It’s Not Like Any Of This Is Real Anyway (The End)
It’s seven minutes past seven in the evening. It’s the 17th of October 2018. I’ve just finished the first draft of this story, exactly 7 years, 6 months and 21 days after having sat down to write the first words of this story on the 27th of March 2011 after a long walk and a lot of thinking. It wasn’t very effectively written, this story. Months went by when I wrote nothing. A lot of time just went to sorting through short notes, trying to put each little tidbit into a proper place and time to shape a picture of a burgeoning life.
It’s been 2762 days since I started. And now, all I have to do is go through the entire thing and correct mistakes, rewrite things I don’t like, and delete things I really don’t like. Then, when I’ve read what I’ve written, some parts for the first time in years, I have to write an ending. Then, hopefully, I will deem it good enough to show it to some people I trust and maybe even send it to a few publishers. And if you, dear reader, are reading this right now, that must mean that that process went at least fairly well.
Or, after hundreds of rejection letters, this will end up on the backwaters of the internet. In which case, I’m astounded that you made it this far. Regardless, thank you so much for taking the time to read this rather odd little story. I hope it gave you something to take with you as you close this last chapter. Maybe it was laughter, maybe it made you feel better about yourself after reading about my numerous fuckups. Maybe it made you feel less alone. Maybe it spurned some sense of ambition inside you. Maybe it was just a nice distraction from your own life. In any case, I’m happy you made it this far. Thank you for lending me your eyes and mind, and if this is the audiobook version, thank you for lending me your ears for a while. I really appreciate it.
Here are a few endings I wrote over the years to a story that was never really finished and as a result, had a constantly moving endpoint. This was when I had the idea of ending it right before moving to London when I still had the stupid idea of writing it in the third person:
As he walked towards the gate, he picked up his phone, went into his notes and used his free thumb to write: “There’s no happy ending to this story, just the hope of one.” Then he looked at it and thought, It sounds too cheesy, too generic. But I’ll leave it there, for now, I’m sure I’ll come up with a better ending later.
Some would call this a lazy ending. They’d be right. Let’s move on to a more introspective one:
Whenever I look back at my adolescence, I always ask myself a few questions. The answer is always the same.
Wouldn’t you have wanted to have friends? Wouldn’t you have wanted to be happy? Wouldn’t you have wanted to have a life? Girlfriends? Alcohol? Sex?
I don’t think so.
That would have been normal. And people who grow up to be normal usually end up having sucky lives. And I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. And guess what.
I. Am. Fucking. Fantastic.
Now you just have to get everyone else to believe that too.
Well fuck, I’m screwed then, aren’t I?
This is where I leave you… for now. Good luck with your life, I hope it doesn’t end too soon. Or that it does, if that’s how you’re feeling. Say hi to grandma for me, would ya? Tell her I love her. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.
Will you look at that, I just did sort of tell her.
What makes you think it’ll be a while before you’ll see her in hell?
It’s been 7 years since I started writing this shit as a way of dealing with not feeling that great and I’m still here aren’t I?
A varied ending, going all the way from snobbish douchebaggery to an honest expression of affection. It’s an okay ending, but not the ending. Onto the next:
In the end, it has become very clear to me that I would pussy the fuck out of both suicide and murder. I’m not even close to ballsy enough. I’m careful and cautious to a fault. I’m anxious. I worry about stuff. And isn’t that just fucking fantastic?
The phrase “fucking fantastic” seems to be a bit of a theme here. Not a bad ending, honest, but way too short. Now all I have to do is edit this pile of garbage consisting of hundreds of thousands of words and when I come through to the other side, I might actually be able to write an ending I will be able to live with.
It’s the 7th of February 2019. I’m finally through to the other side. Reading through what I’ve written over these last 2875 days wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually laughed quite a bit. And I have to be honest, I am reeling a bit from the fact that it has been seven years, ten months and twelve days since I started and it’s all about to be over. It’s a bit nerve-wracking. I thought I was going to be happy or relieved to be able to leave this all behind me, and I am, but that’s not all I’m feeling. I guess I’m nervous because now I have to send this out to people if I want it to go anywhere. The story might be a little bit too personal for me to be completely comfortable with anyone anywhere having access to it, but I’ve been working on this for too long to not try to get it published and to see how it would be received. I just have to know, I’ve spent too much time on it not to.
I want to say a few things before I go. These things really should be addressed to certain people, but I can’t handle the emotional vulnerability of directly writing down what people have meant to me. Again, sincerity is scary. Thus, I will address these thoughts to the places in my life.
To London. You were the first place where I felt like I had an actual life. More importantly, you were the first place where I felt like I had a group of friends. You were the first place where I felt like there was a group of people who enjoyed my company, who cared about me, who seemed to genuinely like me. For that, I will be eternally grateful. I may have been depressed as fuck, but for the first time in my life, I think the people around me would’ve come to my aid, had I chosen to share how I was feeling. I’ll never forget how you briskly, yet with a steady hand, ushered me into adulthood. For that London, Great Britain, I thank you.
To America. I always knew that you were my one true love. From my early athletically impossible dreams of the Stanley Cup to my later constitutionally impossible dreams of the White House. You’re just as fucked up as I am. Just as weird. Just as huge and vast. Just as varied. Just as versatile. A more aggressively welcoming place is hard to come by, regardless of how odd a claim that may seem. Once we’ve made it through this legal mess of visas and green cards, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Even if it’s not always within your borders, I’ll always take you with me.
Finally, to Sweden. You saw me through my first steps, I’m pretty sure you won’t see me through my last. I hope that’s okay. You raised me, you saw me through my worst times, and the fact that I’m still here serves as evidence that you did more than well. You are the greatest of your kind and I will always defend you to the bone, but it’s time for me to flee the nest, this time once and for all. Thank you for taking care of me for all these years. I might not be able to say it to your face, but I’m saying it here and I really mean it.
Dear reader, this is where I finally have to leave you. It’s time for me to go live my life. I feel like I’ve barely gotten started, and believe it or not, I can’t wait to get going.
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