“Alphabet”

Before the Outbreak


From the therapy session recordings of Dr. Kovacs, October 25th, 2015.

“A is for Andy. That’s my name.

“B is for boy. That’s the role I was born to play.

“C is for crazy. That’s the role you want to cast me in.

“D is for doctor. Don’t forget your role: you’re a doctor, not a director.

“E is for everybody. Everybody is always so quick to judge.

“F is for friend. ‘Friend’ is just a costume people love to wear.

“G is for grapes. I want to skin them all like grapes.

“H is for hate. You can’t spell ‘hate’ without a certain three-letter word that hides behind an h-shaped mask.

“I is for… I… am going to eat you.

“J is for joke. That was a joke!

“K is for kindness. Kindness can have sharp rows of monstrous teeth.

“L is for love. When ‘love’ looks in the mirror, it sees its true self—something that looks and sounds a lot like ‘evil.’

“M is for missing. That boy on the news—the musical prodigy—isn’t really missing anymore.

“N is for nose. He broke my nose once, so his was the first thing I ate.

“O is for organ. The one I stole from him makes beautiful, wet music.

“P is for pimples. High school is a big ugly face full of pimples. I’ve already popped one.

“Q is for question. The question marks you’ve placed in my mind are like little hooks piercing through my brain. What are you fishing for, doctor?

“R is for reality. My reality is bruised, thanks to the abusive kids that always pick on me.

“S is for scab. They pick on me like I’m a scab that will never go away.

“T is for therapy. This ‘alphabet therapy’ is really stupid, just like your white lab coat.

“U is for understand. What are you hoping to understand from this? Or did you just want a confession?

“V is for Vali. She’s the only one that truly understands me and my hungry anxiety. I know our relationship is strictly oral, but… I think I’m starting to fall in love with her. Don’t ever call her Valium, though, she doesn’t like that!

“Z is for zebra. Yeah, I’m skipping ahead. I’m literally skipping a head. I’m skipping over yours! Now what’s left of you looks like a headless zebra with red stripes.”