So many colors. Blue making love to yellow, red walking orange, the rainbow hugging a unicorn, this is amazing! I floated to the sky with diamonds in my hands, and saw father Peirce frowning down upon me. Suddenly, I dropped and crashed into a red ocean; I thought I was going to die. However, I quickly realized that I was not injured in any way. I looked around and I saw a woolly mammoth teaching a class of great white sharks. They all turned to me and grinned with glee. How can i stand this! What is happening!? Is this real life? No, it's a fantasy, a fantasy... that is much better than reality. Perhaps I could stay here. Perhaps I could befriend the mammoth. Perhaps I can be happy.
"What!? Who are you!? Where am I!?"
"Again huh? I'm doctor Moreno, I've come to see how you are. It's been almost a week since you've been checked into our facility."
"I- I'm in rehab?"
"Doc, I would like to go back to cuttlefish garden."
They shared the same cradle, like two drops of water with the same reflections, each twin a perfected vision of the other. Little Yvette was born first, reaching for the hand of Monique, who was a part of herself, because both infants seemed to meld together as one.
Their relationship was a special one, beyond the bounds of what anyone could imagine. At two years old, Yvette and Monique would sit in their high chairs, playing with their food on their trays, arranging it into unique patterns and shapes that seemed to emanate from their subconscious, forming distorted images that did not mimic reality as it oozed and metamorphosed into a semblance of the imagination deeply entrenched in their minds. Their proud parents could see their talent, imagining that they were drawing houses and trees and maybe even horses. But they were completely wrong as the youngsters painted with profound emotion coming out of a deep well-spring of absolute naturalness.
At three years of age, the beauteous Yvette contracted spinal meningitis and died three days later in a hospital. Monique was absolutely devastated, feeling that she had lost the first and best version of herself. Even at her young age, she could sense the spirit of Yvette weeping into her body, becoming a part of her. As Monique grew, she became a passionate artist drawing seeping images of twisted deviations in time and space with phallic overtones. Always, her natural style incorporated sexual desire, death, decay, hope and love with images that seemed to drip off her canvasses, seemingly suspended in air. In the corner of every painting, she always embedded a tiny facsimile of her deceased twin sister, Yvette.
All day long, Monique painted her unconscious in wild sweeps of color. Everything seemed to be moving and flowing, osmosing into a life of its own. At night, she would put down her brush and fall exhausted into her bed. As she slept, the paintings continued their vitality, breathing and twisting as the paint left the canvas and flowed into the room, in mutations and warps. Even the little facsimile of Yvette, incorporated into the tiny corner of the paintings, danced around the room as one with the tinctures of tints and colors.
One night, Monique was restless and wandered into her studio, only to see, for the first time, the contortions and irregularities in the life of her paintings. There among the pigments, she saw that Yvette had escaped her entrapment. Yvette, overjoyed to once again see her twin, opened her mouth and inhaled Monique into her body, sponging her into her lifeblood.
“Now it’s my turn,” Yvette proclaimed, as she picked up the paintbrush and began painting in her inborn, fluid style, making sure to incorporate her beloved Monique into the corner of each painting. Once again, the twins became one drop of water composed of two souls.
I knew death was inevitable. It will happen to me and everyone around me.
But I never expected my little sister to die before me.
At first, I thought it was a dream. I still think that I'm in a dream. One day, I'll wake up.
Little Fiona will be jumping on my bed, shouting for me to wake up and play with her.
One day, I'll be happy again.
The thing is, it didn't feel like losing someone. It felt numb. I wouldn't say painless, what with all those tears rolling down my cheeks. But it felt surreal. And I'll never forget this feeling. The feeling of grief and such sadness that maybe someday, I'll have to experience again.
Her room stands still in the particles of dust laid by the sunlight peering through the windows. White sheets were draped over everything. It was my only proof to myself that she was gone and this was real.
Every night, I strip the white sheets that covers her bed, and sleep on the white puffy mattress of hers. Believing that the next day, I will be with her.
I'm holding onto the strings of hope.
But they are fraying so quickly.
I still remember the funeral for her. The day we both wrote our wills together. Our wishes for our family and our friends. Except, she would be the only one dying soon. But, it's not true. She isn't dead. I won't believe it.
I will never believe it.
