Without eyesight, the world enriches itself in so many other ways. It shouts from the ground and the wind whispers in one’s ear. I love the vibrations hidden within music few can welcome into their eyes. They waltze on by in a symphony composed within their minds because they can visualize it. But, do they truly see it? If they ignore, the grass beneath their feet because they’d rather just see it and walk on by. If they can feel it, then they truly are connected allowing that brief moment to grace their neurons and reach their being. I’ll walk on out to the tree. I name it, Akash. Akash for open sky. It reminds me of an open sky even though it engulfs it. I can feel the intertwining roots that come in and out of the earth. The varieties of textures feel so wonderful. The moss against the dirt and the dirt against the rocks and it all against the bark of the tree root. All of it connected and okay with feeling and relying upon the next in perfect unison.
“Honk, honk.”, the taxi interrupts my thought.
My mom sends me off in a taxicab every morning off to school. I count the amount of steps to the cab and go within its passenger seat. Usually, to find some overtly, unattached driver that welcomes me or allows me to enter into the car. One, two, three……106 done. “Hello, how are you?”, I question the driver. He brushes off my questions, occasionally that happens. It’s rather off-putting. But, they say you get used to it. I wonder when that day will arrive.
The musky, old man cologne encircles the back seat coating my nose thickly. I feel the side of the cab for the window’s handle and bam, got it against the velvet a plastic handle. I twist and twist wanting some fresh air. Finally, freedom.
“Little girl, what’s your name?”, I’m far from little. I’m nearly 16. Ugh, at least he recognized my existence for some moment in this universe.
“Abigail.”, I say as if he may be sincerely interested and I can tell from his tone he’s fair from genuinely interested.
“Ok.”, he replies. Why would he ask if he’s not interested? I don’t understand. He’s so peculiar. I tried to at least give him the benefit of the doubt. “Your mom likes me, you know?”
“She never mentioned you, though.”, I state rather inquisitively.
“Do you recognize the smell?”, he asks matter of factly. I do. It’s that smell I briefly catch in the morning as I pass her bedroom to go to the bathroom. It’s distinct. But, when I come back around I don’t smell it. I smell some air freshener in place of it.
“Why didn’t she mention you?”, I reply hesitantly.
“Because, she didn’t want to confuse you.”, he says earnestly.
“It’s okay, I’m okay with it. I understand she wants a friend even if it may be a bit more. I won’t mention you told me. So, are you my taxi driver or a family friend?”
He pulls over to the side of the ride, before we’ve reached my destination. I hear nothing. The hustle and bustle of a gas station didn’t accompany the stop. He’s rustling in the trunk. Probably, not a taxicab driver, my mother trusted him or needed him financially. Either way is acceptable.
“You don’t need to go to school today. Your mother wanted me to get to know you. A family friend. I’m a family friend.”, whip, and he coaxes me on a sheet.
“Do you remember the sounds surrounding your father’s death?”, I feel a breeze and an unease. Then, he hands me a sandwich in a Ziploc baggy, a can, and some chips.
“I’d prefer that not to be asked. Get to know me the same way everyone else does.”, our connection was off from the start. As if he’s not connecting to me, but the idea of me.
His smell is closer. Why didn’t my mother mention this before I left the house? An arm grasps my wrist and I feel rope against my wrists. “What are you doing?”, I say standing to fight the sensation of helplessness. I step back and take off my shoes. It’s so much easier to read the surroundings without them. Maybe, if I find a road. But, I see nothing, absolutely nothing. The connections I once felt instantly cease. I can’t hear and my bare feet against the ground are just that bare feet against the ground.
“Ensuring my pleasure. You know that feeling of the meat in your mouth, that nice juicy, tender muscle where the blood once pulsed. Well, you know what’s better? The blood still pulsing. The connection of an impending death and the inquisition of something’s up. Something, not quite right. But, there and ignoring that signal for trust.”, he breathes the words down my neck.
Our connections. No mine’s better. No, no, no it’s not the same. We’re not the same.
