This is something shrinks tell you when you're feeling depressed. I guess the theory is that depression is caused by isolation. Perhaps. But when I'm depressed, I always feel it more acutely when I'm around other people than when I'm alone. At least when I'm alone it's ignorable. It's the difference between physical and social isolation, I guess.

"You're not alone."

Yeah, like it's supposed to make me feel better knowing that the world is full of heartache, misery and woe.

"You're not alone."

If that's really true, then why don't I ever meet all of these supposed people who are like me?

"You're not alone."

Of all of the stupid and asinine things that various psychiatrists, counselors and complete strangers have told me, this is perhaps the least useful of them all. It really pisses me off.

Of course what bothers me most about "You're not alone." is that it's true. It really is. Sure, maybe no one can completely understand another person, but they can be empathetic and sympathetic and, well, that's pretty damn good itself.

“Do you like this one Ethan?”

“Yes, it is lovely. You have great taste.”

“Thank you Ethan, as always you are so sweet.”

“Yes ma'am. As always, you are welcome ma'am.”

“Come Ethan, let’s go home now.”

“After you.”

“Of course. And Ethan? Can you get the flowers? Mind the thorns.”

“Of course ma'am, I’ll be careful.”

This was home, an over run garden now sporting wild roses, plastic trees and of course, the box. Oh, it was easy to see it was a home of some sort. Crude windows had been cut out, covered with rose colored glass. The sides had roses carved and burned into it, almost obscuring the old letters, made in china. It was a rather large box, one could only guess what had originally been in it but whatever it was, it was made in china and smelled of cows.

It was just them now. Supposedly their were others living somewhere out there, but they liked their privacy. After the war, not much survived. Most of China survived, apparently radioactive fallout wasn’t a big deal. But that was a big irradiated ocean away.

All the cockroaches died. Yeah, that was always fun to talk about. The twinkies made it of course. Not unaffected but they made it. The fallout had made them even more durable. Now, even the human digestive system can’t break them down.

That was fun the first time around. At first he just thought it was a really big turd but nope, the twinkie just passed right on through. The really freaky thing was though, even though it wasn’t breaking down, a man could somehow survive by only eating those. Eventually though, all that’s left is to re-eat some. The trick was to clean them and throw them all together with the new ones. Oh sure it could be an old one, and after 3 years they were all probably old ones but their was always that chance… It’s that kind of thinking that can keep you going.

The little couple walked through the garden, passing all the old service bots, frozen into position, indicator lights still flashing. They made great scarecrows, and the lights looked awful pretty at night.

He couldn’t take it anymore. Why did he have to be the only one left? And he hated taking orders, always being polite. He spent a lot of nights outside, looking at the flashing lights. He needed out. So he went, but he went the right way. That night he went inside and killed her. Should have never built the bitch in the first place.


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