AN: I AM NOT DEAD NOR AM I NO LONGER WORKING ON THIS. Pinkie swear. School kills my ass. My brain is melting into a lazy, panicked, idealess mass. And I've been in the kind of bad mood lately that makes it hard to write… Well, I could, but I'd all be bitchy whining… worse than it normally is :P

I feel as though I have not put enough casual nods to pop culture in this chapter.


Chapter Twenty-Eight

Lumps


The first word I say is hello, with little difficulty. The first word I think is Craig, with no difficulty.


Things are a bit trippy for awhile. It's like the worst fever hallucination I ever had plus the vague illogical, fucked up blur that was my whole freshman year of high school. That was a bad year- I don't remember most of it, but I have scars and hospital bills that prove that that year had existed. It's also the year before my parents went extra insane when it came to me.

So after the gingerbread men aliens from PSR J1719-1438 b, a planet that is actually one gigantic diamond, left and the nurses stopped trying to kill me, Craig came in. He's completely decked out in drag with puffed up pink lips and overly arched, thin eyebrows. His ass hangs half out of his barely-there booty shorts, his (magically still existing despite us living off sugar and never exercising) toned chest visible through his neon pink fishnet top. Hm. I'd fuck that.

"Tweek, mi corazon," Craig exclaims loudly, stepping over the head of the bed with magically long legs. I briefly wonder how it's possible to walk in those eight inch red heels he's wearing. But he handles them extremely well, much like another eight inch thing he lugs around with him all the time. Hur hur.

"Don't step on the purple bunnies," I mumble back.

He just laughs and falls down next to me on the bed, which seems to have doubled in surface area. "Tu eres mi razon por vivir, no, mi vida, periodo. Tu eres mi carino, mi amor, mi tesoro, un angel del cielo, la luz de mi alma… "

"Goddamn Spanish," I gargle in response. His false hair from his wig seems to jump into my mouth, and I spit it out. "I don't speak no goddamn Spanish! I'M TIRED!"

"Tweek," he sighs against my face before kissing my cheek softly. "Te amo. "

"I like your hat, too," I reply earnestly before passing out, or at the very least letting the fuzzy yellowness that is the universe take over my sight.


My head's still fuzzy and sore when I'm released. The concept that there's a gap in my brain now, a hole in which there was once mass, is a little frightening. Weird. I worry about it collapsing in. Even though the tumor or cancer or mass, whatever the fuck it was, I wasn't paying all that much attention; Craig's apathy towards other's words is apparently contagious. I've been getting distracted easily distracted as of late, due to the tumor/cancer/mass, probably Craig's ass and general being, too, and now because of the yellow. Focus. I understand that the tumor/cancer/mass was fairly miniscule in size, but I like to imagine that is was the size of a golf ball, and now there's a golf ball sized gap in my head.

The shaved patch on my head looks ridiculous. I wonder if there was a less scarring or obvious point of entry and extraction that they could have used. When I deem it unlikely that I'll kneel over and die from the missing golf ball I'll have to visit Ronny and see what he can do to make it look halfway decent.

But first I'd visit Craig and find out his excuses for not showing up the whole time I was locked up. I'm sure they're perfectly decent and well practiced excuses, or maybe he won't bother to think of any and just tell me he figured I wasn't dying and I'd come back when I'm better. Either way I'll end up forgiving him and we'll go back to our daily habits, just without pills or Them or my tendency of seeing Final Destination deaths reappear right in front of us.

Then I get distracted by the rain beating against my window, which suddenly sounds so much more random and hollow than I'm used to it being. Before I'd thought that rain was a way for the world to communicate with me and the rain were its words. If I paid attention it'd tell me all I needed to know, but I never could pay good enough attention so I couldn't catch anything, so their voice became another I tried to block out: my parents', Them, teachers, peers, footsteps, shadows, songs (I backmasked like a motherfucker a few years ago until my mom decided they were another cause instead of an effect and threw away all my shit for it), books (I used to blackout most of the words in books leaving behind only the important ones- they turned out rather poetic but were burned upon the discovery by my mother), nature… Everything speaks to me and I've been trained to ignore it. All of it. One part for my safety, one part for my sanity, one part for my appearance of normality.

I'm happy Craig didn't get blocked out.


The nurses like me a lot more this time around but I'm so gone, how could I not be so smiley and friendly?

I'll surely regret this when I come down.

As soon as I stop calling myself Shirley. Heh.

After another round of scans, blood tests, other tests, and I'm as sober as I'm going to get, the doctors deem it safe for me to be discharged. It's around this time I realize that They haven't made their presence known in an unnaturally long time and the last thing I've seen was Craig in drag.

This realization was brought upon by my psych exam. Now, I've been having these things for as long as I can remember. Every time I get myself hurt and end up in the hospital (which is every time) my mind is reexamined to make sure it's not its fault. Every time my I get a tiny bit more eccentric, dramatic, anxious- make sure there's not more pills we can give him to make it stop.

The response was usually fairly similar after the diagnosis of schizoness (one of Craig's words) stuck- "Well, ma'am, it appears your son has the grand slam of being fucking insane. He's psychotic. He does psychotic things. But because it's in my job description and you're a harpy, here's some more pills which conflict with some others he's prescribed but he isn't taking them anyway so just watch out for that."

But I'm paraphrasing, of course.

