A Disappearance

Alan White has been missing for four days. He posted this to his Blog the day before he disappeared:


It’s been eight months since I blogged and I feel the need to share.

I’m following Gary Nash. On Twitter obviously but now in real life too. Not sure when it started. Maybe it started when I realised we liked the same girl. Or maybe when I discovered we’re both Sagittarius. Or maybe after I listened to him in maths class call out the solution to a particularly difficult equation. I followed him into the toilet one day not realising what I was doing and then pretended to piss and then followed him outside and stood and let him disappear amongst the crowd while wondering why I’d even followed him in the first place. I went home and rewatched ABeautiful Mind. Everything’s so random. But everything fits if you look close enough. You have to fit. You have to make yourself fit. I think I’m in the process of making myself fit. Like I’m building myself to fit. But it’s hard. There’s so much stuff. Stuff to build with it. Stuff to smash it all down with. What to use? What not to use? I feel like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind is like my father or my brother. I feel close to him and I understand him and I know he’d understand me. Unlike Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Worlds apart. Funny it’s the same actor but completely different people. I follow Russell Crowe on Twitter.  I’ve watched A Beautiful Mind countless times. Gary Nash is really good at maths too. Like me. Like his namesake John Nash. Me and Gary are similar sorts obviously and I’ve found myself wanting to know everything about him. I imagine us winning the Nobel Prize one day. Even his Tweets could be my Tweets. His Facebook posts my posts. I’ve read them all and they mingle with my own. Blending, I call it. But there’s a problem. He frightens me or even disgusts me. I can’t talk to him. Can’t get to know him like that so I follow him because I’d like to know him. Know everything about him. This I’m sure would help with the building of myself. Help me fit. Sometimes I ask myself what would Russell Crowe do and laugh. But I still won’t talk to him. Not sure why he frightens me. There’s so much potential. Gary Nash could be a brilliant mathematician like John Nash. But does he have the same worries and anxieties as me and John Nash do. Does he feel and see things like us. I need to know this. John Nash built himself up and so many things from the outside and the inside tried to smash him down. But he won that Nobel Prize in the end. Russell Crowe accepting that award. What a moment! Gary Nash might not fulfil his potential. I might be smashed down. And I’m frightened by failure. Frightened by Gary’s lack of interest. His unwillingness to see things clearly. His attitude disgusts me. His friends disgust me. John Nash has no friends. I want to shout at him when I see him. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Don’t skip class. When I see him talking to Michelle I want to punch him in the face and tell her he’s no good. A waster. I’m better than him. But I can’t. I’m not able. I need to build. I wish Gary would be injured in some accident. A car crash or something. He is obviously both help and hindrance to me. Or I think if I was in a car crash would Gary fulfil that potential without me. Do we need each other? I think we do. I’m building myself but it’s hard. Tiring. I feel lost. I’ve asked my friend James to call me Alan now instead of Al. I’m looking at college courses. The things I’d like to do. Everybody else seems to know. But I don’t know. I need more time. How long did Russell Crowe take preparing for the role of John Nash? How long was filming? How can he just go from being Maximus Decimus Meridius to being John Nash? The world moves too quick. No time to build. I’ll find a way. I have to find a way to make it all fit. I shaved my head. I need to be stronger. And I study maths more and more. More than any other subject. I’ll get at least five hundred points in the Leaving Cert. Would love to work with numbers. Could I be a mathematician? Could I win the Nobel Prize? Gary could help. I followed him home. His house is like mine. He was in there studying maths I’m sure. I stood there wondering what he’d want to do in college. Something to do with numbers obviously. I watched his dad come home from work. His dad is younger than mine. Actually looks a bit like Russell Crowe in Proof of Life. His car is an ’04 like my dad’s car. Wish I could just call in. And then Michelle called to his house. Went in. And I got a big brick and threw it through his dad’s car window. When I got home I checked all Gary’s Tweets. All his Facebook posts. Photos. Everything. Michelle’s too. They didn’t Tweet each other or talk on Facebook. A few days later he left his phone sticking out of the side pocket of his schoolbag and I managed to steal it. But it was locked and I didn’t know the password so I took it out the back garden and smashed it with a shovel. I’m now called Whiteser. Has a slangy authority to it. My parents won’t call me Whiteser