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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » The Story of Reiko and Other Tales - A Landmark

   
Author Topic: The Story of Reiko and Other Tales - A Landmark
ReikoDemosthenes
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It recently came upon me to write a landmark and, due to the nature of my sporadic posting and very low post count, I had ignored it and put it off. However, today it has struck me that I shall write one and let those who read it make of it what they may. I write it simply because I feel that now is my time to do so.

Time is a fickle measure. It moves faster and slower, never consistent from one person to the next, from one moment to another. It strikes, dives, flits, dodges, and drives, leading us onward and holding us back. That is the present, the past, and the future. It all lies in one’s perception of time. Something may happen long ago, but it only occurred yesterday, whereas something that happened yesterday may have been years ago. It is this relativity of time that lends to the blurring of lines between that which is the reality I perceive, and what are merely dreams.

As I look back over my life, I divide it into two major sections. The first part runs from birth until probably into grade 6. There is very little of this time that I can remember, a fleeting moment here, a sudden image there. I’m told I was an inquisitive child, and I had always had a love of books, looking at pictures, reading them. This was a huge part of my learning and the basis for my worldview. Sadly, I do not know the ways in which it developed my perception of life, just the bits and pieces that I come across in that which I read then, and still read. Books such as the Chronicles of Narnia, which I first read obsessively during that time, demonstrate to me where I developed my thoughts and dreams.

Grade 7 was where I define the beginnings of transition, for myself. It was the opening to a world I could never have foreseen, one which would stain me darkly. That was my final year in elementary school. I remember that that was the year Cody died. He was a neighbor kid, a couple of years younger than myself. I was friends with his brother; they went to the other campus of my school. The story was that he was playing blackout in the bathrooms at school, a game played with the old linen towels in public bathrooms. The key was to wrap it around your neck and see how long you could last before blacking out. Apparently he was playing this alone, the story from the teachers was a sad death, the story from the students was suicide. In either event, it was the moment that marked when I was first strapped into the seat of this great roller coaster we call life.

I hate roller coasters.

Summer of 1998, it is July 10. I am in the break before I enter high school. This date has particular meaning to me, a meaning of irony. On this date I was visiting my cousins’ farm in Kola, Manitoba while we were en route to Grunthal and Winnipeg to visit the rest of our family. This farm is a very unkempt and dirty place. My family who live there, while generally decent people, know not the meaning of clean and what is of great importance when it comes to preparations for guests. That aside, I loved visiting there for the simple reason that it was the only place I could ride horse. I love to ride. To this day it is something I simply adore.
I am not aware of how many of you know what a typical July morning is like in mid to southern Manitoba, suffice to say it is hot. That morning I was permitted to ride their new horse, an older horse which is so slow of action that it is the “guest horse” so to speak. Her name is Cheyenne. While I rode her, my cousin rode Chester, another horse of theirs. After a short while we switched so she could ride their new horse and I would ride Chester. The time is about 10 o’clock in the morning and the temperature is already reaching towards 30°C. Chester was hot and tired, and consequently he kept wandering to the dugout nearby to drink. Seeing as how I only rode for one or two days in a year at best I had poor control over this horse, despite my attempts. He kept meandering further and further into the dugout. My mum was watching this and was told to pray for safety, a moment later it happened.

At this point my memory becomes choppy. I recall seeing a single string of barbed wire and the horse starting to run through and along it, with me still in the saddle. At some point the horse reared and at a later point I recall lying in the water, rolling around to avoid the hooves which were coming down around me. I was told later how my head was missed by only 6 inches. I remember struggling to get up, to stand I think, yet slipping in the water and mud. I see my uncle catching Chester by the reins and trying to calm him, and at some point he also helps me to the side, to get out of the way. I cannot remember the order of that. They brought me to the house and had me take my clothes off to take a bath with Dettol, a disinfectant. I did not want to, the tub was dingy and worn to appear indefinitely filthy. My shirt was in tatters, I could not recall how, and I found many cuts across my back, arm, and neck. I am really not sure where some of them came from. My mum took me to a clinic in Virden to have a look at my arm which had the worst cut of them all, to this day a scar that forms a band half way across my arm and a quarter inch wide. I seem to remember ensuring that I would not get a tetanus shot, under the basis that I was up to date on my shots, but powered by my deep and penetrating absolute terror of any form of clinical stabbing. I also talked them out of stitches so the taped it instead, although probably stitches would have been best, I am still glad I did not have to face psychological terror so soon after and during physical shock.