Turns out Mom should've been bitching at a neurosurgeon instead of a psychiatrist, eh?

Oh. Woah. Dude. I survived brain surgery. Trippy, bro.

Focus.

The resident psychiatrist is a frail, pale woman with mousy brown hair named Dr. Mavrinac. She looks and talks like the kind of psychiatrist who seems to honestly believe her patient's identity is Schizophrenia Case #83. To a certain extent, this is a correct statement. Despite this, Mavrinac's one of my favorite doctors. Her job is not to be a therapist. Her job is to see the chemical misfires in brains and to find other chemicals to balance said misfires. To sign prescription pads, in short. My peers, from what I gathered when I was forced to stay in homes for awhile, hate her type. They have valid reasons. I appreciate the fact that she doesn't try bring everything I do into my psychological abnormalities realm. There's schizophrenic me, which is her business, and there's personal me, which is not. I like to pretend they're separate, sometimes. She does, too.

Usually Mom would just call my therapist or takes me straight to the clinic, but when I get really fucked up she takes me to the hospital, and therefore Dr. Mavrinac. She doesn't see me, Tweek Phyllis Tweak who can play the piano like a kid out in the rain, when I'm trying to claw my arms off or whatever. She sees Schizophrenia Case #83. She takes care of that and leaves me the fuck alone.

I hate it when breaks become defining factors.

It's only through years of exposure that any form of a relationship formed between us. It started as me being the equivalent to House's Coma Guy for her, but after a few years there were a few conversations so now I'm Schizophrenia Case #83, and Tweek.

Her stone cold expression just barely warms as she walks through the door. She nods at me in greeting before turning sharply towards my mother, who had looked up from her Cosmopolitan when Mavrinac had walked it. Anyone who was not familiar with Mavrinac wouldn't have thought anything of her slight head incline, but I knew the look. She was quite possibly the first person I met who has some major distain for my mother. She doesn't believe my mother provides a proper environment or attitude for me. She's quiet about it, using words like criticism and anxiety from daily outside stressors with very pointed looks.

"Mrs. Tweak, I'm afraid you must leave the room," she states with a certain glint in her eyes. This makes her all too happy. My mother nods solemnly at her, like they're sharing a secret message. That message states that Dr. Mavrinac will tell her the results of this exam afterwards, and we'll keep this transaction a secret from the boy because we don't want to upset him.

Mom leaves the room.

This is not the first time Mavrinac has visited. The first time was to check for brain damage, I think. Now that I don't think the staff is trying to kill me because of the meds and I've had time for personal reflection, she's trying to figure out my current psychological state.

I fucking hate full exams. Six fucking hundred stupid fucking multiple choice questions.

Dr. Mavrinac supervises, and by supervises I mean she sits in the chair next to my bed and watches television. And then she bitches at me when I get distracted.

I finish fast, but Mavrinac doesn't leave immediately afterwards.

"Your mother hunted me down earlier this week. Apparently she has concerns about your current living environment. I take it you're no longer housed with them."

"Ah, no. I've been living with a… friend. He's cool." I kinda wanna brag about him, but I'm not sure if it'd annoy Mavrinac. I'd prefer her liking me.

"Oh really? Tell me more." I sense no sarcasm, but she speaks in a monotone that'd challenge Craig's. It's hard to tell sometimes.

I'm going to anyway.

"Well, I met him years ago but he moved here about a year ago. I moved in with him in October." I try to think of ways to describe him, but nothing comes to mind. I can't really explain why he's so special to me. He's just… Craig, and I love him for it. So I go for what I know is fairly solid ground between Mavrinac and me. "My mom thinks he's antisocial. She gave me a long chat about socialized sociopaths the other day… is that even a real medical term?"

She shakes her head no.

"Didn't think so. Yeah. So that happened. A lot of people do think he's a sociopath, maybe he does, too, he doesn't talk about it, but I don't think so. I think… I don't know, I think maybe he's just schizoid. Maybe blunt effect. Maybe he was just so miserable for so long he just kinda froze over. He's kind of an epic jackass, so I wouldn't put it past him." I keep trying to find words, and they keep not showing up. I groan and drop my head back. Mavrinac gives me a sharp look. Forgot about the whole Hole in Head thing. Oops.

"Hm… how does he react to your episodes?"

"Well," I respond, because I don't think "with blowjobs" would have been an acceptable answer. "He's just… awesome."

"Hm…" Just so you know, this is a shrink noise. I think it was a necessary class in school for them in school. They must master the proper tone and pitch of the Hmmm before they're allowed to spelunk into one's brain.

We talk for awhile, mainly about Craig because I keep turning the conversation back to him. I want her to understand how fucking epic he is. Eventually her beeper beeps, and she leaves.

There's nothing on TV so I turn it off. The only sound is the nurses bustling around outside the door, the occasional mini-siren that signifies that someone just died, and my heartbeat of the ECG. Try as I might, I cannot control my own heartbeat according to the thing, so I allow it to fade out.

I'm bored. There's nothing to see or hear here.

And that hits me harder than an elephant's fist. It makes me cringe and shake, like some vital part of me has been torn away from. Like my senses have been torn away. I try to see if anything seems unusual, and that startles me because suddenly I have this weird concept of unusual and I know nothing I see is. It's all perfectly safe, too. I try to find them, but there's nothing to hear. There's no static, no foggy screams or paranoid advice or anything. It's just me and I suddenly seem really simple.

