What do you want to hear?

I can tell you the story, if you want. But I don't need to. I've told my story. I've written my story. I've said the words, I've let it out; my story is comfortable with its achievements and accomplishments and where it is at this point in its life, a life lived within my head, and the heads of those who have heard it. My story is at peace. My story doesn't need to be told again. I won't gain anything from recounting it, but I won't lose anything, either.

So, I'll ask you again, what do you want to hear?

I can tell you the story, if you want: it's a long story, full of pain and humiliation and regret. It's a story which will disappoint you and shock you and change your view of me entirely. But I can tell it to you, if you want. If you want the truth, I'll tell you the truth and it won't cost me a thing. My mouth will move, and the words will come out, and you'll listen to them, and when it's done, there will be a hole in your heart where there once was a friend who resembled someone like the story's protagonist (i.e., myself). But that has nothing to do with me. Telling the story again will not affect me in the least. If it's what you want, I'll tell you the story, and I will be the same as I was before I told it to you, the same as I was after I told it the first time, and the twelfth time, and the hundredth time, and all the times I ran through it in my head, and all the times I read it on paper, written by my own hand. I can tell you the story, and afterwards, I will still be the same, although you will no longer see me as such. My story doesn't need to be told again, but it can be, and it will be, if that's what you want.

Or, I can tell you the short version. I can abridge it, if you'd like: I can cut out the depressing bits, the tasteless dialogue, the untempered obscenities, the abysmal things that I did or didn't do and were or weren't done to me by either myself, someone else, a group of people, or no one at all. I can lie, if you want, and tell a pleasant tale, a normal short story in which little occurs, a story in which the protagonist (i.e., myself) arrives at this point no more scarred than he was the last time he told you a story. If that's what you want, that's what I'll tell you, and my mouth will move, and the words will come out, and you'll listen to them, and when it's done, you will feel no differently about me than you did before this conversation began. If that's what you want, then that's what I'll tell you.

It's no trouble at all, either way. I swear.

So, I'll ask you again, what do you want to hear?

What the fuck do you want to hear?
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