I search inside for my ability, my ability to connect of what’s beneath my feet, instead I simply run. Run like everyone else in the universe as if nothing was beneath me. I instantly fall to the ground on a rock. A rock? How did I not feel it? No, I collapse under the weight of my body and feel him over top of my body.
“You denied the connection, silly child. You’ll soon learn we’re one in the same. We feel what the rest of the world denies. We’re different than them. You thought I was one of them. Never doubt your instincts. But, it’s too late now. Your fear got in the way of your connection. You’ll be my meal like the rest of it. My first human victim. I thought you may be different but there’s no second chances, only me.”, he declares as he binds me.
I laugh nervously. That’s insanity. I’ll survive. What’s that sound? I hear a sound? It could be someone to help me. I scream and hear the insane laughter piercing my ears. I’ll scream through the woods to someone’s ears that are connected to the world. The world I’m leaving and entering. A squirrel’s running. Why couldn’t I be a squirrel? Nooo, I can feel my blood pooling about my stomach, it’s wetness like a creek. I scream louder for the security I may survive. What’s that? I hear a cricket, maybe a locust, and perhaps the swaying of a branch. But the only human is the human whose teeth enter my stomach, clench, and yank. Like a steak, only me. It’s me. And I feel the world it becomes one, the sounds muddles about me. My screams increasingly faints until they mesh into the squirrel that becomes the cricket and the cricket becomes the person eating my flesh. I can feel the sensation of tearing. Everything stops. Yet, I’m it. I’m the only thing. The only connection between it all. It’s all there and it’s me. Yet, it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. My body’s not on the sheet. It’s near the tree. It’s the moss. Aw, the moss. I reach my foot to that moss. If it’s the last thing, I do is touch my foot upon the soft, welcoming moss. Aww, pure bliss and silence of not feeling anything but that connection from that moss patch.
Foot steps approach. From who? A police siren, a muddle, and perhaps salvation, I think as I slip back into interrupting boundaries and the pain rushes back. The blood’s felt, my body’s mine, I’m separate. No, a snap felt from within the core of my bones. “You’ll realize, what I hope soon I will, too.”, he whispers through a strained crack.
Suddenly, it ceased within a nanosecond. Our last breath’s exhaled in a strange united ecstasy. The carnivore’s pleasure and mine ceased to be different and mold into one unit as I fade into the moss’ texture and his into the last bite of my flesh. It permeates to form one thing, the only Being in existence, Me.
If you are from Houston, be a pal, write me in the comments! I’ll love you para siempre.
I do not usually rant about my life. It’s not the main purpose of this blog and I feel sort of like I’m shorting you guys by doing so. But, I really need to vent so you are my audience. I’m not forcing you. The point of no return has not been reached. I’m home from Cedar Point (an amusement park in Ohio). 3rd summer there. Not a vacation at all.
So, I was supposed to go to Spain to assist in teaching English at a University. After the long debate in my cabeza about that event, I decided it was time to admit it: “I’m financially unable to go to Spain” I was sad, devastated, it was like “Let it go” from Frozen…but that’s the stuff you want to let go in life. The earth-shattering realization hit me: I need to find my path in this world and quick OR I could wind up in a gas-station in the Snow belt of Ohio for an indefinite amount of time living with my wonderful grandparents.
I want an adventure. The need to relocate and embark on another adventure still exists in my veins. So, I applied to all the teaching assistant jobs within cities. I applied and applied nonstop for about a week. I sent principals my resume. I bedazzled it and everything. You can imagine them holding the glorious, sparkling wonder in their fingers as sweat beads go down their old principally wrinkles used to brow beat students into submission.
Then, finally, I got an email from an Environmentally-based Magnet School in Houston. HOUSTON!? I’m bilingue. Yes, hire me please! They did. My mom calls the real-estate agent for the closest apartment in the area and the woman advises her to not let me move to that area. ¿Dónde está mi aventura?! Worst part is that was one of the few apartments I can afford. 😦
Levi is my father. Usually, a young girl should call her father a dad. But, father is a more formal way of saying what he truly is. He is my father, not a dad. A dad is warm and loving. A dad puts his own emotions aside when his wife dies and his daughter is the only thing he has left.
