Thursday, April 14, 2011

Messengers - 24

Dylan felt like he was drifting. There was an unreal quality to life in jail. Sometimes he suspected that it was the mixture of a perfectly regimented schedule combined with more free time than he knew what to do with it. While that was a reasonable enough explanation, and it might have even been true, it wasn’t really the truth.

The truth was that nothing in Dylan’s life had felt real for a long time, definitely since before the messages, probably since Alexandra died. After a certain point, Dylan thought, we expect our lives to go a certain way. We start looking at the future like we look at the past, something fixed, something definite. When things go off the rails, then you start to feel like nothing is real.

Dylan hadn’t quite lost his mind. He was aware that feeling like your life wasn’t real was some kind of insanity, and he hoped, at the very least, that being aware of the insanity of his feeling meant that, paradoxically, he wasn’t going insane. Or at least, not too insane. But there was still a moment or two when he woke up in the morning where he simply could not believe that he was where he was.

He was a celebrity, of sorts, and so he spent his time in jail alone, passing the days until his trial. They’d tried putting him in general population, but his status as the angel guy had made managing the other inmates more trouble than it was worth. It was amazing to Dylan just how many of them blamed the angels for their problems, or thought that Dylan had a line directly to them and could help them.

It didn’t help that he was the current subject of a media blitz, which had taken him from relative celebrity as the first person to receive a message to full blown infamy. They might not have wanted anything from him, but they all knew who he was.

For his part, he was grateful for the solitude. The one real advantage of being in jail, as far as he was concerned, was that he was free from the messages. He didn’t watch television, he didn’t use the internet, and he declined to speak to anyone on the phone. He did read, but he did his best to get books that were printed before the messages began. He wasn’t interested in anything that the angels had to say.

The problem was that he was alone with himself, and the truth was that he wasn’t really alone. In the endless hours, he found that his thoughts naturally drifted towards Molly. Always. Her memory distorted the shape of his mind, like a bowling ball on a rubber sheet. No matter what he did, his mind was always pulled towards her. It was worst at night, when he dreamt about how he killed her.

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