That is what I recall of my 13th birthday, which is far more than I can remember of most. Here is also where I draw the official line between before and after.

Grade 8 was a hard year for me. When I entered high school, although many of the people I knew from elementary, I knew them only in name and face. Either they had all changed, or I had changed, and I never could tell which. All I knew is that I no longer had any friends. I was alone. Grade 9, two girls in the grade above me, both of whom I was loosely familiar with, committed suicide. If the feeling of arriving at school and knowing something is dreadfully wrong is bad, it is nothing compared to your parents waking you up and telling you that you don’t have to go to school that day because someone else has died.

At some point we moved houses, from a nice house we built to one we would renovate. It was horribly dark, both physically and spiritually, that area. We moved out of that house within two months of living there because my mum couldn’t handle it. Before the move my great-grandmother died. And before the second move, my parents gave away our dogs, the one who I loved and meant the world to me. I did not cry when he left. Today and tonight I may cry a lament, but then I could not.

Somewhere in this time, perhaps so far back as grade 7, although I doubt it, I became suicidal, and even violent when alone. However, grade 10 seems to have been a good year. It had its draw backs, its ups and downs, but in the end I cannot remember anything so wonderful or terrible about it. I seem to be reaching for a memory of grade 11, but none is coming. I know not what I felt or dreamed that year, just that it was the beginning of a slide back to darkness. Grade 12. Oh what can I say about grade 12. From the very beginning I was not sleeping and experiencing severe ups and downs. Never before had I actually managed to fall asleep in class, but now I could hardly stay awake. I had returned to walking the edge of life and death, jumping from the edge to firm ground and back to the edge again, one day, one hour, to the next.

It was during this time that I met her. She who taught me so much about love and relationships, almost all the hard way. For a while I balanced out, it seemed that through my counselling of her (and later, also my relationship with her) I was able to stabilise myself. Through winter, into spring, we were together. Obsessively. When we could not be together she would panic and paranoia would take over. To this day I suspect it was she who tried to nominate me as “most likely to date their sister” for grad. In the end it was my parents who shut the relationship down, as I fell into a minor nervous break-down while she screamed curses at me over the phone for not being able to go to her house that evening. I had no feeling after that.

After spring break we went back to school. I knew I was not forgiven for my wrongs against her. I recall one day when the pain just grew to be too much, I walked out of computer class to the park by the school, hoping to find a yew tree, laden with berries. I had no such good fortune. I returned to class, the teacher wondered where I was, I told him I went for a walk. He knew me and was lenient. That summer was the best and worst to my memory. Every day I wanted nothing more than to stay away from people, and generally people were willing to accommodate my wish. We went back to my cousins’ farm that year, just my sisters and I. There was a gathering of relatives, the type who ooh and aww over you even though you don’t know them and they have no clue who you are beyond “Jayne’s kids”. There was no escaping them except for one place where my cousin told me I could go, so I slept in a section inside the bison fence. I had no fear of them, nor any care. I did not see them and everyone who I wished to avoid also stayed away from that place, and me while they were at it. It was nice. It was bitter, painful, and sad, but nice.

The following year I spent looking for work. Near the beginning of the year, a boy who had been in many of my classes died in a car accident. He was not my friend. He was loud, obnoxious, and generally not the least opinionated person around. However he was kind enough, when he chose to be, and you couldn’t help but to like him and be happy to know him, even though he was no one I could be friends with.

This was right about the time I found the Philotic Web, probably the saving grace which helped keep me alive during the following year. I made some wonderful friends there, and felt included and cared for by people who were not my immediate family. They became my social life. Through it I met a girl who I most highly esteem and adore, and was even able to meet at the end of this past summer, at the end of a year of work. To her family and her friends I am deeply drawn. Meeting them, I know that they are people who I desire most greatly to be friends with.

This is the history of my life. My history.

§

quote:
What is real, just a dream…
- Lifehouse

Now I feel I must approach the topic of dreams. Dreams are my reality. When I look back I generally have a very difficult time differentiating between what I imagined, dreamed, and what happened according to the laws of science and history. There are several dreams which have stayed with me which I will proceed to share now.

