The Diary of Matt Young
by Philip Stetson


I woke up today absolutely exhausted. Yellow square told me his name today. Apparently it is Yellow Square. As in, that is his actual name. All I know is that I hate him, absolutely hate him. He's around all the time now and all I can hear the sound of his flatness ringing in the atmosphere surrounding me.

I never really understood why I feel so empty inside. Something is constantly sucking the life from me, and for the longest time I thought it was me. I never really did quite understand. But now I do.

I had missed a few days of work last week for no other reason than I didn't feel like going. My boss didn't call, and he also didn't seem to notice at all that I was gone. I came to work the Tuesday after and sat down. Not a single comment. I had thoughts that maybe I'm invisible. Maybe I'm not even here.

It wasn't too long after that I found myself walking home instead of driving. I wasn't sure why I wasn't driving. In front of me, however, was a yellow square. It floated mid-air, unnaturally. It was yelling at me, I think it was trying to argue with me.

Who are you?” it asked.

“I am Matt Young.”

Yes. I knew that. Don't answer stupid questions.”

“Maybe you should stop asking stupid questions.”

It may have punched me after that. At least, it felt like one. I was quickly on the ground, and my head hit the concrete. It hurt like a motherfucker, but it wasn't enough to knock me out.

I'm home now, though. And I know why I feel so empty inside and it isn't my fault. It never was my fault.


I'm writing for Matt today. He's a little out of sorts, and I figured that he might want to get his thoughts out anyway. There's something therapeutic about writing down your woes, whether they are imagined or not.

In Matt's case, it's a bit of both. I'd say it's mostly imagined though. But not me. I'm definitely here.

Anywho, Matt has stayed home all day today, but he didn't necessarily not go anywhere. He did lots of activities and went to lots of fun places. I take him there but we never leave home. I took him to the Black Hills of the Dead Space to watch the nitrogen flow through his hair. He looked back at me smiling and asked why I was blue. He also jumped into the depths of the Yellow Gorge inside me. He screamed in happiness and a little bit of confusion as he wondered why the fall didn't kill him.

Of course Fake Matt remembers none of this, but I know I sure did enjoy it. We have so many experiences together.

He's waking up now. I should go to him.


Yellow square is taunting me now. I know what he's been doing to me, and I don't think he cares. Actually, I know he doesn't. I wake up every day exhausted and I know it's his fault.

He's definitely uncomfortable that I can see him now. Why I can see him now is a question I definitely can't answer yet, but I think it may have something to do with why my boss didn't notice my absence.

I don't think I was absent at all.

Okay, I know that no one is reading this. I know that doppelgangers and all that are ridiculous. So are giant floating yellow squares, but somehow my boss didn't notice I was gone for over a week. I work in an office with ten other people. We are not strangers to each other. In fact, today I got a call from my co-worker asking if I was okay yesterday. I guess I scared him with how quiet I was.

But I'm always quiet, I'm not sure why he thought it was unusual now.


I woke up today absolutely exhausted. Yellow square told me his name today. Apparently it is Yellow Square. As in, that is his actual name. All I know is that I hate him, absolutely hate him. He's around all the time now and all I can hear the sound of his flatness ringing in the atmosphere surrounding me.

His goddamn flatness is the most infuriating thing about him. I'll think he's gone, that he's left me forever, but no, it just turns out I'm looking at him from the side. He's completely invisible from the side, which is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

I recorded a conversation with him today because I wanted to make sure that he was actually there. I'll write it down here because I'm pretty sure I can't make it play when this page opens like some cheesy Hallmark card or anything:

“So you're telling me that you bring me places at night?”

No, you go places with me. I don't bring you anywhere. It's not like I kidnap you.”

“But I don't remember any of it.”

Apparently not. You didn't used to see me during the day either. But here we are.”

“Yeah. here we are... I'd really like you to leave.”

I can't, Matt Young, you won't let me.”

“Yes I will. Here I am. Right now. Asking you to leave.”

It really doesn't work like that. I am here now and I can't leave until other you says it's okay. Right now, you are not you.”

“I AM me. Who the hell are you to say whether or not I am me or not? I know who I am, okay?”

Matt Young, you are not you. I am a giant yellow square. Why would I have any reason to lie to you?”

“Goddamn it, just shut up and leave.”

No, stop telling me to. It's insulting. Real Matt Young would never be this rude.”

