. . . a . . g u i d e . . t o . . m a r i n e . . l i f e . . .

what a shipwreck




Someone once told me that creativity and depth comes from our inner chaos. I never really truly began to understand, or believe those words until I met him.

It's that darkness – that sadomasochistic part of ourselves that has a tendency to lay dormant; hidden away from the outside world, but it's still there. That sick truth lies twisted and bent inside, festering like a pit of madness.

That is who we really are; the simple disgusting beauty on the outside is nothing but a shell to house true evil.

Everyone has an inner darkness – for some people, it's suppressed and covered with happiness and laughter; those are the ones whose attributes consist of optimism, naivety, and bubbly goodness for all of mankind. Unfortunately, they don't make up a very high percent of the population. Humans are bastards – that fucking maggot tells me that all the time. I cannot help but listen. He's better at stuff like this than I am, after all. I find it amusing how much he degrades people, yet he always claims to love them all. Stupid fucker.

I can hear the fish tank gurgling from the living room; bubbles sifting through the filter and if I strain my ears hard enough, I can hear the mechanical buzzing. The tank is large enough to span across one entire wall, and it's stocked full off about 150 or so fish; all of different species and varieties. It's not even mine – they all belong to another resident; one I don't really see eye-to-eye with. But, I can't deny that they are rather pleasant to look at; calming.

It's ranging somewhere around 5am, and I'm sitting on the kitchen floor with my back pressed against the cabinets. The only light flickering throughout the dark room his the candle Kida must have left lit on the dinning table last night. He does shit like that all too often and one of these days the damn house will wind up burning down. But then again, I'm one to talk. I've fallen asleep more than once with a freshly lit cigarette hanging between my lips. I always wake up with some nice burns the next morning, though.

My arm twinges a bit; not nearly the amount of pain I'd like to feel though. I've got my sleeve rolled up to the elbow and there are thick, fat slashes layered down my forearm. This is not a suicide attempt – nor is it a pathetic fucking 'cry for help'. This is nothing more than a desire to feel pain. I ran out of Dilatin yesterday, and that was my last drug-related source to force myself into an induced depression. I need to get that darkness – I need to hit bottom.

I sound like a fucking nutcase. I know.

I need a little therapy. I know.

I don't give a shit.

I am an artist – it's what I do. It's how I define myself as a person, and it's my place in society. My best works come from tapping into that dark pit that festers under my skin, and the head-space isn't exactly an easy place to get to. People are distractions.

A boarding house – that's where I live. It's in my name, and there are five other residents, six if you include myself. There are eight bedrooms and three bathrooms in total. It's spacey with a traditional sort of feel; I'm pretty sure it used to be an Inn of some sort, a long time ago.

The entire basement belongs to me, and more than half of the time I'm down there. Sometimes I don't see another human being for days and days and days – because I'm down there, submersed in my work. The basement has a bathroom, and I keep a little mini-fridge for drinks and light snacks. I don't eat as well as I should, but I still keep my muscle mass. Whenever I'm particularly pissed or frustrated and I can't vent though my artwork, I just drop to the floor and start doing pushups. Physical release is usually works the best with me, when I'm getting to my snapping point.

I've always been incredibly short tempered and irritable, actually. My brother Kasuka is pretty much the only person consecutively throughout my life who has never really made me too angry, and whats more – he can deal with me when I am. He's always so calm and complacent; etched out of stone, as it were. He's a big hot-shot actor now, and he took up a stage name so the two of us couldn't be connected. No hard feelings, or anything – really. I'm a bit famous myself, and I do have a bit of a drug rep. It would be horrible for him to be connected to that; he's a good person, he doesn't need someone like me to bring him down.

I may be trying to hit bottom, but Kasuka has no place there – he belongs at the top.

But that's all besides the point. See, all of the other residents are distractions to me. While I may find them all endlessly fucking annoying to the point that I sometimes dream about murdering them... they have a tendency to make me smile. Or laugh. Or feel happy in general. I can't really have that when I'm trying with all my might to hit bottom – to sink deep into that darkness and produce my work.

