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3 A.M. Magazine

Joel Youngblood
Copyright © 2000
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There we goÖits running now.

Itís funny to me, to think that we brought this tape along. I wonder what would have happened to me had we not. Perhaps I would have gone crazy. I might always wonder, but probably not for long, truly. Iím looking at my friend. Heís dying, and I killed him. I donít think any of you know what itís like to kill a friend.

But my story is not solely about killing my friend; no, I must document the last weeks of my friends life, for we have spent some time together, and I feel that it is the only burial right that I can properly give him. We are not going to fare very well ourselves; however, I feel I can safeguard this tape in such a way that somebody may one day hear it.

My name is Marlow, but this is not my story. This is the story of Kerry. Our stories inter-twined many years ago, when we were coming home. We knew each other vaguely, based prominently on common associations. We'd both once been sailors and could relate to each other as only true comrades could.

Most of my friends were gone at that point. I was not happy, nor was I depressed, but I lived my life with a cloud of melancholy over my head. I was beginning to learn to compensate, after it all, and there was Kerry, with his crazy ideals. I remember how he'd used to babble on 'Yes, well of course our society is rot; what can you expect of a group that does not teach its children what to do if there should be something catastrophic that wipes out all things as we know it? I would be amongst a select few who could actually rebuild this damnable world. Why I don't know...'

He used to speak of utopia, a silly world when applied to anything in the literal - a word who's meaning only can truly be applied to the spiritual. Now I am just making the story longer. I don't want to do that, as I have no idea how long indeed I have, so I shall try to skip up to a "beginning" although with such a story as this, such a thing is most ambiguous.

I shall pin the beginning in Thames.

I established a shipping business, and with my strong muscles, I thrived. Kerry tinkered, half helping me run it. He was a mess of ideas, and often all he could do to keep from going quite mad with his own ingenuity was to sit on his behind all day and create the oddest things; from trinkets, to machines, to poetry.

One day, I came across him, sitting on a chair he'd carved for himself on my boat that was also my home, from the base of a large tree in the surrounding rainforest, and had quite a distant look on his face. He was in deep thought, for there was never a moment in which his creative spark was out of his face; even in the worst of times. Even now.

I approach him, and try to look at his pad. Sometimes he wore himself out writing his poetry. 'Whatís with this glum face?' Said I. He nodded, but otherwise did not say anything to me, for he is still in deep thought. Then, as with the changing of an hour, his face lights back up, and he looks at me, with some hope.

'Mate, how'd you like a revolution that could change your life?'

I shake my head at him, and wonder what foolish thing heís come up with now. 'Ach, you damn dreamer, what've ya got?'

'Have a look.'

He upturns his pad, and I read on it 'The problem with society is society.'

'Don't you see?' He seems now quite excited.

'See what?' Say I, in agitation. He was a ranter, but never a bad man really. No not until the end, when things started to fall to pieces. But with my ignorance, he threw up his hands, and tossed his pad right off the boat. 'You idiot!' He shook his head. 'You are just as bad as the rest!'

'What? What rest?'

'No - not the rest - the west. Iíve escaped to this little hamlet in order to avoid the ideals of a society based on surplus - material things. This is not what is important in life. Rather, art, expression is what all man should strive for. Not things like paper with engravings on them, that signifies a man's worth. No, rather these things should be outlawed, and fought against. Don't you see?'

'What am I to see?' I try, Kerry is my comrade, and I want to understand.

'What is wrong with the society we left?'

'They were all damned fools.'

'But what made them so?'

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