obviously so they still call me Alan but I feel the name doesn’t suit anymore. I like Whiteser or I like my middle name Robert. Begins with R. Lots of questions for Robert. What do you want to do when you’re older? Do you recognise the importance of numbers? Do you see them all around? Do you see the randomness? How do you make sense of everything? Do numbers help you with this? What’s your favourite Movie? Favourite Actor? I could go on and on. It’s important to question everything. I’m building myself and need to question everything and need to know as much as possible. That’s why I’m following Gary Nash. But he’s a hindrance to my process. My building. He’s like a doppelgänger. Can there be two of us? The building process is so hard. There’ just so much stuff. My parents want me to go to college but I don’t know what to do. Michelle ignores me. Russell Crowe is divorced. Gary Nash is a waster. The TV tries to tell you what to do. But I still don’t know. All the Tweets on Twitter are blending until there’s no difference between them. Facebook shows off this and shows off that. Like this and Like that. But how are you supposed to know what to do? What to like? What’s the difference between me and anybody else? Call me Robbie rather than Whiteser. I don’t think I’ll be a mathematician. Seen David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet and might do Geography in college. Russell Crowe would be a good young David Attenborough. David Attenborough deserves a Nobel Prize. All that ice. Barely anything exists up there. Is that as close to not existing as you could get? I’ll have to visit someday. When I’ve built myself. When I fit. But Gary Nash wants to stop that from happening. Why does he hate me? Michelle is under his spell. I feel I need to break away but I don’t know what to do. I wonder what he’ll do in college. Now I don’t know if I want to be a Geologist or a Mathematician and I don’t know if I like the name Robbie or Robert and I don’t know if Michelle likes me or not and I think Gary Nash is causing my confusion. He’s an obstacle. We are too alike. Sometimes I think there’s no need for me to be here. Gary is enough. He could be a Geologist or a Mathematician. He doesn’t need me. There’s no need for me. I could disappear. Am I even here? I’m on my own frozen planet. Does anyone even care? Life is stupid really. I’m building myself but do I even exist. The stuff I use to build with, does that even exist? I cut my leg with one of those big black handled chopping knives from the kitchen. It really hurt. Let’s you know you’re really here. Lots of blood. I showed my parents. They were so upset. They care I suppose. I told them I wouldn’t do it again. But I did. Still do. Wonder does Gary cut? You have to feel to be able to build properly and cutting helps me feel. When you feel things make more sense. And when things make more sense things fit together better. And I fit better. Watched A Beautiful Mind again. It makes more sense every time I watch it. The things John Nash had to deal with. He built himself up and nearly got smashed down. That might happen to me. I’m obviously not as sick as him but I feel he understands me. Like a father or a brother. I followed Gary and Michelle to the Cinema. I forget the movie. A horror. I sat about five rows behind them. Gary’s such a waster. How doesn’t Michelle see that? This time I went home and cut my wrist. My mattress was soaked through with blood. Nearly died. Didn’t want to die but it’s nice to know you can. A lot of time in the hospital and talking to doctors and therapists. They say they will help me build. Help me fit. I don’t know. How do they know what will help when they don’t know who I am? I don’t even know who I am! That’s why I follow Gary Nash. But I didn’t tell them that. I’m back in school and I still follow him. Mostly on Twitter. He is a waster I’ve decided. Nothing like his namesake. I can still build. I got a Russell Crowe boxset. Funny how the same person can play so many different parts. How he can fit so well into so many different parts? Or does he make things fit around him? Life is really stupid. And hard. I study maths more and more. Something equals something else. I like that because everything is random and messy and it’s so hard to make sense of things that the fact that x and y can equal z is good. It helps. John Nash is crazy. I laugh and think what would John Nash do? The look my dad gave me when I told him I wanted to be a Mathematician. I cut my thigh. Cleaned up after myself. Followed Gary home at lunch the next day. Nearly followed him up to his door. Nearly talked to him. But I think I’d have to climb out of my own skin before I could do that. He needs me and I need him. Does he realise that? Imagine the Nobel Prize! We could meet John Nash. I feel I’m building myself again. It feels good. I feel happy. Everybody calls me Al now. You can all call me Al.

I’ll be back!


Bye for now.

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1 Comment
  1. Teresa Sweeney says

    Great story! I was glued to the end.

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