to the wire and I

name. Naturally, this startled the bull ever so slight-

loses, which Great Aunt Susan laughs about. De-

climbed through some barbed wire, because fun

felt a shock go throughout my entire body while my

ly, but Bailey much more. Seeing

things are always behind barbed wire, and started

leg involuntarily kicked backwards. It was a rush

the bull move Bailey bust into a full

down a steep grassy hill covered in light shrubbery

like no other. Seeing as I was still alive and none of

towards what looked to be a creek. Upon arrival at

my skin charred or hair on fire, the younger cousins

the bottom of the hill we realized the creek was not

did as I.

Behind the main property lies a wooded area

“Instantly

tails like we start with plants from

tunnel was home to snakes and our interests fled.

sunning themselves close to the fence that holds

After becoming a hang-out for a couple of days,

them in. On this particular day there was a bull

the drainage ditch was brilliantly named “the hobo

amongst them, and my cousins and I were pretty

hole” by one of the younger cousins who was con-

interested. My dad noticed us staring at the bull,

vinced a rugged looking, bearded man lived there.

and he walked down from the deck to where we were

the nursery give us a great advanmy mind flashed tage. Most houses in this area still on sprint headed right for the fence. to scenes of have at least a row of tomatoes and In one motion he grabbed the top many still make salsa or can. Not wooden plank and swiftly threw his Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O I. In doctors’ offices and in grocery legs and body over. being nailed in aisles, I hear people asking, not * the groin by bull about relatives’ health or vacations, Rebecca Carpenter (my horns, but this but ‘How are your tomatoes comgrandmother): “The town in which ing?’” was five dollars I your grandpa and I grew up is * was not about to named Belpre; it is in southeastern let that pass up.”A four bedroom, two-story house sitOhio. Geographically, it is com-

For days groups of cousins would go down to the

standing by the fence. After joking about it for a

pact bounded by the Ohio River

hobo hole and explore, talk, and imagine what went

little, He offered a 5 dollar reward to whoever could

on the east and by low hills formed from river ero-

Ohio River valley, surrounding it is a small town one

on when we were not around.

touch the bull and come back. Instantly my mind

sion on the west. Belpre was, and is, a typical small

would only know if they lived in it, or the close sur-

flashed to scenes of Johnny Knoxville and Steve-

Midwestern town. Your grandpa and I grew up

rounding area. This is my happy place.

O being nailed in the groin by bull horns, but this

uneventfully nurtured by friends, family, and same-

was five dollars I was not about to let that pass up.

ness.

a creek but this long drainage tunnel. As curious as kittens we wanted to know where this tunnel led to, but the first of us to jump down quickly realized the

* There are cows in the pasture next to the yard.

* On a warmer day the cows can be found

One of the neighboring properties had a fenced in

Unfortunately for my dad, neither my sister nor

pasture with cows. This fence was equipped with an

two slightly younger cousins, Patrick and Bailey,

electrical component, a wire that ran parallel with

wanted to pass on this offer either. I went first, then

the barbed wire, all interlaying between the wooden

the older of the cousins, Patrick, then my sister and

yards and, in summer, gardens were a source of

planks that supported the fence posts. One of the

finally the younger of the cousins, Bailey. Each of

pride. In summer we ate fresh veggies and in winter

cousins had the extremely intelligent idea of touch-

us hopped the fence and took a deep breath through

we ate home canned produce. My mom always went

ing the electric fence but was too afraid to actually

our mouths as to calm our nerves and avoid the aw-

to my grandma’s to can because her house was much

do so. This quickly turned into a contest of who

ful smell of the cows and their droppings. I mean-

roomier. There existed then, and still exists, what

would touch the fence and who would not, much

dered a path and traveled quietly, touched the bull

I call a “tomato cult” in the Midwest. By March

* Typically, almost all small-town houses had

people are starting tomato seeds in Solo paper cups

ting on thirteen acres of land in the


mother Karen owns an interior design company. This where I believe indigo gets her independent attitude from. A soon to be Nole, she will be starting at Florida State University in the fall. One of my best friends throughout high school, Indigo and I have known each other for the better part of four years. Many a date has been spent by us cuddling up in a dark theatre and watching a movie. We are spending the summer apart because I’m in college and she is back at home. Because of this distance our correspondence was over email. It was nice to get in touch with her and I enjoyed the interview despite the lack of human interaction. When I first told her I planned on interviewing her she was more than willing and seemed a tad excited. How often do you go to the movies? Typically two to three times per month, sometimes Indigo Hansen is not like an ordinary girl, or one that I’ve encountered before. She’s kind of weird, but totally independent and operates by her own means. She definitely isn’t the girl to follow

