Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Red Scarf

I sit here in my cold dark cell looking up at the peeling paint reflecting back at the events that led up to this point.

It all began a few months earlier on a dreary October morning. My life had been coasting along uneventfully up until then. I was a good boy as a youngster and fairly sheltered as most of my peers were, then I went out into the world, got an office, a secretary and slowly settled into a new pattern.
The morning began innocently enough. If I had any idea how my life would change I would’ve just stayed in bed forever.
My vivid imagination always has me expecting the unexpected but I was not prepared for the sight that greeted me when I shuffled into the kitchen.
Sitting at the wooden table was me, calmly eating a bowl of cheerios. I stood there frozen in my shorts and undershirt, mouth agape and white as a sheet. It’s funny how one can recognize his own mannerisms and I was anticipating his every motion. No, this wasn’t some long lost twin this was me without a doubt.
The me at the table did not acknowledge my presence at all. He slurped down the milk as I’m want to and threw the bowl into the sink without washing it, the slob..
After that he simply left out the narrow door of the kitchen, the screen door slamming with a sharp thud, wresting me out of my reverie.
“Hey wait!” I yelled and ran to the door but he was gone.
I sat there for awhile not noticing the sunrays baking my back, at a total loss.
Was I losing my mind? Who can I possiby tell?
I looked into the mirror and patted my cheeks just to make sure I was still here. I decided then that it was nothing but a mirage, a dream perhaps. I’d forget it about it and continue with my day.
The day went pretty smooth and I somehow managed to push out of my mind the mornings occurrence and run my company.
The first indication of trouble came just 2 days later when people at work were looking at me funny. I was either getting paranoid or the whole place was whispering about me and the whispers seemed to be getting louder and louder until I could not take it anymore. I walked over to the water cooler where Mark was standing and cornered him, “alright what’s going on here?” I whispered menacingly. “As if you don’t know”, he replied with a smirk. “No I don’t” I shouted as half the office turned to see what the commotion was about.
I walked back to my desk feeling constricted and uncomfortable.
I looked around and spotted Jerry the accountant at his desk surveying the office from behind his thick plastic glasses. I immediately Imed him. “Hey Jerry..what’s going on?” What he answered made my stomach drop. Basically I had been out last night getting drunk, going to clubs and acting very uncharacteristicly. I was mortified.
Things would only get worse.
That night I decided to go out and track down my double and get to the bottom of this. I walked around peeking into clubs and bars until I was exhausted and headed home.
I came home to find 2 police officers at the door. “Sir can we speak with you a moment?”. “Sure”, I answered uneasily, “come in”.
The older officer walked in slowly his grey eyes scanning every inch of my living room.
He stopped at the coffee table, looked up at me from under his crooked cap and asked “where were you 11am this morning?”
I thought for a moment and then anwered..”I was at work sir..why do you ask?”
The junior officer a hispanic fellow named Vargas dropped a packet of surveillance pictures onto the table. I slowly lifted them, eyes intent and felt my knees give out under me. I collapsed onto the couch..”officer this man looks just iike me.., but I have a whole office full of alibis attesting to my whereabouts, and besides I’d never ever shoplift”.
After handing them a list of my co-workers phone numbers I walked them to the door and closed it behind them. I sat down poured myself a drink and fell asleep in my clothes.
The next morning I went to work and things seemed to be back to normal except for Lisa my secretary who seemed to be dreamily staring at me all day. At 1pm she got up, walked past my desk and dropped a small sticky note onto my desk that read “recover yet, stud?”.
I had to get out of here. I grabbed my jacket and raced home. My heart was racing now and I needed some kind of plan. That night I decided to go out and look for him again.

The streets were full of the usual late night revelers and I felt very uncomfortable, but I kept on looking. I rounded a corner and caught a glimpse down the block of myself rounding the next corner. I started running with total disregard to the people on the street who didn’t seem to care anyhow in their inebriated state. I actually grabbed someone and asked breathlessly..”hey did you see which direction I went?”
I returned home empty, alone and utterly exhausted.