Behind the Closed Door
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Eyes-of-an-Owl's gaze was drawn to the heavens. The starry sky he knew so well was forever changed. The prophecy was about to unfold. The first sign had appeared. The new star... the bringer of death. The star that drifts aimlessly with its brothers. It marks the coming, the warrior’s omen. The time of the rebellion. Eyes-of-an-Owl knew it to be a time of dishonor: a time of impasse. The old medicine man dipped his fingers into the black paint at his side and began the chant - the chant of silence, as he smeared on the cloak of death. The time had come. The star would fall.
He closed himself off to the world and allowed the chant to overtake him. The mantra was to help him drop into a state of meditation; from there he could seek answers from the other realm. He whispered for help from his spirit guide. Would the answer come for his plea?
The smoke of tobacco and the heat of the flame swallowed the small chamber as the old man drifted into a clouded vision amid the dark tunnel of change. Things were hazy at first as the patterns unfolded in a maze of illusion under the mask of sleep. Blinded by the fog of a trance, a scene unfolded as a sense of reality raised the shroud of hesitation and focused the dreamer’s perception to receive the quest. The layer of mist hung in the air and it seemed to billow at his feet as he stepped through the warren. When he reached out and touched a wall he found it hot to the stroke and smooth as a knife blade. The sight gave way to a large darkened cavern with flat walls covered in drawings and designs that he could not distinguish.
The air stunk of musty sweat and animal rot mixed with the smell of white trapper stink: the bait used in their trapping. Yet the odor had a unique twist he could not place. He walked forward through the sultry tunnel, the fog rolled at his feet and swelled as he passed. The tunnel in which he walked opened into a large room with tall smooth pillars that lifted in columns supporting a contoured canopy of soft glowing light with interrupted patches of night sky. Through the haze of the picture came the feeling he wasn’t alone.
He could not fully understand what he saw next, for who could understand the spirit realm? Ghostly shadows moved through the misty room, at first distant, then closer, as the man was pulled through the chamber like he was falling, yet vertical. Immense figures passed by the haze, out of focus, without form - then took shape with abrupt clarity. Taller than a man and well muscled, their skin looked as if it were covered in scales. Was the perception misleading? The tough hide was smooth to the touch and metallic in color. Spots of various red hues blanketed the flesh, but seemed out of place over the silver backdrop.
As he looked upon a face he felt fear overtake him. For surely it was the face of a demon. The thing had no lips, but protruding from the upper jaw the savage, oversized fangs of a cat froth amid the otherwise small toothy mouth. Icy red pupils burned beneath large round reflective orbs like narrow slits of evil that studied the environment with complete maliciousness. Long knotted branches of black jointed cords appeared as numerous spider legs, twisted and gnarled, encircling the skull and skirting the crown of its head. Truly ugly and evil - never had he seen a creature quite like it.
The demon turned towards a body hanging helpless from a limb. Then the revelation transposed to the scope of the demon’s view as the visionary focused on the treachery. The man was screaming in the agonies of the torture. A massive forearm supporting numerous hooked daggers dragged across the victim’s back rendering the flesh and tearing the skin. A hand, clawed and menacing, pulled the loose hide free as the giant raised his eyes skyward in triumph. The devil reveled in the screams of the vanquished.
“The gatherer!” Whispered the dream, as the visualization revealed its scope.
The visionary knew the sign. The Demons to come for the quest of men... Stealing the soul… harvesting the pinnacle....
“The gatherers have arrived.”
The ground below him tossed and he found himself thrown from his feet. The floor then buckled once more and he watched other demons fall. The purge had come. The star would descend. Sucked from the scene to a rock over a cliff, a streak tore the night sky with flares like branches that spread in a shower from the heavens above.
Then, Eyes-of-an-Owl awoke in his chamber. The dream ended in a haze of the fire’s smoke. His quest had revealed many secrets, and the sign had been uncovered. In the night’s sky was the answer.
He stepped out of his lodge into the cold air of the intense starry night. A new light glowed bright; it was the hunter’s star. Proof once more that the time was soon. How many would die this time? The star intensified then passed into fiery streaks of luster that pierced the expanse. The luminary was falling, forever sealing his people’s fate.
The time of the gathering had come.
(The first chapter) https://theprose.com/post/142765/mountain-game
There SHOULD be breasts here, I think again, as I touch my upper chest, now flat as a board. But no, breast cancer came in like a mercenary and had no mercy, taking what was once my best feature.
As I undress to ready for my shower, I think of the perfect melons that I used to have. Double Ds and amazingly perky, when they very well could have been so saggy, like my grandmother's, who could damn near hook hers under her belt. No, mine were svelte and round, sitting on my chest like two perfect sentries, surveying all whom they may conquer. And boy, did they conquer! Many men fell under my spell - old, young, black, white; hell, even the gays couldn't help but admire them.