Life is like a jack-in-the-box. We anxiously wait cranking the handle hoping for a pleasant surprise. Instead of a gloriously adorable head, its creepy eyes stare us in the face. The music is deceiving, you should not trust it. That is precisely what happened to my father.
He used to be a good, courageous man. At least, that is what I hear among the whispers behind his back. I hear what he used to be and what he could have been. But, I only see what he is: a goddamned coward. The jack-in-the-box’s handle was turned too many times for my father I suppose. I suppose he could have amounted to something. But, I do not know that man. I already know the present, the now, and the here.
Each morning, I see him hope to stuff the jack back in the box. But, Jack already reared his ugly face. Jack already existed and once he’s out there is no going back my friend. No going back for neither of us.
My father welcomes Jack into his world. He welcomes him as he fashions five metal coat hangers into a point. He opens the door in his mind and his breathing becomes paced liked in a trance. A calming smile spreads across his face as his Jack comes alive. He grabs the cloth resembling a head and placing it over the metal joined together at a point and the formation is of a dog’s head. Oh, how he loved that dog. At least, that’s what everyone tells me.
He loved that dog more than my mother. More than me. He loves that dog more than life itself. He grabs the contraption and tapes it to his chest. It is a rather time-consuming process, but do the mentally insane truly understand time? I doubt it, as they waste away life. I imagine within his mind he is running with that dog. The dog with the mane of a lion and the agility of a panther jumps to life. The dog he’s loved and nursed to health breathes.
Although, there is a twinge of pain beneath the insanity that knows the dog is dead. The dead dog does not live and that dog killed my mom. I call her mom and not mother, because I picture her as warm. Although, perhaps, she could have stayed alive for me, perhaps she gave up on life itself. I like to think she’d preferred to take me with her and she whispers for me to join her.
I watch as my father jogs down the street with the jack-in-the-box dog swaying back and forth. I want revenge for all those lost moments. The lost moments with my mom and my father are something I must retrieve. People whisper that Jack literally murdered that dog in front of my father’s eyes with a shotgun. They say the dog dropped instantly, but he licked my father’s tears as he took his last breath. They say he was a strong and loyal dog, that he resembled my father’s character and sustained them until his last moments. There lies the difference. He maintained consistency in his loyalty, whereas my father lost his.
My father waltzes through the door with a vacant look upon his face. He appears lost, instead of relaxed. “He’s back.” He whispers beneath his breath. He rips off the vest of the jack-in-the-box looking dog head. I don’t quite understand, because he always gently removes the contraption to place on a stand and speak softly to as if it where animate. But, this time he treated the head as if it were dead.
As I exit, I see people’s eyes on me. They are usually staring. But, this time there laid something behind them, something new. I heard them whisper a name and I saw the house that was for sale for too much money loses its sign. No one was going to pay that price. No one except someone buried in money, someone returning to a small town with no other available except for the trailer park around the corner. No one would move into that house except none other than Jack.
As the days go past, I watch his house. I observe who enters, how many times, how long they are there. I notice one consistent visitor. A woman with beautiful, long flowing hair just like my dad’s old dog. I watch as her curves are pronounced and she enters excited and leaves even more so. I watch as she breathes as he hugs her goodbye as they watch television and he wipes her tears from a sad movie, just as the dog did to my dad.
I never thought I would see the past so clearly. But, I was born for revenge. I was born to give my dad justice and punish the reason for his misery. I was born to return to my mom and I hear her whisper: “Come to me darling. “ I imagine her voice soft and smooth. It is a familiar voice, yet I have never heard it before.
Patiently, I cranked the handle of the jack in the box. Faithfully, I desire to see it rear its head. I am no stranger to it. It remains a friend that’s never failed nor abandoned me. Tonight, the time has arrived. The handle will barely crank and I will see the product in all those days of anxiously cranking. But, it won’t be Jack surfacing from the box to greet me. In the end, I shall see my mother’s face and right all the wrongs to my family.