Short Synopsis: OíNeill offers has a self-revelation and shares it with the world Ė with a surprising twist in the end!

Rated R for some topics that may not be suitable for younger children

Timothy OíNeill and other characters are the property of MTV and Noggin. The lyrics are from "River Below" by Billy Talent. No copyright infringement is intended, this piece was written just for fun. For comments and questions write to Bacner, olgak531@rogers.com. Everybodyís welcome!

OíNeillís epiphany

A screen window is opened, and up comes Mr. OíNeillís image, similar to the way he had set-it up in a cave, during that field trip to the mountains. This time, however, itís in his home or a similar setting, and he doesnít look very frantic at all.

Rejected since day 1

My name is, Bastard Son

I've been dead so many times

I've lost count

OíNeill: Hello, my audience. This is Timothy OíNeill speaking. To those of you who have no way to access Angela Liís files, hereís a bit about myself. My family has always been good, solid, Irish Catholic. Well, all of those on my motherís part, anyways Ė Iím kind of blurry about my fatherís kin. But one thingís for sure, itís because of him Iím not a priest. I wouldíve made a wonderful one, Iím sure, for I just love helping people with their problems Ė just ask that Dara girl, Iíve helped her as soon as she came to Lawndale High Ė and her friend as well!.. But, sadly, that was not to be. When my uncle Ė heís the boss of the local episcopacy, thus heís a bishop, soon to be promoted to an archbishop now Ė tried to talk with my father about my future career, father was adamant. He didnít care who I was to be, as long as it was secular. And when uncle tried to protect, father went almost insane, and both mother and me hid. I donít remember what happened next, uncle protesting that not even my father could raise his hand on a man of God, and father later commenting that thatís good for him, for he cleared uncle from our house with just one kickÖ

I donít really remember what happened next. I remember that father went to court some time later on the charges of assault and battery, and him warning my uncle as he was loaded into the armored car that if uncle went on ahead and tried his way, then father will get him even from underground, even if saint Peter himself tried to save uncleís head, hide and mitre. And since father always carried-out his promises, even my formidable uncle and his camarilla (whatever that is) had to back off. And so, he got meÖ a secular job.

Blue collar-working man

Defaceless masterplan

But go work with a mental side on

And this, now, brings us to the present Ė well not to the present per se, but to the more recent past. Namely now, but nowís not the present because the present, you seeó

Ahem. Sorry about that last bit. You see, I have found once this most interesting article in a magazine found in this trolley, and it talked aboutó

Oops. I did it again. Where was I? Oh yes, my teaching job. My dear uncle got it to me because it was so similar to the priestly duties and he was such a good acquaintance with Angela Li, even though she isnít Catholic, at least I havenít seen her in church, but then again, I havenít been much to the house of God lately, but the reason for that will come laterÖ

So, about my job. What can I say, I love my co-workers, theyíre so nice. Well, those that I do know, anyways. I mean, I hardly know Sam Morris or the coach, because our areas of teaching so hardly interlope, and they are such gruff people, so I donít think Iím up to the task of befriending them. If I was a man of cloth, of course, then maybe, but for nowÖ

On the other hand, Iíve happened to get a whole bunch of friends and acquaintances, and weíre such a motley bunch! Thereís Clare DeFoe, from Osceola, Louisiana, who decided to settle here on recommendation from some friends; Anthony DeMartino from Las Cruces, New Mexico, who came here because of some personal issues (I think that his hobby of buying all the issues of all sorts of army catalogues may hold a clue to those issues); Janet Barch from here, getting this job as a temp, but eventually getting it on a permanent basis and finally our captain, our mother empress, Angela Li, who is actually a foreigner, a Canadian from some place called British Columbia, of which I am totally ignorant, to my shame!

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

So, as you can see, Iíve met and became familiar, and in some cases, almost friendly! However, Iíve got to admit that that wasnít always the case. You see, Iíve used to be a little shy (just like mother), a somewhat secluded lad Ė undoubtedly a great failure for a man of cloth, but Iím now a secular man, so itís okay.

No, no, itís not. This is your big moment, Timothy, so youíve got to make your admittances right now.

Ahem. So, just forget what Iíve said just a moment before. I was not okay, I was a man haunted by vague whisperings, something about "a bloody nuisance of that bloody priest", a "wretched way to pay debt," and "the revenge will be nasty"! And whatís worse, those whisperings seemed to be coming in voices of Angela and Maggie (Iím talking about our staff psychologist, Margaret Manson, of course)!

And so, I was a man haunted and possessed, with an uneasy soul, when Tony Jericho came into my life.

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

 

Now, you may ask, who is Tony Jericho? Why, Tony Jericho Dracon is none other than the older brother of another one of our pupils, namely Andrea! Andrea Hecuba Dracon, to be exact. For some silly reason everybody believes that Hecuba is her last name. Itís not. Itís her second name as a matter of fact! Isnít that funny?