My brain is suddenly missing a step that was once vital, and nothing has changed. Not really. Everything has changed. Nothing is changing. Or morphing.

Craig still isn't here. I really wish he was.

My epiphany is cut short by Dr. Mavrinac's reappearance, this with her laptop in tow. "I can't hear anything!" I practically yell at her. In a startling display of surprise, she halts and her face twitches a little.

"What do you mean you can't hear anything?" she asks slowly, clearly. Her mouth moves in a slightly exaggerated way.

"Um… I'm not deaf," I mutter, clarifying. I still feel like I'm crackling inside, like some Mexican jumping beans had snuck into my stomach and my lungs and everywhere else. Which would be bad, because Mexican jumping beans are the result of some bugs crawling their way into said beans and then breaking out. So maybe that analogy is more accurate than I had originally planned. "But, like… them? And everything else? I can't find them. Or… shit, anything. Like… my brain. It's all… weird. It's weird. Clear, but…" Unnatural, not what I'm used to. After years of insane static this strange what-I-assume-to-be sanity is fucking unreal.

Dr. Mavrinac tries to get more information out of me, but there's really nothing left to say. Shock may have been a factor, too.

Eventually she leaves. I prove myself stable enough to not need a sedative. I pull Sugar up to my chest, which I may have had a death grip on the entire extent of my hospital stay that I forgot to mention, oops.

But now that I'm an out Imperial Sugar owner, oh my fucking god, I am so unbelievably happy about her magical reappearance. No fucking idea how it got here. I like to think it was just Magical Craig being Magical again.

Yes. Again.

Craig got me her in the first place. His parents had taken us into the city for his birthday. The last birthday before I moved away. Either that or it was my birthday. It was awhile ago, okay? I think it wasn't too long after Butters' pimping business. I was freaking out because Butters' had been strung up because he hadn't kissed any girls and I hadn't kissed any girls so was he going to do that to me-

Craig had yanked the giraffe out a sales bin, shoved it straight into my mouth, and said, "Here, now you've kissed a chick. A giraffe chick, keep that part silent, but a chick nonetheless. Happy?" I was, and then we booked it out of the store before anyone noticed our theft of Sugar.

That was Craig then. My crush on him was immeasurable. It may be directly related to my intense love to my bitch, Sugar. It was a few months before I moved away, and less than a year before my first major break.

I feel kind of drained, and trying to listen to the silence in my head is tiring. Nothing keeps me awake, so I go to sleep.

When I wake, Mavrinac is back in my room reading my charts. I won't pretend to understand her motives. She glances over at me. "My shift is nearly over," she states, slightly less serious than I've ever seen her before. "I'm going to forget my laptop in this room. If whoever happens to find said laptop looks at any patient records, make sure to tell them not to forget they have a poor mental history and it would be very easy for me to make their future very, very hospitalized and very, very without freedom. And assure him that I will find out."

Hm. Thinly veiled threats in specialized monotone. I briefly wonder how her and Craig would get along.

So she leaves. I troll the internet. I discover that there's a cock ring made out of jade for sale for Rich People. Craig is never using one of those things on me again unless it's that one.

My parents come and go a few times. Whatever. Craig doesn't. Asshole.


Oh, and just to make it perfectly clear, here was my thought process for ninety percent of my stay at the hospital: Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig's penis Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig's ears Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig's smile Craig Craig Craig Craig Asshole Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig it's his turn to do the dishes Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig Craig's penis Craig .

And repeat. But I figured I'd edit most of that out. Could be a bit boring and repetitive, non?

But since we're on the topic of Craig, I may be a little more than slightly irked he hasn't shown up. I keep thinking I see him outside the window, but he disappears too fast to confirm. He doesn't come into the room. If he was there.

Before I went into surgery, I was wondering if he was angry about it. A certain part of me knew he was, another part knew he wasn't angry at me, but fuck. He looked angry. The cause of his anger was coming from me. Was he bothered by the trouble I was causing? The hassle? Being here? My parents?


So anyway. The present. I think I'm going through withdraw. Pills, maybe. Dick, likely. Craig's dick.

Mmm, Craig.

Told you it was constant.

The clothes Mom brings me to change into are too tight and pink to possibly actually belong to me. She probably bought them for me. I probably ignored them.

I get Jonah to give me some scrubs to wear instead.

The car ride is awkward. I don't feel like talking to them. I don't talk to them. It annoys Mom. Dad's silent, staring forward. I cannot figure that man out. Some days he hates me for being too weak and other days he relishes in it. Today I have no idea which direction he's falling. He looks really tired.

After she continues to fail at getting me to converse with her, my mother falls into an angry silence. Like that's the worst punishment she could dole out.

We are silent. This silence thing still feels ridiculous. I don't think my paranoia has gone away yet. I'm not sure it will. I'm still reacting to every shadow or strange shape outside the window as is if they're real, but the rest of my brain isn't responding with my muscles. You'd think that wouldn't be possible.

We stop for gas halfway back. I still hate the place, so I cross the street and wait there. I feel stupid. My brain doesn't support this action. There is no logic behind this action. I know that.

Fucking stupid crazy fuck.

I start feeling really fucking bad. Stupid and crazy. Fucking fifteen minutes in the real world supposedly sane and I'm overwhelmed. I got used to dealing with the terror, annoyances , the hassles that come with having extra shit take over your world. You never realize exactly how fucked up that world is until it's gone, and for some fucked up reason I want it back because at least I know how to deal with it.

