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Replica

Things aren't right here.

Well…

Things never were.


I remember the days going, twisting, and turning back. The sands of time relinquishing their powers, the sun rising and setting, the earth rotating clockwise; my mind recalls this.

I'd be the first to tell you the past was amazing. You take that one shot of fame, like tequila, and you let it burn your throat clear off. Fifteen minutes is all I got, but I guess looking back it's definitely better than nothing. It's better than sitting here now. It was the best and worse things to ever happen to me, to ever fathom me, to ever consume me.

Hazy neon signs surround these walls, my latest habitat, while the bar is laced with a glazed finish leaving the overhead lights to reflect and dance. My blue eyes look almost dizzy yet strangely alert. A mirror set behind the stacks and stacks of the bar's liquor bottle displays is too much of a reminder as it is.

Speaking of, the bartender made this drink too damn strong and I haven't eaten anything all day. You know what that's like for me? One drink could floor me at this rate and I'd be carried out of here into street where I truly belong.

A Tom Collins is the last five dollars I might ever own…so I sip and sip cautiously.

You see where I might be trying to get…is to get you to pity me. Yeah people call that a bitch move, but when you get close to where I have, every action knits cowardice and regret, every action seems closer to your last too.

The tattoo on my right arm. It's a red exclamation point. It reminds me of passion and ferocity. It reminds me of the past yet keeps me here in the future. Besides my face it's the trademark people remember me by.

Some people stare, some people laugh, some people poke fun, some people seriously come and ask me what's wrong, and I just sigh and look on. How can you tell someone you're a failure? How you can honestly say to a complete stranger "life's been shit for me and I've felt like dying for years"? Is that what people want to hear from me? Could that give satisfaction? Taste in their mouths? Superiority?

I wish it was that easy.

But you can't talk like that to people. You can't shoot down dreams. Hell even I have standards. The rare fan comes along and for a second my hopes are up, but then quickly dashed. You have to lie straight to these people's faces. You have to tell them you're fine. You have to tell them you really appreciate them coming over and that you hope to see them again soon or around town. Worse is that they conjure the idea that "we", as me and this random person who approached me, should hang out and "catch up on old times". For what?

To talk about, you know, that one time I was famous? Yeah. Why you don't you just put me in a wood chipper? It'd be the same kind of pain.

This is the conundrum, the confusion of society. Everything thinks everyone is fine. Everything's perfect in these picket fence wax museums right? These suburbs, these city streets where no one has problems!? No one wakes up and wonders why the shit they're here? Why everyday feels eerily similar to the last? Why you're working at the same job, still going to the same school, to get a flat framed piece of paper that puts you in new setting of work that just never changes!? Am I the only one who doesn't feel distracted!?

Hm?

A buzz just made my ears flicker.

The TV in the corner just clicked on. A basketball game and this isn't really surprising.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. People will fill this bar. People will watch the game and people will yell at who wins and who loses and it all doesn't matter. What happened to intrapersonal values? I'll tell you what happened. They disappeared with the media. The radios, the televisions, the newspapers' they all tell you what to do and then you do it. That's the simplicity and that's the curse.

God this drinking has brought anger like it always does. It ruins my mind and makes me hate everything.

Yet…

The real problem isn't society. Frankly people can do what they want and be who they want. I shouldn't care if your favorite song, or TV show is on, because frankly all I'm being is a hypocrite. I like TV and music too you know. I'm not a freak here.

It's just…I just think it's his entire fault for making me this way.

Take my scenario and apply it to yourself.

Give yourself the average life like everyone else. Give yourself everything a normal person would have: clothes, a good family, schooling, a nice house, etc.

Then give yourself a shot a something you never thought of.

Out of graduation audition for an unexpected acting job. Take a lead in an unheard of movie. Say your lines and find out your not that bad, and actually find out you have fans. Take the biggest paycheck you've ever received and buy the things you've always wanted. You have a mansion, you have a pool, you have a maid for cleaning up huge messes, you have a butler who would literally scrub your back if you wanted him to, and you have so much money that you wreck the car you just bought and then just run to another dealer and buy another one because you just can.

You have a life, you have no limitations, and you're a star.

This is who I was.

And my youth didn't know any better. Besides I was rising. More movies meant more money and more fun and who said I was going to fail? It looked like smooth sailing.

The sequel fared decently. People expected more but apparently I gave "the same product with a different title". I didn't read many reviews back then yet the consensus seemed to lean that way. But come on! People were still stupid right? Wouldn't they watch the same thing over and over again and never realize and just keep giving me money?

Again childish maturity and arrogance failed me.

Two more sequels, a 3D "spectacular, and then I started running low on green. No more boats, no more island getaways, my budget was suddenly tight. I couldn't understand what went wrong. What was I doing that drove people away?

I thought doing some research would do me some good. Maybe help me become a better actor.

Heh.

Article after article, page after page; they all said the same thing.

"It ripped off Sonic."

"A riveting performance, plenty of action, but it all felt staged and redone to death."

"He's no Sonic."

"He does the exact same things, with overall exact same premise, and produces the exact same results….Who green lighted this?"

"The first film was a breath of fresh air for the most part, but these sequels, dare I say it? Provide less depth and more stupidity. It was like someone wanted things to get progressively bad!"

A couple of years of anger passed but I felt I could get back on my feet. I tried out for everything under the sun. Commercials, soap operas, cheap B-movies and nobody hired me. They too fed me similar bullshit.

I had become a clone.

I was Sonic's clone and there wasn't a damn thing I could do it about it.

My career lasted three years. Over 7 million dollars earned and wasted and the only thing I learned was that you shouldn't take anything for granted.

And now here I am twelve years later in a bar still hating him. If I was first he would've been my duplicate, if I was first I'd still have a real job. Not the numerous failures I've had to accustom myself to live with.

Running for mayor didn't work because my activist views were deemed too extreme. I lost my manager job in retail after punching out a bitchy customer. Bank telling just reminded of what I used to have; money. Food service hours just flat out sucked. The weather felt too hot for construction work. Dealing coke and weed...one almost got me killed while the other almost got me arrested. The list could go on forever. I've done a lot of things to find out I despise them. That's all I've discovered and it really bites me in the ass.

Right now a two story gas station is my home. I live upstairs in a blue military cot. Whenever a day off arises I drink myself to hell and then proceed home to sleep.

Not the best job in the world but it gets me by and for that I guess you could say I'm thankful.

My drink rises and now I'm gulping, gulping, gulping.

Slam.

The drink's done and I feel my body slipping from the wooden stool and warming upon standing.

A couple of yells nearby startle me and surprise the home team's won the game. I gaze at the television set for awhile fixated on the score.

89-90.

The away team almost came away with the upset. I've watched basketball before and this one should've been ugly, it should've been a blowout. Yet the outcome was different. And for once it's nice to see an underdog get a shot at winning for once.

A small grin escapes my lips as I don my leather jacket.

Walking out, a few faces light up upon seeing me. I scowl and silence them. I don't want to talk besides...

Everyone knows I didn't win.

Sonic beat me.

And all I ever became was a joke.

Bubsy the Bobcat never had a chance in hell.

Maverick87-2008