Oh. Here I go digressing again. Anyways, I was talking about Tony. Now Tony, you see, was a senior, and was actually graduating at the end of that year Ė and since that year was actually my first year of work in Lawndale High, I guess we didnít chat much after all, in the overall scheme of things. But on the other hand all in relative in the hand of God.

Now then. Tony Jericho. Howíd he and I met? It was during the lunch break, when I found him smoking in under the stairwell. He looked ratherÖ irritated on that day, and so I asked him: "what was wrong?"

"Nothing, just upset with the boss."

"Er, what boss?"

"Our principal, thatís what boss! You see, OíNeill, my man, Iím not really open with strangers, but my old man speaks well of your old man, and so Iíll disclose to you this secret: our captain, our mother empress, our Ms. Li is apparently trying to be Snowball, while in reality all she is, is Napoleon."

"Ah, Tony, I donít follow what youíre saying."

"Ah, OíNeill, my man, I see you havenít read George Orwellís Animal Farm, now have you?"

"I shamefully admit my ignorance, yes."

"Ah well, read it some other time, it couldnít hurt you; besides, it was written by your fellow countryman Ė youíre English, right?"

"Irish, actually."

"Eh, whatís the diff?"

"I shamefully admit my ignorance in this matter as well."

"Right. Now, about Li. You see, sheís the captain of our ship, sheís our mother empress. Following me so far?"

"Yes, yes."

"Right. And it is known that all empresses, like the all emperors, are autocrats."

"But what about the English queen? She reigns but doesnít rule.

"OíNeill, my man, weíre talking about emperors and empresses here, not kings and queens. Thereís a subtle diff, you see."

"No, I donít."

"Well, people around here fail to see a lot of subtle things. Take our glorious principal for example, long may she reign!.. Now she canít see that one canít order things to be both mandatory and democratic, thatís like ordering a plate of porridge thatís both hot and cold Ė impossible at best, at worst youíll actually achieve, or get, something but I wouldnít want to eat that porridge!.."

"Ah, I donít get it."

"And thatís Angelaís luck. For when somebody Ė a student or a faculty member - will see this subtlety and recognize it for the impossibility it is, then Angelaís little game is going to finished or at least seriously hindered. But thatís not all! Our captain has another problem Ė you see, sheís also trying to be a showman, well, a showwoman and an organizer at the same time. Believe me, thatíll cause her even more grief, mark my words!"

"Ah, Tony, arenít you a little young to be a prophet?"

"Iím not a prophet, Iím merely smart, even if not compared to that Sherman boy and his football gangÖ Anyways, the lunchbreakís almost up, so here are some words of consolation."

"Consolation? For what?"

"For the times of trouble, Iím sure. And they are: OíNeill, donít worry. Your old man Ė and Iíve heard that from my old man Ė is a tough old bullock, almost a buffalo, and your uncleís a bishop, so whatever storm breaks, youíre likely to stay afloat and not sink in whatever storm thatíll come forth. Now if you excuse me, got to go class."

"Ah, Tony, I know that it may sound weird and probably sodomitic and perverted, but can we stay in touch? I feel like learning so much about you!"

"Maybe, OíNeill, maybe. Time will tell."

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

Don't make me, cause I'll do it

Red blood and then we'll all go

Into the river below

OíNeill: Well, that was the gist of our little discussion, and though God hasnít deemed me worthy of a perfect memory, I remember this discussion perfectly, for it haunted me many a later night.

Now, I know that my little handpuppet presentation didnít look very impressive, sadly, God didnít deem worthy of having an artistís talent as well, but I canít complain, but Iím thinking that youíve got the gist of it.

Now, onto my tale. After this little discussion of Tony and me things didnít change somewhat. I wasÖ I wasÖ I was disturbed and bothered by Tonyís opinion and for several nights I couldnít sleep from that shock. I kept visualizing of myself like a cheap inflatable rubber raft, caught in a storm Ė unthinkable by itself, but practically useless to help anybody else.

And I was determined to change it. I felt that I was tested by God in my secular job and had to prove him right, prove his faith in me, in my worthiness.

During that night I first slept well.

On the next morning I went to Angela and opened a self-esteem class. It was hard, but Maggie Manson and me had talked her into it in the end.

And so, I was content.

And then, things changed.

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

Don't make me, cause I'll do it

Red blood and then we'll all go

Into the river below

Well, things changed constantly and always, just nobody noticed them. For, as that enchanting article that I found in the trolley said, the humans are adept at not noticing many things, and despite all my attempts to become a good, good, secular man, I am too just one of them, and mayhaps even one of those who were or are, blinded by the sin of pride!