Again. Fifteen fucking minutes. I know I'm being dramatic. I hate it. I kinda wish someone would slap me.

We pile into the car again. My mom asks me if I'm okay. I say fine. She doesn't believe me. I keep saying nothing until she turns back.

Silence.

I ask, "Have you seen Craig? At the hospital, I mean."

Wrong question. My mom tightens up. She doesn't respond right away. I can't see her face, and I can't imagine what it looks like.

"Why? Did you?" she responds coyly. I suddenly decide that her face probably doesn't look too pleasant right now.

"… No," I mutter. I think this is going to be a speech about how our relationship is obviously not as stable as I think it is or whatever. I really don't wanna hear that right now.

"Oh, thank God!" she exclaims. Fucking high pitched sugar that grinds my ears into dust. "I was really worried for a second, Tweek, dear, now that you're so healthy…"

"What are you talking about?" I mutter, not really want to ask. Not really wanting her to answer. For some reason I'm suddenly feeling really carsick.

"Well, that nice doctor who did your surgery, Dr. Cockburn, he said that your tumor was located in an area that could have caused your delirium! So now that it's been removed, it'd only make sense your hallucinations would be gone, too!" Too fucking cheery, she is.

"What. Are. You. Talking about?" I choke out. My insides are revolting.

"Oh, dearie, don't act like you don't know. You're a smart boy," she coos. Smart boy. There's a phrase my mother only uses when she wants to see her logic.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" I yell.

"Tweek, such language is-"

"MOM!"

She sighs, and she says her next sentence like it's a casual every day thing. Like it barely matters. "Well, obviously, dear, Craig wasn't real." She laughs.

My leg jerks out, kicking the back of her seat as hard as I humanly can. "That is not something to fuck around with," I hiss, but my eyes are starting to burn. My skin's prickling.

"Tweek!" Her vocal chords are out to kill me.

"Don't fucking 'Tweek!' me!" I kick the back of her seat again. "Don't fucking say that shit! Don't you dare. That is fucking bullshit."

"When did your language get so horrid?" she demands. Always bitching about the stupidest shit. She moves the rearview mirror so that she can properly glare at me. I flip her off.

"Well, roughly when I moved in with my fucking boyfriend, Craig. The fucking living human Craig."

"You do not know what you're talking about! 'Craig' was a hallucination that your pathetic mind made up to satisfy your disgusting urges!" she screeches. Knew she wouldn't like the gay thing. Hm…

"Ah, yeah, well I suppose some of the shit we got up to is pretty disgusting, I guess. I know some people think rimming is pretty iffy."

Shocked silence. He he.

" Craig's got a wicked tongue. Don't knock it 'til you try it… oh, but wait. You have a pussy. Ew. And you're my mother. And you're old. Fuck, you should just get that shit sewn shut, ya know? Pointless, really. That is unless it's removable, in which case I suppose it could be used to fend off unruly youngn's."

I do believe I have shocked them into silence. As uncomfortable as saying this shit is, disgusting them is a kind of sickening joy. Of course, there's some form of disgust building in me right now. The blisters that have formed in me pop and spew out. "But if it's the expenses of our lifestyle you're worried about, don't worry. Craig's fucked me so much that we barely need lube anymore, so that's a nice chunk of extra change in our pocket! He's blowing his boss, too, so he gets a bonus, like, every month. Which he can do because he's real."

"Actually, blowing Dick happens a lot. Most of the time I join them , unless I'm with Ronny in which case I'm totally fucked out. But recently we've all just been getting together after hours at Rit's and just fuck each other's brains out. And then snort coke off of the sidewalk. But don't worry, Mom, whenever we get caught by the fuzz we just blow them and we're free again! Although, I think I could survive jail pretty well, if I do say so myself. Playing someone's bitch isn't all that hard. Plus, the dicks on outlaws are things of legends. As are Canadian cocks. Uncut monsters-"

"You little cocksucking whore!" Mother Dearest screeches before practically launching herself over the back of her seat to get at me. Her seatbelt locks, preventing her from getting close enough to do any real damage but still letting her to get into slapping distance.

She gets in two good hits before my hands clamp down on her wrists. Mom screams again. I imagine it doesn't feel excellent, but I react to violence with violence. What's in your pants matters not to me when you threaten my facial beauty. Also, she's a fucking bitch.

I have her eyes. I wonder if that's what Craig'd have to see when I get angry.

Mother Dearest and I keep screaming at each other as the car swerves onto the side of the road. This does not really register with either of us, even after a door slams in the very near distance. My door is yanked open and then there's an arm around my waist, another prying our arms apart.

The road we were driving down is in the middle of a grassy meadows. Not the romantic kind, the kind that scratches your ankles when you try to walk through them. They are also known feasting grounds of deer. Deer are stupid and suicidal. They have a tendency of running straight into cars, apparently thinking if they move fast enough they'll just, like, faze through the car. There's also a certain hatred you get for them after you see their vast herds crossing the road with a few of the family's idiot cousins just stand there staring at the car going, "... there's a thing. Right there. I don't know what it is. I'm just going to stare at it."

And you're just like- "Move you goddamn idiot mammal."

And it's still just like- "."

