Alright, this is the last chapter. Glad I’m getting it online.
I Walk In, Part 5: Turtopofrige
The infamous Turtopofridge laughed in spite of himself. He knew he’d just ruined a perfectly good sequence of events with a single wise-crack, but when you’re among the world’s greatest novelists, thing such as these come and go like the daily mail. He’d probably even have a better plot mapped out by the week’s end! Ideas were never in short supply for the world-renowned genius.
No. I’m sorry, I cant’ do this anymore. I am the “infamous” Turtopofridge. In a desperate attempt to make sense of the world, I’ve locked myself in this room for the past week to think.
I’ve had this all planned out for a while, I’ve been living on a cooler filled with fruits, a case of water, and a tub of home-made trail mix. Sure, it’s not too fancy, but it gets the job done. Speaking of which, I don’t actually have a job, so I didn’t have to get days off, and I don’t have too many friends, so there’s nobody to miss me. I made sure to choose a room with no cable outlets or phone jacks, just in case I was tempted to communicate with the outside: that would defeat the purpose. I had the room painted all white – the entire room, floor, windows, and ceiling included – before I started so I’d have as little influence in my thoughts as possible. Aside from the cooler, all that’s in here is a mattress and a coffee table, which holds my computer. I made sure to back up, and subsequently erase, my entire hard drive, leaving nothing but a word processing program so I could type up my thoughts. If I lose my thoughts, what would be the point in thinking them?
I suppose, however, I should explain myself. I call myself Turtopofridge because I feel it describes me better than any real name cold. I don’t think anybody would even know to call me by my real name anymore, aside from my parents, that is, but they don’t even know what country I’m in. I’ve had my name legally changed, so my mail only comes addressed to “Turtopofridge,” and I sign legal forms by that name as well. I think I’m the only person in the world who actually enjoys telemarketers because my name completely baffles them to the extent where some will just hang up without even trying. Why did I choose this name over any other? Well, why not? It gives a nice imagery that might make sense if you took the time to analyze it, but nobody ever has.
As soon as I left home, I knew I would have to create an entirely new life for myself: the old one didn’t work. That’s part of the reason why I legally changed my name. I’ve never attended a college because that would have to refer to my former life, and thusly defeat my purpose. I’ve blocked out most memories from the first 18 years of my life, but what I do remember is constant fights (which I constantly lost), constant scoldings, and, big surprise, no friends. I suppose that last aspect is oddly the only thing that’s stayed constant.
Since then, I’ve lived a more secluded life. Every so often I get a job, and every so often I move to a more affordable apartment, finally to this one a few years back when I’d saved a few grand and bought it completely. Now that I don’t have a landlord, the only people who ever see me on a regular basis are my co-workers, but my job is driving a school bus and it’s July. I chose not to drive Summer specifically because of this past week. They probably wouldn’t accept a week off for no reason. No, there’s a reason, but I suppose if you told the school board you needed a vacation to “contemplate the sanity of the world,” they couldn’t allow the vacation, then send me to a shrink. Most likely at my own cost. In any case, that’s about how my life’s been. You have lows and you have highs, but you survive.
So it’s Tuesday now. That means I’ve only got until the end of today to stay in here, and I feel as if I’ve barely accomplished anything. I’ve had no real meaningful thoughts, so I began to type whatever came to my head instead. Figured something smart had to come out eventually. Instead, I got a winding tale about 5 different people who have barely anything to do with each other. Well, I suppose Alice and David had a lot to do with each other. And maybe Danny and Molly could be considered to have a relationship.
Great, I’ve even failed at being random. I believe the only thing I’m good at is being bad at everything else. That came close to phrase coining, I suppose, but I don’t think it’s an original thought. I suppose I should wrap this whole thing up: it was a bust.
As I walked out of the room, I was shocked to see the bright colors of the rest of my apartment. You see, normally I’m a very outgoing person. A week of near-total blankness can really mess your perception up. The florescent green couch and the blacklight-sensitive paint was a terrible contrast to a solid white.
That’s it. Contrast. Think, don’t think, neither works, you need to have contrast. The moment I realized this, I knew my week was not in vain. I couldn’t think with no influence, so I wrote fiction. I couldn’t think with the influence of my room, otherwise I wouldn’t have needed the week away. THe only way to think is to create conflict within yourself. Convince yourself that one side is right, then confront yourself with an impenetrable argument for the other side.
I left my apartment somewhat more confident of myself, got into my car, and drove in a direction I’d never thought I’d go again: home.
What my parents didn’t realize was that I’d run away from them, but only by about 5 miles. They weren’t looking for me, why would they expect me to be here? I pulled into the parking lot of my old elementary school just in time for the engine to die. It was pretty late at night, nobody was going to be bothered by it for another few hours at least, so I left it there and walked the rest of the way to my parent’s house, something I’d planned to do anyway.
The school was amazingly close to our house, taking up a plot of land initially intended to be a park for the surrounding houses. It took me hardly any time at all to be staring down the driveway that I grew up playing on. No, not yet.
It’s odd how certain neighborhoods are built in a very circular fashion. This was one of those. The roads all formed rings, around which the houses lay, around which I walked then.
I walked, thinking about what was going on. In my life, in the world, in the lives of my friends, it didn’t matter. I analyzed anything that came to mind, and a lot of things came to mind. Worlds collided within my head, yet I knew I could never set down my discoveries of that night. There were simply too many. Too little time, and too little reason.
As I walked, I asked myself how many times I’d been around this circle. I didn’t know. I’d lost track around 3. It didn’t matter, though, that simply brought about another line of thinking: how many times had I circled this set of roads? Countless times, probably, in that former life, the one I’d left.
The one I’d just returned to.
It was a circle. I’d left, only to return again. I’d alienated myself from the world I knew, merely to realize that I needed that world more than ever.
I looked at my watch and realized that it had been nearly two hours since I’d left my car at the school. There I was again, staring down that desolate drive. I could see Molly sitting there on the porch, tutoring Danny. Leaning against the garage door, Glen and Eddie were talking to each other, staring at the night sky. David appeared: he was on a stool, changing the light bulb on the porch, blocking Danny a little bit. Off in a shadowy corner of the driveway, Alice sat clutching her knees, head down, sobbing. Behind her loomed a dark figure I preferred not to think about. My escapades were over for now. My lesson learned. My thoughts were as confuses as ever, but they at least had some form of guidance.
I made my way past the fictitious beings and rang the doorbell. To familiar, shocked faces answered and opened the door for me.
I walk in.