I grabbed the usual sun chips and power-aid and went to meet my new admirer. His beard was as patch ridden as his coat, and surmise to say he fit his surroundings. He gave me the full up down and made a distinct pop noise with his thin lips. Since confrontation is my lifeblood. I was gearing up for a small victory when the sky opened up with a thunderous crack, sending the hair on my neck up. I steadied, paid the surly cashier and hustled to my car.
Izzy didn’t sleep after her mother tucked her in bed that night, because she got that feeling again, right between her toes, the one that wakes her up and moves her to action. Sometimes the feeling leads her to sleep walking, up and down the hall, but not tonight–tonight she had a mission.
The neighbors next door had a pool, with a little frog swimming through its chlorine tides that croaked all night long, and Izzy wished to rescue it. The little girl planned to return the small wonder to the lily pond three blocks down the road, and she planned to visit him there every now and again under the moonlight.
With her back pack and a tiny yellow flashlight, she tiptoe out the kitchen sliding door. Izzy pushed a lawn chair up to the gate and unlocked it, there was a squeak as the door swung open. She froze with her tiny flash light in hand, hoping her parents were soundly sleeping…no booming voice told her to come back inside, so she assumed that their was still freedom to be had by her tonight. Making haste to the pool, Izzy noticed a dark figure squatting near the window in front of the house across the street.
“There are somethings that go bump in the night, some of them wriggle and some of them bite.” Click. Her mother had entered the room moments ago, and as quick as a hare she turned off the t.v, and Izzy was left staring at the off black screen.
“That’s enough t.v for tonight little lady, I don’t need you having nightmares.” she said with her bony hand on her hip. Their tiny little neighborhood had gone to bed, and that meant that they should too. They had just moved here, but Izzy quickly noticed that the night had a strange effect on this place and its people–would simply turn off and kind of hide when the sun withdrew. Little Izzy was always curious, and full of restless interest about everything around her living and dead alike. Her latest investigation was her new home town, Windswept Renieer, she has been slowly making her way around on her bike. This perturbed her mother. Since Izzy was always poking something, with the scraggly little stick she carried with her in a book-bag. her mother believed this would lead to misinterpretations by nosy adults. Izzy began by poking it and then taking a picture of whatever sad subject lay beneath her stick, all for her collection, which was more like an anthropological en devour. Her mother prayed that this phase of behavior would pass, but it only grew more bothersome with age…
I built these walls, one by one. Strong enough to break Atlantic waves, and taller than a California red wood tree. There’s no way inside, I made sure, I double checked—there have been brave souls who dared to try, but I still stand alone. Some bellow and cry out, they just want to see, they just want to look. I turned my back to muffle the cries, I don’t hear them anymore, and now, sometime later I’m not certain if their still out there. I shut out the light above me that colored my skin, I’m cold, but its better this way, safer. My humanity makes me weep from loneliness, but I know soon that will pass, just like the cries.
Some days I try to climb them, when my imagination lets me…dream, hope that I can turn back, that the walls can be brought down. I pound my fist, kick my bare feet, and then lean against the cool stone of my walls—I built my own grave, stone by stone. Though it’s not perfect, I can see a crack in one of the rocks, I think there’s hope in it.
Have you ever come to the ending of something awful?
Her bare feet where stained a dull earthy red from heel to toe. The sting of the rocky soil didn’t matter, because her motives were worse than the pain. Knowing her future made more of a difference than ever before, and her fate was sealed, it was all falling into place. This time she wouldn’t, and run there’s no fighting it anymore, she cannot turn back–the pain grew more intense, but she wouldn’t let herself feel it. The house is burning and she must save herself. Though time bleeds in front of her, the past is seeping from the walls to the skies–the future was broken and smoldering on the front lawn. Her ice-cold eyes burn, and her stolen lungs choke.
Her broken hands, cold eyes, and weak lungs–will feel whole, warm, and strong again.
After she burns the fields.
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela
The front steps were the only constant part of the house, so many parts had been torn down and rebuilt over the years, there was no keeping track and no one really ever thought to do so. The old house stood in the background of many family pictures, as if it were a member. The fields surrounding it were wild with neglect, they no longer consisted of the neat rows I remembered running through, over, and down. Every few years I was pulled back to the house, either by force or obligation, but never choice. This visit was out of obligation.
I never lived in the place, it was the former home of my father, and he left it a long time ago. The family farm it stood on had been around since the 1890s, about a hundred plus years ago my great great something or other purchased this place, and it hosted generations upon generations of my family until my grandfather’s bunch grew up and away. The place was a life force, of sorts, when I was younger it was my fantastical playground, full of creaky stairs, old toy chest, dark forest, and stoic neighbors. People grew up, things grew with them, seems like every weed filled acre reflects their overgrown lives. They left it here, all of them when they no longer needed it and it still needed them. This place feels like an attic, full of dead dreams, dusty floors, and forgotten backgrounds.
Eternity is a really long time. I’ve felt how encompassing and tormenting it can be. I walk among the living without being alive—it’s a separation I can’t explain. I return to my final resting place every morning in the same clothes that I died in, and start again. After I passed I was hopeful about moving on, regardless of what that meant. Time became my obsession after a while, I haunted the ticks of clocks, like a self-appointed duty.
Having all the time in the world made me nervous unlike when I was alive, when all I wanted was free time. “Am I in purgatory?” I had so many questions in the beginning, and many have gone unanswered—I’m not alone here there are others. We all wait for our answers; meanwhile most of us haunt our loved ones or pack ourselves away in darkness. It’s been sixty years and I’m still waiting. How do I get out? Move on?
We live in the dark places, the spots that the sun has never and will never touch. We number in the thousands, across this great land–though you, the keepers of the sun, cannot see us, lest we wish to be seen. Sometimes you stumble, crawl, plow, and step onto our land…and we let you. We watched your race grow from the sea to the land. It’s been so long– such an arduous path taken by humanity, to be more than what you are, to be more than we EVER thought you would be. We’re in such awe of you.
To be continued…