Have you ever heard of the definition of insanity? It's something along the lines of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That phrase always bothered me. What if you WEREN'T expecting a different result? What if you just do something over and over again because it keeps you calm, or if you enjoy doing it? Does that make you sane, because it doesn't follow the definition? Or does it make you even more insane, because what you're doing is even more pointless? And when you DO get a different result, what then? Are you still considered insane, or are you rewarded for your optimism, no matter how unrealistic it is in hindsight?
I've been trying to convince myself I'm not insane. Because I kept doing the same thing over and over, and I certainly got a different result.
Every single day I grab my keys, lock my front door, walk down my street, take a right, give a quarter to the homeless man that sleeps on the corner, cut through the park, and sit down on my favourite bench where I can watch the dogs run. Nobody knows why I do it. I don't know either. All I know is that it keeps me calm. I enjoy doing it. And so I do it every single day.
Grab my keys, lock my front door, walk down my street, take a right, give a quarter to the homeless man that sleeps on the corner, cut through the park, and sit down on my favourite bench where I can watch the dogs run. I always expect the same result. My keys are always in the same spot. The homeless man is always there. The dogs are always running. In a life of so much confusion and chaos, I can rely on this being constant. It's all I can rely on anymore.
Except for one day. That day had a different result.
I grab my keys, lock my front door, walk down my street, took a right, give a quarter to the homeless man that sleeps on the corner, cut through the park, and sit down on my favourite bench where I can watch the dogs run. Except the dogs weren't running. There weren't any dogs. Instead, she was standing there, in the middle of the field. She doesn't see me. She just has a blank look and looked off balance. Like she is leaning on something that isn't there.
I don't know what to do. I always watch the dogs run. Should I approach her? Or should I watch her like I watch the dogs run? It hurts. I could always rely on the dogs. But they aren't there today.
She turns and looks at me. Our eyes meet. She doesn't say anything, and neither do I. We just stare. Then, slowly, she starts walking towards me. Except she isn't walking. She's stumbling. Every step she takes is like she nearly falls, and has to catch herself. She looks sad. If I nearly fell every time I walked, I'd be sad too. I feel sorry for her. As she gets closer, I introduce myself. She doesn't like me at first. She tries to hurt me. I don't let her. I tell her that she can't hurt people who don't hurt you. I make sure she can never hurt me. She seems angry. I tell her my name. And she listens. She's the first person in a very long time who listens to me. She tells me her name. And I listen. It's Elizabeth. I bet I'm the first person to listen to her in a very long time too.
I sit there and talk to her for a long time. She decides not to sit down, even though her leg is hurting her. We talk for a long time. The two of us become good friends very quickly. I tell her my story. She tells me hers. It is very sad. Her leg was run over when she was very young. She doesn't want crutches. People will make fun of her if she has crutches. I said I won't make fun of her. She seems happy to hear that. She smiles. I smile back.
The two of us walk home together. We do it in silence. She doesn't want to talk anymore. When we get home, she likes my house very much. I tell her she was welcome to stay here. She is relieved. She doesn't like to be seen in public. People make fun of her for her painful leg. She sleeps in my bedroom. The company is nice. I had been alone for so long. She had been alone for a long time too. She is very happy to be with me. I am very happy to be with her.
The next day, I grab my keys and lock my front door. She follows me. We walk down my street. We take a right. I am about to give the homeless man a quarter. He makes fun of her leg. She gets very angry. She tells him not to make fun of her leg anymore. I still give him a quarter. I say goodbye. He doesn't say anything. She wants to keep talking to him, but I tell her to stop. We start walking again. We cut through the park. I sit on my favourite bench. She decides not to sit down again, even though her leg is hurting her. The dogs are there today. They're running. I am very happy at first. She can watch the dogs run with me. Then one of the dogs notices her. It gets very scared and runs away. She thinks the dog is making fun of her leg. She gets very angry. She wants to run to the dog to tell it not to make fun of her leg. The dog is much faster than her. It makes her sad. Soon, there are no more dogs. They all run away from her.
This makes me very angry too. Why does everybody want to make fun of her leg? I tell her how angry I am. She is very happy that I agree with her. I didn't want to watch the dogs anymore. They were very mean. She tells me that the world is mean to her. I agree. She says that the world should be told not to make fun of her leg. I agree. We come up with a plan to make sure nobody makes fun of her leg ever again.
We walk home together. The homeless man doesn't say anything. I think he is sleeping. We get home. She goes into my bedroom. I follow her. She hugs me. I hug her back. I kiss her. It is the first person I have kissed in a very long time. She kisses me on the cheek. It hurts very much. I feel blood coming down my face. I ignore the pain for her. I take off her shirt and lie her down in the bed. She is very happy to be with me. I am very happy to be with her.
The next day, we start our plan. We are both very excited to tell the world not to make fun of her leg. I grab my keys and lock my door. She follows me. I don't walk down my street this time. I get in my car. She gets in the passenger seat. We drive for a long time. Neither of us speak. We both know what the plan is. I have a bandage on my face from last night. She apologizes. I forgive her. After all, it is part of the plan. She is wearing a coat with mittens and a scarf, even though it isn't that cold out. I don't mind. After all, it is part of the plan. We arrive at our destination. We get out of the car. We walk into the big building and sit down on the nearest bench. There are many people here. I pull out my laptop.
I am writing this message from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. If you are reading this, you must prepare. Keep lots of food with you. Stay indoors. There are about to be many people like Elizabeth. Do not be afraid. They will only hurt you if you make fun of them.
The fever has set in a long time ago. I can feel it in my body. In a few minutes, I will be dead. Nobody will notice. They will think I am sleeping. This is part of the plan.
I now realize that I am not insane. I did the same thing over and over again, but I never expected a different result. I am not a mean person. The world is very mean. They kept making fun of Elizabeth. This means that the world is insane. They did the same thing over and over again.
And they expected to live.
I have contracted a wonderful virus.
Elizabeth is Patient Zero.
And the apocalypse starts now.