The next morning I picked up the local paper and saw the headline “Local bank robbed”. Under that was a fuzzy surveillance picture of the perpetrator and there he was again. Luckily he was wearing a mask but I was able to recognize his physique.
I was thorougly frustrated and was about to pour myself another drink when I threw the glass across the room, the sound of the shattering soothing my nerves for a second.
Suddenly there was a frantic knocking at the door. I peeked through the peep hole and backed away..
My own voice rang out “come on I know you’re in there..please open up..”
I was silent..trying to quiet my thumping heart. Oh no, I suddenly realized the door was not locked as the knob turned slowly. The door opened and he tiptoed in closing the door behind himself. I was backing up slowly into the kitchen. He turned to me and started pleading “Hey you have to help me..I’m hungry, tired and the cops are looking for me”. He was wearing a simple black coat and a bright red scarf, not something I would ever wear. I reached my hand to the left out of his sight and groped around for a knife on the counter. I wanted to kill him and be done with this nightmare but I couldn’t do it. I actually felt some pity for him and whispered hoarsely “sure, come have something to eat”. Watching him was like an out of body experience. The overall mannerism was exactly me. There was, however, a cockiness about him that I didn’t recognize and found threatening. I watched him eat hungrily in silence. This moment was so strange it brought awkwardness to a whole new level. I coughed and then I asked, “where did you come from?” He started laughing and nearly choked on his food. “Where did I come from? I’m you..you silly man”. He then proceeded to brag about his exploits, things I would never dream of doing. I found myself fascinated and revolted all at once.
We shared a few drinks and fell asleep on the couch..
The next thing I remember, it’s 4:00am and the room is a mess. Empty bottles and leftover food strewn about the dimly lit room. I sat there looking at myself sleep so fitfully and actually felt bad for him for a moment. I stood unsteadily went to the kitchen, took that black kitchen knife in my hand and stabbed him 3 times in the heart. He slumped to the floor without ever having woken up. I then stood erect, fixed my red scarf and calmly walked out the door.


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Blogger The Dreamer said...

ummm... dave? i think you need to get some sleep...

you're starting to sound a bit like edgar allen poe... and that's NOT a good thing...

July 18, 2007 12:32 AM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

oh i thought i'd be the first to comment....i agree with dreamer it seems the lack of sleep is making you morbid...going along with the previous post--is this the new you killing the old you bec you feel such frustrations and inadequacy? you want to break out and become your alter ego? just remember, if you destroy too much of your former self you might not like the person you have become...

July 18, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

btw...i guess i have a morbid fascination as well...good writing!

July 18, 2007 12:51 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I hope you dont mind if I take that as a comliment..
actually..this plot line has been swimming around my head for a few weeks now..

Nah..its not morbid..it's what happens inside of alot of us..
People grow up sheltered..then go out into the real world..and start doing things..and in the beginning it's almost like an out of body experience..nah thats not me doing those things...and then..theres that elusive moment when it becomes you...


July 18, 2007 9:14 AM  
Blogger Limey said...

like in fight club?

July 18, 2007 9:45 AM  
Blogger Chaya said...

Why is this story giving me a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach?
So...you like yourself better now?

July 18, 2007 10:48 AM  
Blogger Bas~Melech said...

Whoa. Well done.

Though I must say, its juxtaposition to the previous post is rather worrisome.

July 18, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...


well.the story is written in the first person but its not about me....well for the most part..

the juxstaposition is purely coincidental

July 18, 2007 12:21 PM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

I don't mind, but it really wasn't meant that way... :P

What ails you, my child? Do not be afraid. Speak your mind. Let the arms of our savior enfold you in embrace.

July 18, 2007 12:46 PM  
Anonymous m00kie said...

you didnt see fightclub?? see it ... now

powerful writing.. and if this is what lack of sleep drives you to thinking and writing.. i say, sleep even less :)
it's amazing to see the level of duplicity and 'out-of-body' experiences we live with. everyone is so busy trying to be who they really are, showing the world the real them, that all they manage to be is as one dimensional and generic as they can. imagine how much more interesting life and poeple would be if we would allow ourselves to embrace all these facets of ourselves

July 18, 2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger exsemgirl said...

gave me the creeps!!

July 18, 2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger come running said...

It's an absolutely wonderful post. I'm glad that you decided to write it down.

July 18, 2007 3:05 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Dreamer, lol

David, at first I was wondering if you really feel this or if it's just a story with a lesson. Glad it's the second one. Great writing.