So I avoid them; or avoid conversation. I keep my cellphone turned off, and I trap myself down the in basement – locking the door behind me.

This is one of those rare days where I want to come out. Of course, my only reasoning for coming out in the first place was simply so I could get into the kitchen and take hold of one of the steak knives. That's all, really. I'm not really sure when the last time I ate was – nor when I last slept. I'm not even sure what day it is, to tell you the truth. It's all irrelevant.

So, here I am; bleeding all over my dirty, paint splattered jeans. There's more paint and dirt streaks wiped across my white tank top, and probably my face too; I need a shower.

I thump my head back against the cabinets behind me, trying – willing to bring on the darkness; I need it. But, it doesn't seem to want to come. The cuts aren't deep enough to be life threatening, or anything; and they're already starting to clot up. It all looks a lot worse than it really is.

A sigh escapes from my lips, as I try to wind around the bubbling frustration and hidden depression that writhes inside. I'm trying to get into that head-space, feel that pain... because it's been days since my last piece, and I'm not truly alive or sated unless I'm working. It's how I define myself.

The sun will rise shortly; I can tell by the way the kitchen is slowly lighting up more and more with the impending dawn that will soon follow. Fuck, I need sleep.

It's around that point when the stairs creak in the distance, and I want to groan out of annoyance. There's only one person who is up at this hour, and it's the resident that I hate the most. Izaya saunters into the kitchen, wrapped in a dark red silk bathrobe and black fuzzy slippers. He flicks the light on, spares one glance at my bloody and pathetic form, and gives me a cocky fucking smirk. He's wearing his glasses, which more or less say that he's been up all night writing; probably hasn't been to bed yet – much like myself.

You see; Izaya is a writer. He's a published author whose default genre revolves around psychological horror/thrillers. And he's damn good at it – I won't deny that. He's so deep inside his own darkness that I don't think he's ever seen the light before in his life – he's where I need to be, and he prides himself on that fact. Izaya does not need to take drugs to induce depression, and he does not need to slice himself up at fucking four in the morning. He's already there. He's fully attained what I need.

Too bad he's a fucking dick. He's got this blatant arrogance – like he thinks he some hot shit. He believes himself – his writing and philosophy – to be of much deeper, and perpetually more intelligent a level than that of your regular person. Problem is; Izaya is hot shit. He's fucking brilliant; not that I'd ever say that to his face, of course.

Pretty much most of the time when Izaya is not writing, he is reading. Books, thesauruses, dictionaries – I mean, who the fuck reads a dictionary? - and other reference materials. Of course, when he's not doing any of that he's out people-watching, and possibly having random sex with random strangers. He's a pretty promiscuous guy.

Izaya likes to watch the sunrise, and the sunset every morning/evening. He says that it works as something of inspiration for him – it does shit for me. He takes walks out in parks, and says that nature overloads him on ideas. I mutilate myself and pop pills to get that. Not that I'm fucking jealous of him, or anything.

Regardless; his smirk pisses me off, but right now I feel a little bit too apathetic to actually to anything about it. So instead, I simply glare back at him with all the hate and anger that I can muster. I probably just look incredibly pathetic, though, because he stifles a little chuckle, and walks through the kitchen door, out into the backyard. The small squeaky sound alerts me that he'd taken a seat on the porch-swing. Fuck him.

I continue to sit where I am; floating about in the sea of my own angst and misery. I'm not nearly as down as I want to be, though. The urge to groan aloud in frustration comes full force, when I begin to smell the faint scent of tobacco wafting from out on the back porch.

"Yeah..." I mumble to myself, lowering my head a little before forcing myself up in a standing position. I grab at the roll of paper towels sitting on the counter, and wet them a little under the faucet after I tear off a bundle of sheets.

The blood on my arm is caked and flaking – a little itchy, to be honest, but it still doesn't hurt. I waste no time in gently scrubbing it off; the white paper towels sobbing up into a more pink, the darkish red color. I'm careful not to re-open the wounds, after they'd finally stopped bleeding, but I don't really want to walk around looking like I just stuck my whole arm in a meat grinder.