And now they are gone! I feel the wetness on my cheeks and realize that I am once again crying over my loss. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I yell; I refuse to cry! So instead I pound pound pound my hand against the bathroom wall until it's numb, perhaps broken, but I don't care, because now I am broken. Now, I no longer have my badges of womanhood. Now, I can no longer get out of parking tickets or get free drinks at my favorite bar. Now, I can no longer wear those cute halter tops, basking in the attention my twins used to award me with.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can get reconstructive surgery, but they won't be MINE, dammit! I spent YEARS building them up! I even did that funny exercise with my friends when I was young, the one Judy Blume taught us about in 'Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret'. We'd sit in a circle in one of our bedrooms, chanting our mantra - "We must, we must, we must increase our busts!" - while bringing our bent arms forwards and back over and over again. I don't know for sure, of course, if that did the trick, but my mams sure were marvelous!
And now they are gone! I look at where a mirror used to be, before I smashed it and all the others, the better to never again see my lacking chest... Dammit, that felt good, smashing them all to smithereens. I wish I could do the same to that fuckin' cancer!
But I cannot. All I can do is think about how much I've lost. About how Brad left, with some lame excuse ending in "It's not you, it's me". Bullshit. It was all me. And what I could no longer provide him... God, he used to love my boobs, stroking them with just the right touch, softly rubbing on my nipples, feeling them hardening and-
No! I will NOT think about that! Fuck Brad and the horse he rode in on!..or his "horse" that I used to ride every other morning... No! Get a grip, Rachel, I tell myself. We do NOT want to think about that douche-bag anymore!
The water is running, but I can't bring myself to get in. I can't touch the scars that mark where my womanhood was torn away from me. I just can't... I just can't. So instead, I just sit on the bathroom floor and cry and cry and cry.
Neither myself nor anyone in my family (that I know of) have had to deal with this atrocious disease, but I imagine this' exactly how I'd react, if not worse, should that ever come my way.
With that being said, I also want this to work as my stand in solidarity for those who have suffered.
He stumbled. He knew the way, or at least he was reasonably sure he did, but he had a hard time staying on track.
He fell. He decided to just stay there for a minute, and catch his breath. When he got up, a moan escaped his lips; he didn’t hurt, exactly, but was frustrated. He looked up at the afternoon sun, and didn’t remember it getting so late. Where did the time go?
He just shrugged and walked it off. Home. That was his thought process; I have to get home.
He’d been drunk before, of course. There were times where he couldn’t remember events from a night of revelry, but never had a substantial blackout before. For the life of him, he couldn’t remember what had happened between doing shots at the bar and stumbling around now, at least sixteen hours later. Was he asleep? Where were his friends?
Why did he have only one shoe?
He thought about asking the woman sitting in the park bench. Asking her what? He forgot.
He was so confused, but he felt that he couldn’t possibly still be drunk.
“My god,” he thought, “am I sick?”
The lady on the park bench was pretty. He moved in her direction. She looked past him.
He loomed over her, and she continued to ignore him.
“Hey,” he tried to say, but his words came out a gasp. Tongue tied, he stood there, trying to ask a simple question without appearing to be a fool or simpleton. He just needed to use her phone, if she had one. He grew nervous and agitated; it was like he was stuck in a dream, and he couldn’t get the words out.
All she did was dismissively grunt in his general direction.
He knew when to take a hint, so he kept walking towards home.
He wasn’t tired, but terribly annoyed and hungry. There was a shadowy spot underneath an old oak; he liked how the moss hung to give shade. He sat down, leaning against the trunk. He looked back towards the hotel, but couldn’t see it. Where were his friends? What had happened to the bachelor party? He didn’t remember walking so far, but things had been a mess since waking up.
His eyes wandered the streets around him, and he thought it odd how there was absolutely no vehicle traffic. Cars had stopped in some places, and the roads were completely clear in others. Vaguely, he registered the sounds of alarms and horns blaring in the distance. He saw a lot of folks walking, not seemingly in a hurry, and completely unconcerned about the heat of the day.
He drifted off, tired of thinking, tired of trying to remember and piece it all together.
Awareness floated back to him on the beams of a half moon. He was walking again. Just as confused as earlier, at least he was no longer hungry. He found it odd that he was now barefoot, but he didn’t dwell on it.
He had to get home.