July 18, 2007 3:26 PM  
Blogger the only way i know said...

first of all,
I agree with BM about the juxtaposition thing..

secondly - i never saw fightclub either.. now I know what to see next time I want some entertainment

thirdly - I just KNEW when you said - 'he stabbed him 3 times' that it was the red scarf guy doing the stabbing

and lastly.. I'm not sure of the message.. but I think one can find a few interpretations if one tried.

July 18, 2007 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Limey and m00kie - SHAME ON YOU!!!

The first rule about Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule about Fight Club is that you DO NOT talk about fight club.


July 18, 2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Tyler Durden said...

Limey and m00kie - SHAME ON YOU!!!

The first rule about Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule about Fight Club is that you DO NOT talk about fight club.


July 18, 2007 8:34 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I dont care how u meant it..

lol..I'll try it tonight..
Hmmm actually..looking back he probably should have killed his self with the red scarf..His hesitation killed him at the end..

heh...hope u werent alone..

come running...
u mean type...
who writes anymore?


u did?
hmm u know me better than that..
How did u know?..even I didnt know and I WROTE it..lol
want to try ur own interpretation?

Ok what is this Fight Club..some sort of cult..?

July 18, 2007 9:04 PM  
Anonymous c said...

Great writing!

I was also thinking Fight Club the whole way through.

David...can't tell you about Fight Club, it would ruin the movie. So you gotta see it for yourself if you wanna know.

Tyler... LOL

July 18, 2007 10:46 PM  
Blogger the only way i know said...

me an' you gotta see Fight Club it seems -

How did I KNOW you were gonna do that at the end... umm - I guess I know you better than you! Lol!

I didn't mean the juxtaposition thing in a bad way really..
firstly - it did give me the creeps being right near the other post
secondly - I do know you better than that.. so I guess it's why I slept all right that night! :-P

ahhhh - winding you up... winding you up..

July 19, 2007 4:04 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Hmm so gloomy get some more positive posts up pretend you are happy, fake it till you make it as they say:)Feel good.

July 19, 2007 10:05 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I ruined it..by reading the wikipedia entry on Fight Club..lol

Its a date....
Thats a scary thought..lol
hehe..givin everyone the creeps am I..?

Oh..thisn was very positive..if u internalize the message...
I'm good..I'm good

July 19, 2007 6:12 PM  
Blogger Sara with NO H said...

I'm too impatient to read other comments, but i think this was a dark interpretation of the struggle inside one's self. Almost a little scary and sad...but positive at the same time. Gosh David, I'm already a roller coaster of emotions; you're not helping here.

July 19, 2007 6:54 PM  
Anonymous tb said...

Old TB popping in here... still read and love your writing. As amazing as it is, I have to agree it's been taking on a rather morbid tone lately.

Still, I know the positive's around the corner.

Anyway - I still don't know how you handle both "real life" and such a "full" blog life at the same time. I for sure could not.

I'm grateful that you do, though.

Alright, by now. Shabbat Shalom.

July 20, 2007 4:07 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

sorry sorry...I should probably put a disclaimer at the top of the post..lol

Is that you??
Thanks for saying Hi...
Well..this is me..and I guess I have a side that is fascinated by morbidity (is that a word?)..
But morbid is not the opposite of positive..

Your statement there assumes I have a "real" life..

Good Shabbos to you too..dont be a stranger

July 20, 2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Limey said...

david- you can pick up the dvd at my office

July 20, 2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...


give me 10 minutes..

July 20, 2007 11:24 AM  
Blogger fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

David, the grass is always greener on the other side, but down the line, it still tastes like grass, with ants, bugs and the occasional rainworm in it ;)

July 23, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

yum..I love ants and rainworms..

July 23, 2007 11:09 AM  
Blogger fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

Alrighty, if you're sooo eager to eat treif, come visit me in Europe, where nobody will recognize you, and feel welcome to enjoy the green pastures of my garden :P (You might be lucky, I spotted a blindworm and hedge-hogs there the other day.)

July 23, 2007 2:01 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...


it also relieves me to know that there are ppl out there that write like you do.
thanks man.

October 17, 2007 2:45 AM  
Blogger the sabra said...

o and if u think im gonna remember all the places where i just commented-ur wrong :)

October 17, 2007 2:46 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Thanks Sabra...

October 18, 2007 10:16 PM  
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