Dream 1:
Tone: sad, subdued, grey, rainy

- I’m trying to find someone who, long ago, murdered someone I knew; a friend is with me.
- We’re told that he can be found at this house where they do piercing, tattoos, and deal drugs.
- We are shown down a long flight of unfinished wooden stairs into a small, square basement.
- A man comes out of a door at the bottom.
- I talk with him and realise that he is the murderer.
- Friend chases him up stairs and I follow.
- On the main floor I open a closet and he is in there pointing a gun at me, friend is dead next to him.
- I turn the gun in his hand and shoot him in the shoulder, then heart, then again in the heart even though he was dead after the second shot.
- Leave closet.
- See Lisa Terpstra, tripped out on drugs, she has a blank smile on her face and her eyes show that there is no one really there.
- Talk to dealer who is/was a friend of Lisa and/or mine, he says there is a sad story as to why she is there.
- He offers me a joint so we can get high, I decline.
- I start to leave through the door, into the rain.
- He tosses me a roll of paper.
- I ask what’s in it, he tells me it’s a joint.
- I take it, give a half smile, and step out into the rain
- I wake up.

I saw Lisa several times throughout the dream in the same area of the house, it saddened me every time.

The joint was given as a true act of friendship. I never smoke it and never have intentions to smoke it, only to keep it as a memory.

At this point I feel it important to tell you a little about Lisa. Lisa was a girl a couple grades above me. I never saw her when she wasn’t in her electric wheel chair. She had a disease that caused her to be weak in her legs, preventing her from walking. Her life expectancy was not beyond age 40, yet she was one of the most optimistic people I knew. She worked hard and was successful in running a coffee shop she opened in our high school, along with other things. When she caught a virus and suffered a stroke, she was given a month at most to live. To the end of three weeks she was optimistic and ready to die. She died in total peace. I learned then about how to let go of someone who was ready to go. To see her in that dream this way was very strange and saddening to witness. A bitter-sweet image.

Dream 2:
I’ve seen this one three times in the first half of my life. I am walking down a winding stair of railway ties in a forest of brown, leaf-less trees, yet one could not see the sky. I was walking with the person who was my best friend at the time, Vincent. At the bottom of the stairs I saw a clearing, a clearing full of bears, all full and healthy, save for one. That one was scrawny and starved, and I felt pity on it. I went to it to pet it and comfort it. At that point the bear saw me as a source of food and my perspective in the dream changed from first to third, and I saw myself being torn apart, first by the scrawny bear and then by the healthy ones as well. I remember telling Vincent to go get help, and as he ran up the stairs I awoke.

Dream 3:
Silence
I stand in the valley, brown and black
The dullness of a mined cavern
Slaves
Many
I seek to escape the drivers
An underground railroad
A door to freedom, met by a goth
She shows me the exit, taking me and a friend to freedom
The train comes, a friend climbs on
A disturbance in space, in time
I tell her to climb on
She does just as they appear
Three assassins, dressed in black
Shots, bullets flying
Dodging, hit
Take a gun, shoot a lady
Grab another and break her neck
The third forms a shard of glass
Wrest it from her, ram it in her throat
Blood on my hands
I awake

Dream 4:
I am in a mechanical, bugger world: a dome like building. They are after us. A lion hunts, it follows us, to kill. A dish. We’re climbing the edge, the lion following. Water begins to fill the bowl. We get out in time, I desire to help the lion escape, to not kill it. But I stand there, and watch it drown, die.

Dream 5:
I see myself from the back, walking down the hallway of a hotel, it is at a ski resort in winter. I am older here. It is warm in the resort; I find myself walking outside. There is snow everywhere. The temperature begins to rise, people are starting to take off their parkas. I do as well. I am concerned about something in a locker in a separate building, telling a teacher who was with me at the time that if we don’t hurry to get them out quickly they will die. I know that it is because of the heat and being trapped in the locker that will kill them. Outside of the dream I know that they are small animals, an unknown species of the mammal type; they are very furry, almost fluffy. As we hurry through the snow to get them out of there I see the person who was guarding them lying asleep, outside. I know he has died in his sleep. I watch as he grows to the size of a giant and I am sad. Meanwhile the snow has turned to sand and I suspect that this is the end. There is much hurt as I wake. Thrice this has appeared to me during the midnight hours.

