Saturday March 31, 2012 - 3:43 AM

I just finished “The Cartoonist” and, tired as I am I just can’t sleep.
Dammit, but this Costello guy is a brilliant writer. And he’s from Sudbury, no less. Wow, I didn’t think I’d like this second book as much as I liked the first, but I liked it even better. “The Cartoonist” was phenomenal. It blew my mind.
I can’t wait to talk to Robbie about this one, see if there’s more stuff that this Costello guy has written.

Thursday March 29, 2012 - 10:21 PM

Mr. Robinson and I, or Robbie, as I now call him, chatted for a long time after class about “Captain Quad” -- we didn’t talk about my situation, about the bitterness I felt over Sarah having dumped me.
It just felt good to talk about the story, about the scary things that happened, about the creepy feeling I got when reading it.
Maybe the whole reflection piece, the whole moral behind the story is something that just gets planted somewhere in the back of your mind while you enjoy the story itself. In any case, we didn’t talk about that. Just about how good the book was, and the different memorable scenes in it.
And then Mr. Robinson loaned me another book by this Costello guy. This one was called “The Cartoonist” -- it looks even better than that first one. It's about this old guy who is a mostly coma-like patient at a hospital and who draws things as if on autopilot. But the things he draws all come true and wreak havoc and hell on one doctor's life through a series of uncanny accidents and mishaps. I’m actually afraid to pick it up and start reading it tonight, afraid that I’m going to get sucked into the book and not get any sleep again.
So I put it on my night side table. I’ll start reading it tomorrow because I don’t need to get up early on Saturday.

Thursday March 29, 2012 - 2:58 AM

Wow. I just finished that Costello book, the one called “Captain Quad” -- I read the whole thing in just two sittings. It was incredible. Blew me away. I couldn’t put it down when I started reading it before going to bed.

And now it’s almost 3 in the morning, and I haven’t slept.

But I don’t care.

I’m high with having enjoyed this book so much.

Ever since finishing the book, I've been sitting up, reading through some of my previous posts and reading through the many comments people have made for the past few months.

I started wondering why I'm so hung up on Sarah and not willing to move on, especially when there are all these cute girls out there offering kind words of support. Trish and Kim have lately been really lifting my spirits with their comments. It makes me think that if I can stumble upon really nice girls like that online so easily I should be able to find someone nice like that around here eventually. Just gotta keep hoping.

I'm not saying that I'm over Sarah. Not really. I think I still love her. I definitely don't want to end up obsessing over her the way the main character in "Captain Quad" obsesses over his lost girlfriend. Man, that was a scary thing. But I do have to face reality. And move on.

Oh, what the hell do I know? I'm so fucking tired I feel like I'm just babbling right now. I really should get to bed.

I can’t wait to talk to Mr. Robinson about the book, see if this Costello guy has written any more books, and if I can get my hands on them.

Monday March 26, 2012 - 9:58 PM

I stuck around after class today, wanting to talk to Mr. Robinson, ask him for recommendations for other things to read.

Before he suggested anything, he paused, told me he could tell that I was troubled by something, that I had this huge weight on my shoulders. He asked me if it had anything at all to do with that quiet blonde girl, Sarah, the one who had been in the car with Miss Hamilton when she had the accident.

“How did you know?” I asked.

“I can see the longing in your eyes when you look at her,” he said.

“But I hardly ever look at her,” I protested.

“You don’t need to look at her long for you to reveal your tell.”

“Am I that obvious? I must look like this huge geek, drooling all over Sarah.”

“No, no, it’s not like that at all, Peter,” he said, fiddling with his bolo tie. He seemed to wear a slightly different one each day. “It is very subtle. But I’m a writer. And an observer. I spend my entire life looking at the little things, the non-verbal cues that people give off. I doubt that many people who don’t know you well have picked up on it.”

Then he went on to say that my predicament -- having lost my girl, what had been the main focus of the last several years of my life during my senior year reminded him of a character in a book.

“It’s by a local author, actually. A Sudbury author. Dr. Sean Costello. I’m not sure if it’s even in print anymore, but I have a copy of the book with me, as there was a scene I’d been planning on reading to the class today, but I just ran out of time. But I’d be happy to loan it to you.” He then walked over to his bag, dug into it, and produced this pocket book that had a picture of this ugly thin teenager sitting in a wheelchair. The book was called “Captain Quad.”

