Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fountain

I run and run, my hands gripping my head in the pain of everything. My life. I had tried so hard to block it out, the pain of always being alone, the pain of always wanting something, needing something, until it had become just a habit, and I could forget why. I had self-imposed selective amnesia. But now, it was all welling up inside of me, threatening to burst out. I felt like I was gonna explode. If I stopped running, if I stopped moving, the energy would have nowhere to go, and that would be the end. So I ran.
I wasn't sure where I was headed. It didn't matter to me. I was blind with fear, with sadness, with emptiness. I didn't want to go back to my apartment. I didn't want to see all of the useless shit I had stolen just to fill the cavity in my dried up heart. Because it never would, truly.
My legs burned, my feet slipped on the wet ground. But I kept going. It was like all of the force inside of me was pouring out now, all of the frustration. I passed the gurgling fountain, then circled back around. And kept circling. Why was I drawn to this fountain all of a sudden? Wait. Wasn't it broken? Why is it working now? I watched all of the water pour out of it, and cleanse the dirty, broken stone. Then I understood.
I was just like the fountain.
Dirty, broken, old. Then all of a sudden, after many years in a drought, blocked up, sitting there useless, full of energy again. So I jumped in. When this realization came to me, I was ovewhelmed with the desire to be as close as possible to this wonderful thing, this pure thing. To be one with it. So I jumped in, and sank.
The water rushing down on me submerged me, pushing me under and keeping me under. As it pushed, I felt the emotions get carried away with it. I let them. I don't know how long I stayed there. Eventually I moved to the side and floated on my back so I could breathe. And all I was thinking about was my mother. How much I missed her. How I should have found her by now. Then the rain began to fall. I was surrounded by water now. Under me, in me, and now dripping on me. I let it consume me, overpower me, which was so opposite my nature I felt like a new person. Maybe I was a new person. Or maybe I've always been this person, I've just never let them be free.
So I stood up, and stepping out of the fountain gave me a new purpose. I needed to find her. She was the only woman I wanted in my life. I didn't need the girl with the cellphone, or pretty Bianca. I needed my mother. Only she knew me for who I really am, and by Jesus I needed to be me.
I started walking back to Watershed Heights, to collect my things and let them know I was leaving. As I walked along, I noticed a crowd of people standing around something. What is that? Ew, a smushed body. I wonder if that's what I woulda looked like if I'd stopped running back there and let everything explode out of me. I involuntarily shivered.
Entering my room with my new eyes shocked me. What had I been living in? With? I gathered everything up, and put it out on the front lawn of Watershed Heights. Tacking a sign in front, I put:
Sorry if I stole your shit. Take it back.
I was about to walk away, when I had an idea. I grabbed the meteorite, and walked back to the dead girl. Placing it in her mangled hands, I said, "Here's something beautiful that fell from the sky, just like you." Then I turned towards the bus station.
Maybe I would buy a blueberry pie, and finally give it to her. My mother.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Memory

I was in the middle of an amazing conversation with the most beautiful woman I'd seen around town when all of a sudden the lights went out. Just my luck! As my eyes adjusted, the woman, Bianca, made a hasty farewell and left before I could get a plea to stay out of my frowning mouth. One moment I'm completely happy for once, and the next I'm left alone with no company except for the thickening smell of pie.
Wait, pie?
In the dark, I sit alone at a two person booth and let the smell overwhelm me. My eyes drifted closed as I slowly let my mind slip away. A distant memory was calling to me, one that I hadn't thought about in a while. There was a reason why I hadn't recalled it, an important one. All of a sudden, a huge amount of fear surged over me. I musn't continue to think, to remember, before it's too late. But it was. Because once you start a flashback, there's no stopping it.
I'm four, five, young. I'm standing in the kitchen of my first home staring up at the bustling woman hunched in front of the stove. The smell of stew fills my nose, and a harsh hunger swamps my thin frame. It had been too long since my last meal, but the important people were coming tomorrow. I knew they were important because everytime they came it was the same, very methodical. They would sit in our bare living room, talk to my mother, and then call me in. Then they would stare at me, telling me to turn this way and that, as if I were a pig ready for butchering. But I was the opposite. I was bone thin, a ghost. They would weigh me, and although I didn't grasp the severity of my state at the time, the people's expressions were always worried enough to let me know something was wrong.
So my mother, knowing that tomorrow was yet again the day, gathered up our last meager supply of food and started cooking stew. But it was only enough for one.
"Momma what are you gonna eat?" I asked as I stared up at her.
"I'll be fine, honey, don't worry about mommy. Just eat this yummy food once it's ready so that we can stay a family."

