Looks like I'm fucked.
Just got a call from Dr. Wallick. The test results from the past two weeks have taken my already bad situation and given it an even greater sense of urgency. It looks as though the increase in my durability and regenerative capabilities, is not tied directly to my suicide attempts. While the progression of my condition slowed slightly during the weeks where I avoided death, the more significant percentage of the increase appears to be continuous and shows no signs of tapering off. So even if I stopped attempting suicide and waited for Doc Wallick to figure out what the fuck is going on, I'd still be getting stronger with each passing day, being washed further and further out to sea.
I don't know if I'm in shock or what, but intellectually I keep thinking that this should frighten me more than it does, or make me angry. What's weird is that in a sick kind of way I'm relieved by this news. At least my prior unsuccessful attempts haven't made a huge impact on my potential for success. Not to mention I can finally going back to doing something. Even if I don't happen to hit upon the suicide superfecta that does the trick, at least I'm not sitting on my ass too paranoid to move for fear of destroying my chances. While it may have been nice to take a break from the physical pain for a while, the past two weeks of sleepless nights and introspection were starting to take their toll on my sanity. Now I feel like I can get back to it, start taking charge again. Yeah, its bullshit and I feel like I'm further away than ever, but I'm going to scratch and claw and bite every inch, every step. I refuse to let this fucking thing beat me. Not a goddamn chance. I'm not going to mope about lamenting the irony of my existence, I'm going to act. That's exactly what I need right now, is some action.
Less Hamlet, more fucking MacBeth...
...which reminds me. I have a wallet to return.
I'm sick of this shit.
It's been two weeks since the appointment and I've been cowering in a hole like an asshole, afraid to go about my day to day. I'm tired of it, and I'm starting to go stir crazy. All I can think about is what if I get mugged and stabbed, or killed in a drive by. I'm tired of feeling powerless. I want to go home, and sleep in my own bed. I mean I compromised my integrity just so I could keep the place, so what was the point of that if I can't stay there. If Nikki had seen me in these past two weeks, she wouldn't have mistaken me for a hero then, that's for damn sure.
I don't know why, but what she said has been bothering me for days now. "Regardless of subjective morality, certain acts are inherently evil. No one deserves that. You had the power to stop it, so you acted. Even if doesn’t change the world, to me, that makes you a hero." Call me selfish, but I was angry at her at that moment for making me feel responsible. Sure, I was able to stop her from being attacked, but I'm just one guy. Shit like this is going on all the time, all over the world, and its just getting worse every day. She says I could help change things, but it's just too much. Besides, I have my doubts that we as a species is worth saving. Consdiering what we do to the environment, the animals, our neighbors, ourselves, I don't know how we've avoided annihilating ourselves for this long. The world deserves its fate at this point, just let the whole damn thing burn.
God I miss my own bed.
I am in trouble.
I haven't been home in three days, because my apartment is being watched. Several weeks back I had a run-in with some armed robbers while trying to buy some beer. Turns out in the aftermath that the two assholes were brothers, and one of them went back to jail as a result of the incident. Problem is that the other one is out free, on bail or something, and trying to make sure that all the witnesses to the robbery are "taken care of". So about fifteen guys with knives and guns cornered me in the subway on the way to work. I had to flee into the tunnels to get away, and spent hours wandering in the dark like a tool. It made me sick to have to slink away like that, but what choice do I have? Of course this shit happens to me now, when I can't do anything about it. I didn't want to say anything about the incident before because I think they may have found me through this blog, so I am also not going to say where I'm staying, or who if anyone I'm staying with.
If one of you out there is the worthless sack of shit who jumped me, I hope your brother gets cornholed in jail.
I am sitting in my apartment listening to the rhythmic impacts of teeth against gears as the seconds are scythed away by the passage of the clock's hands. Soon I will have to leave for work and again put myself at risk. The irony of being afraid of something happening to me because I won't be killed is thick enough to choke a 12th grade English teacher. Every second that passes, each tick of the clock, I feel the sweat beading at my hairline and my hands beginning to shake. I live in New York fucking City, the most dangerous place in America, what could possibly go wrong? It's not like people get hurt on the subway at night.
I've had a drink or two to calm my nerves, but anything more and I'm going to get fired for being impaired on the job. Which is bullshit, I could do this job drunk, asleep, or even lobotomized. My quality scores might even go up. Coupled with my lack of sleep, and I'm feeling dangerously unbalanced. I can't help the train of thought that runs through my head, careening every which way, hither and yon. I realize that I've done this to myself, with the unsuccessful suicides that I've attempted I've actually made it more diffcult for me to die, against all reason. Science dictates that the more you get injured, the weaker you get, not stronger. Of course I can't think of a scientific explanation for the regeneration of a brain after being decapitated without affecting memory or personality. You can pretty much read that sentence and stop when you get to the part that you balk at. Nothing about this makes sense. Then again, what if it did affect memory, how would I know? I have nothing to compare it to except my own experience. I remember every part of the journals I wrote, and I don't think I have any gaps in my memory of the past. Again, its purely subjective though. I have no way to verify anything. My parents are dead, I don't really have any friends and Cassie...
