i remember seeing the bruises on her face and knowing something terrible was happening/had happened but having no real faculty to process what it was i saw; just that vague, gaseous feeling of discomfort, a shadow of tragedy too large and too looming for a toddlers brain to pull(more) into itself. it was a color that i could not comprehend. a noise on a different frequency than i was used to. she said it was nothing through broken teeth and a bleeding smile.
i wake up a decade and a half later, the memory rising from its tomb. how could i have forgotten? what do i do now? she says she cant remember that ever happening. suspicion crawls to the top of my head and peers into her eyes for signs of deceit, but he finds none. was any of it real? long blue tendrils retract back into my skull and down my throat and into my gut. i was grasping for things that werent actually there.
a phantom rage, aimless, eyeless, but sure of itself, indeed. there are people to blame and the cries of the victims echo throughout time and space and someone needs to do something about something being done by someones but the lines keep shifting and nothing can hold its shape; at the end of the day the tide pulls all the sandcastles back into the belly of the sea and no one remembers who lived where or why any of us are alive at all.
running on fumes. grey flakes; the dried, vacant land for miles and miles and miles - the thoughts and feelings and colors all left me without a word. betrayal. an unbroken silence, steadfast, vigilant, standing guard with its flaming sword, vowing to keep adam and eve out of eden.(less)
In the Illinois countryside, roads stretch out emptily for miles, laid out in a numbered grid. 13000 West, 14000 West, 15000 West... keep going. It was different than the small town where I had grown up. The yards were not only bigger, they were infinite. The "neighbors" were a(more) mile away or more. The nights were darker.
There was the house, next to its barn and its well and its old trees. This was not my childhood home, but it was my friend Josh's. His family had moved out but kept the property, but over the winter a pipe burst and flooded the 100 year-old home. We got out of the car and inspected the house from the outside in the afternoon light. The front porch, I could already see from here, was lopsided. We made our way carefully up the steps and entered.
The smell of must hit us first, and then we could feel the damp, disjointed floorboards underneath our feet. The foundation had shifted so badly that the stairs were crooked. Heavy wooden furniture which had once been expensive and beautiful was now rotted and warped. The kitchen table was covered with plaster that had fallen from the ceiling.
We surveyed the place as we were sent to do, identifying what could be salvaged. When I was asked to come help, part of me thought it sounded like fun. But it didn't feel like fun. Watching my friend walk through his old bedroom and stomping through mildew in the basement (where, he said, he'd spent most of his moody teenage years), it felt like a funeral for someone else's relative. When we left I looked back at the house. It seemed even more lopsided and out of joint now, like a broken smile. (less)