"What do you mean, stay a family?"
"Nevermind dear, don't worry. Just eat this." And with that she set down the small bowl on the table, so I ate it because I wanted her frown to go away. And it did for a while. But then we both heard her stomach growl.
"Mommy's gonna take a nap, now," and she hurried away before her stomach could continue to grumble. All this talk of remaining a family combined with my mother's hunger made my young mind start to worry again. What I understood later is that the important people were child services, and were keeping an eye on my weight. If it dropped below a certain level, I would be taken away.
But at the time I didn't care about myself, I only cared about her.
As soon as I heard snores, I slipped out of our small apartment onto the busy street. My short, stubby legs carried me down the street to a market where I knew food could be found. I was too young to consider the consequences of my actions, only the rewards. So I grabbed the first thing I saw. A large, decadent blueberry pie.
The police caught up to me after only one block.
The next day, my mother was forced to tell the service people about my "stunt". Being a theft of food, it naturally didn't look to good. And that was the last time I ever saw her. She didn't even get to eat the pie.
Over the years, I was shuffled from home to home, changing whenever my foster parents got tired of my newly developing "habits". They would find something valuable stashed under my bed, or in my pillowcase, and deem me a thief. But I didn't consider myself a thief, I just liked to grab things, ad they never left the house. But then I would. And pretty soon, I was old enough to never return.
So here I am, who knows how many years later, sitting alone, in the dark, smelling blueberry pie. All of a sudden I'm standing, disgusted with myself, my life. I bolted, the blueberry making me sick to my stomach. I knocked down everyone in my path - there was a lot, many people had come to buy some pie - including a young man just staring at an empty spot on the floor. Or was it empty? I couldn't be sure. I just needed to get the hell out of there.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Power of Beer

I was feeling like shit after what happened at the playground. I pretty much did the opposite of what I set out to do! And now I had a cellphone and I didn't even know it's number. I needed a drink.

I headed over to the bar. I hadn't been yet, because when I drink my compulsions usually get worse. But I didn't care anymore. However, I sat down at a table because I was hungry too. I was in the mood for some wings, so I asked for a dozen and a cold beer.


My pocket had lit up. Looking at the cellphone screen gave me the view MOM. I quickly rejected the call. No way was I gonna talk to the owner's mom, haha. How ridiculous. Maybe I should see if there's a home number and return it...but the thought of facing her, no I couldn't do it. Not yet anyways.

The waiter came over and gave me my chicken wings and I devoured them quickly, washing it down with the beer. After a large burp, I gave a cursory glance around the room. I saw a very pretty woman at a table near me. Who's that? I wondered. All of a sudden my self confidence came rushing back. I'll try one more before I could convince myself otherwise my legs had brought me over to her table and sat me down.

"Hey, I'm Kalvin."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Attempt

The next day I got restless. The carnival was as good as gone with only pieces of ash floating about to remind us of it, so I couldn't go there. Maybe I should meet someone. Add some spice to my life. Then maybe I could control myself more...

I walked outside the apartment building, narrowly avoiding falling down the crumbling stairs. There were two potted plants on either side of the entrance, crumbling and wilting with decay, but I noticed a solitary flower fighting for existence. So I plucked it! It was gonna die anyways, and maybe someone will like it. I started for the playground. Nice people hang out at the playground, right? Especially since there aren't any kids around.

When I got there, there were several people around. I noticed a woman sitting on a park bench so I decided to go up and talk to her. Smoothing back my hair, clearing my throat, I came up from behind and tried to decide what to say. "Hey--" CRASH!

The crash covered up my pathetic attempt at conversation. I looked towards where the noise had originated from and saw a bunch of men stealing an ATM machine. That's dumb, now the police will be after them, I thought. Amatuers.

The woman was now trying to dial 911 on her cellphone, but I could tell it wasn't working. I walked around to the front of the bench, intending to help her and hopefully learn her name.

"Would you like me to try? I'm good with phones," I smiled as I said this. She must have trusted me enough, or just didn't care anymore, because she said "Sure" and handed me the phone. I looked down,and felt the weight of the small phone in my hand. My fingers fit perfectly over it. I stared at the screen trying to remember what to do when the screen started to swim in my vision. No, I'm not gonna take this, I want to impress her and stealing her phone will NOT help, I thought.

"On second thought, I need to go..." I think she sensed my discomfort with the phone. She held out her hand to take it back, and I started to hand it to her. Almost there.

Almost. But not quite. I didn't even get to see her face as I ran off. Probably never would again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Spark

After I got home with the gravestone-having had to drag it up the stairs so that little chunks kept coming off of it- I dropped it in the middle of the room with a loud bang. I bet people appreciated that downstairs, I thought. Hehehe. This place was beginning to have an effect on me, it was making me not even care about what others felt. Why should I care? No one cares about me. No one's ever cared about me. That's why I moved to this shithole, because the last place kicked me out.
An explosion rocked the apartment's foundations. Uhh...that wasn't because of my new table, was it? I thought. Then I glimpsed red outside of the window. Running towards it, I realized that I may have indeed caused the explosion, but not with my table. The food carts were all on fire down at the carnival. I randown the stairs and out the door to go see more and figure out what happened. Maybe I could redeem myself by helping out.
I walked up to a nun, thinking that out of everybody here she would be the one to tel me the truth. "What happened?" I asked.
"Well the food cart guy came back from somewhere screaming his head off about some dirty thief, and then he noticed that the rest of his chicken had been stolen while he was away. He flew into a rage and pulled out some dynamite from his beard, and exploded the cart! I woud be scared if I were that original thief, the vendor started shouting all these death threats about him.
Oh shiiiit, I thought. Gotta go.
But not before I noticed the nun put her arm around a clown. A clown? I thought nuns didn't date...this place really is changing people. Maybe she wasn't so trustworthy after all. I stared into the flames licking at the cloth tent that the carts were up against. This place is gonna be burned to the ground. No point in staying.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not so Lucky today...