Izaya is curled up on one end of the porch-swing, and by the time I get out there, the sun is just peaking over the horizon. A cigarette is held lightly between his fingers, and he glances up at me a bit when I approach him. I silently take a seat on the opposite end; the bitter morning chill biting against my skin, and he huffs out a small cloud of white smoke.

He wordlessly shows me the pack, and I grunt out in acknowledgment as I reach to take one of the sticks. He leans in a bit, letting me light my cigarette of off his, and I inhale deeply as the toxic smoke makes to warm me up a bit.

Izaya didn't start smoking until he met me – I'd like to say that he has a lot of bad habits, but he really doesn't. He just smokes and drinks. I – on the other hand – smoke, drink, pop pills, and experiment widely with just about anything; so long as they're not extremely addictive and fatal. I'm just in it for the inspiration; I don't feel much like having to attend rehab in the near to far future. Fucking artist block, damn...

"You look like shit, Shizu-chan." He comments, but doesn't tear his eyes away from the tiny light peaking in the distance. I hate that fucking nickname so much; which, or course, means that he uses it nonstop because he knows it pisses me off. We tend to grate and rub each other the wrong way.

The moon is still visible in the sky, and I cannot help but admit that this is oddly soothing in a somewhat depressing manner. Izaya must not be in his head-space yet. He's the type who likes to talk and talk and talk... but the moment he gets into his zone, he just gets really silent and deep in thought. I do the same, admittedly, but I'm not very talkative to begin with.

"Fuck you." Is my response, and he doesn't look the least bit affected. It's normal; I banter and bitch with him more than anything – I think it's be more concerning if we didn't. This is how we communicate; it's our own dialogue that's riddled with copious amounts of insults and degrading remarks.

"Mm... not in the mood." He's such a fucking... fucker. I hate him.

I roll my eyes, and the two of us lapse into an unusually comfortable silence as we smoke.

Morning frost has spread across the back lawn; the grass is a bit overgrown from not having been mowed in quite a while. I'm thinking about kicking Shinra in the ass and telling him to do it; I know he would if I order him to. He's so easy to boss around, yet I can't ever seem to get rid of him.

Shinra is... Shinra. He's bubbly and happy and energetic... and everything I cannot stand. Shinra is also one of my best friends; fucked up, right? He's currently attending medical school and is in love with a pretty mute girl, Celty. Both of them live here in the boarding house, and his girlfriend is probably the closest friend I've ever had in my life.

I think it's got something to do with the fact that she can't speak – the back-story of which, is a rather depressing one. You see, Celty's abusive ex-boyfriend actually slit her throat which completely damaged her vocal cords. I've never hated anyone more than I hate that man – I don't even hate Izaya that much. A while back, I tracked him down and beat him into and inch of his life; Celty kept me from out right killing him. I still don't understand why. She says that its not worth getting charged with murder over, but I beg to differ.

Celty always listens to me; shes very compassionate and kind, even it if may not seem like that. She's a bit rough around the edges, but I am too, so that's okay. She likes to hit Shinra and treat him cold – but he's a masochistic freak and he gets off on it, anyway. They're such a weird couple.

The sun is over half peaked on the horizon, and it hurts my eyes to look at it anymore. I turn my attention more towards Izaya, and he's got this oddly thoughtful expression on his face as he stares out into the distance. Means he's getting into his mood; or he's tired... or both. I can't really tell. I'm not very good at reading people.

"If you keep this up you're either going to wind up in rehab, prison, or dead." He states and I have to force myself not to act surprised. He's not facing me but he knows that I'm watching him; creepy.

I roll my eyes with a small growl of irritation as I speak around my cigarette; "Since when do you care?"

"I don't," Izaya admits, and he snorts out a breathy little laugh. He tilts his head in my direction, and there's a small grin on his face like he knows something I don't. He doesn't care about me, just as I don't care about him; but we do have a sort of mutual agreement with each other existence. "Do you ever wonder what it'd be like if you only had 59 days to live?"

