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There is no title for this because nothing matters. Let me start on the fateful day: the day I realized I had no parents. I had a biological mother and biological father who were very much alive and married and living in the same house with me, but I had no parents.

The problem was that my mother was mad and my father was an imposing, flabby religious bigot who very much liked to yell at me and then ask me if I was impaired when I was too afraid to answer. I'm going to have to make a long story short because the reason for my sadness was very stupid and boring in retrospect:

He had payed to enroll me in religion classes, but I wasn't religious. I had to do twenty community service hours and get signatures confirming that I did them on this little stupid sheet. I did fifteen truthfully, and the days frittered by until it came the day that they were due. My older sister, a very bitchy person she is, convinced me that I had to forge the extra five community service hours.

I thought this was dishonest and stupid. I should've dropped out and never went there again. When I presented this thought, she called me stupid and asked what I would do when my dad found out. I should've dropped out right then because I had to drop out later anyway when it was found out that I forged the signatures and I had to deal with the brain-eating guilt and fear and embarrassment of the lady whom was very overbearing and imposing and ran the religion school telling me that she was ashamed of me in front of the entire school. I went home without the required robe and papers necessary to later be confirmed in two weeks.

I had to dejectedly walk home and tell my sister what had happened because she convinced me to forge the signatures. Because she apparently has selective hearing, she told me, the stupid bitch that she is, that it didn't matter because my other sister got her robe and papers practically the day before she got confirmed.

So imagine my surprise when she received an e-mail saying that I just needed to go back to the school and fill out some extra paperwork concerning the hours and I would have my robe and papers and be ready to go. By this point, I was so ashamed and disillusioned with religion that I didn't want to go, and I didn't want to lie further. I also suspected it was a trap and she wanted to find out for sure I had forged it. So she decided to basically pigeon-hole me into misery by telling my dad that I had to go there. Meaning that if I didn't go, like I had planned to do, he would immediately find out, as opposed to another world where he wouldn't find out until at least another month if no one told.

I still didn't want to go. The day I decided not to go was the day I realized I had no parents. On that day, after the expected terror came from my father, I slunk into bed miserably at seven, and fell asleep 'til six in the morning.

When I woke, it was dark and a sliver of the sun was just beginning to show from under the horizon. I started walking. It was cold, early and dark, but I walked. I put on my coat and walked out the front door miserably, then walked in the middle of the road because there were no cars. Down the houses, past trees and lawns, midnight blue skies and the pink horizon, I gazed at it in some terrorstruck, wonderful awe. At that moment, I knew what manic depression was.

Something in my head sort of clicked. I was still miserable, trapped, but somehow staring at this wonder. The sheer mania and feeling of life perversely worsened my depression. Everything felt intensified. The woods, the woods...

The woods above. The road went uphill, to a river with the woods in front of them. It was a place many used for hiking and walking, God knows why. It was such an ugly place. There were desiccated logs everywhere, no life to be found, and they weren't really woods so much as some vast expanse of rotten leaves, logs and rocks, sparsely littered with large trees, with a very sudden steep escarpment leading down into the river.

I went into the woods. There were no bugs nor wildlife. I wanted to be nothing. I wanted to fall asleep in the brown, rotten leaves and dirt that made up the ground, with a shrivelled up log as a pillow. I wanted to wake up as nothing, or maybe as a mass of leaves. I did just that, fell asleep in the rotten leaves and rested my head against a log. I did wake up differently.

The sun had somehow risen back under. My shoes were gone. There was some sort of brown, disgusting, tree-like rash on my ankles which descended below my dirty socks. I took them off to find that my feet had essentially become mini-trees. My toes were miniscule branches, my toenails were leaves.

I was paralyzed with fear and anxiety. I couldn't move. I could only watch it spread up my body. My clothing was ripped off as I grew. I was about to have a heart attack. My hands became metastasized, some giant, hulkering limbs, my fingers becoming fat and sharp. It spread up to my face, the top of my head, and it was done. I was still lying down.

I lay there in the most abject fear I had ever felt in my life for what felt to be hours until I realized I could still move. Slowly, gradually, I got myself up. I must have been at least ten feet. All of a sudden, I could hear the most inviting but terrible music in the distance. A soft, murmuring melodious pan-flute playing. It was echoing songs of sadness, it was the same emotion I had felt when I saw such a beautiful sunset in such a depressive world.

I had heard it before. Yes, I had definitely heard it before. I could see it now. I could see my duty.

Everybody is sad. Everybody has some tragic backstory, everybody loves self-pity. Everyone has something going on in their lives.

Some of these people let it overwhelm them. They let it consume them until it becomes a gaping black hole at the center of their life. Life suddenly becomes meaningless for them.

Some people have worse lives than others and manage to keep it check. Some people have better lives than others and don't.

Looking back, I realized my life may as well have been perfect in comparison to others'. I've seen so many sad people, so many. I've lived their life and entered their mind and called them out to the woods. I've painted beautiful sunsets in a midnight blue sky and made these woods such an inviting place to lie down.

I've also called them to more than the woods. I go everywhere. In the city, I go into the dark alleyway by the trash cans and dumpsters. I take the appearance of a tall, lurking dark figure in a trench-coat. My song there is a howling, and I call people to go curl up by the dumpster and die.

By the beach, I become my largest form. The water itself. I cry the roaring songs of the sea in the night, and lure some people to come out there and drown.

I realized somewhere along the way that I was never that pathetic boy that was lured into the woods. It was just one incarnation of me, one memory of me, as are all the other people I've lured. Somewhere, deep down, I feel a little bad because I know that I'm only hurting myself.

One day, you might hear a song too, far in the distance, calling you to the woods, the alleyway, the water. Some place where you can curl up and be whisked away into the undergloom, laughing and crying the whole way through.

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