Thursday, December 6, 2012

Numb


 


numb
by me


My name is J'o'se'.
Pronounced O-See.
I have one single talent.
One.
Made terrible grades my entire life.
Not the best with the ladies.
And my athletic ability is probably equal or close to someone that is paralyzed from the eyebrows down.
But I do have one single talent.
One.
By just looking in someone's eyes.
I can tell them the day they were born.
And the day they will die.


Now, you're probably wondering how?
Why, how, when, who, what planet?
Well the when is the simplest.
I've always known I could do this.
When I was seven I looked my mother in the eyes and two things came to mind.
May 8th, 1964.
And.
Tomorrow.
Now, that first time of course I didn't know what they meant.
Until me and my mother were in a car crash the following day and I was the only one to survive.

But I did not tell you that to make you sad.
That was just an explanation.
Of the when.
How is probably not as magical as you may think.
I've done my research.
I believe I was born, somehow, with a animistic type ability.
A mutation of sorts.
I mean, did you know dolphins sleep with one half of the brain at a time and with one eye closed?
Hell, ants don't sleep, ever.
A fucking elephant can smell water 3 miles away.
My pissy grandmother can tell you it's about to rain a good six hours before a cloud stains the sky because of a bum knee.
So I ask you...is it REALLY that amazing that I can determine by your eyes when you were born and when you die.
I mean, it's just two dates.
One talent.

By the time I graduated from high school, you can imagine how f*cked up I was...never wanting to make eye contact.
I wore shades everywhere.
Any girl I dated, I avoided getting too close.
Didn't want her expiration date plastered in my head while trying to make it to some sort of sexual base.
But nothing really worked.
I'd laugh at a joke and know Jerry was going to die November 16, 2045.
Or I would pick up a book that the librarian Mrs. Jillian dropped and know that in two years on April 16, she would too be gone.
So after a while I just kinda became numb to ...
..... my talent.

Of course, the only odd thing I find about what I've been able to do my entire life is this: If I can really tell you when you will die, then it means that life is predetermined.
That you have a set lifespan.
That inside of you there is a clock.
A countdown.
But who's winding you up?
Yourself?
Aliens?
God?
This is what troubles me.
This I do not have the answer to.

But let me also tell you how my life changed.
How I went from working the drive-thru to a penthouse apartment downtown.
It started with Todd Stapler.
No...it actually started with my dad.
My dad who never recovered from my mother's death might I add.
Lost his job, became an alcoholic, started getting arrested, etc.
He's better now, because I have the means to take care of him.
But yes it started with him one day.
I came home from my worthless job to find him passed out drunk in the living room.
So I started cleaning up like I did everyday and he woke up and started screaming.
And I had had enough so I told him about mom, about how I knew she was gonna die, how I had a talent.
I told him his birthday and then I told him the day he was gonna die.
Ironically, the man was gonna live well into his 90s.
He laughed in my face and cried for mother and then he said..."what a lucrative talent son."
Then he passed out again.
But I took that to heart. The word lucrative.
I even looked it up in the dictionary although I knew very well what it meant.

Then came Todd Stapler.
Ever heard of him?
I'm sure you have not but you've probably seen his work.
He is a dare devil and a stuntman by trade.
And one day reading an article on Todd a quote jumped out at me.
Todd said: "If only I could know the day I was gonna die...then I would do stunts no man has ever seen."
Four months later, after saving enough to actually travel to Los Angeles, I sat across from Todd at a small diner in the Valley.
And it is there where I told him that I could in fact tell him the day he would die. That he could jump off the moon and land squarely and safely on Earth if he took the leap before the date I gave him.
Of course he laughed.
But oh was he intrigued.
So we rode. All over Los Angeles.
And at any moment he would stop and make me look at someone in there eyes and tell him the two dates.
After him asking about 10 people if they would like to engage in an experiment.
"Excuse me Miss, my friend says he can guess your birth date by looking into your eyes."
He finally believed at least one part of my talent.
This intrigued him even more.
But he wanted proof.
So we rode more.
Until we ended up in a coffee shop and I accidentally looked into a man's eyes and knew he would die in two days.
When I told Todd this he did not frown, he smiled.
And so what did we do?
Oh you should know.
We followed that exact man for two days. Staked out his house. We did not even shower.
We ordered pizza and had it delivered to the car outside the man's house.
And at 11:59.59, on the day determined from my talent. After Todd had been quiet with fury for a full six hours for wasting his time and riding around with a kid he did not know.
At that exact moment outside that stranger's house, we heard one single gunshot.
When Todd heard this he did not frown, he smiled.
Then he slowly turned the ignition and we drove away.
Todd Stapler paid me $5,000 to tell him that he would die in 26 years on July 4.
"It has to be from a stunt, don't you think?"
This is what Todd said to me after I gave him the information.
And you guessed it...he said it with that devilish smile plastered to his face.

And that puts me here.
In the Penthouse.
In downtown Los Angeles.
Reflecting.
Now I get paid to tell people their two dates.
For a substantially higher price than $5,000.
Who would pay me for this information?
Oh you would be surprised.
Would you?
Say you have a sick child and doctors can not tell you if they are going to live or die. Would you pay for that information?
Say you are a businessman and you want to know when a rival will die so you can know exactly when to crush their empire. Would you pay for this information?
Say you hate your wife but are too chicken shit to kill her yourself. Would you pay to know when your hell will end?
Say you just want to live every single day to the absolute fullest because you know the exact day life will no longer have a meaning.
Would you pay?

Am I a bad guy for this?
Is this morally incorrect?
Or am I an angel for giving these people the information they so desperately crave?
I don't have the answer to that either.
I am sure there is a reason for this.
For me.
And so, in my own way, I search for that as well.
But I was down and out and losing my father faster than I was losing myself.
I had no ambition.
No direction.
No life.
But I had to do something.
And maybe if I wasn't me I would have chosen a different route.
A different way.
A different path.
But I am me.
And me?
I just have one talent.

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