I came to Everything2 two years ago when my friend sent me a link, and while randomly clicking through links as usually happens here, i stumbled upon a How To Fake Your own Death write up that I found profoundly interesting. When I read the entire article, one image stuck with me, and has stayed in my mind for two years. In my free time, I write monologues, just for kicks, and, as a way to cleanse my brain of this powerful image, I wrote the following monologue for a college audition. It's called "Real Man"

On September 11th, 2001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, bringing down both towers. I could see it from my balcony. Once the first plane hit, and the news coverage went wild, my dad and I spent the rest of the day out there. My dad, he was drunk, like usual. He kept laughing about how this would finally give us a reason to kill those “Towel-headed camel screwers” and how if I were a real man I’d join the army. He’s always been like that. After Mom left, it was just the two of us, and things got kind of nasty. I guess it really hurt him to realize that nobody loved him. He did what any asshole would do – he drank himself stupid. He would come home late, and he’d hit me, and he’d pass out on the couch, or on the floor, or on the stairs. Sometimes, I’d get really worried and I’d take him back to the elevator, and I’d hail a cab, and I’d toss my dad in the backseat after paying the cabbie twenty bucks to take him to the hospital. It wasn’t that I thought he was sick or ill. Hell, my dad was a big bear – it’d take an ocean of vodka to make him sick. I just wanted him to be as far away from me as possible.

Things got really bad when I started senior year. My dad didn’t want me going away to college. He said it’d be a waste of time, he said it’d only turn me democrat, gay or both. My school had a college fair on September 10th, and when I came home late armed to the teeth with pamphlets, my dad went nuts. He burnt the pamphlets, and sent me to my room. About an hour and a half bottle of tequila later, he came back into my room, and he beat me senseless. No son of his would go to college, he said. If he didn’t need it, neither did I. I was going to stay in that goddamn apartment for the rest of my life, and once he got too sick to work, I’d take over, and that’s just how it would be.

My friend Max’s dad was in the building when the planes hit. He survived. Max called me that night, joyously recounting how his father the hero survived the greatest tragedy of our lifetime. The morning of September 12th, Max and I skipped school, and went to check out the aftermath. Death, destruction, horror. There was dust everywhere, and smoke still spiraled out of the rubble. We watched as a group of policemen pushed a boulder out of the way, revealing the tattered remains of someone’s coat. One of the cops reached into the pocket and pulled out a wallet. He walked it over to a bucket full of wallets, and tossed it in. Max made a crack about how all someone would have to do was toss their wallet into the pile and walk away.

When I came home, my dad was putting more booze into the cupboard. Why aren’t you at school, he asked. Half day, I lied. The next morning, with a duffel bag full of clothes, I stood at the edge of the greatest tragedy of our lifetime. I waited until no one was looking, and I took aim, and I tossed my wallet into the pile. And just like that, I was gone.

So what now? I used a fake name, and I joined the army. I figure, if that bastard ever catches me, at least I’ll be a real man.


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