So you're like- "I SWEAR TO GOD, YOU STUPID ANIMAL, IF YOU DO NOT MOVE I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY CAR AND YOU WILL BE DEAD, OR MAYBE I'LL JUST SELL YOU TO CREEPY UNCLE TED AND YOUR ASS WILL NEVER BE THE SA-"

My father tries to put me down when I'm still mid-antideer internal monologue, so I stumble. His hands grasp my shoulders, holding me steady. I shrug them off. My parents touching me has felt weird and uncomfortable for over a decade.

My throat feels constricted and my skin itches from fire ants. The itch craves to be ran off, to be bled out of split knuckles. Alas, I hate running and punching things as a form of physical exertion. I usually fuck this mood out. Which I can do now. Because of Craig.

Because he's real.

Even though he's been as absent as Them and I don't have any proof and if he's real I think he'd care enough to show up. And he's kind of freakishly perfect for me. And it's bizarrely illogical how we met up again. And sometimes it feels like we fit together too well and he cares about me too much to actually be real, to be who he is and care about me. And his dick is much too glorious to be real. I cannot emphasize this enough. His dick. Is made. Of magic. And, well, his general physicality. Hottest shit of the face of the Earth.

Mainly his dick.

But... he's real. He has to be. I need him to be.

A chill runs down my spine despite the warm June air. I turn my head to look at the car. Minivan, actually. I've never understood this. It's just me and them. Were there supposed to be more me's? Ew. Maybe it just fits the image well.

My mom's head is in her hands. Her body's shaking. I snort and shake my head.

"Bitch," I mutter, letting my gaze drop down to my Converses. Rows of HA HA HA stared back up at me from underneath green laces. They're Joker shoes. Craig had bought them for me last time we'd made the trip into Portland. I like to think of them as a Christmas present because he hadn't gotten me anything then. All I gave him was a my tongue down his throat and Chinese food. Of course, the shoes have a larger monetary value than my tongue skillz does.

Well. Probably. There is only one way to find out for sure. I must become a prostitute and see how outrageous I can get with my rates to be...

It's really weird hearing no protests for that.

My heart's practically beating out of my chest still and my nail are digging into my palms. My mind is still trying to process information. Playing a little game of Fact or Crap. Stop it, brain. The answer needs to be crap because it's Craig and we like Craig, remember? My Craig.

Even so, my heart won't stop racing and I feel a little nauseous. Blame it on leftover meds or something.

I look over at my father. He looks older than I remember him being. More lines etched into his face and less determination settled in his eyes. He looks like he's five seconds away from saying, "I'm too old for this shit," and instead of going on and still doing that shit, he just lays down.

Due to this stance and the fact he still isn't yelling at me despite the analyzing face he has going on right now that usually leads to critique, I come to the conclusion he doesn't resent me right now. He is possibly nearing normal parental affection. Funny how this always happens when I'm at my sanest.

My throats locking up again, so it takes a few deep breaths for me to be able to force out a, "Dad?"

We make eye contact. I breath in again. "Sh-she was lying, right? He's real and she's just, just being Mom, right?"

He doesn't respond. His face shifts slightly. He looks very unsure of how to respond.

I continue. I can practically feel my stuttering increase. "B-because she h-has control issues a-a-a-an-and she doesn't like him. And that's she's trying to make me believe th-that. H-he's real, right?"

He breaks eye contact, which is generally fine because he's too tall for me to enjoy having to look at his face (oddwordingoddwordinghelpme), but right now I need him to look at me and tell me I'm right.

He's looking back over at the car, but I fist his shirt and pull him back towards me. "Dad, please."

I keep blubbering, but he won't answer me. He just keeps shaking his head side to side with this fucking look in his eyes. Terror is sparking through my nerves and my cardiovascular system has fallen out of my chest, leaving behind a painfully hollow hole. "H-h-he's g-gotta be, j-jus' please, t-t-tell m-me."

"I'm sorry, son, I truly am," is the only response I get.


Eventually Dad gets me back into the car. My face is a mess. He gives me some napkins and then we're driving.

I throw the wet, snotty balls at my mother whenever she tries to talk to me.

I refuse to get out of the van when we arrive to their house. This is hardly the first time I've staged miniature Occupy the Van in opposition to my parent's tyranny. While usually they only last until I'm convinced I've completely tired them out and therefore being able to do whatever I want for awhile (which mostly consisted of eating too many donuts and trying to translate rap into sheet music while not wearing pants.) The longest one ever lasted a week. They'd convinced me that the outside world was toxic, so I'd refused to enter it. For a few days I'd let my parents feed me, but then I wouldn't even accept the food. Which is how that ended.

This all sounds really stupid now. Illogical. Why would I do that, believe that? What sort of fucked up is that? And yet, I can remember being completely terrified the whole time. All this shit I'd done because I thought it was necessary... it's just stupid and crazy and I'm suddenly so fucking ashamed of it from this new perspective.

I wonder if I'd have felt the same way about Craig if-


Eventually I go inside of the house. I grab enough food to sustain me for a few hours before flipping off my mother who'd been speaking at me the whole time. I go up to what was once my room. There's nothing in it that holds any value for me.


I have a new meds to take. Anticonvulsants. I have to take them for a year. For the first few days, my mother holds them at ransom. I have to exit my room and listen to her speech of the day before receiving said medication. It appears I am still slightly paranoid and fear possible seizures. I use these days as preparation. I slowly and steadily steal food and transport it to my room. A week later, I steal back my meds from where she was hiding them.