He stopped talking to me after that. I'm pretty sure I made him mad. But I don't give two shits about him. Iknow what he's doing! He's draining me of life! I just know it. But how do I prove it to him?

Or to myself. I think that's more important. I need to try and remember what happens at night.


Hey, it's me again! Matt and I are in the Blue Expanse outside my Yellow Void. He's currently sitting on a cliff looking at the Ocean of Cyan. Him and I talked today about his situation. By him, I mean real him, not fake him.

He doesn't know why daytime him seems to be so upset about this. We have such an amazing time during the night! We see the greatest things, things that no living being has ever seen.

You know, I never really asked to be paired with Matt. I've always been with him since the beginning, but daytime him has always ignored me. I am absolutely positive that daytime Matt Young is not actually Matt Young but some disgusting imposter that steals Matt Young whenever he wakes up.

I think I need to see if I can get real Matt Young to speak to fake Matt Young. I need to look inside. Let's see if I can.

Turns out I can. I think I'm going to stay in here for a bit and see what I can find.


I decided that I'm going to just ignore Yellow Square. I think that me just acknowledging him lets him bother me even more. If he's just my imagination then maybe ignoring him will do some good/

I tried to go to work today. I guess I should mention what I do. I'm a copy-writer for business newsletters. Sounds just as thrilling as it actually is. I accepted the job hoping that it'd get me into journalism at some point, but here I am five years later. Honestly, it's not the worst job. My boss is a nice guy, younger than me though. I'm 30 and he's 27, an overachiever obviously. I don't really understand why he hired me. I'm basically useless.

Everyone else in the company hangs out at bars outside work and other shit. Larry and Mark love to play games together, even formed a Guild Wars 2 guild but I think the game is boring.

I don't think I'm jealous, but I do wish I could enjoy it. I wish I could have fun.

There was a day a few weeks ago that they asked me if I wanted to join them, and I accepted. I came over one day to Mark's apartment where they hang out a lot and I tried the whole time to have fun. We played Super Smash Brothers for a little bit, I was awful at it. I beat them both once but really, it's nothing to phone home about.

Nothing about me is worth phoning home about.

They haven't invited me over since then. I think they found me a little too quiet or something. That's okay, though. I just keep to myself.

So I tried to do work today, and I was mostly successful. I proof-read a few articles for a paper company's newsletter. They were dry and pretty awful, also had some terrible grammar. I'm pretty sure these things are written by 14-year-olds who get hired to write articles for like $10 each or something. It's the only way that I could forgive how awful they are.

There was one, though, that I proof-read today. It was for a magazine's newsletter. A magazine about psychology, I think. It described how some adults still have imaginary friends that they use to blame their woes on. I'll print out the relevant part and glue it here.

Mental Health Mag has never prescribed to any theories that involve the mysterious and superstitious, but there is always a time when we must wonder exactly how this world functions. In the case of these 200 men and women who were samples a study by MIT's Brain and Cognitive Sciences department, one man and two women showed a very particular abnormality when describing their delusional familiar.

It should be mentioned first that with most of these men and women they often shared traits when it came to describing their familiar. Most of the time they were not human, generally an animal. One man described his as a chameleon that often steals his money by transferring money away from his bank account into the chameleon’s. Another described hers as a mosquito that causes her to bite her fingernails because it injects a poison into her teeth.

These are all fairly easily blamed on a rational reaction to schizophrenia in the individual’s psychology.

We don't often say this in the realm of science, but we must put a “but” here. But, there were three individuals that were not totally rationally explained.

First: They all had familiars that were described as flat squares. That's where the visual similarities stopped. One described it as a “dimensionless green square.” Another described their's as an “empty black square that I could easily fall into.”

Two: They all suffered from exhaustion. All three believed that these squares were draining life from them in some way. One of the women described the square as speaking to her and telling her that she wasn't real. She reported to us that the square believed that they went on excursions in her sleep. After she reported this, we observed her in a sleep chamber. She neither sleep walked or talked or showed any other signs of sleep apnea. In fact, she slept incredibly soundly with no unusual brain signatures. However, she still woke up exhausted. This was repeated with the other two subjects with similar results.

At this juncture, it should be recalled that none of these individuals had ever met. They were selected from applicants desiring to be treated for schizophrenia. We sampled from every continent in the world and these unique individuals came from three different continents.

We have no explanation for this behavior. We have released the subjects but continue to monitor them in hopes that we may discover more variables that may have caused such similarities in these individuals' familiars.