He smiled a little as he remembered being this drunk once before. He was being led back to the hotel from a night on River Street by his less-inebriated friends. He became obsessed with the fact that his wife was missing. “Where did she go? IS SHE OKAY?” he yelled, and he lit out to find her at a full-trot. A keystone cops moment followed, wherein he ran circles around the old weathered brick building that housed a nightclub, chased by four of his closest and dearest. When he finally stopped running (he found her safe and sound hugging a lamp post) the almost-sober of the group ushered the concerned parties to the suite before police could be involved.
Lost in thought, he tripped over something on the shoulder of the interstate.
Wait. The interstate?
Headlights in the distance illuminated his path. He looked down at what nearly made him fall. He couldn’t tell for sure what it was, but it was slippery and smelled delicious.
“A food truck crashed?” he thought.
He shambled on towards the headlights, intending to wave them down for a ride. He reached out to them, waving his hands.
The car swerved towards him, and didn’t slow down.
Confusion turned to anger when a side-mirror grazed his arm. He spun around, and landed in the ditch. The car kept going, red taillights in the distance weaving around other vehicles in the dark.
Anger added itself to the perpetual confusion and frustration. He tried to get up, but found his left arm uncooperative. He roared in fury, and slowly got back to his feet.
He looked down, and in the starlight, his arm hung limply. It was twisted and obviously broken.
“Wow. I must really be blitzed,” he hazily thought.
There was no pain.
He walked on.
Slowly, the miles melted away as surely as his thoughts. Blackouts became more common. Words became disjointed images in his mind, and soon the only two things that he knew were hunger and the need to go home.
Time became a blur, discomfort became a constant companion, and anger colored everything with a hazy white film. Days became nights, and strangers shambled beside him. He didn’t speak. After it became obvious that they would ignore him, he began to return the favor.
He finally recognized the exit ramp for home.
He left the pack of weary travelers that had both welcomed and spurned him, and he refused to rest until he could do so in his own bed.
His wife and children would be worried sick, and the Missus would probably be angry that he hadn’t called. She never really wanted him to go off to Savannah with the boys for the bachelor party, anyway.
These thoughts seeped in and leaked out just as quickly, and it was hard to concentrate. He vaguely remembered being upset that she hadn’t come looking for him, but these complex ideas, too, just became images.
Home. Hunger. Eat when I get there. Rest when I get home. One foot in front of the other, fall down. Get up. Keep going. Home.
Longing for her.
Longing for home.
He couldn’t get inside. The front door wouldn’t open. He knocked with his good arm. He beat at the door with both arms in a slow-motion frenzy as frustration mounted and became anger.
Ever present, under his roiling emotions, that hunger kept gnawing at him.
“I’m home, let me in,” he thought he said, but the reality was that only a growl escaped his dried, cracked lips.
He heard crying from inside. Something was wrong! The need to feed flared white-hot, and his fury peaked. He knocked louder, and he yelled for her to let him inside. His arms flailed against the door, and his growls became a constant moan.
Finally, the door opened, and there she was.
He saw a flash of light, but he never realized it was the flash of a muzzle. The sound of thunder that echoed into the pines and elms surrounding their secluded country house never reached his ears; he finally stopped walking, moaning, and longing.
“There will be others. Close the door and let’s get the barricade back in place before they get here.”
“We need to bury him, mama! He’s been missing since this thing started, but now he’s home, and we need to take care of Dad!”
“That’s not your daddy any more, baby. He died weeks ago.”
Under the cover of darkness, as quietly as they could, they laid him to rest next to other family members. Each of them in that shallow makeshift cemetery had been driven by longing and hunger; each of them had been looking for a missing piece of themselves that could only be found back home.
The Battery of Perpetual Motion
The Ticking begins…
In my mind and in my thoughts, all that I can see are images of pseudo-humans. Take the schema of a human body and convert it to a faint semi-transparent model in your mind.
These were the type of figures that I viewed that eternal night
within my sleep.
They walked underground waiting for the subway to arrive.
Many with briefcases in hand, marched and paced around aimlessly. I sharply took notice to something that these characters all had in common.
Every one of these human-like characters, had wristwatches
upon their arms emanating faint ticking sounds.
My eyes shifted to the lights of the approaching subway.
Immediately I noticed some of these invisible tinted men lying flat
upon the tracks; yet these individuals wore watches where time had apparently ceased.
As the sounds of the friction between the tracks and the wheels of the Metro 'tick-tocked' its way into my subconscious, my train of thought also shifted.
I focused randomly upon a period within my youth when I would go to the park on a regular basis.
As I seemed to recall they were exceptional and irreplaceable moments.