His question throws me off, and I have to stop and glare at him out of the corner of my eye. He was always doing shit like this; we could be in the middle of a completely normal conversation – not that we have those a lot – and suddenly he's come out of no where saying or asking the most random of things. Sometimes it's entertaining, but most of the time it's just plain annoying.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" I ask; simply because I think he's a fucking nutcase. But, then again – I'm the one doping myself up with drugs and insomnia just so I can purposefully sink into a depression. 'Pot calling the kettle black'; something called in the back of my mind. I'm such a hypocrite.

"Well," he starts and he's still watching the sunrise; chewing idly on his own cigarette. "There's this fish called the 'seven-figure pygmy goby'. It's entire lifespan is measured in about 59 days – that's the longest one has ever lived. They go through birth and life so fast in our eyes; yet, if we were them it wouldn't seem that way. Their sense of time is completely different – like the 'mayfly', for instance. The mayfly is a type of dragonfly; it has no mouth and it only lives for about 24 hours. So, essentially it only has one day for it to breed, and then die."

I get what he's saying; but that doesn't make it any easy to hear him talk. His voice is like fucking nails on a chalkboard; always grating on my nerves because he never seems to shut up once he's going. Yet, at the same time; he does have some interesting theories, ideas and facts sometimes. He's always researching something, so he's got to have a lot of information in that stupid head of his.

"On the other hand; there's a fish called the 'rough-eye rock-fish' and the longest one of them have lived, is 205 years. Us humans; we're different due to our culture and intelligence. A perfectly healthy and rational human can live to be 120; but our world is polluted with violence, insanity and disease. You see; every species on earth has something to take it out, that's what we call the food-chain. But, humans are at the top of that, so naturally we need something to take us out too, right? When something has a disease, we use medicine to try and cure it; to live. Humans are a disease on the earth itself – we eat and destroy it's surface, so it's trying to use antibiotics to cure itself – it's version of medicine is what we perceive to be diseases and illness.

"Humans are obsessed with doing everything fast – always looking for ways to cut back on time, never once thinking of slowing down. They're so involved with their day jobs, and their celebrity magazines and their schooling; they don't take enough time to question who the are, you know? Yet, we can live over 100 years, and there are dragonflies that only live for 24 hours. Too much complexity and not enough simplicity."

Izaya does have a point; but his talking his making me grow tired. The porch swing we sit on his large enough that I can draw my legs up in front of me without having them pressed against my chest, and the change in movement is much more comfortable than before; also working as a way to warm myself without having to get up and go inside. Beside me, Izaya continues to talk with his attention now looking towards the sky and his cigarette is almost done, as is my own which I have hanging from the corner of my mouth.

"You know, the seahorse can only move – at max; about five feet per hour. That's equivalent to a couple of steps for us humans; but they do not register that they are moving slow. To them, maxing out on five feet and hour is like sprinting. It's be liking running at full speed for 60 minutes straight." He says, and I can't really take it anymore.

Tugging the cigarette out of my mouth so I can hold it near my knee, I look over at him with narrowed eyes. "Alright, I give up. What the fuck are you writing about?" I ask, because whenever he starts talking like this it always has something to do with whatever he's writing.

Izaya grins; caught, and shrugs a shoulder as he exhales one last thin stream of white smoke before he tosses the butt on the porch where it smolders absently. "Life," he answers like he was stating the obvious.

"Life." I echo back and he merely nods his head.

"Marine life," he says and he sticks a leg out so he can give a little push on the ground. The swing shifts with the movement, rocking us both back and forth and he keeps his foot down so he can continue the momentum.

I sigh at his simple and flick my cigarette down so it lays near his of the edge of the porch. I tilt my head back to it rests on the paneling of the swing, and my eyes slide close as I enjoy the movement Izaya's creating. He starts talking again; this time about what his current writing project is, instead of just theories and facts and I drone his voice out in my head.

He makes me so goddamn tired, sometimes.



A swift knock to my side and a brief 'Wake up, shithead' are the two friendly things I'm greeted with as I stumble back into the world of consciousness. The sun is up and high in the sky; blinding me with brightness, and there's a blanket thrown over me from where I lay curled up on the porch-swing. I can't really recall having fallen asleep, and the cover around me is warm and cozy; meaning in which it's been on me long enough to accumulate body heat.