I woke up to the sounds of merriment coming from outside. After rinsing off my face from the drips from the broken pipe in the corner, I went out into the street. People were walking on the sidewalk towards what looked like a very colorful tent and very loud,creepy carnival music. My stomach grumbled. "Maybe I can find some free food there," I thought. Greasy food was just my style.
As I walked in a whole bunch of freaks passed me, and when I say freak I mean FREAK. They really creeped me out. This whole place looks like it's about to collapse at any moment, and I don't think they care, just as long as they get their money. To my right is a ball it moving? I squinted through the netting. So many colors, but none compare to my meteor. A smile crept over my lips. Whatever, I'm not going in there to get eaten by some unidentified animal.
The smell of roasting meat suddenly wafted over me, and my stomach growled as my smile was replaced by a drooling mouth. Where is that coming from??? My stomach propelled my legs to the right, and soon I found a rotisserie chicken cart. I stood there, watching the plump, juicy meat rotate on skewers, and before I knew it I had grabbed one.
"HEY! You better pay for that!" yelled the vendor, who was a fat man with a really long beard which appeared to carry several pieces of food in it. Oh shit, I thought. I had no money.
So I did what I do best and got the hell outta there. The fat man started chasing me, his beard flapping in the wind, and the last thing I saw was several people go up to the cart and take the remaining hunks of chicken. Ha ha, I thought. Sucks for you.
I kept running and soon found myself among a bunch of graves. I sank down beside one and tore into the chicken with my teeth. Through the haze of grease and chicken I glimpsed a mangy looking tail coming from in front of a grave stone. It was a dog, sleeping next to a grave. I watched him for awhile as I gnawed on my chicken. The dog would occasionally get up and move around, but always kept the grave in sight. That would make a great table, I thought. Wait, what? A table? Where did that thought come from? I've taken some weird stuff before, but a grave stone?
My chicken was gone, and all that remained was a thick film of grease on my fingers. My hands felt empty, and my stomach started growling. I didn't even bother to resist the urge this time. There was no point. So I stumbled over to the grave, and tried to hoist it out of the ground. The dog started growling at me. I pulled harder, and surprisingly, it came free! I started running because the dog started chasing me. But it was no use, the dog was too old, and I got a burst of energy with the thought of my new table. It would look so nice with the meteor in the middle.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Robe

I walked out of Watershed Heights into a mess. The inch of snow along with the accompanying storm we got made the sewers overflow once again, turning all the streets and sidewalks into a filthy, brown-grey shit-hole. And of course it got all over my brand new white socks.
I was leaving because I was hungry, and so decided to give the Vietnamese restaurant a try. I'd never eaten Vietnamese before, but figured if I didn't like anything they would at least understand what "hamburger" means. So I started the long walk, and was able to overlook my slimy feet for now.
An icy wind started blowing, and I realized I hadn't brought a coat. So I started walking faster and faster with the thought of a warm, juicy hamburger in my belly. Then I heard weird, gibberish yells coming from up the street. I squinted, trying to focus my failing eyesight on the unknown up ahead.
What the hell is he doing?! I thought. The man, or whatever it was, was waving a large stick around and pointing at lampposts saying what sounded like different consonants jumbled together. Why is everyone else but me crazy in this town? I don't fit in here. It's not like I'm crazy...
Ignoring the nag in the back of my mind doubting myself, I kept going. Why is he wearing a red robe anyways? What is he, like Little Red Riding Hood? It even looks soft like something she would wear! And I bet it has fur--
It's not happening again. I force my feet to stop moving and my eyes to close. But of course the darkness under my eyelids makes the memory of the red robe even more intense. No! I will not let this happen again, I will not- And then the wind blew with all its might, as if it were pushing me in the direction of the fluttering, warm, red robe. My eyes snapped open, and in the same instant my short, fat legs were propelling me towards the figure. I did not, could not even imagine what he could do with that stick. My only thought was of the robe.
In one fluid moment my hand stuck out and snatched the robe off of the man while I kept running. And kept running. The pounding of my feet drowned out the loud, manic gibberish coming out of the man's mouth as I left him behind. I put on the robe as I kept running, out of sight, towards the Vietnamese restaurant. And then all of a sudden I realized I wasn't hungry anymore.