How fucking weird is that?


Interesting. Fake Matt Young has found others of my kind. Or, at least, discovered that there are others. Hopefully this helps him realize that I'm not fake or imaginary.

I think I should say something here. I know Fake Matt Young reads this when he awakes so I should tell him something since he seems to be ignoring me.

I don't only travel with you at night, Fake Matt Young. We go on adventures during what you would call “day” as well. You know last week when you missed work? We were adventuring then too. And you know three years ago when your mother died? We went adventuring then as well. Your siblings have a very high opinion of you because of you, you know? Real Matt Young gave a fantastic eulogy that highlighted every moment of your Mother's life. There wasn't a person in that audience that didn't laugh and cry.

And that's who you are, okay?

All right, I might be exaggerating a bit. I won't take credit for Real Matt Young's actions entirely. I can't say that the eulogy was perfect either. What I'm really saying is that you can call your siblings because they don't hate you.

I think that's what I was getting at.

Real Matt Young calls them regularly and chats with them. It's quite pleasant.

So, Fake Matt Young, I think what will be best for us is for you to go away. All right, no, not go away. I actually love how absolutely dry you are sometimes. Real Matt Young lacks that humanity occasionally. Perhaps I can find a way to combine you and him?

I spent a few hours traveling inside you yesterday. It's like outer-space in there, lots of black with spots of light. I was honestly surprised by how prevalent Fake Matt Young is inside of you. I was only in there for a little while and I saw stars die and planets engulfed in darkness.

Just a swift gulp of black and they were gone.

I think it's time.


All right Yellow Square, time for what?


For you and Real Matt Young to speak.


I don't think that's possible. “Real Matt Young” doesn't exist. I am the real Matt Young.


Do you truly believe that?


I can't do this anymore. Having one line conversations over the length of a week is just impossible. It's been weeks and it's just getting worse.


I stopped ignoring Yellow Square. He's gotten smaller since I last saw him. My first thought seeing him: “I'm winning! Maybe he'll get so small he'll disappear.” But I have this feeling that this is all my fault. I recorded this conversation again. Anything inside asterisks is notes from me:

I'm growing weaker, Fake Matt Young. It's all your fault.”

“Good. Maybe you'll stop sucking the life out of me.” *I'm not sure if I believe this anymore.*

I don't do that. That's not me! Don't you see? I don't do that.”

*At this point, I actually think he was crying. Or at least choking up. The final 'that' was really quiet.*

“Don't lie to me. Just DON'T LIE TO ME. I know exactly what you are, you know. You're an alien.”

What? No I am not.”

“Yes you are! I can't think of any other way you could exist.”

No other way? How about this, you asshole. Maybe I just exist? Maybe I just am. Do I have to come from somewhere?”

“Don't be all esoteric on me. Of course you have to come from somewhere.”

Fine. Think what you want. However, I have been reduced to begging. Matt Young. Can you please just try to talk to the other Matt Young. You are each other, you have to just. Talk. At least once.”

“How?! How in the hell are we going to talk when he doesn't exist? I am Matt Young. Also, who in the hell are you to bring my mother's death into this? I had just gotten over that. Me missing her funeral... my siblings leaving messages saying how much they hate me... I had just–“

Matt Young, none of that happened, I promise you. Can you do me one favor?”


*At this point, I wasn't going to do jack shit for him. I guess at this point I was more curious and only wanted to make this yellow asshole feel bad about himself.*

Step inside of me.”

At this point I turned around to leave and Yellow Square was in front of me. He begged me to step inside him. I was done. I was tired. I was pissed off.

I inhaled angrily and I did step inside him. Right leg in front. It was surprisingly easy.

The other side was the same. It was my kitchen of my apartment. It was all the same. I looked at myself and I was the same. The back of my hand was the same bright yellow it was before.

And now I am writing this.

It's been hours since I stepped inside Green Square. I don't necessarily believe he's gone. My boss called me not too long ago asking if I could come in early tomorrow to work on a special project. I agreed and he thanked me and used my name.

“Thank you, Matt Young,” he said.

I said “No problem.”

Maybe. I. Don't want to be me anymore. I think I want to be someone else for a day. See what happens.

I can't wait to be me today.


Placed here is an undesirable piece of cloth with a yellow square on it. I found it walking home from work today. I think it may have spoken to me, but I'm sure I imagined it. Maybe I'll write a story about it.

Today I ate a turkey sandwich and it was awesome.