For this reason, I have not been able to hold a “normal” job since 1982. That was the year when shit really got serious for me.
In 82´, most of my family and friends disowned me. Leaving me to my own devices. I had long unkempt hair back then, wilder than histories maddest scientists. Actually, my hair is still this way, which is one of the few things I cherish in life and am relatively proud of.
Anyways, I almost graduated University. I was studying chemistry which always came easy to me.
For me, chemicals were as typical as looking at the marks on the palm of my hand. I knew them all. How to use them, combine them and exploit them. I was one of the most talented and dedicated pupils. But one day I was overly stressed. There was too much pressure from school and home life. Plus my girlfriend dumped me that week and started dating someone else. Another – stupid – fucking – chemist!
Well… I flipped out…
An experiment we did; failed miserably. All my long hard labor was wasted and used as an example of what not to do. I was humiliated in front of many and I went fucking berserk.
I destroyed everything in the lab, throwing expensive equipment to waste and making the biggest ruckus I could concoct. I was so pissed off, I wanted to blow up the entire facility and I probably would have if the university’s security team didn’t drag me away. They tossed me out of the place before I could do any more harm.
So that was me back in 82´. A dangerous and troubled young man. Some said I was a genius and others said I was just another delusional scientist without any direction in career or life.
And I said that they were right in both aspects. I was incredibly intelligent and wildly mad. No one could deny this. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t thrown into prison and why the institutions don’t want to deal with me. I’m too much of a hassle and a liability. If they get their hands on me, there’s no telling what I might do.
Chemistry is my superpower. My weapon of choice so to speak, and nothing and no one would ever challenge me and stop my experimentations. My genius has been recognized internationally by many in my field, although I’m not doing any of this for the money. Passion supersedes all.
That’s why after I left University I was given a grant by a certain agency that specializes in human development and evolution. Besides the chemistry, there was some biological work as well, which I mostly learned on my own through in-depth experimentation. We had access to almost every species of cadaver that existed in modern times and were even given frozen chunks of woolly mammoth (and other extinct specimens), extracted from the frozen tundras of Greenland and Siberia to open up and mess around with.
My lab was nine meters beneath the city and I lived there as well. I never wanted to be anywhere else.
Why should I leave when the best thing I got going for me is my mind and there was no better place to exercise that muscle than in the lab with my trusty apprentice Christian.
He wasn’t as efficient as I but he’s quite bright. I was glad he was appointed to me. I couldn’t have gotten as much work done without him.
I always gave him the most tedious and detailed work. Work that I didn’t have the patience for but that needed to be done nonetheless.
One of the tasks he had to perform daily was the washing down of the entire facility. We didn’t have a cleaning service because our space was too small, and our experiments were of the top-secret variety.
“You better pick that shit up,” I said, “with your protective gear on, as its active and highly poisonous,” pointing to some chemical-laden vials.
He didn’t seem to mind the dangerous environment. He was just as dedicated as I was. I watched him put on the gear, piece by piece…
I said my prayers as they lifted up the weapon and pointed the nozzle at me.
I yelled and screamed at them, “You cowards, you sons of bitches, you horrible pieces of shit.” I gave them hell. And they burnt the hair off the top of my head ever so slightly.
Then I changed my approach, “Wait, I can help you! Wait, I’m a scientist, goddamnit!”
They looked at me perplexed.
Dammit to piss, I wish I studied the local language before traveling abroad.
The flames were burning the wall beside my face. The scent of bricks and cement being broken down filled my nostrils. They were taunting me and framing my body with the flame. I stood as still as a statue as they passed the flame from my feet on the right side and framed my entire body over my head and past to the left side to the floor again.
I screamed, “I can help you, give me a chance, I’m a chemist!”
The young soldier holding the thrower whispered something to his partner and he then whispered to the Sargent and the Sargent screamed some orders to another younger guy. This guy went running to the back of the ranks. And I stood there like an idiot, waiting to be converted to ashes.
The soldier dashed through the crowd. None of the other soldiers moved a muscle or blinked an eyelid. As still as me they were. Statues waiting for their next call to action. Solemn dedicated warriors.
The young man returned with a man who wasn’t dressed in military fatigues. He shuffled through the crowd. An older man, dressed like a bum he was. The soldiers yelled at him with their foul tongues. He walked up to me with a nervous look in his grey eyes.
“Who er you?” he asked with a horrible accent. Thank God, someone here speaks English though!
“I’m ahhh, I’m a scientist. I specialize in chemistry. Please, tell them, I can help with anything they need. I’m very resourceful.”
The flame-thrower kid looked anxious to light up the weapon again and turn me into french fucking toast, but the old man shuffled back to the Sargent to relay what I had said to him.
