Part I: Jesus Of Suburbia
His parents were fighting again, it's all they ever seemed to do nowadays . Argue and fight and yell and hit, but then, he couldn't remember a time when it had been any different. But they loved each other, they must have, at least at one point in their lives. They wouldn't have married if they didn't. He knew the truth, he was the problem, the source of the hate, the son of rage and love.
The doctors fed him diets of pills. Every month a new diagnosis and with it new pills and new treatments. He had seen no point in any of them, he wasn't exactly in pain, and he wasn't hurting or infecting anyone. The drugs didn't work, they never worked, and he grew immune to any effects they might have once upon a hope had.
His mother cried each night, screaming at him that he was a devil child, not fit to be part of the good and clean society they lived in. He didn't quite understand that. As far as he knew, his only sin was the one he had been born with. Surely then it wasn't his fault and he was forgiven for it? Or had he gotten it all wrong again?
He didn't understand why he was the one who was 'wrong'. In his own, albeit it odd, mind, he was perfectly normal, it was the rest of the world that was weird. He often wished he could slip into the world he dreamed of so often. In his boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies, cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over his head. If he closed his eyes, and allowed himself to be drawn further and deeper into his perfect dream world, he could hear someone calling him, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. But whenever he tried to answer, he would wake up.
Brad was one of his mother's work mates, tall with a grave and charming smile, and a suave way of talking. His mother fell fast and hard, spending less and less time at home, and more and more time at Brad's penthouse apartment. He knew that she spent so long away because Brad offered a life which didn't include a mad son, a wrong and wicked son. It was the beginning of the end for his parents, and it was his fault.
The pills that the doctors gave him may not have worked, but the ones that the man gave him took him to new places. He dulled the dreams, a childlike thought in his mind thinking that if he could prove himself normal his mother would return to his father, and that they would be a family again. But he was too old for childlike thinking, and he knew his mother would never return, and that things would never be the same. He often wound up in the company of others who used, and who drank, and a pretty girl who smiled at him and whose laughed glittered in the air. Together they smoke, and drank, and danced in the dark. It wasn't love, it wasn't even like, it was lust, and a primal need urging them on. When both were spent they dressed, and went on their own ways.
He never knew her name.
He glared at the pills that did not work, drawing harder one the one that did, nearly overdosing when the dreams threatened to come back. He distanced himself from his perfect dream world, ignoring the safety he felt there. It was a land of make believe, and make believe was bad, and wrong, and wicked, and sinful. He was a son of rage and love, hate and peace.
He had to forget that he was who he was supposed to be.
Part II: City of the Damned
After his mother left, he spent as little time with his father as he possibly had to. He frequented the local store, sitting outside it and glaring at the GaGa kids who passed them, resenting that they still had their parents, and that they were loved and safe and sane. He was insane. He realised it was the only plausible explanation to it all. An insane child in a world where sanity was the only thing that kept you from being killed.
He had learned, despite how long it had taken him, that the stories people told of happy homes and loving families had to be lies. He had never seen proof of it, and how could he believe so fircely in something that would never show even a hint of happening to him. It was a selfish new belief, one that he hung on to, once again rejecting the dream world which he had wanted so dearly, and had held so close to his heart.
He had tried to look for a way out, but there was none. No escape button to let him quickly leave this stupid virtual life that he had to live. He got so far and was then stopped as there was no way to continue it. Every road he tried to follow trailed off into nothing, and he spiralled down, deeper and darker, his bought drugs his only release.
No one really cared. Oh, they all pretended they did, the artificially created voices and faces of his teachers staring down at him with only the up most concern. It was only a program built into them to make sure no future contributor to the great and glorious Globalsoft would be destroyed by worry, or worse, lost to the great unknown. He was confused about that. If it was the great unknown, then how did they know about it? And why did they panic so much about him when he voiced something different to the herd?