more if there are movies I want to see or if it’s rainy for a few weeks What is your favorite genre of movie?

trends; she’s the girl to do what makes her happy.

Either comedy or action, like stepbrothers, accepted,

She has a younger brother Oliver who she’s says can

fast and furious, etc.

be a lot to deal with, but I like the little guy. Her


How do you decide what movies to see? And how much of a role does advertising play in this?

How important is the theater experience to you?

What made them/it great?

As long as the theater is clean and has stadium seat-

The action packed scenes

It depends on the trailer, if it looks good I’ll definite- ing it’s not that big of a deal. But stadium seating is ly try to see it, or if I’m in the mood to see a movie ill check out what’s playing, look up the trailer, and if it looks good then I’ll go see it. Sometimes it also depends on who is starring in the movie. A good ac-

a must Whose opinion do you usually value the most when deciding on what movie to watch?

tor can sometimes make drab plotlines worth watch- Friends with similar interests and sense of humor, or ing. Some actors also just capture my attention and keep me engaged no matter the role. What would your ideal movie experience contain? It would include seeing a movie with good friends, and a movie with a believable and creative plot line, good acting/actors, and good special effects.

rotten tomatoes if no one I know has seen the movie. Who do you usually go to the movies with? Friends and sometimes family What GREAT movies have you seen recently? Fast and furious 6, Monsters University, brave heart, goonies

Why? Accepted and din-

and crazy cars, the sequel to ner with schmucks are too a movie I saw as a kid and

of the funniest movies in

the idea of Scare Games,

my opinion and I laugh out

realistic portrait of the Scot- loud every time I see both of tish fight for independence

them. Fast and furious is my

and excellent acting, one

fave action movie because

of my favorite movies and

I’ve always loved it as a kid.

watching it with my family

And the dark knight is the

How do you feel about 3D?

perfect combo of action and political drama and I love

It bothers my eyes but the

the concept of good vs evil

effect is cool,

and how it’s portrayed in the

It’s usually overdone or underdone. Like there either

film A place for my family

isn’t enough of 3d effect or

to go on the weekends often

it’s too much and bugs out

includes the movies. Gener-

my eyes

ally speaking when my mom

What does it do for your movie experience?

(Lori Carpenter) comes we see what she wants to see, sometimes it is what the

Makes it feel realistic or

family wants to watch and

makes me dizzy, depending

sometimes it isn’t. When it

on the cinematography. But

isn’t I almost always think

I usually prefer a regular

it will be a dreadful experi-

movie over 3d

ence, but it is usually not.

What are some of your alltime favorite movies?

By the end of the movie I am usually surprised at how much I liked it. My mom

Accepted, dark knight, fast

always wants to see a movie

and furious, dinner with

with some meaning behind it

shmucks

which is a nice counter to the newest gory zombie movie.


An avid watcher of the Oscars, she always wants to

I trust like-minded friends and people that know me

see the movies that are nominated for ‘Best Film’ so

well.

around the time of year the Oscars are on she makes it a point to go see these films sometime two in one

The only kind of three D movie I like was the kind in Disney where you feel like things are

Who do you usually go to the movies with?

coming at you. I do not like the current three D movies as I do not like the glasses. They seem to

weekend. She is currently away on vacation with my I go to the movies with my husband and children.

distract me and take away from the movie experi-

family but still made time in an area where Wi-Fi is

ence and I do not see the true enhancement, they

scarce to participate in my interview. How often do you go to the movies? I visit the movies about once a month. What is your favorite genre of movie? I enjoy a movie about human triumphs over adversity.   How do you decide what movies to see? And how much of a role does advertising play in this?

