My best friend had just slaughtered his parents less than twenty-four hours ago, and here I was sitting across the chess-board from him, pondering my next move. Suddenly, the rook in my hand weighed three thousand pounds. I spent the rest of the weekend with him, making sure he kept his sanity, trying to keep mine. As the weeks went by, we became more distant. He began to spend his abundant inheritance freely, taking trips to Europe and South America. When the detectives came to my door asking questions, I kept my mouth shut. For the next three months, a raging horde attacked my soul. These were the voices of morality, shredding me from the inside. Was allegiance to friendship more important than allegiance to the law? Was avoiding my civic duty the WRONG thing to do? Not knowing where to turn, I consulted the voices of conscience in our society. My life became a nightclub joke. There's a priest a rabbi and a cleric...they offer me advice...nothing of relevance...listen to your inner conscience and you will find your way. This is something like wrapping a piece of shit in a Tootsie Roll wrapper and giving it to a four year-old to make the decision whether or not to bite. Something very bad could happen and I did not have all of the information. God dammit. God dammit. God dammit. God dammit.
I am four. Mom is cooking. I touch the hot stove. It burns my hand.
Since then, I have never touched a hot stove.
Nothing in my life had prepared me for this experience. My parents did not ground me in strong morals. I had no religion. How do I do this? How can I turn my best friend in for murder? How can I not? God dammit. God dammit.
Would he kill me for having his secret?
Would I be held accountable for knowing and not telling?
Was I a bad citizen?
Why did it feel like a thousand knives were ripping at me every second of every day...and where did this feeling come from?
How did I know what was RIGHT if I was never told?
What is RIGHT?
It is very simple. I want to go have a burger and talk about cute girls and hit some tennis balls on a summer night. I want to hang out with a person who has decided that societal inhibition is a silly concept and freedom of expression should be a daily ritual. It is very simple. I want my best friend back.
The detectives came to my door. They asked about a script. I kept my mouth shut. They returned with a search warrant. I kept my mouth shut. I went down to the beach and stared at the waves while they went through my house. I thought of past teachers and how they opened my mind. I thought of my own inner conscience and the life I had decided to lead. I thought of my Grandfather and how he would want his lineage to prosper. I thought of my first love, and how simple life could be…if you just let it be. When I returned home, they were waiting in the living room with more questions. I opened the door and spoke first.
“Do you want to know how it happened?”