“The main character had everything, but then he lost it one day after an accident that paralyzed him. The author does a brilliant job of showing the downward spiral of his hatred and anger. Of course, the author then introduces some pretty scary things, not unlike the frightening sort of thing that happens in Stephen King’s Carrie. But it’s really well done, and terrifying. The terror hits home not only because the writer has a great talent of bringing the reader into the scene, into the characters, but also because it happens right here in Sudbury.

“Now, I’m not saying that you’re like the main character in this book, just that, like him, you’ve suffered a significant loss. And the key is that maybe by reading his story, by seeing how he falls prey to the anger and the hatred, you might recognize a few of those same things in yourself. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll help pull you out of your funk.

“Literature can do that very well. It can be like a mirror that we hold up to ourselves. And the story, the characters can help us see things, detect details about our lives, and examine them.”

I thanked him for recommending the book and for lending it to me. And then I walked out of the class, thinking about how he picked up on the whole unspoken thing between me and Sarah.

I’d been wanting to ask him if perhaps he saw a similar thing in her when she looked at me. But I didn’t know how to ask.

Thursday March 22, 2012 - 11:08 PM

Man, I thought I was going to stump Mr. Robinson. I thought I’d have him. Because the television show that I raised in class today was “Survivor” - I thought for sure that there was no way that a reality-television show could have allusions to classic literature.

But he completely surprised me, saying “Oh, Peter, that’s a real easy one. There are so many other works that you could say a survivor-type show are based on, such as what is often considered the first novel of the 20th Century. Joseph Conrad’s ‘The Heart of Darkness.’ But there’s also ‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Daniel Dafoe or one of a number of other similar titles.

And then he paused, a strange glimmer in his eye, turned, quickly headed to his desk and started riffling through his large packsack until he pulled out a book of short stories. Then he started reading us the story ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ by Richard Connell. It’s about this guy who is shipwrecked on this island and meets this rich eccentric guy who owns the island and hunts humans for sport.

It was a spectacular tale. And there’s no stumping this guy. Every day in his class is like a new adventure. We seem to shoot off on these tangents. But everyone seems to be really enjoying it, and we do end up talking about different novels and stories.

I’m feeling a bit guilty to be enjoying English class so much knowing that Miss Hamilton is in the hospital in a coma. But this Robinson guy is really taking the whole class on this zany fun trip.

Wednesday March 21, 2012 - 9:34 PM

The Ides of March are come.

This morning Mr. Robinson walked into the room, wandered up and down the aisles and just looked at us, a rue smile on his face, without saying anything.

When he completed a full round of the class, he paused in the front of the classroom, and in a very low voice, what he later explained was a “stage whisper” he said: “Beware the Ides of March. The Ides of March are come.”

After another long pause he asked: “What’s wrong with what I just said?”

A couple of the students in the class knew exactly what he’d been referring to, and clapped. Sarah, of course, was one of them.

Someone, I’m not sure who, spoke up. “The Ides of March was last week.”

Mr Robinson clapped his hands together. “Exactly,” he said. Then he went on to explain to the rest of the class that last Wednesday was the 15th or the “Ides” of March and that he was quoting from Julius Caesar. He explained the soothsayer’s prophecy, the basic story of Julius Caesar, and the fact that, while it would have been cooler to do this lesson on the 15th, that it had been March Break and not at all cool to be in school.

After telling us a bit about how the “Ides” referred to the 15th of some months and the 13th of other month, he talked more about Julius Ceasar and Shakespeare. Then he had students come up to the front of the class with a shortened script in hand and act out both the soothsayer scene where Caesar is warned and then the scene where he is killed and betrayed, even by his friend Brutus.

He picked me to play the role of Caesar.

I’ve never acted before, but man did I ever love it.

My favorite part, the very best moment was when I was pretending to be dying and I grabbed Bobby Shay by the scruff of his shirt, pulled myself up to his face and said. “Et, tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!”

It was a complete riot. I haven’t enjoyed talking about or studying Shakespeare so much as this. I love how Mr. Robinson jumped us into it by explaining what the “Ides of March” meant and having us act out some of the scenes.

Then he did something completely strange. Once we all settled back down into our seats from the Caesar death scene, he talked about how literature and storytelling in general often was self-reflective and that many newer works often made reference to classic pieces.