He had claimed the unused bathroom in the store as his own, his place that no one would dare enter. All over the walls, he scrawled the words that had been haunting him, the words that refused to killed by drink or drugs or sex. In huge letters, in small letters, he wrote them, adding to that other words that haunted him. They were all phrases, stupid useless phrases that only proved his insanity. He stared once he was done, breathing heavily and taking in his work with slight awe, and fear.
He touched the wall with the greatest of care, his fingers tracing the words that had been following him for all of his life. All this time he had been searching for something, something never came, never amounted to nothing. But seeing the words laid out in front of him, all the different phrases screaming at him in his messy scrawl. He stared at the words, all attempting to tell him some important meaning.
And he laughed.
No one cared, not really, so why should he?
Part III: I Don't Care
His new outlook brought with it a great sense of relief. It was so ridiculously simple that he wondered why it had taken it so long to come to mind. He lived his life not completely happy, but a lot less unhappily than he had done previously. He continued with his vices, seeing no reason to give them up and not really wanting to either.
He would yell it from the tallest building he could if he thought it would mean that someone would listen, and follow his lead. He simply didn't care anymore. He didn't care about his mother, or Brad, or his father, or the pretty girl he danced with, or Globalsoft, or his dreams.
It was obvious once you looked at it, he thought. Everyone was encouraged to be their unique and special selves, yet everyone bought the same outfit, from the same clothing line, and wore it in the same way. The only thing that changed was the colours.
And it wasn't as though the styles were new. If you pay attention, and for a while that was all he had done, pay attention, you would notice that they came in cycles. Shorts for boys and hot pants for girls in the hot weather, and trousers and skirts in the cold. Even hairstyles and the 'in' colours came in cycles. Everything had its time, and it's time always came again
There were always rumours of war. And technically they were still at war, with the Great Unknown. With what they could not control, or was it what they feared to control? The warnings were on the news pod casts every single night, and not a day went by when a MyWorldFaceBeboPageSpace bulletin wasn't posted warning of the dangers that threatened the peaceful world in which they lived. He laughed, realising that the war was most likely a lie, and that Globalsoft had to do something to keep control of the brainwashed masses, lest someone break the code on the brainwash.
He pondered lightly, wondering if his insanity was a life lesson, wondering if he was destined for better and greater things than anyone could believe. He allowed himself to be lost in a dream, imagining that he was greater than what people believed him to be. That he was the Jesus of Suburbia, the saviour of the rebels. Or better yet, the patron saint of the denial, with an angel face and a taste for suicidal. In his mind, he reinvented himself, he was the son of a bitch and Edgar Allen Poe. The son of a gun, the one that's from the way outside, a teenage assassin executing some fun, into the cult of the life of crime.
But, as always, his dreams faded, letting in the boring cycles of the real world. He wished that just once he could stay in his dream world, but that lead back into his old way of life, of thinking too much and being depressed. He didn't care, because they didn't care and why should he care if they didn't?
His dreams were nice when he had been younger, but he was older now, and he knew better. They were the land of make believe, and for the sake of his own insanity, he had to not believe.
Part IV: Dearly beloved
He found his dream world and the real world dissolving into each other, and was horrified. He threw himself into his vices, drinking and smoking and inhaling more than he ever had, in the hopes that it just might stop the two worlds meeting. But the effect that his vices once had slowly grew less, and his dreams grew ever more vivid and powerful, breaking into his day time life with the littlest of warning.
He became more inward, ignoring any attempt to reach out to him, and shutting himself off from people he had once willingly spent time with. He visited his place often, staring at the words with a mix of hatred and fear, wondering what these dreams were turning him into, and if his life was not simply just another brick in the wall.
His father had chosen to reiterate his position in his life, and had sent him to what his dreams called a 'shrink'. She was a stern woman, who shot down all of his explanations of his life with scorn and anger. She didn't like him, and he didn't like her. She thought him nothing more than a spoiled child, throwing a tantrum to punish the parents who had tried so much to bring him up as a proper member of the virtual society, and wasted no time in telling him this. He thought her too obsessed with knowing it all, and needing to be in control as she fear what would happen if even for a second she was not.
Their dance had been furious, biting and scratching, a fight for dominance.