What GREAT movies have you seen recently? What made them/it great? I saw Superman and LOVED it. I have al-

“ I saw Superman and LOVED

it. I have always been a fan of Superman as he is the quintessential hero and is always victorious in the end.”

Decision is made based on plot, actors and other people with whom I am going to the movie. What would your ideal movie experience contain? At a convenient time, reasonable price, comfortable

ways been a fan of Superman as he is the quintessential hero and is always victorious in the end. I also enjoy the way we learn about his roots and the early story foreshadows the hero we know and love today, much like the movie Young Sherlock Holmes in which we learned the origin of his hat and his cigar. I find that kind of explanation of what

we know of current literary characters to be quite clever. While being a hero, he is not just flat and he too has to make difficult choices in life, often having to choose whether to benefit the few or the many. We also saw the new Star Trek recently and

seats where I can see well and a plot that keeps my

it, too, takes us back to the origins of characters we

attention.

have come to know and explain how they got where

How important is the theater experience to you?

they are today. It also shows human friendships to be what they are, riddled with mixed emotions of love,

The theatre experience is very important to me.

admiration, envy anger and commitment.

seem to distort the color and I am constantly playing with the glasses, taking them on and off. What are some of your all-time favorite movies? Why? Prince of Tides, because it boldly shows humans who are vulnerable and imperfect. Humans have to make hard choices as they go through life and sometimes the consequences aren’t always neat and tidy. In real life things get messy and we have to be ready to learn how to clean up. And as a therapist, I was in awe of the character played by Barbra Streisand who was able to unlock the demons in the

ler” died. The role of Hobson as the butler who was also his role model, teacher and nearly a father to him was also fascinating. So often in movies, we see the characters complex roles which mirror so well the complex roles we acquire in real life. My dad (Brian Carpenter) and I are similar in

character played by Nick Nolte. I was moved by both many ways. We have very similar looks and are often Nick Nolte’s character who was able to reveal his

mistaken for brothers rather than son and father,

past and get closure and be free as well as the talent

but more similar than our looks are our interests.

of the therapist who knew just how to open him up.

From television shows to new technology my dad has

I was deeply saddened by the ending in which after

always been someone who I could talk with, about

falling in love, Nick Nolte must leave and return to

the newest “thing” I had found about. We share with

his family, which while the right choice, seemed to

each other often, whether it is recommending articles

cause much pain and loss.

to read or video games to play.

Other movie greats: the original Arthur, with

One of these common interests is our taste

Dudley Moore. First of all, some of the best dialogue in movies. Visited frequently by the both of us, the and humor of all time with well written scripts,

movies serve of a place of bonding for me and my

well delivered dialogue and again the struggle we as

father. We both enjoy many of the same flicks and

humans face with choices in life. The ability of the

have a similar expectation in a movie. Much of what

Whose opinion do you usually value the most when

How do you feel about 3D? What does it do for your

deciding on what movie to watch?

spoiled little rich kid to grow up and become respon- I like now is shaped by his recommendations of mov-

movie experience?

sible and his ability to grieve after Hobson his “but-

ies from his past, and now I can share those experi-


ences with him. Countless times I’ve skipped out on visiting the movies with my friends, upon a new release, to share the experience with my dad. These experiences can only be told from my eyes though. Emailing him I was curious what he had to say on the matter. How often do you go to the movies? I usually only go to the movies when there is a specific movie out that I would like to see. I probably average one movie per month in the theater. What is your favorite genre of movie? Action adventure, I also like a good horror movie.

My son. We like many of the same movies. Who do you usually go to the movies with? It was my son. Since he’s away at school, now my wife and daughter What GREAT movies have you seen recently?  Lincoln & 42 What made them/it great?  