He said he would return to this motif often; try to show us how something recently written could be an ode to an older work. So he pulled out this book he said he bought at Chapters at a book signing several years ago. It was a book by an author who supposedly grew up in the Sudbury area. In Levack, of all places.

The book was called “One Hand Screaming” and the author’s name was Mark Leslie. The story Mr. Robinson read to us was called “Ides of March.” It was about these snowmen that have come alive, steal a truck and are trying to gather as many other snowmen as they can while driving north, desperately trying to avoid spring.

It was a darkly humorous sort of tale, and not something that I thought I would enjoy. But it was okay. Maybe because of the wonderful way that he read the story. Mr. Robinson went on to explain how the author, who he’d chatted with at the book signing, described using the title of the tale to be an allusion to a scene out of literature and incorporated the alluded to warning with the oncoming spring as an ominous element. He explained that this same author had a similar snowman story paired with this one in the very same book and that the author was trying to apply the same theme that Mary Shelly had explored in her novel Frankenstein.

Mr. Robinson said that while this particular author wasn’t one of the best he had read it was important to note the author’s local stature to illustrate that even modern writing by local authors or even stories written in so called “ghetto” genres, like horror, could be reflective of great classic works.

He asked us to look for such references in things that were available to us in the mass media. Asked for us to come up with comparisons between our favorite television shows and movies or perhaps even commercials and great works of literature.

“And saying the movie ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which is based on a book by Jane Austin, doesn’t count.” Mr. Robinson said, smiling. “Take whatever TV show that you watch or one of your favorite movies and let’s talk about it tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be able to find some sort of allusion or reference or derivative from a classic work.”

This guy just continues to blow me away.

Monday March 19, 2012 - 9:49 PM

Despite knowing that Miss Hamilton was not going to be there, I was very much looking forward to going back to school. At the very least school was this huge distraction that often took my mind off of focusing on Death.

All that March Break seemed to be to me was an opportunity to mope around the house and dwell on dark and disturbing things.

The first part of the day was pretty slow and boring. I kept wishing that Miss Hamilton was still around. But the longer the morning got, and the fact that I never saw her kind of brought it home for me.

I did really like that old broad. She was pretty cool. And now she’s lying in a hospital bed in a coma that she might never wake up from. And I can’t shake the feeling that somehow it’s my fault for being so pissed off with her. And that perhaps because of me, Death, who didn’t properly get the job done in the first place is creeping around within the shadows of her room, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Like I said, the morning kind of dragged on. But the afternoon was different. Today a teacher arrived. A new teacher. One who will be there until the end of the year to take over Miss Hamilton’s classes.

Mr. Robinson.

I was prepared to hate him. Prepared not to like anyone who tried to step into Miss Hamilton’s shoes.

But he wasn’t trying to replace Miss Hamilton. He said so himself. And he has this strange, bizarre style that I’ve never seen in a teacher before. The whole class today kind of blew me away like nothing I’ve ever seen in a classroom before.

When he first walked into our class complete with this strange little bolo tie, his brown cowboy boots, and the puffy sleeved shirt that reminds me of the pirate shirt on that old Seinfeld episode, it was one of the first things he said.

“I’m not Miss Hamilton,” he said. “Nor will I try to pretend to be her. She was a great teacher. She actually taught me when I was a student here years ago. She was in fact one of the finest teachers I ever had. She had this incredible love, this incredible passion for literature. And I loved her dearly. So I’m not here to replace her; but rather to carry on with the subject with which she showed so much passion. I have my own style of teaching, my own perspective on English class, and my own love for literature. And I owe all those things to Miss Hamilton who was the first teacher to inspire them in me.

“My name is Mr. Robinson. But you can call me Robbie if you like. Just don’t Rob me of my love for literature. And if you don’t enjoy reading, don’t enjoy writing, or don’t enjoy talking about great works, I won’t hold that against you. I just hope at the very least you do your best to open your mind for the time that we have together here, knowing there’s a possibility of seeing something in a way you never saw it before.”

Then he said something that blew my mind, and which started to kind of change my opinion of him. He said something that was a direct quote from Hamlet. And he spoke it in a deeper voice using a British accent. “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophies, Horatio.”

He paused, just stood there and looked at the class. The classroom was mostly silent. Maybe just a cough here or a sniffle there. I’m sure that I had a huge grin on my face, because I caught the reference immediately. I’m also sure that he cast a knowing smile in my direction, picking up on my awareness. I quickly glanced over at Sarah. It was obvious from the look on her face that she caught the reference, too. A moment later a few of the students who were really into English class clapped their hands together or made strange little grunting noises that seemed to acknowledge that they knew where the reference was from.

