It's been a long week. For that matter, a long month, year, decade, and really, when you get right down to it, I've had a pretty fucking long life. And at twenty-five, that's saying a lot. And here I am, watching the end of it. But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here, just a bit. Yes, just a bit.
Like I've said before, I'm twenty-five. I'll be twenty-six soon enough, if I manage to make it through this. Damn it. I really need to stop doing that. Really, really do. I'm already having trouble keeping my hands from shaking. If I lose the ability for rational thought, I think I may not get it back.
I'm sick of running from this. Running from my life, my death, my in-between. For the longest time, I haven't even had anything which a sane man would call a life anyway. But I'm not what any sane man would call sane. Oh, hell, I'm not even what an insane person would call sane. I'm one of the flock, the fold, the fallow folk who can't get through life without fucking shit up. But most of all, I'm a fellow who just wouldn't shut up when it was good for him. Hi there. You can call me Mike. It's not my real name, but by the time the police find me, I won't have any need for any kind of name, real, legal, nick, made-up, or otherwise. You see, I've been shot. It's not anything terribly bad, like a sucking chest wound that I'd have died from immediately, but it's been bleeding fairly steadily for about three days now, and every time I move, it opens up again. I'm sure one of these days, or hours, or minutes, I'm going to run out of luck, and run out of blood, and breath, and life.
I suppose I'm lucky to have packed enough food or water to keep me alive for a month. That's what happens when you're planning to leave town on a hiking trip. I've only needed to live off of it for the past few days, and I still have a wallet full of cash, so if I manage to make it out of this alive, I'll be able to really treat myself to a nice steak. But the problem isn't food, or water, as I've said. The problem here is that I can't find myself. On a map, I mean (though I suppose the other interpretation is true enough). I have absolutely no fucking clue where I am. I don't know how I got here, either, because this isn't where I was shot. I was shot in the city. The west side of Detroit, if you must know. Just east of McNichols and Greenfield, to be all too specific. I was leaving a friend's house, and I'd had to park about ten blocks down, as I had been there for a surprise party, and didn't want to alert the birthday boy to anything wrong when he came home. I had come out onto McNichols, and was walking toward my car. Got about halfway, too, and then the guy came out. Don't know if he wanted my wallet, or if he was just tweaking, but all I know is I took a bullet to the leg. I stumbled to the first house I saw, and I guess it was abandoned, because I managed to open the door, and nobody was there. Walked through a few rooms, I don't know what I was looking for, and then I fell down.
When I woke up, I was in a crude shack. Looked kind of like I could have been in the same room, but I'm almost 100% sure that I'm not. Besides, I crawled my way to the door the first day, that'd be two days ago. I'm on an island in the center of a fucking lake. A fucking lake. I shit you not, reader. I have no idea how I got from inside the borders of the city of Detroit to an island in the middle of a small lake, but I swear to God if I survive this, I will fucking find out. I can even see a house on the shore. Can't be more than a quarter mile from where I'm at, but I haven't seen anyone there. At least, I think it's a house. Can't shout, either. Hell, I've tried, and I can't even speak. And all the water I can drink won't help. I've completely and totally lost my voice. And my throat hurts. Badly. All of that put together? I either was infected was laryngitis or, and this is something that disturbs me deeply, I've spent some time shouting or screaming at the top of my lungs. I hope that it's the infection. I really do.
I don't remember any screaming.
I don't remember anything.
I'm just writing this document in an attempt to rationalize something, anything about why this could have happened to me, or who would have or, for that matter, could have done something like this. I don't have any enemies that I know of, nor do I really think I've pissed anyone off lately. But the problem here isn't so much that I don't remember pissing anyone off. At this point, it's that I don't remember.
I'm pretty sure that it was dark out when I was shot, but... it was bright out, very bright, when I came to. But that's not the really disturbing part. I had packed my car full of warm things because I had planned on going hiking, and it was winter. Now? It must be eighty degrees, and there's no heat in this cabin. It's that way outside, too. And the sun is really the crux of my real problem with what's happened. I've been here long enough to gauge general directions, and that's led to a very real problem: the sun is too far south in the sky. I'm still in the northern United States. Which means I've lost over six months of my time. And that possibility, probability, fact, or reality, whichever it may be, bothers me. A lot. Especially since my wound is still bleeding like it's damn near fresh. It's clotted a bit, but not enough.
I think I'm going to die out here.
So I'm going to use this document, if it's ever found, and if it's readable should that happen, to express my sorrow to my family. Of course, they're nameless here, but I'm sure the word will get to them what happened. And I suppose that, if I'm still coherent when I'm done, I'll just start telling my life's story, and hope I have enough sanity to finish it.
My parents... I'd like to say I have parents to thank, but cancer took them both. Most of my friends were shocked, and to be fair, they're right that I am far too young to not have my parents anymore, but I decided a long time ago that what I could do about it was nothing at all, so why bother letting it get me down?
My brother... my kid brother lives in Illinois. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? He's... twenty-one now, I think. Not much of a kid. He didn't take the deaths of our parents very well, and he moved away from home almost immediately after turning eighteen. And hell, I don't really blame him.
I've got assorted aunts and uncles all throughout Michigan, and most of the Midwest. Even got some cousins down in the south. And my girlfriend... I'll miss her. I really will. If she reads this, I want her to remember that I love her above all things, and I'm sorry about what happened to me.
I also want my friends to know that what happened to me was nobody's fault, except for possibly the crackhead who shot me. Might be his. Might not even be his fault, either. As a matter of fact, had I woken up in Detroit in December? I'd have been in and out of a hospital in no time. So no, I have no idea whose fault this is. But if I make it out of this? And if I find them? They will be in pain for a very, very long time.
I was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in the mid-1980s. I grew up in a little town named Plymouth, and so did my little brother. We lived there, we went to school there, et cetera, and everything was fine and dandy, until our parents both got cancer. We'd been telling them for over ten years that smoking as much as they did was a bad idea, but they never stopped. It had gotten bad enough that we spent most of our time at friends' houses, and in 2003, when they were both diagnosed within six months of each other? Nobody was surprised.
Yes, I grieved when they both passed remarkably quickly the next year. Don't get me wrong about that. They were my parents, and I loved them. But let's face facts. They left me, a twenty-year-old young man, alone with my seventeen-year-old brother to “raise”. Nobody was surprised when he split town right after his birthday. But a few people were surprised at how little they saw me grieve. But come now. They didn't see me grieve because I did it in private. But they also didn't see how goddamned angry I was at my parents. They never listened to us. They could have possibly stopped the cancer before it got too much into them. But no, instead they decided for our entire lives that smoking three packs a day on a workday was a brilliant idea. On the weekends, they went through an entire carton between the two of them. They took themselves away from us far before we were ready, and if it weren't for the fact that my brother got himself a scholarship to an out-of-state school, and if I hadn't gotten myself an excellent job, one I hope I still hold if I get out of here? We never would have made it. Ever. And that's really, really depressing.
It's getting dark out, dark enough that I can't see, and given that the floor of this cabin is covered in debris, I don't want to move in the dark to get moonlight, so I'll pick this back up tomorrow.