Where to Point the Finger?

March 13, 2011
There has to be something to blame my behavior on. I mean, I’m a pretty messed up kid. I’m ninety-five percent sure that there’s no help for me… Maybe daddy drank a little too much or mommy had to pop me in the head every now and again. It could’ve had something to do with living in the slums or my sister is a psycho and I live with a brother that has seven restraining orders against him. There had to be a cause, because without it, there’d be no effect.
“Ned!” Mr. Arthur barks up at me. From up here the shine on his bald head is almost blinding. “Get your arse off of there!”
At the top of the old abandoned restaurant’s roof, which is significantly taller than the other buildings, used to be where the town got its Chinese eats… at least until the health inspector found cats hanging in the meat locker. Since then it’s been boarded up and locked down.
In my mind of a sixteen year old boy, I saw that as a challenge. It’s the same reasoning as seeing signs like, “don’t touch this,” or “get off the grass,” and when I see red buttons too. A compulsion spills through my veins and my body almost acts on its own touching, sneaking and pressing. Call it my drug.
I didn’t mean to go up to the roof though. Originally my plan was to make this as sort of a club house that’s only member would be me but the door was open and I thought I saw a paper airplane land out here. There wasn’t and the door locked behind me.
This guy.
“Ned!” The man snaps again and I roll my eyes. His yelling is wasted on me. I’ve never listened to this man, being I have no respect for him and neither does he. As a kid I noticed he’d sell beer to minors for a higher price and makes passes at women with wedding rings… maybe it’s his fault, scarring my childhood.
“Oh my gosh!” A familiar tone gasps loudly.
Running up behind Mr. Arthur, Kale—supposedly my best friend—throws in his two cents over the situation he doesn’t at all understand. “Don’t do it Ned! I know you’re a punk, have like no friends, you suck at school and all but it’s nothing to kill yourself over!”
“Shut up Kale,” I mumble too quietly for him to hear.
By his yells, a crowd is attracted, huddling before this abandoned building. They’re all so tiny and so close. I have a great urge to spit. All these people I’ve known for years… it could be their fault with their unpleasant gossip and big haughty noses looking down on me.
But another urge tingles inside seeing the worried faces that Ned is finally going to off himself. I have to hold the urge in my jaw so I crack up, keeping firm and call back to the crowd, dripping in a little dramatics, “Lies! All lies! What do I have to live for?!”
Tickled by it, it’s harder to hold it in watching Kale open his mouth and then close it again, over and over. He looks like a turkey.
“You haven’t seen Paris!” A woman calls out.
From that woman it sparks inspiration for the big crowd:
“You’re not married!”
“No kids!”
“Think of all the places you’ve never been!”
“Dancing out late at night!”
“All you haven’t learned!”
“The people who love you!”
“Getting drunk!”
“Driving cars!”
“Being in love!”
They yell out things I haven’t tried or experienced. Being so young how could I?
What should I blame my horrible attitude on? How should I explain a fake suicide to these lovely people? For sixteen years I have gone through life with the little knowledge I have been able to obtain, pretending to know what I’m doing. So naive I did and still do stupid things, not knowing any consequences.
“Okay! Okay!” I hold them back, grinning “I am convinced. But could someone unlock the door, I’m locked out.”
On that, the truth is understood, broadcasted by their unhappy groans, livid huffs and the way they glare walking away. The only one to remain, after Kale ran in to help, but probably to punch me in the mouth for making him look like an idiot, Mr. Arthur asks me a good question, “What is wrong with you?!”
Content on breaking an entry, angering a crowd of people, living up to this day, I smile, “Blame it on my youth.”

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