But then he seemed to just let it go, as if to allow those of us who understood the reference to bask in the knowledge, and those who didn’t to wonder.

“If you get anything out of this class,” he continued, walking over to the desk and standing on the chair, one booted foot on the desk. “Get this. English literature is a statement -- sometimes a statement of truth, sometimes a statement of fantasy. But it’s a statement. Writing can be about showing you something about yourself, or showing you something about the world that perhaps you never considered before. A new perspective, a new way of seeing the world.

“Literature is only as limited as a person’s imagination. If we let it, it can show us something new, or show us something we thought we knew, but from a unique and distinct perspective.” Then he stood up on the desk itself. “Like the perspective of the class that I suddenly have when I’m standing up here. And reading those works, reading that literature, should be as interesting and as memorable as what I’m about to do.” He then paused, stomped his feet on the desk, smiled at the group of us, then jumped off the front of the desk to the floor with a loud thud.

“Okay,” he said. “Enough talk. C’mon. Single file, up to the front of the class. Who wants to see English, see literature in this exciting way?”

Everyone just stood there looking at him. Nobody got up. Not even the English keeners.

“That’s fine.” He said. “Nobody needs to get up. Nobody has to do what I just did. But I’d like you to open your mind to the possibility, to the grand adventure that literature can be. To the perspectives it can open. And I invite you all, at any time during the rest of class time this year, if you need to behold a new perspective, need a sudden paradigm shift, to walk up here, stand on my desk, look around and soak in the new view.”

Bobby Shay, one of the Goth guys in our class stood up then. “I’m ready to try.” He said. And he got up, walked to the desk, stood on the chair, then stepped up onto the desk, looked around and smiled. Then he jumped off.

The girl who sat directly in front of him, Alicia, I think her name is, smiled, got up and did the same.

Then, one by one, each student took a turn doing so as well.

Mr. Robinson stood silently at the side of the class, smiling a huge smile as each student performed this ritual.

When it was my turn I remember pausing to look around the room, to see the class from an angle I’d never considered before. And I felt strangely liberated. For a moment I was so ecstatic that I forgot about the death, about all the deaths that had surrounded me. I’d been freed from them. It was a glorious moment. I barely remember jumping back down to the floor. But I remember feeling lighter as I stood there on the desk in front of the class.


The whole thing reminded me of a scene from this other movie I remember watching with Uncle Bob about an English boarding school for boys. But I can’t remember what that was.

Sunday March 18, 2012 - 11:54 PM

Wow. I can’t believe that the March Break is over already. And for the first time in many many years, I just wasted most of it away. I sat around the house mostly, watching movies and playing video games.

I did take Kim’s advice and had some flowers sent to the hospital for Miss Hamilton. I went into town on Saturday with Uncle Bob and Aunt Shelley. When we got to the mall I went to a florist shop and placed my order to have flowers sent over to her anonymously. I would have done it over the phone, but I don’t have a credit card to pay for it. And I didn’t want my aunt or uncle to know about it.

I’m not sure why. I just don’t want anyone to know I sent the flowers.

This week I also watched a series of movies that I was a little bit surprised to see in Uncle Bob’s collection. Final Destination. All five of them. Although I shouldn’t be surprised about it -- he does have a pretty wide range of tastes in movies.

I remember seeing the first Final Destination half a dozen years ago when some buddies and I rented it. So when I came upon it in Uncle Bob’s movie collection, I watched it. I was pretty hooked. The whole concept of this unseen death entity stalking the characters down and killing them off one by one intrigued me. Death picks them off throughout the movie apparently because it missed its chance to kill them during a plane crash that they avoided at the last minute.

It was an intriguing concept, and made me think a lot about the all of the deaths surrounding me and my life. Death takes on many forms and appears in many guises.

And no matter how much you run, no matter how hard you try, Death will find you and get what it wants.

Death is the one thing that will not and can not be denied.

It makes me wonder what is going to eventually kill Miss Hamilton? Do you think it might be a bizarre allergy to one of the flowers in the bunch of wild flowers I had delivered to her room?

Or is the whole series of Final Destination movies getting to me?

