Dylan’s “everlasting contrast” symbol is officially named as the Cross of Salem, which has connections to the Pope. It is suggested that Dylan did not know of that connection, and made his own meaning for it. Dylan saw the cross as a symbol for the battle between good and bad in himself and the world. He wrote, “The everlasting contrast… Dark. Light. God. Lucifer. Heaven. Hell. GOOD. BAD.”
Dylan first started using the symbol when he drew the Cross of Lorraine and then made a line in the middle with the label “Me”, showing that he saw himself in the middle of a conflict between good and evil. He wore the symbol in the form of a handmade earring (made either by a friend or in a school workshop) and was almost never seen without it. Before he committed suicide, he took out the earring and placed it in a pile with other important items he was wearing. Apart from the earring it is heavily suggested that he cut the symbol into his skin, “I was Mr. Cutter tonight- I have 11 depressioners [cuts] on my right hand and now my fav. contrasting symbol because it is so true & means so much.”
Dylan had an inner conflict about what type of person he was “fated” to be. In his journal he writes, “It’s good understanding a hard road since my realization… Thats part of existence, unpredictable. Existence is pure hell & pure heaven at the same time.” The top bar of the everlasting contrast symbol represents the Christian cross and purity. Was he meant to be a good son, brother, and friend, and continue trying to live a meaningful life without violence or tragedy? Sometimes he thought so, “I wanted to love… I wanted to be happy and ambitions and free & nice & good & ignorant.” Up until very close to the shooting, Dylan would continue to go to work and school, make plans with friends, and solidify his future at college. He kept a sliver of hope that a good future can come out of his existence.
The lowest bar of the symbol is for the Cross of St. Peter, and represents darkness and sin. At school Dylan would bully and make fun of younger students with Eric, but later feel guilty about it. Closer to NBK, he would think of doing heinous acts like murdering others. In an English assignment, he thinks about being a dark godlike murderer. “I wonder how/when I got so fucked up w/ my mind, existence, problem- when Dylan Benet Klebold got covered up by this entity containing Dylan’s body.” As time went on, he saw this darker side of himself as what he was fated to be, something he couldn’t stop. When him and Eric are saying goodbye to their families and friends, Dylan says “We did what we had to do.”
Even after his death, the battle continues and Dylan remains in the center of it. His cross was riddled with hateful messages like “Shame on you Dylan” and much worse. Black plastic bags would be put over his and Eric’s crosses. Victim Daniel Rohrbough’s father would tear both crosses down and dispose of them. A church planted 15 trees in memorial for the victims, and two of them were symbolically cut down. People were banning his existence to hell left and right. The worst in people was coming out and was aimed at him.
However, nice messages would appear on his cross as well like "I’m sorry we failed you.” and “Jesus will forgive.“ Signs, notes and flowers would make up a small pile at the bottom of his cross. Pictured above, Daniel Mauser’s father touches Dylan’s cross what looks to be a powerful and perhaps lenient gesture. A sign was put in front of his house for his family, reading “We’re here for you, call us!” In the aftermath of tragedy, the people of Littleton could find extreme kindness for Dylan’s memory and his family, the good was still inside them.
As Dylan said, “Since existence has known the ‘fight’ between good & evil has continued. Obviously, this fight can never end. Good things turn bad, bad things become good, the ‘people’ on the earth see it as a battle they can win… Fucking morons.”