There was a boy.
He, in today’s world, might have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum (or pick your other favourite euphemism for “we medical professionals aren’t really sure”).
He was in constant pain, a pain without a locus, a locust without a home, a home without a crop, a crop without a horse.
He did not know he was in pain.
He didn’t even know to assume that his condition was normal or not.
He wasn’t aware he was a boy.
Labels were given to him, labels that others insisted he adopt as his own.
These others, bigger than the boy, operated out of fear, misunderstanding and something the boy couldn’t quite put a finger on.
He knew he was supposed to care about these others.
But he lived in a different world than they did, on another plane, in another universe, somewhere not quite completely connected with the others.
He was alone with himself, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes mad, sometimes sane, always in pain.
He had a point to make — he wanted to be free of pain.
To be free of pain meant only one thing to him: he wanted death.
People died because of his actions.
People were tortured and survived because of the boy’s temporal wants and needs, wants and needs imposed upon the boy by the others.
The boy really wanted to care about people who suffered and died to meet his wants and needs, people he’d never meet, people who lived out there somewhere in their own imaginary universes, their homes with locusts and crops.
But the boy didn’t care.
The boy didn’t care because he only knew how to be alive.
Whirlwinds of people swept the boy up into their storms, a rush of excitement like a carnival of lights and sounds, making the boy smile, laugh, and forget his simple happiness of being alive.
Left alone, the boy sat by himself in silence.
He sat in his unknown pain and waited to die.
A half century or more.
The boy thought maybe he had changed a little.
He forgot a lot.
He repeated himself more and more.
He closed his eyes and slept.
One last, long sleep, drifting into a painfree foreverness…
There was a boy.