It is not often that one comes across a completely unique brand of psychosis, one that any number of psychiatric doctors would have a hard time understanding. We often read news stories that reach a new level of depravity, and we all (I hope) ask ourselves "why?".
Why. Why all of this?
I wish I knew, but I doubt I ever will.
I live in Longmont, Colorado. My name is Christian McAllister, and this all started when I went to visit my parents in Queens, NYC. I was born in New York City, and had never even left until my senior year of high school, when I moved to Colorado, but that's a whole other story. My entire family shares my since-conquered fear of moving, and all still live in the city. My parents, both entirely loving people, live on the 10th floor of a large condo building called The Zenith.
We moved into The Zenith from Staten Island when I was three. It was an incredible building, with a curved design that makes you wonder how long it took to be created. The lobby was lush with exotic plants, and multiple plasma screen TV's. When I first got there to visit my parents, the same group of people who always watched TV were in the lobby, albeit about six years older than I last saw them.
"Chris, good buddy!"
I walk over to them, exchange pleasantries and then go to the elevator. I'm shocked - the same doorman is still there! This doorman - a short, stocky fellow with a shaved head - has been working here every day since I first moved here at the age of three. He must have been very young then, because he didn't look a day over thirty.
"Christian! Jesus, I can't believe it. You were in high school last time I saw ya!"
"Hey man! I know man, it's been forever. I can't believe you're still here!"
As soon as I was done saying that, his face instantly switched to a terrifying expression of pure rage - my heart nearly jumped out - but within a second, it went back to his normal little smirk. I really hadn't mean to offend him, I've had a terrible habit of saying things without thinking, but I decided not to apologize and just let it go, to spare the awkward moment.
"Yeah, heh...anyway, I know ya here to see your parents. They told me you were coming yesterday. Glad ya visiting, man! 'Til next time, Christian!"
"'Til next time, -- ......"
It was obvious, from the way I said it, that I had forgotten his name. I know he had told me before, probably many times, but unfortunately I must admit that my wealthy upbringing has always skewed my perception of the doorman, it had made him one of those people where remembering their name was of no priority.
If he was angry at what I had before, he must have been enraged now. However, he didn't let his face show his anger in one bit. I'm sure it must have taken an incredible amount of restraint. Trying to come back from this awkward moment, I tried to think of the best thing to say....what to say...what to say...
"'Til next time, Doorman."
I shuffled into the elevator, averted my eyes from him and mashed the floor 10 button. I couldn't believe I called him "Doorman"! Whenever I'm in an awkward moment and I try to think of something to say to recover, it always comes out terrible. I can't help it. If I was a doorman, especially one that knew a former resident for twenty six years, I'd be enraged too, I must admit. But not like this.
After staying with my parents for three days, I went to Kennedy and boarded my flight back to Colorado (a terribly boring flight). I get to the airport and go to the satellite parking lot, a walk I've made many times. I get in my car, start it up, and shift into reverse and come out. Something catches my attention.
One thing I remember about the Doorman is the ridiculous car he drives. It's an eggplant purple hatchback of some sort, with a bumper sticker that I always thought was funny - "My other car is a T-Rex!" - with a very silly cartoony dinosaur on the side.
The car was in the parking lot.
It's funny how you see something like that, and feel the dread start to pump acid in your stomach, but you instantly convince yourself that it was a coincidence. A massive coincidence. Someone else had that terribly ugly purple car, with that funny bumper sticker that I had never seen anywhere else, and they were flying from Colorado. Of course!
Thinking nothing else of it, I drive home. I live with three roommates who are good friends, and we always go camping at least once a month in the mountains to the east. It's so beautiful, and I look forward to it every day. I had arrived three days before our monthly trip.
Me and my roommates (Eric, Jock and Cisco) take off. It was a really gloomy day, and sometimes that can start a vacation on a really shitty note, but we pressed onwards, joking around and smoking up the car.
