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Author's note: For Laura. And Amy. And Staci. And Lacee.
Author's note: For Laura. And Amy. And Staci. And Lacee.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

Part Two

At the end of my second year in college, a couple of my friends and I decided to go to and see the film Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. It was a pretty terrible film. It had really bad acting and it was so long I almost fell asleep. We started watching it at nine, and it ran long after midnight, and some people behind us were making out during the film which we did not find appropriate considering this was an action-adventure film that was entirely based around pirates. Yes, people all over try and find time to be very sexual, which is fine with me, but not with my girlfriend or most of the other people I know. So the third year of college went by swiftly, and I was going to the U of M School of Mentality, and was getting A’s and B’s on all of my papers and homework. My relationship with Madeline was also starting to mature. We were seeing each other so much, and every time we saw one another, we would usually just be silent, and instead think in our minds of our love and that this was a partnership and I was sure that this would work out. Our dates usually consisted of going to parks or museums or going to one of our apartments and making a meal together. We would only go to films once in a great while, though loved them, the only films Madeline was interested in were these “chick flicks” that had a similar theme of love that was either something to with romance or comedy, never quite understood them.
My fourth year of college was a whole three years ago. I took a couple of really tough psychology classes, and in one of the classes I had to work with a boy named Shawn. He was fifteen when I first saw him. He was a very good singer, a good English student, and got pretty average grades. He was known as a very depressed kid, and then he started to ignore his teachers, and started to claim to see things and people that didn’t exist. It was my job to try and diagnose him. I decided to diagnose him with schizophrenia, based off of his emotions of being quite stoic and hallucinating and delusions of life itself. I decided one day I would study him very keenly by inviting him to my apartment. He had already been on pills for a couple of months, so his hallucinations were very much down, and he claimed to sparsely hear anything, and I noticed that his biggest delusion; that everyone hated his guts and wanted him dead, had diminished. That day he was very quiet and didn’t want to talk to me very much. He would if I kind of forced him into the situation, but otherwise he was quiet. One time that day he was looking on my wall and saw a picture I had drawn of Madeline, a simple pencil sketch.
“Who is that a picture of?” Shawn asked.
I was a bit embarrassed to answer to him.
“Well, that’s a picture of my girlfriend, Madeline,” I answered.
“Well, she sure is beautiful. How’d you meet her?” Shawn asked with some interest.
“I’ve known her since I was a little kid, I knew her from church.”
“That’s sweet. Yeah, I like this girl named Laura. She, she kind of understands me. We rarely talk about having a relationship, I really want to have one, but I want to honor her choices. So I don’t push it.”
I was taken aback by this. Most teenage boys I had dealt with for other projects talked of how they constantly want a girl, and did anything to get one. He was a lot different.
“So,” I said,” do you like any movies?”
“I like that movie ‘A Serious Man’, by the Coen Brothers. I like how they study the issue of pain and suffering and work it into a great film, a wonderful dark comedy.”
This kid was a genius. This is our third session and he’s talking like he’s from a think tank at Harvard College, and he also reminded me in a lot of ways Madeline.
“Yeah,” I answered, “that is a really good film I heard. I bet it’s going to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, what do you think?”
“Well, I personally believe the whack jobs at the Film Academy could care less for this film. It’s everything that the Academy is against. Independent, no known actors, small budget, they could really care less about the art and amazing qualities of the film.”
“I understand what you mean. That is such a shame those people can’t come to understand the richness of independent film.”
“Yep, that is right.”
I remember looking down at my watch and being a little scared because we had gone overtime by a couple of minutes.
“Okay yeah Shawn, were out of time right now. But I can’t wait to see you again,” I said as I extended out my hand. He stood up from the chair and went over and shook my hand.
“Yeah, you’re a pretty interesting guy Mr. Stevens. I like you a lot. I hope that these sessions can go on for a long time.”
I looked at the floor and then looked back at him in the face.
“Yeah, well, I’m sure we will for a few more times. I’m getting close to completing my project. It’s a half a year thing and we’ve seen each other three times. I believe we’ll see each other three times in the next three months.”
He walked out of the doorway. He then waived. I remember watching him walk into his father’s car, the same way I walked into my own father’s car after singing somewhere.
The next day, I got a phone call in three in the afternoon that Shawn has stolen a gun from his neighbor’s lockbox and aimed the gun into the roof of his mouth and fired twice before slumping over and having an instant death. To this day, I am still in shock how this could have happened. If a God gave a f***, he wouldn’t have let this young man die. This kid, never went to college, never had sex, never experimented, and never got a chance to make a mark in the world. I remember, sitting in my apartment, and getting the Star Tribune and reading his obituary, and me just crying in tears. To this day, I still believe that it was my fault, and with Bi-Polar condition and all, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I sat in the back of the church crying my head off, and the times I wasn’t I was feeling like a pile of dog s***, I was just so angry with myself. Madeline and I would talk about it, and I was so scared I would cry sometimes I would cancel our date’s last minute just so she wouldn’t have to see me crying in tears.
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