By: Kaptain DTSW

Literally two weeks away from high school graduation; and, some moron hits me, totaling my 1993 Saturn SC2. The only thing I can recall from the incident, is an officer pulling out my body from the upside-down red car, and being placed on a stretcher. I closed my eyes during the ambulance ride, and awoke in the hospital a few days later.

A broken arm and fractured skull were the least of my worries; what, bothered me the most, was whether or not I'd pass my third attempt of the 12th grade. It's not that I'm stupid or lazy; it, is just calculus and dyslexia, do not mix very well. Thankfully they let me take my final exam in the hospital, and I passed by only a few points. I may have missed commencement, my bones may be broken, but I did not care. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me; and, I'm feeling pretty damn good.

Months of sitting around, playing video games as I recover; passed, in what seemed like seconds. Once I was able to walk again, which meant I was able to work. After countless applications, I was hired in by a local car mechanic and taught from the ground-up, how to fix everything and anything; that, wasn't my totaled 1993 Saturn SC2. What started off as oil changed and tire alinements at minimum wage; quickly, turned into exhaust welding, and transmission replacement at six-digits a year.

During the process of becoming nothing, to everything; a lot, has occurred during the years. Not only did I get an apartment of my own; but, I met a woman who's smile, filled my heart with the desire to see her non-stop. Elizabeth Somnium was her name, and she was the woman of my dreams. She is: my muse, my ponder; someone, I’d chew over, puzzle over, and build castles in the air for. And after five years; five, fantastic years of holding her hands, looking into her eyes, and seeing her smile. Elizabeth Somnium became Elizabeth Morcawski.

Years passed, and we had a kid. Derek was his name; he, has my looks, and Elizabeth's attitude. My parents didn't lie when either would say, “they grow up so fast.” By the time I got used to diapers, I was teaching Derek to ride a bike. By the time I was helping him study fractions in math, he graduated middle school top of his class.

For Elizabeth and my 20th anniversary, I bought her earrings that shined like her eyes; and, she bought me a framed picture of the us two, and our son. I looked at the picture, and smiled to the point of tears. A balding man, with a wrinkling wife; both, next to their 15-year old child. “Where had time time gone?” I'd ask myself every time I stared into the picture.

One day as my son was on his way to school, he bumped into the living-room coffee table, knocking the frame over. I told him to have a good day, as I re-aligned the picture. Something was off about the picture, ever since he knocked it over. I spent minutes, hours, days staring at this picture. I requested days off work, and spent nights awake, fascinated on this picture. The frame wasn't damaged, the glass wasn't smudged, the picture wasn't tilted; it, just seemed off. My wife asked me if I was okay, and I couldn't respond; I, couldn't pry my attention off of this picture.

After what seemed like a week, I become a mannequin. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat, I didn't move to use the restroom, or to stretch. I simply sat in my chair, staring; I, didn't blink, I don't recall even breathing. My wife would grab me, shake me, push, scream, do whatever it took to get my attention; but, nothing. I was so fixated on this picture, that my wife left me and took our child. They pleaded, and I did nothing. They cried, and I did nothing. They walked out never to return, and I did nothing!

I asked every possible question, but I could not find the answer. Finally, after years of questioning; I, arose from my seat and grabbed the picture. I looked into my wife's eyes, my child's eyes, my own eyes. I felt the rugged texture of the frames rivets. Everything became so clear now. The picture isn't even real. I wake up to see an officer pulling out my body from an upside-down red Saturn SC2, and placing me on a stretcher. My wife, my child, my entire existence; it, was all a hallucination.  

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