Lincoln was a great movie because it was a

great movie going experience. Not only did the actors, directors and scenery make me believe that I was actually watching history, but I left the theater with many

How do you decide what movies to see? And how

lessons from this movie. One lesson was that there

much of a role does advertising play in this?

was only one point in history that our nation was truly

Advertising plays a large role in what movie I see. The story line portrayed. In the ad or trailer is the most important influence in my decision next to recommendation from family & friends. What would your ideal movie experience contain?

divided and President Lincoln was the pivotal character in bringing our country together. The other lesson driven home by the movie is that no matter how different society was in the time of Lincoln, the politics of the time are very similar to politics today.

I feel that 42 is a great movie because it not

Comfortable seat with a good view of the screen, fresh only focused on the character and circumstance of the popcorn & a movie that I enjoy.

iconic Jackie Robinson, but the movie focused on how

How important is the theater experience to you?

the game of baseball changed our culture. Not only did

My first choice of theater is based on convince, then theater experience. Whose opinion do you usually value the most when deciding on what movie to watch?

the movie bring Jackie Robinson to life, but gave me a unique opportunity to talk to my children about the importance of what transpired at the time of Robinson and the civil rights issue surrounding him.


At The Spot we enjoy reader submitted content. We want to know what you have to say, and share it with other readers. This particular piece came across our desk and we knew that it needed a feature in this month’s issue. This socking fictional tale is truly one for the ages.

The hallway was emptied of its usual boat

quainted with. At the end of our talk, the next day

load of people except for me and this man I had

he said he’d really like to see me more often. So we

never seen before. He asked me where I was headed.

worked it out so I would see him seven more times.

I told him the cafeteria, even though I was really

I really didn’t care either way he seemed like a cool

going to skip out on my afternoon classes and get

guy and sometimes I got too miss half of my math

out a little early. He was a fit looking guy, clean cut,

class whenever we had our appointments.

with very professional looking attire. He had a deep voice that one had to hear when he spoke, with this profound voice, he told me he was a new guidance counselor at the school and he had just started that Monday. He wanted to get to know me and said to stop by his office, the next day when I had some free

“Me, Myself & I”

time. I figured what the hell I don’t like being here

A raeder submitted story

many friends at the school. And he probably figured

in the first place and maybe I can miss some class if I hang out in his office for a while. I could tell he had invited me because it seemed I didn’t have I would be a good first student for him to get ac-

It had been two weeks since, and today was not a day I wanted to be stuck in his office. I looked up at the clock, almost four. I can’t wait to get out of here; in fact, I don’t know why I agreed to come to this office in the first place. I didn’t know this guy, so what if he’s new at school. I cared at first, but I regret extending my kindness to him. We don’t even get anything done he just tries to get me to talk about myself. Talk about things I don’t want to talk about, that I don’t care about; things no one has ever cared about before. Why talk about them now, and with a strange guy who I only met a few weeks


ago. Finally, the previously muted sounds become

something going on at home when my mom was

ments of silence passed as he stared blankly at my face. ways excited and fidgety. Sometimes he came off as a

audible

around, crazy they called her, always the crazy lady.

Finally, he uttered the only words he could manage,

Society labeled her as someone to avoid, someone who was a terror. She had schizophrenia, which “So what is your family life like you hadn’t mentioned your parents the last time we talked”. “Look Mr. C”, I said, “I have to meet my friends in like a half hour, do you mind if we cut it short?” “No, just don’t forget about our time for Thursday.” “2:45, right?” I replied as I was walking out the door. “Yes” I heard as the door shut behind me and the little bell hanging above it rang I left to meet my friends Tommy and David. We had our hang out spot by a lake. No one is ever there except for us. It is an escape for me, a quiet place where I can clear my mind. The true beauty of the place is that nothing has to go on there; it is a place as clear as I make it. I discovered it as a kid.

people did not understand. They just judged, they

“Let’s go.” On the walk home he told me that my mom

coked up energizer bunny. This caused him to stumble on his words which he did often. But he knew he did and poked fun at himself for it. He was a thrill seeker and an adrenaline junkie, always looking to push the

didn’t care they thought they knew her. I do not

would not be around anymore. He said she went away

envelope even if it meant getting into trouble. Tommy

remember what sparked all of the chaos that day;

to go get better because she was sick. She may have

was currently suspended from school for his shenani-

it happened like a slow motion explosion though.