Me: Hey man.... I got something! (I pull out, from my backpack, a bag of tater tots. It's a stupid tradition where we would put tater tots on sticks, over the fire, to eat. Don't ask.)
Jock: Hahaha...dude, that's so funny. I got ketchup, because I knew one of you would bring the tots.
Me and Jock do a quick 'pound-it'.
Cisco: Dude, you totally dissed that doorman.
I stomach sank again. But then I realized, Cisco lived in the same building. His family has dinner with my family often, and the doorman must have told my parents about the conversation, and my parents must have, for some reason, brought it up at dinner. Of course.
Cisco: Yeah dude, your mom told us. She said she can't believe you forgot his name! Hahahaha....dude, you really didn't remember Ted's name?
Oh my god, yes. Ted! It all flooded back to me
Me: Oh my god. Ted! Shit man, I feel like an asshole for that. I just completely blanked.
We got to the place where we always set up camp - a little clearing in the forest. It's a very small clearing, and a very small forest. It's really only like thirty trees, but it's got a really cool space in the middle that looks like it's just meant to set up camp. We crack open one of the thirty packs. After about four, inevitably, I have to take a piss.
"I'll be back."
I go out to one of the trees at the edge of the clearing. As I'm letting it go, I see something in the distance. Something small.
Something eggplant purple.
The dread starts to force the bile out of my throat, but I hold it down and chalk it up as an overactive imagining. I walk back to my friends and, feeling a little buzzed, share something that wouldn't make sense.
"Dude, I swear Ted's car is out there."
"Shut the fuck up, dude."
Everyone laughs out, as if I were joking.
I suddenly calm myself, despite feeling really, really sick.
The next morning, we start hiking up the mountains a bit like we usually do, but we take a path we never took before. At nightfall, we come across a cabin, with really loud death metal booming from it.
Eric: Dude, I bet there's a party in there.
Eric runs out to one of the few windows and looks in.
Eric: Holy shit! Hahahaha. This guy is all alone dancing! What a faggot...hahaha...
We all start laughing, and then all the sudden, Eric faints.
I run up and start slapping him on the cheek. He won't wake up. I try to dump my bottled water on him, but he still won't wake up. Eventually me and Jock pick him up and haul him back to camp.
We're all a little freaked out.
Cisco: Dude, he hasn't woke up in like five hours. We need to take him back to the car.
Jock: Dude, he's just dehydrated.
Jock starts chuckling to defuse the tension, and pours a tiny bit of water over Eric, and he suddenly springs upright.
Eric: Yeah, I'm still here motherfucker.
I throw up.
Eric: I bet you'll remember my name now...
Eric goes lifeless again. We're all a little bit freaked out.
Cisco: Christian, I think you need to run.
Me: Dude, what?
Cisco: Christian. I think you need to run, like, as fast as you can.
Cisco tosses me his keys, and I run.
I get back to Queens two days later. I feel like I'm a little kid, waking up from a nightmare. I feel like I can't be with my roommates. I need to be back with my parents.
When I enter their apartment, they are shocked.
The sound of his voice scares me shitless. It's like the voice of someone who feels like he might go insane any second. His voice gets a little bit normal.
"Christian...we're having chili macaroni! Won't you sit down?"
I sit down to eat, enjoying the recipe I've enjoyed since as long as I can remember. Very suddenly, in the middle of the dinner, my mother starts to cry. Then she starts to convulse.
My father cradles her.
"Dad! What the fuck is happening!"
My father shoots me a look of unbelievable hatred. I still can't ever forget it. He just slowly started nodding his head.
The events of the weekend have unsettled me so much that I left and checked out a motel. While still asleep the next morning, I hear a knock on the door.
I open the door, and I see the doorman.
Me: What....what do you want...from me...
Doorman: I want your pain!
It was said in such an upbeat and creepy voice that I nearly jumped.
Doorman: There are things much worse than death, and there are things much, much worse than torture.
He pulled out a strange object, a small rod with spheres at both ends. He put it to my forehead.