Wednesday March 14, 2012 - 8:05 AM

I'm half-way through the March Break and I can honestly say that this is the worst one, by far. I'm supposed to be out with my buddies, maybe heading out on our snow machines, maybe skiing. But certainly laughing and having fun, knowing that spring is just around the corner. Sure, we had some pretty warm temperatures lately, and even rain, but we're back to snow again.

It's like the cycle of misery that I keep finding myself back in. At least being in school was a bit of a distraction. The only thing I can do for a distraction is browse the net, maybe watch some of Uncle Bob's movies. But that's about it. And it doesn't really stop my mind from coming back to Miss Hamilton.

She's still lying in a hospital room in a coma. No change.

The thing that I find toughest, though, is that I haven't gone to visit her. She was a good teacher. I liked her. She made Shakespeare fun.

But I can't visit her. I'm too afraid that if I show up there, it'll finish her off.

Thursday March 8, 2012 - 8:24 PM

Sarah and Miss Hamilton were in an accident last night.
A pretty nasty accident.
Miss Hamilton was driving Sarah home. I guess that they’d both been working after school and Sarah had missed the last bus. So, Miss Hamilton had offered her a ride back to Levack.
It wasn’t uncommon for a teacher like Miss Hamilton to do that, particularly not for a student with whom she’d spent so much time. Miss Hamilton lived in Dowling, and so was heading most of the way there anyway.
They were on the highway between Sudbury and Levack. It had been snowing, not heavily, but enough to reduce visibility I guess. They were just about to cross the bridge over the Vermillion River near Dowling when an oncoming transport trailer crossed the middle line, heading straight toward them.
Miss Hamilton swerved the car, tried to take the ditch, but the snow-covered guard rail was so close to the edge of the highway that close to the bridge that the car couldn’t go far -- it simply bounced off and back into the lane. The transport hit the back of the sedan. The sedan flipped up and onto its left side, slid across the middle of the highway, slammed into the guard rail of the bridge and spun around on its hood.
A second oncoming car plowed into the front of the overturned vehicle.
Sarah received some bruises and deep cuts from pieces of the windshield that sliced into her forehead and cheeks. But otherwise, once they cut the vehicle open, she walked away from the accident. That was a huge relief to hear.
Miss Hamilton, unfortunately, wasn’t so lucky.
Her body was crushed by the oncoming car that had plowed into them, suffering two broken arms and a broken pelvis. She also received severe head injuries in the accident and is currently in a coma in the Sudbury General Hospital.
Could the whole accident have been my fault?
I had been rather angry at the both of them yesterday.
Did that anger spiral into an evil force that caused the accident?
I’m not sure what I’m talking about. Not sure what to believe any more.
But it seems as if all it takes is for me to be angry with someone, pissed off with them, and the curse strikes.
It’s crazy. Curses don’t exist. They’re myths. Superstitions. But it seems to make sense, seems to fit in with what’s been happening lately. Lately? It’s been happening my whole life. Am I only starting to figure this out now?
Figure what out? I have no idea what’s happening to me and to the people around me.
All I know is that Sarah is lucky to have escaped the accident with very few injuries. And I think it’d be best if I could completely avoid her, ensure that she stays far away from this curse. I’m too upset with her after all.
If I was the cause of the accident, that is. I mean, if I did cause the accident, and I was the cause of the other deaths, why didn’t Miss Hamilton die? Why is she in a coma?
It could just have been that. An accident. Right?
I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Wednesday March 7, 2012 - 10:54 PM

Thanks for the recommendations, Franny and Frank. I will look into those titles. I didn't see your comments, though, until just now. I did end up going to see Miss Hamilton for her advice on other Shakespeare plays to read.

But when I went to talk to Miss Hamilton today, Sarah was with her. It shouldn’t have surprised me because I knew that she was always spending a lot of time with her. But I guess I was so focused on wanting to find something good to read, another good Shakespearean tale that it didn’t immediately occur to me.

I walked into Miss Hamilton’s class during a spare, seeing her at the front of the room working at her desk through the window on her door. I walked in and started to ask her a question and I froze in mid-sentence and mid step.

There was Sarah sitting about three rows back writing in a notebook.

“Oh,” I said. “I didn’t realize that . . .”

“That’s okay, Peter,” Miss Hamilton said, getting up from her desk and walking over to me.

“What was it you needed to ask me about?”