been gone physically, but she never really left me. I

gans. On Monday he decided in his fifth hour class he

Screams filled the house, and I can still see flashes of

frequently saw her in my dreams. She would visit me

was going to pretend to be a stunt man, and proceeded

a lamp being hurled clear across the room. It hit the

most nights and she always seemed happy, unlike at

to launch himself out the second story window into

wall and shattered, popped almost like a glass bal-

home where she struggled with her illness. Years later

a bush after singing “I believe I can fly.” David on

loon. All I could hear was noise, noting distinct, but

my dad would tell me that she died that die. Appar-

the other hand was quite the opposite, but that made

like crowded city street combined with a war zone.

ently, in the fury of that day a knife was flung from the

sense because they were rather extremes of one an-

I felt trapped; I felt there was no escape, so I ran,

kitchen where my mom was and landed inside her back

other. David was a much quieter kid; he usually kept to

just ran. I ran to escape the sounds that drowned

severing her spinal cord. Somehow I always knew. He

himself and never spoke much. He always seemed like

my brain, the problems I did not want to deal with

was never the same after, and you could feel in his eyes

he was thinking, like he had secrets to hide. He was the

anymore, to get away. I followed my feet for fifteen

a sense of emptiness. He always seemed to be looking

kid who most people did not ever notice, kind of like a

minutes. Wind pounding on my face. My heart

for something that he would never find.

shadow.

pumped blood to the beat of a death metal song. Until, I found myself at the lake which was filled with bliss, I sat and tried to forget about everything, to clean the very complex cloud from my head. A few hours after my dad came to find me

Not too long after that day I met David and Tommy. They were at the lake. The only other two people I had seen there. They were a big help in helping get through my mom’s death. They were really the only ones there for me, when I needed someone most.

I had run away when I was little, when things at

there. He looked distraught, confused and bewil-

The three of us quickly became good friends and have

home got hectic to say the least. There was always

dered. He couldn’t seem to gather his thoughts. Mo-

stayed that way since. Tommy was a jittery kid, al-

“Hey guys, what’s up?” I asked. “Where have you been it has been like a half hour since you said you would be here?” “Whoa there Tommy relax, I was talking to Mr. C.” I replied. “Mr. C? I’ve never heard of him.”


“Yeah neither have I.” David said quietly. “He is a new guidance counselor I’ve been talking to for the past few weeks. We have 4 more sessions

left.” I explained to them. We

hung out at the lake for just under an hour before I had to get home.

again.” I said to them. “Alright man we will catch you later.” Tom-

“Yeah man, have a good one.” David said as he waved bye.

Mr. C. We had

become a lot

closer over the

sessions. He and

through a low period when I really missed her. I had a dream about that day. Except in the dream I

the mornings, but today he didn’t have to be at work

lately, but I didn’t think it was

it.”

until nine.

anything serious. Oh, how I was

“Hey you haven’t been around lately” He said, as he poured a glass of juice.

wasn’t listening to what I had to

a rope swing for the summer over by the lake. We

into a light jog. I emerged through

say, he had already made up his

found a thick branch that hangs just over the bank.”

the trees to see Tommy throwing

mind. He was rushing towards me

I told him.

an absolute fit. He darted his eyes

now I tried to take a step back in

towards my direction. I saw David

order to stand my ground, but it

sitting down in a cowering position.

wasn’t any use. He shoved me back

had some tension recently. See he didn’t like me going to see Mr. C, and David didn’t like it when we

“Who?” He asked, now walking into the other room.