How it pains me to admit it! Me, Timothy OíNeill, a nephew of a bishop (practically an archbishop) of the Holy Catholic Church, a sinner!

But, on the other hand, I wonder if I have cured myself of that! I have finally forced myself to open my eyes to the truth! But alas, so much damage have been doneÖ

Oh. Wait, Iíve gotten ahead of myself. You see, as I said before, things were changing, and I, in my sin of pride, didnít see it!

Or rather, Iíve ignored. It all started when Angela was starting getting trouble from some student or another; I never could quite remember their names. And whatís more, on a closer scrutiny it appeared that it was Angela who started whatever trouble began in our school. But I told myself that it was ridiculous, I forced my and Tonyís discussion from my head, and went on like nothing was wrong.

But something was wrong. Angela was sinking into the sin of greed, and it was rebounding on all of us. Something had to be done, but we did nothing. And at last, DeMartino, acting like a true man and a true Christian (him, not me; him, who was actually accused of being an enemy agent and almost deported), called forth an anti-principal strike.

On that day I finally went to Lawndaleís town library and checked-out Animal Farm.

Contraption

Made of bones

Nuts and bolts

Creates them

New monster

And that was that. The scales fell from my eyes, the plugs burst out of my mind and I finally remembered my discussion with Tony and I, and I finally understood what he meant. I understood that and was scared.

And thus I sinned again, for I have committed the sin of cowardliness. On the other hand, though it is most unchristian, I have to say something else: so did most of the other strikers. But they never aspired to be men (or women, sorry Janet, I forgot) of faith, I did. And thus my sins are much heavier than theirs are.

But on with my narrative. As I said before, after the scales fell from my eyes and I came free from the sin of pride Ė only to fall into the sin of cowardliness, and so I did nothing! I, just like the other teachers, did nothing Ė just hid behind the backs of our students (our students, the same young people whom we are supposed to be teaching to be true and responsible adults, and instead we taught them naught), and so it was up to Anthony DeMartino to go in and bring to us our dignity and deliverance, just like a servant of God! God bless you, Anthony! And Iím sure that he wonít forget you!

But enough about Anthony. That worthy man has not deserved to have a place in the story of this wretch.

Contraption

Made of bones

Nuts and bolts

Creates them

New monster

Brought your family tree down

Tick tocking

Times up now

Split second

Though it fell

Lonely hearts

Never had nobody

 

And furthermore, this story is almost done. All that is left is to explain about the tools. The tools and the books.

They have come to me from Janet. Ah, Janet. To quote somebody Ė I think it was also Tony, the poor lad, who was the only ray of light that I had for a long time Ė "sheís a woman a man can respect, for the life have dealt her many a hard blow upon the head, but for someoneís sake, should she be truly teaching kids?"

You know, she and I made quite a couple overall. She really loved me; mayhaps even loves me Ė the sinful wretch that I am! But, my good audience, donít judge her too harshly Ė sheís but a woman, and is weak and soft at heart, even though on outside sheís hard and blustery. And do not let her seeming hatred of all things manly fool you either Ė behind it lies merely an exasperation of a woman who had too many sons in her life and not enough daughter. Imbalance in family, just like in the overall scheme of things, is nothing but ruin!..

But I digress once again. You see, from her husband, Janet had inherited a tool chest, full of tools, and several very interesting books on chemistry, metalworking, woodworking Ė you name it! (Janetís husband would probably get right along with Anthony DeMartino.)

I was supposed to get rid of them, but for some reason I kept them. Mayhaps I had a moment of foresight that I would need them in the future Ė maybe even for this very purpose!..

Ah, yes what is the purpose, the purpose of my little speech, my little live web broadcast? Well, not to just babble some more like the useless wretch that I am, but to do, to actually do, the only meaningful thing that I have ever done! Good world, say good bye to Timothy OíNeill!

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

Don't make me, cause I'll do it

Red blood and then we'll all go

Into the river below

OíNeill now stops talking and turns and walks away from the screen, which now sort of moves forth and shrinks, until it becomes obvious this is a live web recording. Meanwhile, OíNeill comes to the opposite end of the room, and pulls-off some tarpaulin. Behind it lies an object that looks suspiciously like a bomb.

OíNeill turns to the web-cam one last time, smiles a smile that causes his viewers to have goosebumps run down their spines, and presses some sort of a button. For a few seconds nothing happens, and then the screen "explodes" in a fiery eruption for a few seconds before going permanently dark and falls down, shaken-off the table as if by a minor earthquake.

I'm sinking, I'm twisted

I'm broke and you can't fix it

Don't make me, cause I'll do it

Red blood and then we'll all go

Into the river below

I'm running from the inferno

They'll think I'm insane

But you'll all know my name

Into the river below

I'm running from the inferno

I'll take all the blame

The frontpage and the fame

The end.