Magic. Someone said something about magic. I don't have a scientific explanation for this seemingly impossible affliction, how long is it before I can't deny the possibility that there is a supernatural force at work. Okay, a more supernatural force at work. Obviously whatever this is, it isn't natural but up until now I've been thinking about this like a logic problem. Cellular mutation, heightened regeneration caused by an overactive gene that lay dormant in the average person, some kind of chemical I ingested somehow. Something rational. Explainable. Definable. Subject to the laws of physics and nature, conforming to the medical science that we've depended on for thousands of years. What if I have to think about this in terms of mysticism, or divinity. Am I going to be drawing veves on the ground in chalk and blood, invoking the names of spirits formless and terrible, hoping to attract the attention of some ancient power to annihilate me with its wrath? And what if this is the opposite?
What if this is one big cosmic Skinner Box?
What if some higher power is trying to teach me a lesson about life? Forcing me to suffer through death after painful death, feeling agonies over and over again that no man is meant to withstand in the hopes that I will one day learn to avoid the pain like a beaten animal and slink off to my ordinary life? What if this is meant to continue until I learn? Am I to return to the horrific brutality of this callous world and be compelled to hail it as wonderful?
The hour has come. I can't delay any longer. I think I may be going a little crazy. Popular culture holds that if you can wonder at your sanity, that you can't possibly be insane. Turns out that's bullshit. You could be just as crazy as the next guy barking at his furniture.
This is in no way a comforing thought.
Never have I had to fight my instincts more than I am at this very moment.
Doc Wallick woke me up this morning, the second saturday he's done so I might add, and asked me to come down to the office. Apparently he got the test results back and was finally going to let me know what the hell's been going on the past few weeks. So I get down there and he lets me in, and we wind our way through the semi lit interior of the clinic all the way to his office at the back. I grab some coffee and sit down while he goes to gets the files that he wanted me to see. I'm probably sitting there for half an hour, on the edge of falling asleep and wondering at the delay when he finally comes back, carrying a stack of reports about a foot tall. He sifts through them, and I start to get hopeful that maybe he'd figured it out already. I remember clearly watching his movements and trying to determine if his frustration was caused by success or failure. I know that he isn't exactly on board with my ultimate goal, but the benefits will certainly offset any guilt he feels. I can tell that it still bothers him though, what I intend to do.
So he starts in with the results and instantly I miss the wild optimism of only a few seconds before. The resutls start bad and get progressively worse with each moment. No unusual chemicals, substances, toxins, radiation, or foreign matter in my tissue or blood samples. He wasn't able to simulate the regeneration under laboratory conditions. The samples he took exhibited no special properties when compared to a normal person's. On and on the news went until he finally dropped the big one on me. He says that he accidentally repeated a test and came up with a different result, then tried it again to determine which was more accurate and got a third result entirely. All this week, when he was doing the same tests over and over again, I should have realized what was going on, but at the moment the words came out of his mouth I was completely unprepared.
I am becoming harder to kill.
In the past month my regeneration and overall durability have increased something like two percent. I had to resist the urge to look at him like he was a moron when he asked if I were doing anything differently to trigger that. The near continuous suicides have obviously been triggering my body to grow stronger, the regenerative equivalent to scar tissue on a wound. Each time I killed myself and came back, I was just making it harder on myself. Just sitting here typing that, it hits me all over again. His exact words were "if this trend continues, it's going to be difficult to damage you by conventional means." It was like the bottom dropped out of my world. The conversation went on for a bit at this point, with me panicking and talking a million miles a minute. I have no idea what was said, cause my mind was whirling with what the fuck 'conventional means' entailed.
He tells me to stop killing myself for the time being so that we can try to establish a baseline for my regeneration, and I mumbled something in response, stunned with the possibilities. Just as I'm about to leave, Wallick cracks a little and I get a slight insight into some of the weird vibe I'd been getting off of him recently. He asks what I see when I die.
I respond a little harshly, saying that I don't see a white light or chorus of angels, just nothingness. Harsh, not only because my head was still reeling from the shock of his news, but because I hadn't wanted to think about the implications of that fact myself. I knew for a fact that there was nothing else, no one watching out for us, no great reward in the hereafter. There was just the here and now, and we'd fucked it all up. The two lines of discussion piling on top of each other made my answer more blunt than I'd intended it, but it didn't seem like a coincidence that he'd asked it at that exact moment. I think he was trying to make some sort of point, but I have no idea what it was. All I knew was that I didn't appreciate it.
I wandered the streets for hours until it occurred to me that I was vulnerable. The irony of that thought did nothing to lessen my sudden and immediate fear. I've never been so paranoid of riding the subway in my life, and it felt like everyone was watching me, like they somehow knew. It was the longest train ride ever, and I was off the platform and running the second we stopped. I've locked myself in, and barricaded the door. I have to think, get my wits about me. I realize that the score of suicides crossed off on the whiteboards now have a sinister meaning, as I was inadvertently working against myself the whole time and never knew it. My head is a jumble of noise.
What the hell am I going to do?