He became really

this dream. I woke up drenched in sweat and there

mom passed.

me he did not know my much about my social life. In fact, he didn’t know much about any aspect of my life. distant after my

“You know my friends Tommy and David.”

were pretty common. He gave me some exercises

what we were talking about. “Have a good day.” He

to help me stop them and he had me make a jour-

said as he closed the door.

ask him if we could set up a few more, just until the school year was over. My dad and I were eating

tered. “He just snapped.” Tommy still hadn’t said anything he was staring at me. Finally, words came

This didn’t really surprise

“Oh yeah.” He said clearly he had forgotten

was glad we had those sessions and I was going to

“He snapped.” He mut-

out of his mouth.

of thoughts. He told me that flashbacks like that

nal where I could write when I was feeling down. I

not like that at all.”

to beat faster and my walk turned

felt what my mom was going through, I was her in

night I couldn’t fall back asleep my mind was a race

trees I could hear yells, and I

“You don’t understand it

I tried to tell him, but he

In fact, he didn’t know much about any aspect of my life.

were no blankets or pillows left on my bed. That

wrong. On the path through the became worried. My heart started

fought. So hadn’t been at the lake all week.

It was two days before my last session with

helped me out

that’s what you’re thinking isn’t

It wasn’t true, in fact, Tommy and I have

my said.

my mom, and he

we hadn’t been on the best terms

“Yeah, Tommy, David, and started to build

“Hey my dad is going to be pissed if I’m late

I talked about

breakfast that morning. We rarely saw each other in

Later that afternoon, the last bell of the day

“Why haven’t you been

and I came back with a fist. I connected right in to his jaw. A shot of pain went through my wrist and I shook it out. He stumbled back. The punch did not hurt him as he was more woken up by it. He came back at me with one of his own,

here!? Why are you always with

but I took it in stride. He hit me

‘Mr. C’? You think you can just

square in the nose but my adrena-

leave us. We are your only friends.

line masked the pain. I swung with

We are the only ones that care for

all I had and hit him with another

you. The only ones that ever gave

punch to the ribs. He was angered

a shit and you just throw us to the

even more. He proceeded to charge

side like a toy you don’t play with

at me like a rhinoceros picked me

anymore.”

up and slammed me onto the dirt.

“Whoa there, I had no idea.”

I threw up my guard and rolled him over. Now in a mount I let him have it. Anger consuming every

“Don’t give me that shit

ounce of energy I had. Left, right,

you’re avoiding us. You think your

left, right, left, right, I didn’t stop

rang, and to avoid the usual rush, I hung back. It

better than us don’t you. You’re

until I looked up to see David terri-

gave me some time to think which I always enjoyed.

awesome now because you stopped

fied. His eyes reflected the true face

I headed to the lake to meet David and Tommy,

hanging out with those losers,


of terror, and it was me. I looked down at Tommy; his

ness makes me think a lot more than I used too, deeper

face looked mangled and badly beaten. So much so you

thinking, that often makes my head hurt. Differenti-

would have thought we went ten rounds. David rushed

ating between reality and imagination has become a

to call an ambulance, but I left before it arrived. A new

daily task. I often question whether any of this world

beast had arisen in me. I was angry and heartless.

is real. Who has been placed on this earth by my brain

This anger carried over into my last

and who has not? What places are real or just made up

session with Mr. C the next day. “What is wrong?” he

in my head? Who are my real friends and who are just

asked.

personas of me? “You’ve barley said anything this whole time.” “Nothing” I blurted. “It’s me, it’s Mr. C, you can tell me anything.”

I let it all fly. Words flew for at least fifteen minutes straight I talked about how I was left when my mom died. I told him my dad didn’t love me anymore. I told him about all the depression I had recently and lastly, after finally catching my breath I said: “And I drove my friends away; I beat one to a pulp, the only people that ever cared about me. I have nobody. Nobody cares about me. Nobody gives a shit.” “Someone gave a shit, and that was me. See, you’re not going crazy. It’s me; I’m your best friend. I know everything about you. You’ve been helping yourself this whole time. Your friends, they’re just figments of your imagination. Mr. C, see I’m your conscience. I’m Tommy, I’m David, I’m the spot by the lake, I’m…” “Me.” It had been seven years since my discovery of my mental illness. I still visit the doctors regularly for treatment, but try to live a “normal” life. What I have cannot be diagnosed, and the doctors say it’s a case like they have never seen before. Being aware of my ill-

Andrew carpenter mag draft  

This is just a draft