His father had been furious when he found out, managing to get the doctor's license removed, though only after finding out that whatever was the matter with his son, he was reluctant to let go of it. He had suffered for that. He smirked slightly at the man, knowing that for all his own lack of education, he knew more than his father ever could, or would ever want to.
He locked himself in his room once more, refusing to leave unless necessary. His father sighed, giving up and wiping his hands of him. He was sure that now, to his father, he was simply the boy who lived there, for his son was long dead and cold in the ground. He didn't care, he was too insane to care. His dream world and the real world continued to dissolve into each other, and he began to let it.
Part V: Tales of Another Broken Home
The day his father died, he felt happy. Oh, he was sad to see his father go, but at the same time he was glad that the threatening position the man held in his life was gone, and for the first time in a long while, he felt like he could breathe freely. His mother had shown face at the funeral, expressing her deep grief, and ignoring him completely. He knew she blamed him for his father's death, and perhaps she was right, but how was he to know?
He had packed everything he owned of value to him away, amounting to only one bag which had scraps of paper, along with cigarettes, ramen, and a little bag of dope. The only clothes he would wear were already on him, along with his precious leather jacket which he had found in a junkyard when scrounging for the credits he needed to buy the little bag. He stared, looking at the bag of the substance he craved, the substance he had become so reliant on, before snatching it up and marching to the bathroom. Without a pause he turned the bag out over the toilet, flushing the contents away.
He had inherited everything when his father died, including an old beat up car which his father had been given in a hopes of restoring it for a transport museum. Had he managed to complete it, he would have been paid handsomely in credits. He threw the bag into the empty seat, sliding in behind the wheel of the car and starting the engine. He knew how to drive a car like this, had known for a few years, joyriding had been big with the group he used to spend time with, and the older the car the more fun it was.
He drove, not quite knowing where, not paying attention as the lights of his hometown slowly faded from his view. He drove forward, heading for the nearest big city. He theorised that if he drove for long enough, he could end up in another precinct altogether, every precinct was connected by a series of tunnels after all. According to the few history lessons he had attended, there was a point when it wasn't like this, but he didn't think about it too much.
He had no love for the place he just left, no desire to return, but he made one stop. The store on the outskirts of the small town, the store which he had often spent time at. He drew the car up to sit at the front of the store, but didn't get out, leaning back in his seat to look up at what have been the sky, had the roof not blocked his view. Eventually he went into the store, ignoring the looks his strange appearance gained him, and moving straight towards the back of the store, to the unused bathroom, taking only a second to make sure no one was watching him before he opened the door.
The walls blared at him, white and clean and pure. His words had been wiped, his thoughts, his dreams, and he felt as though something dear to him had been torn away by someone who wanted him dead. Something within him snapped, but he didn't fly into a rage. He glared up at the wall, before feeling in his pockets for the permanent marker he had found. He stood on the lid of the toilet, concentrating with the pen, scrawling across the wall with anger and hatred and venom. He stood back, stepping down, looking to see what was missing. On the basin lay an old razor blade, and a slow smirk crawled over his face.
He had walked out of the store with his head held high, and a sense of danger around him. The people he based gave him a wide berth, fearing the freak he had become. He slammed the door of the car, the wheels squealing as he took off at a high speed, needing to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible.
His father had hated him and was now dead. His mother hated him and took as little to do with him as possible. All he had was his self and the voices in his head, and he welcomed them. He let the voices re-enter his mind with a smile, and laughed slightly, only sounding slightly unhinged now. He was destined for greater things, he was sure of it. His car drove off, as he headed for pastures new, to start a new life, and to conquer the meaning of his life's insanity.
And back in the store, a few of the workers made their way towards the unused bathroom, wondering what it was that had drawn the strange boy towards it. The door opened with only a slight squeak of its hinges, and they stared in shock at the back wall. A bloody handprint shone brightly, underneath the thick black scrawl declaring the boy's name, and making sure he was never forgotten. They continued to stare, more in shock that they finally knew his name: 'GALILEO FIGARO'