September 15. 2017 by Patrick Starks
The world has changed a lot from when I was a child, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I fit in at all, not anymore—maybe I was born of a different planet, and that my parents hadn’t found the courage to tell me yet, these of course were just guesses, but the things others would say, would make me feel otherwise. People would always say that I’m too nice or to kind, but what kind of world would we be in, if always serious, if always rude to one another, what would that mean for our humanity, our existence, I thought.
You know, Gandhi would always say, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world,’ but sometimes I would wonder what he really meant by that. If I changed myself, if I transformed myself, would the world truly follow in my vanguard, or was I just hoping for a miracle to happen—although, as sad as it was, I felt it funny, for that I lived on thirty first street after all—Miracle on thirty first street, I would joke. But more so, the true question would be, did I need to change at all.
I ‘d talk to many about the issue, but they would only sway from conversation and suggest things to me as if I needed a therapist. “You know yoga would be great for you,” one said. “Have you ever tried meditation,” another would say. And my eyes would then roll back into its sockets, hiding itself from ignorance.
As mentally tough that I was, my friend Tom would struggle with such challenges in life. It scared me, there were times where he told me how badly he wanted out of this life, that he didn’t sign up for such hell, and that sometimes he wanted to just off himself. I would tell him that life was bigger than the ones who tried to break him, that they were weak, and only sought after any pleasure they could find, for their own insecurities. I would save Tom as many times as I could, before my words would no longer matter, that they would no longer help. As I stood next to Tom’s mother at the funeral, her tears, her cry’s—they were unbearable, as everyone in the garden cried with her—being there made me think a lot about life.
“It’s okay Christopher, let it all out, try not to hate the people in this world for that they know not what they mean or what they do to others,” Toms mom would say. Mrs. Doubtfire was a wise a woman and an incredible cook—although, the guys and I would always give Tom shit about his mothers ironic name comparison to the movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” starring the great Robbin Williams.
I wanted to shed light on Mrs. Doubtfire, to tell her that her son, the closest thing I had to a brother, only left this world because of the evils that lived within it—the ones that find pleasure in abusing their power on others. “Let go Christopher, and never let anyone take away your happiness, or destroy the angelic qualities you hold. I only wish Tom understood that, my little Tommy boy, my little tom, tom,” she would cry. I would cry harder than I’d ever in my life, I now couldn’t tell if the puddle beneath my feet was from the Seattle rain, or from my own tears.That entire day was depressing, and so I figured on the following day I would treat myself to some pho, for Tom and I, I thought.
I headed to our favorite Pho restaurant—I would immediately get red carpet treatment as soon as I breached the door. “Ah, the usual, extra-large chicken pho, spicy,” the waiter would ask, and I nodded. Although, over time I would begin to come to the edge of a depressive state, as there was no Tom across the table of me. We had big plans he and I—I would be the greatest writer in the world, and he would be the greatest filmmaker in the world—the perfect duo, we would laugh. “Hey where your friend, Tom was it,” the waiter asked. He was an incredibly nice man, but man was his timing off. I didn’t feel like going into detail about it all, so I lied, and told him that Tom was at work.
After ten minutes, the waiter would bring out the hot steamy bowl of addiction, my addiction, as well Toms. It was perfect as always—too hot to handle, too cold to hold, there called the ghostbusters and there in control, Tom would joke, as he took sips of it as if he were at a wine tasting event. The waiters always loved when he did that, everyone would laugh until the pho in their stomachs would disappear, as they would now wield what we all would call, semi abs—just enough to get a girl’s attention if on the beach shirtless, that’s what the liquor would tell us.
As there was the smell of heaven at the end of my chopsticks, I would of course dig in scuba like, I felt there was no prayer needed for such—God himself probably would’ve burned his tongue to such an incredible dish. Although, I’d ponder if it were even possible for a god to burn the tip of thy tongue, but best we save that for another story.
My bowl was now half way done, a man and woman would then walk in, right as I came to the last few sips. The couple looked legit, but I could tell one would love the other more, as most couples I would see. But the girl on the other the hand, looked familiar, the room was dark, but I could still see It was someone I recognized. As she walked further within the lighting of the room, I could see that it was Toms ex-girlfriend, the great Amelia.
And there she was smiling her as off, as if she’d done nothing wrong ever in her life, as if she were an angel. And I felt if she were any angel, she surely wasn’t one of gods, or Charlies, I would grin. Out of all the fucking restaurants in Seattle, she would choose this one—Tom and I’s, one in which she knew. I couldn’t help but give her a piece of my mind, and so I walked over. I asked her why, why him—she sat confused, and her boyfriend would stand up. “Is there a problem bro,” he would ask. I wanted to say, ‘yeah you!’ as I would throw his own bowl of soup into his face, watching it sizzle his Hollywood smile, but it wouldn’t had been worth it—maybe pleasurable, but not worth it. s
I could tell he was insulted by my words, he hadn’t a clue to what I was talking about, but in her florescent eyes I could see that she knew. I’d continue to ask her again, and sweat would begin to come down her forehead, as the tears for me had once done. Her boyfriend on the other hand was just as insecure as she, and so he would leave nothing but swinging doors in the wind—from his reaction, my guess was that he thought I was her other lover, but this would’ve probably been a different story, if not another.
The restaurant would become empty as the time went by, and the waiters would stand in the back not knowing if they should call for help or try doing something themselves. “Were, were, closing now guys,” a waiter stuttered. I didn’t reply, I just stood there, steering into Amelia’s soul. She then gave the waiter a look, one that I’d never seen before, one that made me regret ever provoking the situation. The waiter of course would close the shop—it was obvious he was afraid to see what was behind those eyes of hers.
“Let’s play a game shall we,” Amelia would say. I didn’t give a shit about playing a game, she’d done enough of that already—I wanted to know why she treated Tom the way she did, why she pushed to his ends. But she ignored my rejection, as she proceeded forward opening a deck of cards.
“Tom liked this game, he was always better than me, but sadly he dealt a bad hand. If you want to know what happen to your friend, you’ll have to beat me, but If you lose—well, take your friend as an example.
Like any would do I would rush to the door, getting the fuck out, but the door was jammed, it was locked.
“Come back Christopher, let us begin,” she said. And as she pulled out jack, a queen, and a king—this is where I would find if my Chivalry would become my death, become my scene.