A week later I have to go in to get my staples taken out, which I am rather enthusiastic about. Currently it looks like a fucking hookworm burrowed into my goddamn skull. I've taken to wearing an old beanie to cover it up.

That week had been... unbearable. All my things are at the apartment, so there was literally nothing to do but lay in bed. At one point I'd gone to Ronny's and I'd left with a Skrillex haircut. Pretty much finishing the job the hospital started. To think it's fashionable nowadays. He'd dyed most of the blonde black, too, but put in a blue streak lining the bald stripe. I was too tired to object. It looks kind of silly; my hair's too short and poofy to really pull it off. Craig'd hate it.

The week had been spent thinking of Craig. The tense with which I think of him in keeps changing. He is, he would have. I can't make up my mind. I can't breathe. I'd would be sleeping in a puddle if I could get my brain to get past theta waves.

At least my father seems to also be wallowing in my pain. His empathy gland seems to have been kicked into gear. I haven't seen him conspiring with Mom lately.


My breath is uneven and labored as I walked down the street. I am very much unfit and the walk between the house and the apartment was longer than I had originally thought.

I'm not sure what I expect to accomplish by going there. Maybe I'm expecting him to be slouching on the couch while staring at the TV blankly. When I went through the front door his gaze would shift towards me and that look would fall into my look. He'd stand up and waltz straight up into my grill and drawl out, "Where the fuck have you been?" before pressing me into the wall and-

That expectation keeps turning into a fantasy.

All of my theories involve Craig being there when I open the door. Most of them end the same way (see above.) My brain cannot truly think of this topic. My brain's being a bitch. I mean, shit, being sane isn't any less confusing. If anything, insanity gave me some direction. Bullshit direction, but direction nonetheless. Except I wasn't even crazy, just being hormonal or whatever the fuck causes hallucinations. Trippy blood flow. Whatever. You wouldn't think I'd be able to survive with it for so long, though. Really. Or a hospital would've caught it before now. It's all rather ridiculous and God's getting silly with its minion's plot lines.

Focus. Alright. No attention span is a personality thing, not a crazy thing. Maybe. Who the fuck knows.

My throat tightens again, which it's been doing more often than a nun's face at an orgy, when the complex comes into view. What if Craig's not there? What them? Give up? What if he's there and the reason you haven't seen him is because he does not want your anything anymore? What if for some reason he turned out to be some sort of needstobeneeded/guywithissuesphile and that's why he isn't? How do I plan to revert myself to my previous state in that situation?

Death Trap's not in the parking lot. In the event that this was all a hallucination, Death Trap could not be real because I cannot drive and I'm fairly sure I would have noticed that sound ordinance defiant metal box of DOOM before if it belonged to one of my neighbors.

My rides in it felt very real. Not getting wet was an upside to it. But I also remember taking a trip to Pluto in a bathtub when I was twelve. I remember the ride very vividly. Motherfuckers were after my beloved ice cream bar... oh, how I loved to lick its creamy center... its oh, so nutty chocolate covering... That was a nice ice cream bar.

I've also hallucinated weather before. This occurrence royally pissed me off. My mother would make me dress for the dead of winter when it was obviously summer! And then she'd make me go to school! Bitch.

People are staring at me weird. I blame Sugar. I love her to bits, don't get me wrong, but I hate the looks I get when I'm holding her hand in public.

My hand shake as I try to get my keys into the lock, and the apartment is silent when I enter. Which is odd. Craig and I usually had music playing, even when we were gone... or was that me? Yeah, that was me cuz I remember Craig bitching at me for an extended amount of time for running up the electricity bill.

My eyes are watering, as per tradition. My breath is wavering but I try to take a deep, clear breath. It smells like home. There's nothing that particularly screams, "SMELL DE CRAIG!"

Nothing does. The organization of things, the food in the fridge (nothing new since when last time I looked in it), the movies... all perfectly natural. Very me. Very not foreign.

Is this the result of me having lived here or only me living here?

I carefully study every aspect of the room that makes up the bottom floor of the apartment, trying to find something that signifies there was other life living with me. My brain, I feel, has been doing significantly less work lately. My instincts feel dead while my habit of studying the ever loving fuck out of myself has stayed the same. Everything I do gets analyzed, only now I feel that I'm doing this to myself and making conclusions myself. I kind of hate it. Both doing it and what I'm seeing. Fucking crazy fuck, I am. Why would anybody find this shit anything but unpleasant? Why would someone live with me, like living with me, like me?

All of Craig's movies look old and worn through, if that's possible. Could've easily bought them at a flea market or somewhere. Could've borrowed them from the house or Walmart or wherever.

Craig has eaten a surprising little if what's in the fridge and cupboards are to be trusted.

I go upstairs, and the bed is unmade and cold. Some of my favorite shirts are in the covers. There are many clothes thrown about. They're as old as the movies. Had I turned into a thrift store shopper? I don't remember ever going or where they could be. I also don't remember the last half of eighth grade and couldn't tell you where a single one of my classrooms are. I try to find some pants or one of the shirts I let Craig keep for himself. They could not be found.

I look for something that I wouldn't, couldn't have, like a senior yearbook from South Park or something. My search results in nothing. A certain part of me recalls that Craig didn't bring anything one would call sentimental or personal when he moved. Of course he didn't.

