Dexter gets through therapy, and then ditches town.
Well, it also doubles as prison and Rehab, but who’s counting?
The first day I just hang out in my room. I get a pencil, and I draw myself this awesome new universe on the walls. I’m a superhero. I can destroy anything that gets in my way, Jim can’t get hurt by anything, and Lindsey can bend the universe to her will. We’re a bunch of unstoppable untoppable young people with everything ahead of us.
But then the cleaning lady washed it off, so I had to come out of my room.
The Social room is where everybody hangs out together. There’s doctors everywhere, making sure we’re all civil. There’s a piano over in one corner, covered in dust. I wander over to it, reading inscriptions like “They pay the cleaning lady too much,” “Virginia May 2013”, and one of the funnier ones “I used to have superpowers, but my therapist took them away”.
“Dexter?” someone calls. I have a visitor.
“Go away Lindsey. I’m mad at you.”
Lindsey sighs. I’ve been in here for about a month. I’ve only spoken to Jim when he drops by. I haven’t been talking to Lindsey. Why? Because I’m immature. Lindsey sold me out to the filth. All I did was kiss her. And wear some of her clothes.
The less that’s said about my tv the better. Lindsey doesn’t know about that yet.
I get more memories in therapy. I don’t know why I remember these things when Lindsey and Jim don’t remember anything about their original matches.
More crap about Lindsey, which I blatantly ignore. Touring with a band. Gerard was a rock star like Pixel Kickit, except the style of his music was just great. Just kickass, y’know?
I don’t think he’s dead, either. He didn’t like the way Battery City was being run, so now he’s out living in the zones around it.
Or at least he was.
Could I do that? Just get out of here, and live out there? I don’t need to eat, as a matter of fact it’s not recommended for things like me. When the news got out I was an A.I. it was like I had a social plague. Everybody stayed away. When the other patients found out I was in for transvestitism, then I was just ignored for being weird.
The only good thing about therapy was it was only for six months. Wait, the drugs were pretty good, too.
Until the therapy stint, I had no idea I could get high. I have no tolerance for drugs, I got some sort of booster shot when I came in, and I was high as a kite. It was for tetanus. Everybody was completely cool with me being stoned. It’s just like “Oh, there’s Dexter, he’s reacting to something in the tetanus shot, so that’s why he’s rolling around on the floor. Make sure he doesn’t eat the markers.” AWESOME.
It didn’t matter, ritalin, excedrine, hell, allergy medication even. All the same.
“DUUUDE! I CAN SEE ETERNITY, AND IT’S SO TOTALLY AWESOME!”
That’s a direct quote from yours truly, by the way. I don’t know why that happened, it just did. But all the same, gotta love the medication trips.
Korse didn’t talk to me. Not once since I checked in. I missed Lindsey. I was pissed at her, sure, because she’s got no right to turn me in when there’s nothing wrong. But there’s something else there, that’s going to fall into the ‘If-I-don’t-think-about-it-it’ll-go-away” category.
I want to get out of here. Maybe stay in the Zones for a bit. Clear my head. It’s only for six months. Which is a very long time.
Six months passed. Six months of medication highs and visits from Jim and Lindsey. Six months of nothing. I still am who I am. Does that mean I get a refund?
I whistle while I walk down the street to a clothing store.
The door slides open for me, and a salesperson scuttles over to me.
“Well hey there! What are you looking for?”
“Hi. I’m looking for nice black dress, perhaps dark purple, with sleeves to, oh, about there,” I draw a line on my bicep, and the sales girl’s smile shrinks.
“Okay. Is this for a wife, a girlfriend...?”
Did she seriously just ask that? Should I lie? No way.
“Oh it’s for me. Wanna go out sometime?”
Poor unfortunate homophobic sales girl. Horror is her only emotion. Well, maybe embarrassment is there too. She doesn’t respond to my date request, but turns around robotically to find my stuff.
I end up with a short black dress, regular sneakers, and black and white striped tights. And a soft grey hoodie. The hoodie’s got cat ears on the hood, which is mainly why I bought it. I charge it all to Lindsey’s home address, seeing as I’m broke right now.
I don’t want to go back to my apartment. Or turn anyone in again.
I just want to get out of this place for a while.
I flip my Spyder feed on, and sift through radio stations, going through all the crap the people in the city seem to like.
Then Bam! I find the radio station.
“That’s Doctor Death-Defying to you!”
“I don’t remember you completing your doctor’s degree or whatever the fuck you’ve gotta take to be an official doctor.”
“Yeah, yeah, aren’t you smart, shut up.”
Doctor Death Defying’s voice is slow, and just cool. It’s like he was one of those whiny hipster kids who ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING when he was young. Now, as a result, he is awesome. The other one is just dead serious, like one of those “If I had a better teacher I would’ve had my PHD by now,” sort of people.
“And now, back to the music!” Doctor Death Defying proclaims. I have to find him. He’s running an illegal radio station. He should know anyone.
He could know Gerard.
I head back to my dead apartment, and pack up everything I want to take with me. I don’t need food, I don’t need water. I just take a backpack with blankets, my makeup kit, a flashlight, matches, a map and hand sanitizer. I nearly take a photo of Lindsey and Jim but I figure I can just switch on my Spyder and talk to them that way.
Now, for a last message.
Where’s the paper? I scramble around, but my place is devoid of paper. Not even a post-it. It’s like I’ve been attacked by the paper Grinch, who snuck down my chimney and stole everything papery.
On the plus side, there’s no rice cakes in my pantry.
I decide to be dramatic, grabbing a knife and attacking the living hell out of my kitchen table.
This is damn hard. Like, impossible hard.
“I...am...okay. Just..oh, dammit, that looks nothing like a g....okay. Back soon. Or never.”
I transform my mutilated G into a B. Alright. I put the knife down, because there’s nothing out in the zones, really, Just small rodents, probably.
So, what time is it? Adventure time!
I laugh at that, but try to keep it down. Why is that funny? I hum a few bars of a song I don’t really remember, something about looking pretty walking down the street in the best damn dress I own.
It fits well, so I sing under my breath. The stares I get, for being a transvestite and for the singing put me off, a bit, but I just keep moving.
Stupid people shouted stupider things, but I kept going. You walk in one direction long enough in this town, and you’ll eventually just get to a chain-link fence. The Fence is guarded by...uh...guards (ignore how stupid that is please) that’re supposed to keep people like me from going over.
But I don’t see anyone. I’m alone.
With a grunt, I throw my backpack over the fence.
I look back at Battery City. I finally know what’s wrong with it. Everything’s paper and cardboard. All the buildings are held up with strings, all the people are so fixed on the details that they can’t see that if you lit a match you could start over. Nobody notices how paper-thin and frail everything is.
Well, I’m cutting the strings and seeing where I land.
I hitch my toes into the holes in the fence and hoist myself over. Land on the other side hard, feeling impact run through my shoes, my feet, then finally through my spine.
Then I go. I keep my Spyder feed on, and walk towards the sound of the radio broadcast promise land.