I recall that, in the last post, I reduced Eric Harris’s postmortem reputation to rubble and ash. But Eric wasn’t the only Columbine shooter-hell no! He was aided and abetted by a rather strange young man named Dylan Klebold.
If Eric was God’s attempt at making a Tommy DeVito that Generation X could relate to, then Dylan was a short-term disposal solution for the chronic spine-and-forehead overflow that prevailed throughout the eighties. I’ve already used the drainpipe simile, so I’ll plump for saying that if Tim Burton had ever decided to remake The Nightmare Before Christmas with all the main characters as grunge fanatics, then Dylan would’ve won the part of Jack Skellington hands down. There is little doubt nowadays that Dylan couldn’t have facilitated the massacre by himself-in Eric’s journal, there are several passages that hint to him doing all the heavy lifting,things like, “I have to get Dylan some more guns.”
I must admit that Klebold’s journal was much easier to read than Harris’s-in a thematic sense, at least. Eric was apopletic twenty-four/seven; Dylan was thoughtful and morose (“Think….think….that’s all my life is….my mind never stops….). Eric believed, quite seriously, that he was God; Dylan, although prone to the same grandiose fantasies, believed fervently in something more powerful than himself that he tried to bargain with (“What else can I do/give?….I’ve stopped the pornography, I try not to pick on people.”) Eric frequently went on racist tirades, whereas Dylan railed against what he saw as the conformity of his peers in general (“….Everything that the zombies consider real….”). Eric dreamed of-and wrote graphically about raping the girls he went to school and worked with; Dylan merely craved someone to love (“I want pure bliss….to be cuddling with [name redacted], who I think I love deeper than ever….”).
See, this is what I can’t understand. Klebold, although flawed, was what I like to call “salvageable”. He does, at one point, say that he would like to go on a shooting spree, but it’s mentioned two years before the massacre, and he doesn’t say anything of the sort again until five days before the shooting. If anything, his journal was a shrine to romance: hearts adorned the margins, he wrote a few love-letters that he was too shy to send, and he even did an acrostic in honour of a girl he was crushing on pretty heavily. To top it all off, he was clinically depressed. Two murderers couldn’t have been less alike.
How on earth did Eric convince him to go through with it? God, I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. Sure, Dylan was suicidal, but he wasn’t prone to daydreaming of hurting people, like Eric was. In fact, he seems to have started out as a fairly normal kid, who was slowly corrupted by his psychopathic BFF until he was a taller, blonder, whiner version of him.
But hey, I’m not here to dissect his mind, I’m here to mock him brutally! He shot a boy with special needs, for God’s sake! (That boy’s name, for the record, was Kyle Velasquez, and he was awesome beyond belief.)
“My existence is s***.”
Uhh….ooookkaaaaaaay….what else does the first entry say?
“….[I] go to school, be scared and nervous….”
A few months later
“Yo….whassup….heehehehe….know what’s weird?”
No, I don’t! Keep away from me, you freakishly over-familiar dead guy!
[This next was apparently a dream he had:]
“Miles and miles of never-ending grass, like wheat. A farm, sunshine, a happy feeling in the presence, ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong, nothing ever is, contrary one hundred and eighty degrees to normal life.”
Dylan Klebold was not especially hard to please, it appears. Most people’s ideal paradises are completely unattainable. All Dylan needed for his was a cornfield, a sunny day, and maybe some cocaine for that “everything’s just dandy” feeling he sought so keenly. Heck, I myself can find at least two of those things in my neighbourhood-all three on a good day, in fact.
Here’s another thing about Klebold: he wasn’t as fond of Eric as Eric was of him. Harris’ journal contains many boasts of being one half of a two-man master race-only he and Dylan, his best pal, his bosom friend, had that self-awareness. Dylan, however, was rather cool towards Eric in the privacy of his journal. In a rare moment where he wasn’t writing about wanting to kill himself, he scribbled that his friends were collapsing in on top of each other-Eric included-and that he didn’t mind. There are a number of interpretations for this interesting passage, my own being that Dylan and Eric briefly joined a cheerleading squad at some point, and that Dylan was writing that passage in the bleachers as the human pyramid he’d been the base of toppled every which way.
But then, ladies and gentlemen, he had a change of heart. Aftermore than thirty pages of going on about crushing hopelessly on a girl at school, he hits us with this curveball:
“….I know he and I are concieved from ourselves and each other. Every night of the self-awareness journey, every thought we concieved, we finished the race. Time to die. Everything we knew, we were able to understand it….The zombies were a test to see if our love was genuine. We are in wait of our reward, each other. The zombies will never cause us pain anymore. The humanity was a test. I love you, love. Time to die, time to be free, time to love.”
I, uh….I guess he was pretty fond of Eric, after all. This entry is written in the vein of the passages where he waxed poetic over a girl he mysteriously alludes to as [name redacted], but here he’s apparently talking about the individual he planned committing the massacre with. This leaves me, personally, with some interesting theories. Either Dylan would have preferred to have murdered with his female soulmate by his side, or-this seems more plausible-he was talking about Eric, thus proving the suspiscions of David Larkin, Gus Van Sant and a certain niche group on tumblr.
The whole thing’s kind of messed up, isn’t it?
How shall I finish this post? I’ve been surprised by this strange, lonely young man, with his bizarre syntax and fluffy drawings of lovehearts, his perhaps intentional homoeroticism and twisted loyalties. Maybe, if things had been different, I would be saluting his spirit as I usually do, with the words “Rest in peace”. But God damn it, just look at Kyle. LOOK AT HIM.
He….he looks so friendly and kind.
So, without further ado, allow me to play you out with this fine, patriotic phrase:
Dylan Klebold, you have a face like a set of dog genitalia sellotaped to a dinner plate.
That is all.