Just got finished with Dr. Wallick. I finally got him to start the appointments earlier in the day so I can get some sleep. I might be crazy, but I think he's been running the same tests on me all week with multiple samples taken from multiple sites. He's doing all kinds of damn tests; bone marrow, spinal fluid, tissue samples, scratch tests. I guess he has to pretty much make it up as he goes. How would you go about establishing parameters for a condition that no one has ever seen before?
He's been pushing himself had these past few weeks. I hope he doesn't keel over before I do.
A quick Wikipedia search on sleep deprivation informed me that while it was possible that it may eventually cause death, it had no affect on the healing ability in rats. That was enough to discourage me from reading further.
Dr. Wallick just called to get me to come in today instead of tomorrow, and to add a third appointment for Friday. Something is definitely up. I'm glad that I work nights, cause there's no way Lee would have given me time off for all these appointments. As it is, I'm still losing all kinds of sleep and showing up for work like a zombie isn't helping my performance either. Unless I start getting some answers soon, I'm going to have to force the issue.
It was that damn comic that started it. I'm sure of it.
I could blame Jeff for his grand poobah dickitude, but he had no idea what he was saying, or what train of thought it would set off in my head. There's no way he could have, I'd never have told him the story. I should have thrown the comic away years ago, but I could never bring myself to. It's fucking stupid. There's no way it could be my father's. My dad said it just the one time, when he first gave it to me. I must have been about eight at the time. I asked, but he wouldn't explain himself. Just got this wistful look in his eye and walked away. I remember it clearly even now, years after their deaths. I tried bringing it up a few times as I got older, but he just kept repeating the same story time and again that he had no idea who my father was and the adoption agency wouldn't tell him. Thing is that I'm good at reading people. I could tell that there was something else going on in his eyes, I could hear it in his voice, the way he rubbed his palm with the pad of his thumb. As a kid, I chose to believe that secretly my father was still alive and dad knew who he was. There was a whole mythology built up in the back of my mind about who he was, but I didn't want to consciously examine it for fear of seeing the cracks in the carefully crafted lie. Idle thoughts huddled together like strangers in an elevator, united for a common purpose for a few moments before dispersing on their own ways.
As I grew older, lost faith in that myth, knowing that my real parents were the Carsons and that they loved me more than anything. It didn't matter who my father was, or what might have happened to him. Eventually that wispy legend faded from my mind, and the comic lost its significance, if it ever had any.
But I never threw it away.
I could have gotten rid of it, but I didn't. I could have sold it, but I reasoned that it was a reprint and not really all that valuable. It was like an unspoken contract with myself. There was always some rationale that I never dared examine too deeply, for fear of unbalancing the subtle détente that I had established with my subconscious mind. I was too weak to turn my back on the hope entirely and let go. I still needed it, I realize now. Even if I didn't believe it on any rational level, that lottery ticket purchase instinct never closed the door on the possibility. I hadn't looked at it for almost ten years. It sat in those storage boxes since just after my sixteenth birthday, along with my other papers and schoolwork. I don't think I ever even told Cassie about it, the one time that it ever came up that I should throw away the boxes, so loud and sudden came the answer that she never broached the subject again. I think she believed that it had to do with my parents, but had no idea how close to the truth she actually was. Even after all that time, when it occurred to me to find it, I knew exactly where to look without consciously thinking about it. Which box, how far down in the pile, almost like I'd just left it there yesterday. Seeing that four color cover again sent a jolt through me as sure as if I'd been electrocuted. It was the only link left to a mystery that now could never be solved. So many questions but no answers, kind of like my current situation. So if no one knew, if I didn't even know the truth, there's just no way she could have known what she was saying.
I've had gunshot wounds that didn't stop me as cold as her off handed remark.
Doc Wallick called and woke me up today, sounding even more out of sorts than usual. He asked if he could see me twice a week from now on, starting monday. I could hear in his voice that he was being evasive about something, but I couldn't tell what. It's gonna play havoc with my sleep, but I told him that I'd make it work somehow. I feel bad for him on a certain level, doing all this extra work. I heard from Leslie last week that he's cut back on his office houts and referred several of his regular patients to other doctors. I can bet that she's wondering what the hell is going on, considering it was hard enough getting me into the office once a month before. Now I'm coming in twice a week, and with no reason for my visits kept in my regular chart, any wonder she keeps giving me strange looks.
Maybe I'm thinking about this thing all wrong. Maybe he's right, maybe I am the key. Maybe by figuring out what the hell keeps Connor McClouding me back to life, he will be able to revolutionize medicine and save millions. Maybe this is the way that my abilities can actually help the world, not some fucked up call to don the pervert suit. At least this way, maybe there would be a chance in hell to make a difference. I'm just one guy, who can barely hold down a job, can't maintain a relationship, and barely has any friends. As much as it would be nice to believe her, that there are still absolutes in this world, its all just too far gone. Corruption is everywhere, and no one is immune. Not politicians, not priests, and certainly not the public. And even if I did pull on the red-and-blues, what then? I don't even think the world is worth saving. But when Nikki said...
That goddamn comic book is going back in the box.