The Sargent now looked at me in a different light, I could tell. He stared deep into my frustrated eyes with his sharp eyes. Instead of regarding me as an enemy he now saw me as an ally. He walked right up to me and said something. I have no idea what he said but the old man translated.
“He say, he will not kill you on today but you must come. You walk up front.”
“Perfect,” I said, “let’s go.”
I bent over to pick up my things but Sargent stepped on my bag with his boot. Kicking my stuff aside. I wasn’t allowed to take anything, which didn’t really matter anyways, I didn’t have much to begin with.
So I walked with the old man and two soldiers by my side.
We marched along the quiet streets and another youth dashed out from his home running past us. An old man stood at the end of the street. This time there wasn’t a big wooden platform but the old man held two daggers in his hands and had them sticking straight out towards the fast-moving youth. The boy sprinted with all his energy towards the old decrepit armed man and as he made his last dash jumping into the air like a fox, a quick moving metallic arm sprung forth from the ranks, grabbing the youth in an instant – just inches from the blades. The arm recoiled into a metallic box which rode alongside us.
I could hear him kicking the inner walls and screaming at the top of his lungs and his family could also be seen weeping on the side of the road. Huddled together in a big sorrowful ball of dread.
And I stood there; a moronic tourist. Witnessing all this and asking myself why the hell I came to this country in the first place!
Christian looked happier than usual. He stood in front of me with a beaming smile.
“You know what Mr. Stevenson? Today is my birthday.”
“Well, isn’t that great,” I said.
“What do you say we go out to the local pub to celebrate?”
I hadn’t left the lab in a few days and I figured that would be a nice change of scenery.
“Sure, let’s go Christian! Do you know any good pubs around here?” I asked cause I had no clue myself. Think about it. Scientists don’t know anything about pubs. We know math, chemicals, textbooks, formulas, numbers and figures. How to solve complex problems, but pubs are as rare to us as finding a diamond ring in the intestines of a great white shark. Liquor stores, on the other hand, were very well known. I knew the location of almost every store within a five-mile radius, but so as to not waste too much time in commuting, I only went to the one that was located two doors down from our building.
“Yes, of course, I know a few.”
“And what about your girlfriend? Is she going to meet us then?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Great, I’ll finally get to meet this lovely young lady that you always speak so fondly of,” I expressed joyously.
We took off our work coats and aprons, made sure all the hazardous materials were carefully cleaned up and put away. Brushed the dust and chemicals out of our hair. Put on some decent attire and hit the city streets.
We climbed up the ladder. The cold metal bars were not very soothing to touch, but at least we were leaving the lab and going out for a good time.
It was a freezing winter night. The chilled breeze made a whistling sound over my ears as we stuck our heads out onto the street. The entrance to our lab was actually in an old dilapidated warehouse. The building had no sign on it to speak of. No one in town had any clue of the experiments that went on every day beneath their feet.
I held my hands deep within my jacket pockets. I didn’t have any gloves, but I wish I had brought them. I didn’t realize it was so cold out. We walked along and made it to a pub, which was about five blocks away.
It was karaoke night.
I started to drink whiskey – my drink of choice.
There were quite a lot of people there, drinking, partying and milling about. But they all looked bored as fuck, like a bunch of ducks lounging around in a kiddie pool, squawking to each other.
Someone needed to do something to change the mood of the place.
I got up on the stage.
“Give me that microphone you morons, I can sing better than youses!”
Everybody stepped aside. They must have realized that I was the boss, cause no one dared challenge me or question my musical ability.
A weird hipster character with blue hair asked me, “What do you want to sing old man?”
“Well… what’s the most popular song on the radio these days?”
I rarely ever listened to music, but that night for some reason, I felt like a fucking prodigy.
I sang a new retro version of “Come On Eileen,” but I changed “Eileen” with “Caffeine”, making it even more contemporary and dynamic.
The band thrashed their instruments like wild punks and it sounded magical. I sounded magical. My voice was better than anything else out there.
Later Christian told me it was the most god-awful thing he ever heard before.
“That was terrible Sir. You really need to take some lessons.”
“It wasn’t that bad. Didn’t you see the girls in the front row cheering me on? About three of them were screaming and going wild for me and the hot blond in the center was about to rip off her bra and toss it onstage!”
“No, that’s not true,” said Christian, “actually, they were booing you so that you would get off the stage. Sorry to say this Sir, but I think you should either stop drinking or learn how to sing, pronto.”
“Well, what the hell do you know about singing? Why didn’t you get up there and sing with me, heh?” I asked him while poking his ribs.
