by Noel Goddard
Fandom: John Doe
Original Pub. Date: April 2003
Summary: For those of you not acquainted with John Doe, John wakes up one day and discovers that he knows everything, except who he is. He is also color-blind. He uses his knowledge to make investments and make a small fortune. He hangs out at a bar run by someone named Digger. He helps the police with difficult-to-solve cases, working primarily with Lt. Jamie Avery and Det. Frank Hayes. Early in the show, he had an assistant named Karen, who was brutally murdered in one episode. We know from previous episodes that John is being watched by a mysterious organization called Phoenix and by a government agency, which may or may not be the NSA. In the episode Shock to the System, he is struck by lightning and no longer knows everything and can now see in color. Meanwhile, a serial killer is terrorizing Seattle and sending messages to John.
I stared at myself in the mirror. I was normal. I was normal and empty. Not so long ago, I would stare at myself in this mirror and try to decide what color my eyes really were. What color my hair really was.
Oh, I knew what other people told me. But seeing yourself through the eyes of others was totally different from seeing yourself. All I wanted for the last eight months was to see some little glimmer, some little glimpse, of myself.
Now I could see the blue eyes and the brown hair, and it wasn't enough. I still didn't know who or what I was. Now I had lost the one thing that made me unique, the one thing that made people want to know me. All gone.
I knocked back the bourbon that I had bought on my way home. I should enjoy it. It would be the last that I would have for awhile. With the loss of my knowledge, I lost all of my investments. To add insult to injury, I seemed to have lost any marketable skills I might have had to get a job. When it rains, it pours.
My wallow of self-pity was interrupted by a knock on the door. Great. Either it was the psycho who was killing people to challenge me, the great John Doe, or it was one of my so-called friends coming by to give me their pity.
God, I truly was pathetic. Knocking back a big swallow of bourbon, I went to the door to face whatever fate had in store for me.
I opened the door to find Digger on my doorstep. He was holding what looked like another bottle of bourbon in his right hand and a take out pizza in his left.
He spoke first. "Hey, Doe. Aren't you going to invite me in? I brought the pizza and the booze. Although from the smell of you, you already found the booze."
I stepped away from the door, gesturing with my own bottle for him to come in. "So, did you come by so you could finally win a round of stump the piano player?"
Digger whistled long and low. "Boy, that was a low blow. Guess you've fallen off your normal guy high and joined the rest of us down here in the real world."
Now I could add guilt to my list of problems. I was definitely striking out as a normal guy. What a loser. "I'm sorry, Digger. It's just that the investigation has really gotten to me. I see the way Jamie and Frank look at me. I'm of no use to them now. The only reason they ever put up with me was because I made their jobs easier."
Digger opened up the pizza box in the kitchen and took out a slice. Before taking a bite, he spoke, "Well, that may have been how it started, but do you really think that's all it is now? After all you've done for them, I think it's a little more than that. You've gotta give them some credit."
I moved towards the kitchen, set my bottle down on the kitchen counter, and took a slice for myself. I marveled at the colors I now held in my hand. Who knew that something as simple as pizza was so colorful rich red tomato sauce, golden cheese, brightly colored vegetable toppings? Wow something the great John Doe never knew. Must be a first. I laughed ruefully as I contemplated my dinner.
Done with his meal, Digger questioned my inappropriate laughter. "With everything in this room, the pizza is funny?"
Not wanting to offend the person who seemed to be my only friend through this, I reacted quickly, maybe too quickly. "No, no. I was just thinking about how I never really knew everything. I had no idea about what colors really meant. How beautiful things really werelike Karen's painting." Feeling the mood descend again, I was helpless to stop it. "I'm glad that she got some recognition for her paintings before she died. She really was very talented."
Digger stood propped against my kitchen counter, and I could have sworn that I saw a tear in his eye. "Yeah. For all grief I gave her, she really was a good kid."
That was too much. "Goddamnit, Digger! What good am I? As the all-knowing John Doe, I couldn't save Karen. Now as the normal John Doe, I can't stop this killer! Maybe everyone would just be better off if I went back to the island I came from!"
Digger moved away from the counter and closed the distance between us. He reached out and placed a hand on my upper arm. "Doe, I think there are a lot of folks that would argue with that. Karen is not your fault, man. And guess what, all the psychos in the world are also not your fault."
I just nodded. I wasn't sure I believed him and yet I wanted to. God, I was lucky that Digger was standing by me through this. "Digger, I really appreciate you coming over tonight. It really was just more than I deserve."
Digger stared at me and got a strange look in his eyes. "Doe, you deserve a hell of a lot more than this. You deserve a real life and someone to love."
Looking at the ceiling to try to hide my emotions, I had to agree with him. "God, I wish I knew if there was someone out there waiting for me."
Large, coarse hands grasped my head and pulled it down to face Digger, who was suddenly very, very close. "Doe, maybe they're not waiting out in the mist. Maybe they're right in front of you." With that, he pulled me into a rough, hard kiss.
I was stunned at first and unsure of how to respond. Then my body went on autopilot. I started to kiss him back and felt myself grow hard as the kiss continued.
When Digger pulled back, I was out of breath and speechless. A very unusual state for me.
While I stood there stunned, Digger walked across the room towards the door. It wasn't until he started to open the door that I found my voice. "Where are you going? You can't do that and just leave."
Digger stopped and turned to face me. "Doe, I know what I want. You just give me a call when you know what you want."
With that, he was gone. The door shut behind him, leaving me alone with my own thoughts again.
Who am I? What am I? Am I worthy of what is being offered? So many questions and no answers. I picked up my bottle and returned to my pacing.
Outside on the street a lone man walked along, dialing a cell phone. He put the phone up to his ear and waited as it rang. Finally, someone answered on the other end.
Digger answered. "Lone eagle calling in report on lost Phoenix."
"I'll transfer your call, sir."
After a series of clicks, another obviously computer-modified voice answered. "How is he?"
Digger answered. "Falling apart. He's definitely vulnerable."
The voice on the other end sounded pleased. "Did you make the move as planned?"
For a split second, Digger's shoulders slumped before he continued, his voice showing only his consummate professionalism. "Yes. I think he'll go for it. He'll come to me before the day is over."
The voice on the other end was satisfied and appeared ready to conclude the conversation. "Good. Time to move to the next phase." With that the phone line went dead.
Digger folded up the phone, placed it in his coat pocket, and disappeared into the thickening fog.