Every day after school, I met up with my friends in the park to play basketball at four. On my way down to the courts, I noticed each day without failure, an old man in his late nineties sitting on a bench feeding the crows with his back to the ocean.
I would pass this man for weeks on end without sharing a word, until one day I stumbled accidentally, over his shoes.
I looked to him and expressed my most sincere apologies.
From that point on, a conversation began that would later shape the outcome my life.
He spoke of his being,
and his past experiences.
He explained to me things that he would have done differently if he were my age, and told me of the things he was happy that he had achieved.
Every day after that, I would stop and converse with this elderly gentleman for hours, learning ways to save time and make progress in life.
I never had seen my own grandfathers, and in some way,
this man took their place.
The Ticking continued…
In shifting once again,
I noticed in the tunnel, that at different times, without failure these faded men would fall. Suddenly it occurred to me, as if it were secretly yet purposefully whispered into my ear, that upon the birth of life for these men, the first day of their respective deaths,
was also established.
It then dawned on me that they ran about carrying with them a symbol to measure their own mortality, upon their wrists. These non-people were making appointments that would occupy yet another year, in the 100 that they might have had the option of living.
Each second bringing them one step closer to everything
and nothing all at once.
My attention seemed to wander as it would when a song is stuck in your head, yet this time the tune was that of the second hand to my own timepiece, which seemed to be ticking faster than usual.
My soul began to race as I instinctually prepared to defend myself against a force that had the aura of a thief with no body, who was sent to take me away. My neurosynapses fired as the next scene unfolded before my eyes.
I saw that old man on the bench again.
Except this time I looked closer, and the morals I learned were no longer the focus of his existence.
For this time I focused in on his face, and saw to my deathly surprise, none other than my own image.
Tears began to flow from my eyes and intoxicated my new reality. My hands were wrinkled as they tossed seeds upon the ground to the vivacious and ravenous birds. In that state I began to think about my life and the ghosts in the subway terminal.
I reasoned that indeed one’s objective should be to enjoy life as a whole, and not to concentrate on any single stress
We are much too often stuck in the Now rather than focused on the Becoming.
For Time heals all that has been marred with wounds, and in the end, generously removes the soul from your struggling body, like the ejection of an obsolete game cartridge from an old entertainment system.
I remembered a time when I was a child and I wanted answers to questions I had not thought of. In that state, I had not the strength or the mind to think of examining the mysterious stones that lay before me. I had not the muscles to push the rocks over to see what indeed lie underneath them as they rested upon the grass.
As I grew older the questions came to me more quickly, for my environment was strong, and my family gracious with support. I in turn, also became strong in mind and body. This strength allowed me to move the stones, and later the boulders, that would reveal the potential answers to my unspoken questions; only to find more questions to my own answers.
Soon the lights began to flash upon the process of attaining true comprehension.
Truly the more strength I gained the more I understood, and the more I realized that indeed I knew very little, of something much more.
I recalled a time at the park, where I stood at the free throw line attempting to match my opponent in our game of “horse.” Prior to letting go of the ball, I remember pausing to watch the Sunset, an event that even the old man would turn his head for.
That summer I watched about 100 sunsets, noting in full detail how each one made me feel.
Suddenly, I felt my hands cool, as the sky began to darken around me. I realized that the Sun was about to set once again.
The seeds all rushed out of my hands and the vultures began intensely poking at my lap and my flesh with their beaks to clean-up the unexpected failure in operation, as if I were an inviting park statue, enlaced in available tissue. I could see from the corner of my eye, adolescents staring into the dimming light of the sky, upon the soccer field to my right.
Suddenly I recognized that for some reason, soon to be mortally apparent, I would be unable to turn my head around to experience the event that I had witnessed for so many years on end.
No longer could I stand. No longer could I run into the ocean wearing nothing but my goose bumps. No longer could I get on a plane,
packing nothing but a smile.
No longer could I tell my family,
that I love them.
I saw that in this moment, it was indeed the last minute of my life; where all I had now, were the experiences that I had dared to venture to this moment.
There were to be no new occurrences, except for the inevitable coming of the end to all actualization of my own physical and mental potential.
I hypothesized that in my life I would be happy if I had made few enemies. That I had loved many and most; that I learned, taught, and gave to my surroundings; that I had brought up a good family; that I had raised brave resourceful children whom I knew would be able to successfully raise good children of their own; for I would soon live within their blood.