“Sir, because I am probably worse than you are. But I know when someone can sing and when they suck. For example, did you hear the lady dressed in black that performed later on? She was amazing. She hit every note, she danced, she twirled, she really put on a show.”
“Yeah, she was alright,” I said “but not as good as me. You’ll see. I’m going to start practicing and I’ll be the best karaoke singer in town, make no mistake about that!”
“OK – Enough of that!”
“Christian, tomorrow you need to make sure to bring everything that I told you to bring. Go to the chemical supply store downtown. Give them my ID number. They know me there. Make sure to get everything on the list. Everything. And be to work before 9AM. Tomorrow is an absolutely crucial day. Oh, and tell your girlfriend that I was very upset that she couldn’t meet us tonight.”
And with that, we parted ways. Christian went to his home, to his girl, and baby son, and I went to the lab…
I happily tiptoed across the street as the alcohol coursed through my veins, providing its magnificent effects, while making its inner journey. A telephone pole was ahead. I thought, what would it take to pull the pole out of the ground and wield it as a weapon like a baseball bat? How many tons of force would it take a man to do this? Is it possible? An elephant can rip a tree out of the earth, but imagine a man with the same strength as an elephant or stronger.
One could barrel into this post with his shoulder, loosening it from the cement, then smash it the other way, eventually lifting it up out of the ground.
Imagine having all the strength of an elephant in a compact form. Kind of like an ant. An ant can lift twenty times its own weight, which isn’t very impressive cause they only lift up leaves and dead insects, but still an amazing feat nonetheless…
I walked up to the pole and hugged it. Electrical wires dangled overhead, swaying in the winter breeze. The low howls of the wind made a windowpane in a nearby building open up and shutter back, making sharp snapping sounds across the cold city night. I felt the currents as they vibrated the wood fibers beneath my grasp. Every single fiber enhanced, resonating with the triple energetic force in contact with them: the electricity, my touch, and the earth itself imparting its absolute strength via the base of the pole, many meters below my outsoles.
It’s all about energy my friends. Everything revolves around it…
“Sir, I found this in the mailbox today. Want me to read it to you?” asked Christian.
He arrived earlier than usual. I was already making the necessary preparations for our next experiment.
“Sure, just read it. Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something here?”
I woke up at five AM, despite the fact that we went out drinking the night before. There’s nothing like rolling out of bed, having a hot cup of coffee, throwing on your lab coat and getting right to work. I love it. I was experimenting with some newly designed chemicals. Heating and combining them. The smell of burnt chemicals makes most men sick to their stomachs, but for me, it’s as sweet as perfume. I can never get enough of it.
He opened the envelope and started to read:
“Good day Doctor Stevenson. We hope you are well. Unfortunately, after seeing the results from your last samples, we are sorry to inform you that we will no longer be funding your projects. There is not enough…”
“What!” I shouted. “Those pieces of shit. This is very bad Christian! Oh hell, carry on, keep reading, goddammit.”
“OK,” he said, gulping a big wad of spit through his thin neck. “There’s not enough time to keep on waiting for you to create the serum and we must search for more reliable results elsewhere. With regards yadda, yadda, yadda… We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Signed…”
“That’s it? Nothing else? Those sons of bitches! I’ve been working, I mean, we’ve been working for five years on this project, five fucking years. And now they want to cut us off?”
“Looks like that Sir.”
“What are we going to do Christian?” I asked him, plumping down on the seat behind me and grabbing onto my throat sharply.
“I have no idea. I’m supposed to get married this year Sir. I need the salary just as much as you do.”
“Christian, I know, I know, you don’t have to remind me, okay.”
My first thought was to destroy the entire lab, as I had done before in university, but then a better idea came to mind!
“Christian, we need to take everything of value to the pawn shop. Let’s go, come on. Grab the instruments, grab this microscope, grab that laser projector, get those calipers and meters, hurry up!” I yelled and raved.
We rushed through the space stealing whatever we could carry and lugged the junk up the ladder. Threw it all in Christian’s station wagon and drove off. We decided to ride to the next state over. We knew that if we pawned everything in our own state it would be too suspicious.
“Yes, yes, this is exactly what we should be doing,” I exclaimed to Christian “how much do you think we’re going to get for all this stuff?”
“Well, at least twenty grand Sir. Those magnifiers alone are worth three thousand dollars each.”
“We probably have more than fifty grand in the back seat and that’s only the first load! We need to sell this crap and hurry back to the lab before those assholes come after us and throw us in prison!”
“Sir, I don’t think it would be smart or safe to go back at all.”
“You’re right, we can never go back, turn around then!”
We ended up renting a trailer at the mall and pulled out every single thing from the lab. The sinks, the countertops, all the appliances. We dismantled it all, stuffed that shitty trailer to the max and hit the road…