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Effusion - Chapter 5: Everybody's free.
Posted By: Tursas<tursas@shaw.ca>
Date: 20 April 2002, 2:47 am

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"I sicken myself most of the time. I'm so incompetent, I wouldn't know which way was up if I spit in the other direction.
     "They are competent though. Hooo yes. Professionalism always has a price, however. Larking about with a submachine gun and a silly grin was always something I wanted to do. They gave me the opportunity, and what do I have to show for it? An invisible babe of a girlfriend, many millions in a Swiss account, and ... a herring!"
     The Master Chief was getting very close to deciding to turn off his ears altogether with his non-existent manual volume control. The babbling had not stopped since the Monitor had left. The floating never ended. Even the food packets and the waste disposal unit were becoming extremely boring. It had been three days since the Monitors last visit. The Master Chief couldn't recall Tim ever going to sleep, but he himself had been forced to eventually rest, although his dreams were still full of the babble.
     "I'm sure she's a nice person and all. I just wonder why ANYBODY would hang around here with me - especially considering the degree of my bourgeoisieite ... NEW WORDS ARE FUN! I have not an ounce of romantic flair, or anything else for that matter. What I should have is a bottle of whiskey - a big 30 ouncer."
     "Yes," thought the Master Chief, "for the love of god, give him some whiskey." Even if he continued talking, the alcohol should cause him to slur his words, which would be a change.
     "5 minutes to and nobody has said anything; a few giggles, to be sure, but not much more. They are probably talking to me right now. I just don't hear them. At least not consciously."
     To liven things up a bit, the Chief had tried not using the waste disposal unit when disposing of his waste. Being weightless, he had expected the fluids to fly around in little drops and eventually make real nuisances of themselves. No go. The fluids flew straight back at him, splashing into his skin near his midsection and forming puddles against his bare stomach and the small of his back. They tickled, and that annoyed him more.
     "I feel bad about hurting so many people. But what is a confused teenager to do? Play dead? Done that, bought the t-shirt.
     "As I passed her on the way into Merkels room, I should have turned, moving in for the kill, while she was still visible, and gotten slapped. That would have ended everything right then. At least I could have said that I tried ... You probably would have hung yourself the next day though ... Can't have too many unstable personality types running around in one school, can we?"
     The beginning of the last statement made the Chief's ears perk up a little, regardless of the puddle. Up until now there had only been references to the girlfriend in a non-physical sense. This new information added a new dimension to the problem - did she really exist, or was it just a really elaborate hallucination?
     "Then came the black leather. And Davies. I envy him as a trout envies the mighty whale. He's bigger, better, nicer, et cetera, et cetera ... Multum in parvo."
     The Master Chief couldn't for the life of him place the last sentence, or jumble of made-up words that passed for a sentence. But the fact was that now it was a love triangle; or, more appropriately, a chemical bond being threatened by a free radical; or, in this case, a not-so-free radical. It would probably have happened eventually, anyway. All the worse that it had to happen now and the Master Chief would have to go through Tim's entire solution, resolution, break-up, withdrawal and fancy with the same or another girl. The cycle would repeat and every last sentence would be restated, whether word for word or otherwise. There would be no end to it. Maybe the withdrawal would be OK, as long as he shut up when he got to it.
     "I've got to learn some new cat-calls. Methinks that flat out pickup lines are the only way I'll ever go anywhere as far as women are concerned. Anywhere is better than here ... That isn't an insult to you or anything ... Think about the tree."
     Tim was planning ahead. It was about time the boy took life into his own hands.
     "12:08 and I think that perhaps it's all one big mockup. I ask, and ask again. No reply."
     A pause.
     "I'm going to start drinking sooner or later. Crack pipe, here I come."
     The Master Chief began thumping himself over the back of his skull.
     "Feeling sorry for oneself is an all-consuming task, and I have spent most of my life doing it, but hey, it's a job - like dentistry, except without the sharp implements or the monetary reimbursement.
     "I saw someone at Dr. Thom's office one day. I thought I recognized ... but no. Big hair has always been a big thing. It could have been anyone. I didn't see the face - and if I did, I would likely have passed out."
     If only he would pass out now, the Master Chief thought.
     "Luckily, my predisposition towards being a stunted individual has left me in the raucous wake of something desirable. I don't see how marriage - much less by a respectable institution - could ever become a possibility.
     "I suppose it isn't easy being the most blatantly ugly person on the face of the earth - and the most useless. My own mother gags when she sees me."
     If I saw you, I would gag you too, the Master Chief thought.
     "The lack of response from anyone or anything drives me to believe this is true.
     "12:17 and suicide is still a possibility."
     If only, the Master Chief thought. But the boy couldn't be blamed for a chemical imbalance brought on by something not in his power. It could have been bad genes, too much heavy metal, perhaps even 243 Liberal Glow's doing.
     "Screw this nice guy bit. Why do I even bother? It obviously won't get me anywhere, ever.
     "I mean, trying to display my true emotions only ever ends with people looking at me like some freak - like right now. I don't see why I don't shave my entire head right now and really be a Nazi. As long as I found acceptance with a community somewhere, my station would be better than it is right now."
     "Would you just shut the hell up!" the Master Chief yelled at the ceiling.
     There was an extended pause. The Master Chief couldn't tell if it were because Tim had actually heard him, or if he were simply gearing up for the next barrage of verbal drivel.
     "I'M NOT LISTENING! I'M NOT LISTENING! I'M NOT LISTENING! ... The male voices are ba-ad..." Tim stated as his voice cracked.
     There was another long pause.
     "Why do I go on and on about how much I would absolutely adore adoring someone when those thoughts, and the person who thinks them, have only ever ended up in the gutter? I feel like absolute shit when I think about how love would be such a great and wonderful thing to have, and then proceed to the section of my brain entirely devoted to how that could never happen. I am a walking paradox.
     "I should just blow my head off RIGHT NOW!"
     "If you step in here, I'll do it for you!" the Master Chief yelled again. Tim had finally stepped over the line between constant passive annoyance and constant active annoyance. This brought the relationship between the two humans to an all-new level. Now the Master Chief not only wanted to strangle the kid, but he wanted to do it with a vengeance.
     "Look at it. What is the use of a girlfriend that you can never do anything with - ever? Like my existence, it's rather pointless. What's the use of having a fortune stored away somewhere when you can never use it for anything? What is the point of having a split personality, another consciousness within your skull, when you never can communicate with it, and never will?"
     "I'm not in your goddamned skull Tim! What color are the walls there?"
     "There are no walls. But that's not the point. Is the whole point to lead me to know that there is no point? Of course! Humans are nothing but bags of water! Making one or taking one doesn't matter much to anybody - precisely because there is no one around to care!"
     "I'm here, and I care, but I need to know if there are any buildings nearby."
     "There are, but this little game that these chimpanzees play is nothing but a way to amiably kill time. Their utter devotion to being useless intentionally has got to be stopped sometime but, of course, there is nobody who can stop them - except God."
     "I can stop them, Tim. Do you know where you are?"
     "No. But the problem is that God has a tendency to leave things to the last minute; like an engineer, except with a lot more power."