These children would be the only link likely to speak of my dreams and my philosophies, of my loves and my goals, of my experiences and my soul. For these thoughts, to my successors, would be alive in their minds. I imagined that indeed I had a tool case of knowledge and answers to questions that I rationalized from other questions.
I knew that from this point on, I would no longer have enough strength to enjoy the world that I was given the honor to live in.
Right then, I found that, strength, was perhaps not the meaning to life, but its inherent means of being; that all our actions were to be measured against our lives after our deaths. That indeed time had no meaning or effect after the tool for measuring it, had passed away.
I began to smile radiantly, while carving my potential post-future within a thick storm cloud inside of my consciousness. I felt the rains and the electricity invigorate me to the point where my body itself, went numb. I gasped with a ghastly horror that remains ineffable for it had no property of certain description.
I saw at that moment a vision of my own demise…
that from this cloud which gave the potential of the light to come,
a halt in action was to precipitate.
It reigned supreme with violent rains,
as it parted, while I seemed to be parting as well.
In praying to see the Sun again,
I was shocked to find the lights of the subway shine upon my face as it inflamed my spirit and made its way down to eventually pass through me, within its long-awaited tunnel.
And with its exit…
The Ticking ceased.
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All Rights Reserved
It is the ninth and the rent is due. I have no way of paying it. I lie on my couch and stare at the walls. Maybe I will be told I have been approved and the mail will confirm it. I wait for the mail. This is not my apartment, my mind tells me. Apartments are for people who can pay.
There is nobody left to turn to. I have exhausted all avenues of help. I have not worked in a year. I have used up my state disability payments. I am going to lose my home. It is not my home anymore, I remind myself. Apartments are for people who can pay.
Last month the church paid my rent. It is the last time, they told me. I said I understood. I was sure that any day now I'd be approved for federal disability. It never came. Now the rent is past due and I have nothing to say to the landlord.
Months ago before the church helped I tried to sleep under a tree to see how it felt. It wasn't that bad, I think. Of course it hadn't rained. I could stand to be homeless if it didn't rain.
I come to a decision. I call my landlord. "I have no money coming in and no source of income, I might as well come by Monday and surrender the keys," I say. I have a plan. I plan to be homeless.
I gather together three days of clothes in a trash bag. I throw out all my toiletries in the bathroom and save one roll of toilet paper. I abandon all my pins, all my ties, all my books. The books get to me. I leave them boxed. I cannot throw out my books.
For the rest, I reflect that soldiers live out of a duffel bag and think nothing much of it. Man up, I think. I put my electronics in a gym bag and give it to a friend with my birth certificate. I call a friend from church. He will help me cart my stuffs to Goodwill.
My suits, my tuxedo I put in a suitcase for donation. The massive L desk I was given by a boss, I leave. It takes two truckloads by itself. I throw away everything in the desk. I throw away the harddrives I was saving from my old computers. I have no way to safeguard them.
I start stacking stuff outside for my neighbors to keep. My mountain bike that I kept since 1995 is snatched up. Some things I thought had real value are left. Nobody wants the executive wooden office chair my boss gave me with the desk. I resign it to Goodwill.
My friend comes to help my pack my donations. He is shocked to hear I have nowhere to go. He takes me to lunch and begs me to call my folks. I do not want to call them. By now I want to be homeless, where I belong.
I call my parents. They say they can take me for a week. My friend buys me a bus ticket. He is relieved I will not live on the street. I say I am too. But I am thinking it is just for a week. I think I belong in the gutter.
That was two months ago. My parents say I can be a help to them. I try to keep a low profile in their complex, because it is technically age restricted. The management says I can stay because I am disabled and helping my father. But everyone I meet and talk to gets around to asking how long I'm going to be here. They want it restricted.
I have no income and no car, and when I check online there are no affordable apartments in California anymore. I have been back to follow up on my disability. I told everyone I wanted to move back, and I did, but not at those prices. There are very cheap trailers for rent out here within 3 miles, so maybe I'll end my days in a desert lot in a trailer.
I swim everyday at least once, and write online, and let myself forget that I don't fit in anywhere. I guess that is coping.
The little pine-tree.
Most of the deciduous trees in the forest had shivered off their leaves when a pack of strange animals came to chop me down. They took me into a heated dwelling and stood me up in a corner, donning me with extravagant necklaces of sun-strings and packaged up offerings of peace.The heat from the fireplace was drying my needles. I started drifting in and out of consciousness while the strange creatures had feasts and performed bizarre rituals. Finally I drifted off for the last time, watching in confusion as the smallest of the animals clawed at the packaged offerings, emitting a squeal of elation.