Monday, December 16, 2002

I might as well just give in and retitle this blog "Miseryzilla."

I just saw Stephen during lunch break today. At least I think it was him. He got hit by a car.

I swear, I'm not making this up. Jeremy thinks I'm making it up. I'm not. I'm freaked out.

I ran over to see if I could help, but the guy (Stephen?) must've just gotten up and ran away or something, because there was just this mark by the curb where he landed.

I'd just seen him over the weekend, too. He's not looking so good - taking the whole Sheila thing way too much to heart, not bathing or sleeping any more from the looks of it. And he's obsessed with finding Arthur. Everything is finding Arthur. He says Arthur wasn't on good terms with his dad and stepmom, or at least wasn't too close to them, and they haven't heard from him in months. His mom was out of the picture, either dead or just ran away, he never said which. (This also makes me sad, on top of everything else, which is a sure sign that I'm getting soft in the head.)

Anyway, Stephen's been turning into a ninja (his exact words) for Arthur, calling his family for clues and (creepy part) stalking his spooky "group" buddies. Now, the Stephen I know has always been crazy in a fun sort of way, like, "Hey, who wants to bet me I can't finish this entire bottle of Capt. Morgan's?" The crazy he seems to be now, though, is not as fun. While we were talking, he said stuff like, "I know things the cops don't know about Phil," but when I told him to talk to the police, he started getting all... there's no other word for it... shifty. He didn't actually come out and say, "They're part of the problem, can't you see?" but I got the distinct feeling that's just what he was thinking. Which is, quite frankly, scary.

It reminds me of John Trotsky, who I sort of knew at school. He was a very shy political science major, tall, kind of heavy, with a sweet face and soft voice. Junior year, he went off to an exchange program in Italy, and something happened there. It may have been a misunderstanding with the police, it may have been too many magic mushrooms, or an accident with an electrical shock, or a combination of all three. But when he got back, he spent all his student loan money hiring a lawyer. He was suing the FBI. For everything they'd done to him, you know. He was on to them, no matter what tactics they were using to break his will, he was gonna make the bastards pay for what they did.

The last time I saw John, I could barely recognize him. He'd lost one of his front teeth and was evidently eating something like twice a week, and he stank of gasoline. And he'd run out of money for the lawyer. And his sentences all ran together and changed course midway, so he'd be talking about an episode of Star Trek and it'd run into his "stable of prostitutes" and then how he'd picked out this farmland and was drawing up plans for the house he was building -- once the settlement money came through. It was sad, it was scary, and I so don't want that to happen to anyone I know.

I'm supposed to see Stephen on Saturday. Maybe I'll try to talk him into seeing a counselor or someone. I really hope that was just some well-dressed homeless guy or some lawyer or something I saw today. And not Stephen.