“I was interested in . . .” I began, but I could feel Sarah’s eyes on me and just couldn’t focus, couldn’t think. I suddenly felt embarrassed, not being one of those reader types comfortable about talking books with a teacher, particularly not in front of someone, and especially not in front of such an extremely well-read person like Sarah. Back in the day, I think I would have been excited to share my enthusiasm for Shakespeare with Sarah, and she would have been delighted to recommend something.

But now it was just embarrassing.

And that made me angry.

I stopped, suddenly starting to feel angry. Angry with Sarah, who broke up with me. Angry with Miss Hamilton, who was obviously one of the only people close to Sarah lately.

“Nevermind,” I managed to say through mostly clenched teeth. And I turned and walked out of the class.

Tuesday March 6, 2012 - 11:09 PM

Starting doing a Google search online a few hours ago. Found some interesting web sites about death, and spent the last couple of hours reading through it all.
Cool stuff.

Freaky stuff.

--> The Death Clock (

--> Death and Dementia (

--> Death - The Last Taboo (

--> Near-Death Experiences (

--> Death Images (

It got me to thinking more about Hamlet’s little speech, again. And Death.

I think I want to talk to Miss Hamilton about Hamlet again.

Yeah, yeah, I know, Miss Hamilton, our English teacher, is Sarah’s favourite teacher and, while Sarah hasn’t been spending much time with her friends, she still is hanging around Miss Hamilton a lot.

But that’s NOT why I want to chat with her. I want to talk about Hamlet, and Shakespeare, and maybe see if she can recommend something else that I can read of his that is just as good. I remember we read The Merchant of Venice in Grade 9 and then The Tempest in Grade 10 and King Lear in Grade 11, but I didn’t really like them so much.

There’s gotta be something else Shakespeare wrote that’s as good as Hamlet.

Sunday March 4, 2012 - 9:28 PM

I never made it back to post about what happened. Instead, yesterday what I did was walk from my home over to Windy Lake, to the spot where it all went down. It took about an hour to make the trek, but it was a beautiful sunny day, not all that cold. And I think I needed that walk just to run the events through my mind again, get clarity on it all.

When I got to The Elks Club shoreline, I stood there, looking out over the ice. The crack and hole from last weekend were not even visible from the angle I was looking, at least not physically. I couldn't tell if it was because the snow had covered it, or if it had resealed.

Hard to believe, given the massive breaking of the ice that happened in the attempt to retrieve Chad's body. But despite the heavy snowfall and refreezing that had occurred, my eyes easily found the spot.

And I just stood there, staring at it, thinking back to that afternoon a week ago.

It was a cold but clear day. Crisp and cold, yet relatively warm in the sun if you were dressed right, especially considering the time of year. The teams were on the ice, warming up, getting ready for the game. There were plenty of spectators, from Levack and from Sudbury, standing either on the ice near the shore or on the hill that rose up from the lake’s edge to the Elks Club. There was a small bon fire near the lake’s edge, where a constantly changing group of people were huddled, taking turns getting warm.

Sarah was there, too, not far from that crowd, hot chocolate in hand. I saw Chad skate up to her and start chatting with her, saw her smiling at him in response.

I wanted to skate over there and just haul off and deck him. But I needed to wait until the game began before I’d have my chance.

The game was a good paced one, with a lot of action, and a boatload of tired guys because we didn’t have two shifts of players on each side, merely two extra guys on our side and three extra guys on theirs.

Checking wasn’t part of this game because we weren’t wearing any equipment -- no helmets, no skin pads, no jocks, nothing like that, just the extra padding that a sweater and winter jacket provided. But we never played this game without a little bit of light checking and body contact.

I got a couple of chances to come up behind Chad and give him a seemingly incidental nudge to feel out his balance and strength. He did the same to me. We weren’t fifteen minutes into the game when we’d pegged each other for more and more grudge type playing.

Then it was at one moment, when I gave him a hit hard enough to knock him over and lose my balance to fall on top of him that we heard something crack. I don’t remember worrying about it because in the heat of the moment we were fixated on each other, on getting to our feet. But I certainly remember it now.

It was when we were scrambling to our feet that I turned to him and said. “Stay away from my girlfriend.”

He grinned at me. “She’s not your girlfriend.” Then his face turned serious and he gave me a hit to the shoulder that sent me back on my ass. “And I’ll do whatever I damn well please.”

The ice must have cracked some more at that point when I fell, but I don’t think I heard it. He skated off, back into the action. The fact that he left without our conflict being properly settled riled me. I remember seeing red as I glared at him.