It's pattern matches that of Izaya's comforter. Hm.

I look up with a glare to see that said brunet standing before me; he's dressed in a black long-sleeved shirt with a pair of equally dark jeans, and his hair is wet as though he'd just gotten out of the shower. A yawn titters past my lips, and I stretch my arms out; a little achy from lying in a position that wasn't all that comfortable and I raise and eyebrow in question at the snarky bastard.

"It's 10:30, and there's coffee in the kitchen," he says simply, and it's only then that I notice the red mug in his hand covered in stupid flowery patterns. He takes a sip of it as though he's mocking me with the fact that he has caffeine and I don't, but he continues to talk. "But, before you indulge in it; get your ass in the bathroom so I can wrap up your arm."

"Fuck off." I grumble while tugging the blanket tighter around myself. I didn't really have any intention of getting up, and I can hear loud talking and laughter coming from inside the house. Looks like everyone else was already up and about.

Izaya rolls his eyes at me with a scowl on his lips; he's obviously annoyed at having to deal with me, so why does he?

"Come on, Shizu-chan," he says, leaning forward long enough to grab onto the blanket and tug; pulling it off of and exposing me to the nippy cold air outside. Why in he hell isn't he cold? I mean, his hair is wet and everything.

"Fuck," I growl the moment I'm hit with the icy air, and I glare at him with a look that clearly denotes every ounce of hatred that I'm able to produce. It's pretty much always been like this between us – we've sort of got this complete... disdain for each others continued existence. But, there was something always threading us together – maybe it was inspiration, or the combination of the fact that we're both artists, in a sense.

I don't fucking know.

Giving in to his pushy advances, I growl up at him with a seething glare before moving up into a standing position before him. Izaya rolls his eyes at me with that stupid smirk he knows I hate with every fiber of my being. Letting out a small noise of confirmation, Izaya walks back into the house with his blanket in his arms, and like the fucking idiot I am; I follow while I clench my jaw out of anger.

I resist the urge to make any sort of comment on what's going on in the kitchen; and I turn just enough that no one will be able to see the raw meat that is my arm.

Kida is dancing around in front of the stove while he sings some pop song terribly out of key. He's got a spatula in his hand as he flips and prods at the bacon sizzling in a frying pan, and Mikado is smiling softly at his side while he whips about some batter that I can only guess must be for pancakes.

Neither of them turn to look at us as we enter; too absorbed in their activities to pay any mind, but I give a small nod in greeting to Celty. She's seated at the table, clicking away on her laptop which no doubt must be some sort of homework project for school. Her major is still undecided, and I know that Shinra had probably left early this morning for class.

Izaya leads me out into the hall where he walks smoothly towards the bathroom at the end of it after he tosses his blanket on the living room couch. My movements fall short as I take a small moment to stop. Without even a thought as to what I'm doing, I find myself staring silently at the fish tank resting on it's stand against the wall. It's a good four or five feet long; filled with about a hundred fish altogether – two of each kind. They all belonged to Izaya, but I never actually looked at it until now. It's kind of one of those things that you see everyday of you life, but never take the time to truly take mind of what it is.

The fish swim about unhindered as the flourish through the clean water, snaking down around the toys that are placed for something more than aesthetic beauty. Did they all realize they were in a cage? They lived in limited, small space that acted as their own little world. Did any of them realize that there was so much more out there – that they were just a tiny speck on our planet?

Us humans – maybe we're the same. The tiny speck on something bigger and greater.

I raise my eyes when I hear my name spoken; Izaya is standing in the bathroom doorway while he stares at me with an unreadable expression. As bastardly and sadomasochistic as the fucker may be, I'm starting understand what he was going on about. I get it, Izaya. I do.

Keeping my mouth shut, I let a frown grace my features as I walk quietly the rest of the way down the hall. Izaya steps to the side to let me enter into the bathroom before him, and I take a seat on the toilet after I close the lid. Huffing out a sigh in resignation to my situation, I blink as Izaya grabs at my arm and starts to swipe away the dried blood with disinfectant on cotton balls. My gaze flicks briefly towards the first aid kit he's got propped open on the counter next to the sink, and he doesn't say anything as he cleans my cuts.