§

quote:
I am myself. This, that which is, is myself. That which is formed is me.
- Ayanami Rei

A conversation:

Them: how did you choose the name Reiko?
Me: heh...there is an interesting history to that one...
Them: tell me
Me: well...we'll see how much of it I can remember...it began nearly a year ago that I began a process of introspection while I was at work, and while I was looking at myself I saw several major facets to my character, each with sub-facets. The two main ones were Reiko and Demosthenes, a girl and a guy respectively.
Them: Reiko? Who is Reiko?
Me: Reiko was the female side of things, her name means either "child of grace" or "child of zero." Within her there were three sub-facets, each who had an extreme character in some way...same for in Demosthenes, although it was in Reiko that the three sub-levels were most clearly defined.
Them: and they are?
Me: Rei, Asuka, and Subaru...Rei was a quiet, analytical, and very calculated person who did not display much emotion...Asuka was violent, angry, and very outspoken in her blunt opinions...and Subaru was very empathetic and also quiet. So yeah, there you have most of the story of where Reiko came from…


It used to be that I would listen to full debates between the sub-levels. Primarily it was the character of Reiko I would hear. The one who I heard the most was Asuka, she was also the one I respected the least. After that I would often hear Rei with her calm response. Her thoughts I respected and listened to for they were born in reason. The one who spoke the least was Subaru, but when she spoke, she was comforting to hear. This clear distinction of my mind in these terms fell silent some time ago. Still, I hear the dialogue, although not defined in those names. These are the ones who help me decide, who guide my decisions and thought processes, showing me perspective after perspective and where my abilities and desires lie. I love them and hate them, but they are who I am.

§

This closes my story, my statement. I know not what you will make of it, but I have spoken what I have felt driven to say, make of it what you will.

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Princess Leah
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"Grade 12. Oh what can I say about grade 12. From the very beginning I was not sleeping and experiencing severe ups and downs. Never before had I actually managed to fall asleep in class, but now I could hardly stay awake. I had returned to walking the edge of life and death, jumping from the edge to firm ground and back to the edge again, one day, one hour, to the next."

I'm a senior now, and this is sounding very familiar. Your landmark=good. Sorry to be blunt, but I'm not feeling very eloquent at the moment; I'm still absorbing.

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Synesthesia
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Utterly awesome!
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Taalcon
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Intense.

I'm glad you've been able to find a place you're comfortable enough to vent an emotional release. It's a tough step to make, but ever so important.

Glad to know you, and glad to have you at Pweb and over here. [Smile]

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Papa Moose
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I don't know how to say this. I've known you both here and at pweb for quite some time. I've read your posts, interacted in Hatrack and pweb chats, and via IM on a few occasions. We weren't close, but we weren't strangers.

And I never knew you were a guy.

Reiko sounds feminine to me. Demosthenes (on an OSC website, anyway) sounds feminine to me. Until someone used your real name on pweb (in the copy of this landmark), I had always assumed you were a girl. I didn't know when I read your landmark whether I was just mistaken, or you were possibly coming out as a lesbian (or even if that was already known and I was clueless in a different manner than I actually was). So I basically feel like a dolt.

Either way, thank you for having the courage to share this with us.

--Pop

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ReikoDemosthenes
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aww...don't feel like a dolt, I'm primarily to blame for the misconception...and thank-you to those who have read this, I deeply appreciate it
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Eaquae Legit
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Pop, don't feel bad. Only one person picked up on it without being told. In what, three, four months? You aren't alone.

Brent, like I said on pweb, I'm really glad to know you. Powerful piece of writing there. [Smile]

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Derrell
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Very powerful words. Thanks for sharing that with us.
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digging_holes
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Yeah, Pop, don't feel bad. He does it on purpose. [Wink]
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tt&t
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I can't believe I've been talking to you for so long and never knew that you liked horse riding. *stern look*

I liked this post, Rei, and as always, it's interesting to learn more about you and the way you think. I guess I've already told you most of what I had to say, but I just wanted to thank you for having the courage to post this, and well done for doing it at a time that suited you, even when you thought that might seem odd to some. Also thank you for letting me read it before it was done. [Smile]

*hugs*

Also, it's a BEANIE! *stern look*

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ReikoDemosthenes
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*hugs back* thank-you very much for your input, you helped very much with the making of this

*then laughs* tuque. [Razz]

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skillery
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Yew berries? Sounds like an Agatha Christie story.

quote:
Symptoms: nausea, abdominal pain, coma, death. The mode of death is a heart attack which occurs rapidly after eating sufficient. If no heart attack occurs, you'll probably survive. Sometimes the sudden collapse leading to death is preceded by lethargy, trembling, staggering, coldness, dilation of the pupils, rapid pulse that becomes weak, and convulsions.
No thanks. If I could chose my mode of death it would be something tremendously fun involving a wild animal, like riding a thirsty horse or staring down a bison, only something with claws and teeth.
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RRR
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Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I enjoyed reading it. [Smile]
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