Wasting Away At The 100 Rads Bar: Part 1
Thu, 01/21/2010 — Rev. Ragu
"GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER"
...And there goes another one. Why can't I stop doing this? I'm not even guarding anything here. It's a warehouse full of empty crates and a couple of pipes going nowhere, and here I am, pacing back and forth on this catwalk, trying to look like I'm actually supposed to be here, telling everyone to GET OUT OF HERE. I keep pushing everyone away, and though I want to stop, I don't feel I have any control over it!
I was in the bar one day, stuffing diet sausage in my mouth, downing whole bottles of vodka, miserable, not really having any idea why I'm out here in this irradiated hellhole full of incomprehensible death at every turn, telling everyone who tries to reach out to GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER. So one day, in a fuzz of self-hatred and last night's bender, I told myself that things had to change. I would make an effort to open up and learn to trust people again.
I gather my courage, and talk with the first person I see. He's a handsome, mustachioed, slightly too-slick looking Belarusian named Antonin, and although I had misgivings about him at first, he was a breezy and personable fellow who had allegedly come to brave the The Zone to put his three kids through college. He listened to me tearfully spill my heart out about my struggles communicating with others, and he gave me this big, warm smile and a bear hug. It was the first time in my entire life I felt that kind of belonging, and it felt really, really good. I had made a friend, and I start thinking that maybe I can make a change.
So we drink several bottles of radiation-cleansing vodka and stumble out of the bar at three AM, singing old Stalker songs about horrible death by bloodsucking Lovecraft-looking horrors. We get to this warehouse, and he gives me this story. "Hey," he says "Can you hold my gun for me and wait here? I think I lost my wallet back at the bar." I tell him sure. Antonin, he's done so much for me and he doesn't even know it. I can do him a little favour. So I wait. Hours pass. I wait. And wait. And wait some more. The days pass, catching whatever sleep I can get in my fatigues, leaning against the support pillar. The time has passed, and I've been waiting for him here for at least three months now, holding his gun for him, hoping my new friend would come back, but he never comes. I feel like I've been somehow betrayed, and I'm pushing everyone away again.
I'm not so different from everyone else. I want to be loved, I want to have friends, I want someone to see past this cold facade I put out to the world and see me for the warm, loving being I am inside. I want someone to hear me say "GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER" and hear that tiny cry for help. Perhaps I ask for too much, after all, these are the cold and treacherous ruins left behind by the Chernobyl disaster, and it takes a certain, hard kind of man to come out and risk life and limb for magic rocks. And I can't really leave because I'm still waiting for Antonin to pick up his gun! Alas, though he's more than likely gone for good, I keep holding out hope that maybe he'll be back, the only one who ever understood me. And though I know it's foolish, I'll keep waiting, as long as it takes.
...Oh, hey, here comes another Stalker. Maybe I'll just give him a friendly "Hello, how's it going?" and he'll want to talk to me and we can be friends...
"GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER"
Goddammit, I did it again.