Looking back down to the tiled floor, a small ache settles in my chest at the silence. I'm waiting for him to say something, anything – an insult would be nice; but nothing comes. My skin prickles a little bit, but I don't feel any sort of resounding sting or burn from the rubbing alcohol, and the thought alone is somewhat disappointing. Fuck, am I really that self-destructive?

Izaya sighs above me as he starts to wrap my arm up in clean white bandages, and I can't help but ask myself why he's doing this. He doesn't care – just like I don't care. But then, why does he keep talking to me about all of his shit? Telling me things that would almost mirror as a sort of advice. I'm a very reclusive person; tied up within myself, but I'm beginning to understand that Izaya is even more of an enigma than myself.

True, I'm closed off and hard to get to know – but I don't have that many layers. There's not much depth to me, honestly; once you know me, that's it. There's nothing else to figure out – but Izaya is different. He could talk to you for hours and hours and hours; and you still would be riddled with questions about it character. Still unsure if he was on your side, or not.

Still unsure if he actually cared; or if it was all false.

Fuck. I wish I never met you.

Glaring up at him once more, my gaze immediately softens when I see his face. He looks tense; eyes sharp and clear, and nothing of the relaxed disposition that he always gives off. He drags his eyes from his work to my own; locking our attention on each other and I blink at the move. He stares at me wordlessly for a few moments before looking back down and continuing the process of wrapping up my arm.

There's nothing hiding in him this time; there is no mask of sarcastic giddiness. He's actually being serious for once, and to me; it's like having puzzle pieces fall into place.

Izaya let's go of my bandaged appendage once he's done, a soft sigh escaping from his lips as he folds his own arms across his chest. I sit there like a brain-dead idiot, looking up at him like I was seeing him for the first time. It was almost like coming to an epiphany; realizing all the things I should have figured out long ago.

I back stare down at the floor for a few long moments of silence as my chest tightens and my mind swirls with all the possibilities of everything I've heard over the past 24 hours. I'm struck with the urge to paint – fuck, I need to go get a canvas or something – even a cheap pencil and paper would do the trick. A small, barely noticeable smile words it's way to my lips but I don't think Izaya sees it because he's too busy putting the first aid kit away.

"Shizu-chan, I hope there's not going to be a next-time for this. We're low on bandages," he says to me if only to break the tension that's been building between us. He looks over with a raised eyebrow, as though looking for some form of communication. He grins the typical cocky smirk, and I don't find it so aggravating this time around.

I see something else behind it. I get it, now – he's been trying to save me this entire time.

Sure, chaos and darkness can fuel the fire within; but without caring and compassion you'll only find yourself living as half of a person. What's the use of creating brilliant pieces of work if you have no one to share it with?

"Yeah," I murmur in response, and I'm actually saying 'thank you' and 'I understand, now'. I look him in the eye; letting him know.

"Good," Izaya nods, and he knows.






. . . t r a c k l i s t . . .

1. a guide to marine life - falling up .. [title theme, main theme]

2. miss misery - elliott smith .. [inducing depression]

3. trust me - the fray .. [watching the sunrise]

4. talk - coldplay .. [talking about life]

5. slow dancing in a burning room - john mayer .. [porch swing, compromise]

6. stop and stare - one republic .. [shizuo understands]

7. run - snow patrol .. [izaya's theme]

8. goodbye apathy - one republic .. [shizuo's theme, ending theme]






This was all inspired by the song of the same name. It's wonderful; and it depresses me that people don't truly understand what's it's about. Listen to it, read the lyrics, and think of it in terms of looking through the eyes of a fish. How they perceive things - while it sounds corny, it's really not. Just, trust me.

A bit heavy in the psychology department; I know. If you're confused about what the fuck was going on - just tell me so in a review, and I'll explain it in better detail. :)

Regardless, please review and tell me what you think. Whether you got it or not - I would love to hear from you.