misfit walks and thinks, walks and thinks, and it's an early Sunday
morning - late in the winter, early in the spring - and the sky
is pale, pale blue and cloudless and a hopeful and warm gentle breeze
swirls in the still frigid air.
misfit feels good, he's glad to get out of his cramped house, pushing
the stroller with his infant son through his homogenous suburban
neighborhood. He decides to cross the expressway and head to his
little suburban downtown littered with boutiques and bars and antique
shops. He'll go to Starbucks maybe, stroller in tow, and feel artificially
affluent drinking a mocha latte in front of an empty fireplace.
it feels good, really good, to get away from his wife, who everyday
seems a little stranger and infinitely more distant, as if he doesn't
really know her. He quietly left the house with his still somnolent
son, leaving his wife's large and black-haired form sleeping in
their bed. He could hear her grind her teeth as he softly shut the
knows divorce is inevitable, Billy knows he and his wife really
don't fit, they just aren't like those sitcom couples they view
with regular jealousy. They don't sit up in bed and solve the days
problems with the pillows propped against the headboard. There is
no intimacy, no moments of comic confrontation. There is just silence
and tension and distance. They never talk, unless it's in regards
to their six-month old son Evan and even then the talk is strained,
thought having a baby would help ease the tension and bring them
closer together but no, their marriage was born of lust and would
die of resentment and indifference.
not fitting in is nothing new for Billy, he muses as he crosses
the service drive and makes his way for the bridge over the expressway,
pushing the stroller onto the narrow sidewalk, the still light traffic
on the expressway below roaring through the placid morning.
Chaos whispers in his ear and interrupts his melancholic reminiscing.
shakes his head, hearing the word "chaos" distinctly,
but writes it off to the cacophony of the traffic above and below
never has fit in. He is the youngest of three boys and his father
worshipped his oldest brother and his mother pampered the middle
son, calling him "her baby" even to this day. Billy has
never received that sort of attention. He often played alone in
his room while the rest of the family sat gathered in front of the
warm glow of the television set.
he never did fit in at school, he was basically friendless except
for the occasional fellow misfit who would latch on to him as he
sat alone in the cafeteria or playground or walked slowly, slowly
home from school.
now, in his office, his desk is never the sight of informal conversations.
He sits alone, always, nose down in his facts and figures while
the laughter and gossip twirls underneath the fluorescent lights
and echoes against the thin carpet and cubicle walls.
Chaos whispers in his ear and calls him by his name.
stops and leans over the stroller to study his wide and green-eyed
son. He loves his son, but he doesn't feel like a father really,
and he has a gnawing fear that Evan may not be his. He and his wife
have only been intimate a few times since becoming married, far
removed from those torrid days of their dating life. And the married
lovemaking has been passionless, brief, cold.
looks at the baby boy who might be his son.
you say something," the warm breeze causes his thin and fine
and prematurely gray hair to dance in an irregular rhythm.
son flaps his arms and kicks his legs and gives the misfit a happy
squeal and gurgle.
shakes his head and chaos calls him, and calls him by his name.
by his other name, a name he never knew he had, a name that stirs
memories of distant stars and ages. Memories he's never known.
memories he's always suspected.
chaos speaks in his ear and he can feel the warm and loving breath,
he can feel the spittle rain in his eardrum and never, ever, has
he felt so loved.
he understands in a full instant, the nature of his existence.
is your time Rygaard, now is your time," the chaos says at
the tail end of a telepathic explanation.
misfit instantly understands the mysteries of the world. He understands
why mothers drown their children in bathtubs. He understands why
sons and daughters stab their sleeping mothers and fathers and why
antidepressants are swallowed with more devotion than vitamins.
he understands why a fellow misfit in Milwaukee ate his male lovers,
and he understands why brothers rape their sisters and why genocide
still occurs in this modern and civilized world, and why car bombs
tear families and countries and people apart.
understands it all and feels happy, happy to do his part. Happy
to help the chaos, help the chaos invade, help the chaos from that
distant star that he knows was once his home.
picks up the stroller and throws it off of the bridge.