I lay on Craig's side of the bed, which is possibly more indented than my side because 1) Craig's fat or 2) the bed's shitty and anyone laying on it for an extended time would bust it up.

Craig was fond of lists. I'm not exactly opposed to them. I find them to be very useful, but I'm not very good at them. They're probably a useful tool, especially for someone who should perhaps be a little bit more habitual, such as a paranoid freak who had to make many meds at a precise time.

So I stayed lying on Craig's side of the bed for hours, until it's dark out and then some, trying to find him there and perhaps waiting for Craig to come home.

He doesn't.


I'm at Ronny's again.

Ronny's a sleazy guy, no denying it. His hair's greasy and he could be a voice actor for Skeevy Guy #1 in an animation. I say voice actor because irl Ronny looks so angelic it makes everyone swoon. I blame the dimples. And his leather jacket. An angelic bad boy. Le sigh.

I'll go ahead and admit to once having submitted to his charms and having had a massive boner for him once upon a time. But that was years ago... still, I believed it to be beneficial to not tell Craig. Maybe that's why Craig didn't like Ronny. He already knew.

I shake my head, trying not to think about it.

Of course, that boner pretty much gave up after two years, and it was the year after that when I started talking to Ronny. Ronny, being the heartbreaker he is, is basically asexual and spends most of the time with his hetero life partner, Stephan (people call him Taffy for some reason,) when he could be boning half the town. I've offered on many occasions to get a full body switch with him so that'd people would stop bothering him and I could stick it in some bitches.

Taffy's pretty cool. Really quiet. He wears sweaters in various neutral colors and a trench coat. He probably sleeps in them. He's average in height and appearance. He has a bunch of potholes in his face from an old acne problem. I imagine he's one of those dudes who you gain fondness for after being around for an extended amount of time. Ronny and him met while they were toddlers, so... Yeah, I've only met him a handful of times.

I wonder if we'd all be better friends if we'd met earlier or if I was more friendly.

Enough with the history lesson. Right now I'm getting a tattoo.

"Wait, Tweek," you say. "Isn't that a bit impulsive? Out of character? Won't it hurt? Why the fuck are you fucking getting a goddamn tattoo?"

Here's the main reason: Ronny is the devil and is way too convincing for his own good.

But I think it's part my fault because my idiot is showing and I'm feeling impulsive. This used to lead to crazy monkey sex. Now it leads me into some jackass' chair while his trench coat wearing friend sets up his legit tattoo gun.

We all settled on a picture on Google within five minutes. It's a strange face in a coffee mug. I could try to intellectualize the selection, but I think Ronny summed it up best.

"Wooaahh, this is totally you, bro! Cuz you're all crazy n shit and like coffee! LETS DO THIS SHIT, ALREADY!"

So here we are. Taffy's gun is against my arm, I'm preparing for a Lifetime Idiotic Doing and then-

The space time continuum shatters, and the world bends. Monsters tear through the floorboards and charge the front doors. The tattoo is sadly abandoned a few marks in, which has nothing to do with my intolerance for pain. Indeed, my manliness was proved moments later as we forced all of our enemies into submission. Even though Ronny and Taffy fought valiantly, it was my dick that made the biggest progress. The glory of my balls blinded them all (including Ronny and Taffy) and the sheer mass of it all will humble them all for the rest of their unlives. While the evil little beasties were basking in the glory that is my gonads, I swiftly decapitated them all.

Suddenly, Kurt Cobain himself bursts through the ceiling in the rays of God's golden light. I advert my eyes, for I am not worthy. "Tweek, my beautiful follower," he says, his voice echoing in my ears in the most holy of ways. "I must commend you and your dick for fighting so bravely. Alas, that was just one wave of many if we do not stop this. There is but one way for the end to come; my glory must be brought back."

I am about to question who such a thing could be done when Nirvana itself deposited its seed into the tattoo ink. I can't help but take a glance at His Holiness, and it causes my eyes to bleed which is to blame for the sudden wetness on my face.

Suddenly I understand. "My Lord, " I gasp. "I am not worthy."

"But you must," he booms. "You must carry my mark. It is the only way to save the world. But be warned, O Brave & Hung One, this is quite a trial to conquer. No one would blame you for seeking aid." And with that, he disappeared just as fast as he'd appeared.

And that is how I ended up getting a much smaller Nirvana smiley tattoo that hurt like a bitch, face wet and with what may be morphine (I honestly have no idea, Ronny picked it out) in my veins. There is no other possibility.

"You are such a pussy," Ronny sighs, smirk still firmly planted on his face.

"Shut up," I slur as the yellow takes over. "I just saved your ass."

"Whatever you say, bro. You better not overdose or anythin' in my goddamn house."

I roll my eyes and my head lolls to the side. This is definitely not going to kill me. "You don't know that," Craig sighs, running his hand through what's left of my hair. I twitch at his sudden appearance, and Taffy's hand on my arm tightens in response. Craig has a definite fuzzy look to him, but who am I to question his appearance?

Somehow Craig's sitting on me in this tiny chair, even though his fat ass would surely kill me. "Hey," I say, leaning against his hand. My head hits the chair.

"Hey," Ronny says. I ignore him in favor of staring into Craig's eyes. They're still as grey as I remember them being, which is very. Very comforting.

"Hey, where've you been?" I ask.

