The date at 6. The clock at 5. Everyone waiting for me to arrive like festivities barred behind brittle little braces and I’m the Straw that breaks its back. I want to be there. I want more time with you all. But painful is the prodding that produces this person to patiently mosey around from my private cove. The lines on the clock face tick lines on my face, and all I hear is –
My private cove where my actions are my own and not the production of string pulls on my marionette. My door like scissors that cut me loose into my own sanctuary. I drop my masquerade in a jar by the door and may work on my dreams in peace. And pieces they become for two eyes of my own for I share them with no one; not for my sake, I just wear a particular prescription. My farsighted lenses I paint over with roses save me from the Grims that speak with no filter. So I stay here with myself. I lie in bed and let my aspirations float up into the ceiling fan – and pieces they become.
“The cemetery spread along the area known as Devil’s Abode.”
It’s where they used to bury the inmates that spent their life in prison or were sentenced to the chair. The townsfolk didn’t want their ‘untainted’ souls mixed with the stained ones, so they plotted out another graveyard. They don’t bury anyone in the Devil’s Abode now, since the Civil Rights issues. It’s been all but abandoned out there.
I went to see it one time. Curiosity got the best of me, I guess. I was surprised it hadn’t become a tourist attraction. I walked past the cracked headstones and dying trees trying to make out the faded names, when I came across a well-dressed man sitting on top of a slab, smoking a Camel.
“Good afternoon,” I said to him, with a nod.
He nodded back.
After a moment, curiosity conquered again. “What are you doing around these parts?” I asked, trying to not sound rude.
After puffing out a cloud of smoke, he answered, “Business,” as he tapped the ashes onto the ground.
Sometimes I stare. But I just can’t help myself from looking at the back of that pretty head. And those slender arms that come to a gentle rest in front of her, dainty fingers drumming away at an invisible tune of a popular song I’ve never heard of. She’s perfect. Her brown hair, her turquoise shirt with all the jewelry, and jeans. I don’t know anything about her, but she’s perfect.
It’s just this feeling I’ve got. An instinctual calling of fate that tells me “this one”. I can tell because my hands get sweaty. I can tell because when she looks towards me, I get hyper-aware. I start to feel my taste buds slide against the inside of my mouth and I can taste my early-morning saliva and lead-ridden drinking fountain water. I have to remind myself to blink every 15 seconds or so. I realize my foot has been tapping, and when I stop it, that potential energy builds up my anxiety. And all this happens with her quickly turning her head to the side to adjust her hair over her shoulder. When I pass her in the hallway, I realize the patter and rhythm to my walking until I start walking with a hobble. My lips feel uncomfortable just sitting there and I move them around until they’re fixed into some sly smile. But I always make sure not to show teeth- they’re not white enough. Maybe there’s something in them.
And as much as I hear “this one” ringing through my head on repeat for hours and hours, I can’t make myself do anything. If she was interested, I’d know, right? But why would she? I can smell my 3-day unwashed jeans when I sit down. Sometimes when she sits down, I get the faint whiff of name brand dryer sheets and mall-grade perfume. She’s perfect. But my shirt has a hole in the collar and I could probably use a haircut. Maybe after some new clothes and grooming I can maybe say ‘hi’.
I like to wonder what would happen if I just collapsed in the middle of everything. Who would rush over? Who would run away? Who would just watch? Who would care? I think about this scenario constantly in many different places, with many different people, but I can’t stop myself from always picturing her to run over first and be upset. Really, really upset. Her eyes filled with tears, holding my lifeless body and sobbing. It’s perfect.
“The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.”
An event so precisely parsed even William could tell. Our handicapped language is still working, but I still can’t effortlessly illustrate this devastating event of a feeling – a muted implosion of serotonin and adrenaline through capillaries that discharge blind aggression like kerosene between teen King and Queen Dopamine. I need three bottles of codeine before I try to convey this allegory with metaphors, analogies, and similes like a Professor Dickens teaching the difference between two cities. I could borrow a French expression, add an Arabic adage, and toss in a Portuguese epigram. I can’t do this. I have to postpone this interpretation to deaf bones. I have to escape it – this feeling, this pain, this pleasure. I’m prone to combat these, although I don’t condone, trazodone until I’m monotone.
It’s starting. I can feel like heels sticking: no way for me to tap them home. My stomach is empty, but I can feel it expanding. I hate bloating. Ugh, I can’t swallow. I can’t even open my mouth. My lips are sticking! I can’t split them with my tongue. I just keep pushing, and I can feel the dryness of my taste buds scrape my bottom lip- Ah, I got it! No… my tongue just pushed through the top of my chin like 3-hour old bubblegum.
My eye just popped! I can’t see out of my right eye! I can’t see! I just felt my left eye slide down my cheek! I can’t raise my arms anymore! My fingers are stuck together like duck’s webbing. I can feel the change in elevation as my body sinks to the floor.