I got up and headed back towards the action, my eyes on Chad the whole time. I remember getting closer into his direction, but the puck and action would shoot off again in another direction, and I’d have to close that distance again.

The entire group skated at least two times over that spot where Chad and I had fallen. It was the third time when Chad had the puck on a breakaway for our net, and I was the closest person to him, and was rushing at him, rushing to knock him flat on his ass, hit him with all that I had, that it happened.

Another crack broke through the air, more like the overpowering crack of lightning than anything else. It was surprising to us, and we all stopped, almost as if taking cover from a gunshot or something.

And Chad was standing there, puck still on the end of his stick, and I was looking at him and he at me. It was quiet, calm. Nothing but a calm wind settled over the ice, evident in the drifting powder of snow visible in the middle of the lake. But it was an eerie calm, especially considering the bizarre and loud explosion of noise that had just occurred.

Everyone around started laughing at their own startled reaction, a huge group release of combined tension. Chad stopped looking at me long enough to wave over at Sarah, then look back at me, a satisfied smirk on his smug jock face. She was looking back at him. My rage intensified and I was about to launch myself in his direction again.

That’s when the final loud explosive crack echoed through the air, and Chad went down on one knee, or so it seemed at the time because, then, impossibly, he seemed to quickly melt down into the surface of the ice like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz on fast forward.

But he wasn’t melting. He was falling through the ice.

Screams went up; the players on the ice nearest the hole, including myself throwing themselves flat against the ice -- it seems, growing up where we did, and being involved in many frozen lake activities like hockey and ice fishing, we knew our odds on a questionable ice surface were always in distributing our body weight over as much space as possible.

I looked over at where Chad had been standing. There was nothing but a fissure in the ice big enough for a person to fall through.

And a small mark of blood on the ice surface where he’d hit his head on the way down to mark his fresh ice cold watery grave. A mark of blood that, one week later, wouldn't even be visible. At least not physically.

Friday March 2, 2012 - 7:28 AM

An anonymous commenter and some guy named Bob helped me identify the two movies that I’d been trying to figure out. Man, gotta love this whole blog thing. My uncle did have both The Dead Zone and The Omen 2 in his movie collection.

I ended up watching both movies last night. Well, okay, I didn’t actually watch the whole movies, because I did fast forward through most of them and just watched the drowning scenes I’d been thinking about.

Funny how I’d mis-remembered them somehow into a single memory.

But in any case, I’ve gotten that strange deju-vu feeling out of my mind. I think I can talk about what happened last Saturday now.

We had another session with the guidance counselor yesterday. Sarah was there this time. She wasn’t at school at all this week until yesterday. She looked like hell, her eyes all bloodshot, her hair a frazzled mess.

I just wanted to hold and comfort her, tell her it would all be okay.

But what’s the use in that? I’m the one who caused it, after all.

So today more people started talking about what it meant to them. Sarah didn’t say anything. When she left the room crying, I started to get up to follow her and a friend of hers, Julie, held me back.

“Peter, don’t” she whispered to me. “She just wants to be left alone.”

“But . . .” I started to protest.

Julie shook her head. “You’ll just make it worse.”

“Shouldn’t you go?” I asked Julie. “I mean, her new boyfriend just died, after all, and . . .”

She interrupted me. “Sarah hasn’t been with anyone since you guys broke up, Peter.”


“I don’t know what you’ve been hearing, but she hasn’t been seeing anyone, certainly not Chad, and she hasn’t even been spending time with me or any of her other friends all that much. She just wants to be left alone.”

“Are you sure?”


Julie had always been one of Sarah’s closest friends. We hadn’t spoken all that much since Sarah and I broke up. I’d assumed that Julie was still close with Sarah and so had felt uncomfortable around her, hadn’t even spoken with her since the break-up.

“But I saw them . . .” I started to say.

The guidance counselor interrupted me at that point. “Peter, do you have something you would like to share with the group?”

Yeah, your toupee is way too damn obvious I wanted to shout out. But instead, I shook my head and listened to students take turns offering up different versions of the same story. With each rendition I heard, I kept reliving my own experience of that day.

And now that I've heard all those different viewpoints and watched those scenes that had been plaguing my mind, I think I’m ready to talk about it, tell what happened from my point of view. But not right now. I’ve got to start getting ready for school.

Maybe tomorrow.