"Right here, buddy," Ronny interjects. Craig's hand traces across my face. It feels warm, just like the rest of my body. Warm, not hot.

"Why didn't you visit?" I try again.

"Visit what? Where?" Ronny interrupts again.

"Shut up, Ronny, I'm not talking to you," I snap as hard as I can, which isn't very hard. Back at Craig. "Is something wrong? Where were you? Don't you... don't you... Have you been busy?"

Craig doesn't answer. Instead he keeps threading this synthetic warmth into me. Not like how I usually feel when he's around. He blows in my face, and it's warm. It doesn't smell as bad as it would normally around this time of day, especially now. He's horrible at dental hygiene. Doesn't floss, doesn't brush (often enough, in my opinion), doesn't chew gum...

I dare ask, "Are you even here?"

Honestly, I don't remember much after this point.


My mom's pretending I don't exist now that I've refused to go see a shrink. Dad's working extra hours and doesn't come back home a few nights. I'm laying in bed reminding myself why I was alone before Craig showed up, why I'm alone now, and why even the notion of Craig was silly of me to come up with.

Silly boy, love is for good people.

All you deserve are pills.

I think I slept more this month than I have my whole life.

There were holes drilled into my skull for the surgery. They are called burr holes. I take one finger and place it at the base my ear, where the scar starts. I trace my scar, and when I hit the end of that I go for the burr holes. Bump bump bump.


I find that music sounds different now. The piano is elusive. Words can't really explain, so for now emo poetry is also eluding.


Dad makes me go to work. I let him. Maybe I can work myself into apathy like he has. With the help of Ronny's handy, dandy pills and booze I find it much easier that I thought it'd be.

My arms are barely attached as I refill the jelly jar. The Boss Lady looked at me weird when I entered the building, messed up off my ass with a haircut the just accentuates the giant question mark scar that's been carved into my skull. Luckily, she's much too nice to fire me.

The bell over the door rattles, and it startles me into stillness. Perhaps these stars- straw- stirs- stairs aren't the best thing to be on in my state. Except they aren't stairs. What the fuck is it called?

I put a raspberry jelly time jar on the shelf. The shades don't match.

There's voices in the front part of the store. I recognize them both and they make me joyful.

It's strawberry jelly. Strawberry jelly goes with other strawberry jellies so it's not all alone. I relocate the jar.

I pick up another. It's a strange shade. Why are they all so similar. It's so hard to tell between raspberry from strawberry and grape from blueberry and pear from pineapple...

"Tweek," a very nice noise voice says. Its arms wrap around my middle and lift me off the stairs- ladder. That's what the fuck it's called.

I am very careful to put the jar in the correct spot before turning to face the voice. It has Craig's nice face. It's so handsome I want to melt and absorb into his skin and never, ever leave like mercury. Craig looks happy, too. Why would he be happy to see me? Craig does not do happy. People do not do happy to see me.

Craig's hands on me feel very present. Was he talking? Yes. Tune in. Now. "... And Jesus fucking Christ, what the motherfucking hell did you do to your hair?" Except he's not looking at my hair, he's still just looking at my face.

I look down and see that my feet still haven't hit the floor. I'm not that light. "Put me down," I say, wondering if he'll listen of it we'll go flying.

My feet make contact, and I swear to God I can feel the vibrations straight through my very soul. I look back up at Craig, who has not released me completely. If fact, he pulls me as close to him as he can. My head is tipped back at a semi-uncomfortable angle.

He's like the sun, all warm and sunny and natural.

I look at his face again. It's blurry.

His fingers poke at the burr holes from the surgery. I jerk my head away, but lose my motivation halfway through the motion and my head just falls.

There's a Cheshire Grin pointed at me. Then the cat's licking me, on my nose and forehead and lips and eyebrows and anywhere he can get to. It's nice.

I look over Craig's shoulder. Boss Lady's standing there. She glances over, looks away. Like there's nothing to see here. Just a boy standing, perhaps.

Funny how Craig never showed up when I was sober.

I've always been one to trust my instincts, mainly because they've demanded it. Right now, they are not trusting. They are not sure of this presence. Even now, when he is supposedly right in front of me, I can barely feel him. A part of me wants to cry because he is here. Another, stronger one wants to cry because is he really?

My whole body shivers. I'm a lot colder now. "Let go of me," I say. It's hard to get out.

Catty, Vanishing Craig freezes. He lets me retreat a few inches. Have not the will to move further. "Release." A few more inches.

"Tweek..."

Distance increases, metaphorically and physically. Craig's far away now. My fingers go to my head, poke at the holes responsible for all this. My mouth is moving and vocal chords are vibrating. I'm vomiting in all sorts of ways. My thoughts are flying, my doubts the forerunners.

The hands keep coming at me, for my face or hand or anywhere. So fucking innocent and gentle, which I guess my mind thinks I need right now. I keep dodging the hands because they aren't real and if they feel real they'd be a lie and I can't deal with that right now.

I really sad, too, because I can't have my Craig. These halfassed images are... nothing to my Craig. What I thought he was. What I was so sure he was. He doesn't feel so real anymore. He never really felt possible, but now it's just so... different.

Craig is gone. I do not see him.

I go back to putting the jellies into their little families. I do not wish to be here.


AN 2.0: J1719-1438 b is a real planet and I have a tumblr now for some reason- lazyincoherency .tumblr .com. I make no promises at making it worth looking at.