Who's your news?
For a fight.
For an anything, really.
It comes as it does, right?
You know better than I, after all.
You don't read this, searching for my hypocrisy without even asking me about what I've written.
Fuck you, cunt.
Ask me about it now. #provoked #bedirectnotcryptic , #thatsmyjob
Acting like...(present company excluded)
Here's a freebee, spelled out :
T H E P O L I C Y I S A L O V E S T O R Y.
Do you think more of the man who sharply tells a bartender to not skimp on the olives in his martini, or of the guy who doesn't want to be too much of a bother on a busy night?
I see these old, captured renderings of myself not molted, yet, into what I am now, and I wish he had my now-rhythm, then-- woulda be a different everything-- these old days, young to others. But that's par for us all, ain't it, tiger? #re-over-lapse #hastagsyndicate #consciousshed
A quarter of a century spent,
paying off more in precious memories than in $’s.
As the fuse of time is eaten by the fire it was lit with, I sit & try to bottle all of those 25 seasons into something small.
Something that sums it all up quickly & easily.
But I can’t.
If i want to go on in detail I’d be leaving behind more than just a page.
I speak to you from a tumultuous age;
where present is clutched & torn. The past on one side. The future on the other. Shrouded in tentative musings that the right & the wrong directions can take on each others title from time to time.
I hope that you, living in your present— my future— are reading this free from consternation and stalled wheels. Unburdened by authority & spirit barking at each other. That maybe things have been revisited & worked out. And that the disaster I suspect to be catalyzing worldwide (100 years removed from The Great War) has not come to be a reality. That after all, I was just made to be crazy by current transpirations because I cared…but that it was also made so difficult to care about everything all the time.
I hope that you are enjoying life. Not just out here to seek respite from all the bullshit offered, unsolicited at every intersection in our cities.
Look out south and know that from where you stand, I once did…Hoping for an end to humanity’s angst…And if you are just a machine, well, I don’t expect anything other than the burning of these words. For you aren’t even a you, and what lay across this bay; the beauty, the solace, The Spirit, is lost. And my lunacy proved true.
Upon first impression, the guy had to be some kind of schizophrenic. A well medicated one, whose doses and intake were well supervised and documented, at the very least. He was not of much stature. A bit shorter than what's considered average for short. His erratic blinking, the flaring and snorting of his nostrils as if he was a wild boar, and habit of bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet, like he was trying to will himself taller, were clear indicators that the man was not well in some way-- that normal folk should keep their distance. His receding hairline of wispy grey and white strands connected above the ears with this enormous Karl Marx meets Richard Dreyfuss (in Jaws) wire-brush bushy beard, which he stroked and pulled and whisked whenever his hands, or just one for that matter, weren't full. All the tics mixed up and put together in an irregular rhythm were unnerving. If a loud bang were to startle him he would hop up high, with a yell not far from a yip, turn in the air and land aimed towards the source: feet planted, knees bent and shoulders squared off-- like an offensive lineman after the ball was snapped.
He was explicit in his adamance for the necessity of organized militias, a basic tactical preparedness. He knew that these days there was a need for them. He had knowledge of plans, all mapped out and air-tight. Locations and provisions all ready to go. He just needed more 'bodies' to join him. What kind of state those 'bodies' needed to be in he wasn't exactly specific about, or if they were of the no-, some-, able-, busy-, home-, hard- or soft-body persuasion. He just sought bodies.
<Sure, bud, sure. Whatever you say. Lead the way, right behind ya. Is anyone else hearing what this guy is saying?>
Then came the gun magazines he started leaving strewn about the tables of the break room. No one saw him do it, but suspicions were cast and assumptions made. It was scary to see that kind of in-your-face display of obsession and overt advertising of personality. It was one thing to talk about it. You could tune the guy out if you were good enough at tuning people out, not letting their words pass the tympanic membrane and into your head. But it's another thing when your placemat has a scantily clad Spanish babe holding a military issue Belgian FN P90, with an article heading that reads: "8 Best Guns You Need To Survive Doomsday", in thick large print. The guy knew nothing about subtly. The magazines confirmed that. But they drew you, subconsciously, in some repressed and hungry way. 'Give me that Spanish babe and that 50 round mag, rapid-fire bullet-spitter and I'll give you a man of true action', the cover seemed to compel.
Quiet periods when nothing was going on were not great for this guy. Talks about his terrible childhood and his expressive merit about his invincibility would be offered over and over, without solicitation. The stories were sad and always mired in manipulation, sexual misconduct, Fraternal Abuses and the extreme anxiety of raising children. They were among the reasons why he had to, "take precautions".
<Oh fuck, the guy's got children?>
He'd been drilled in a world that was never fair to him. His underground sensibility and chaotic logic needed only to feel that someone else was on the same level, in the same dust storm in which he couldn't see 5 meters in front of his face, behind his back, or to his left and right. He never knew quite how to "adapt and interact within a crowded clashes of molecules, the conscious biological structures that are chemically compounded and with physical capabilities".
!Those are his words. Remember that!*
"We move and smash into each other. Interacting with nothing to lose, everything to gain. Sucking the next person down the drain or out into a spastic orbit, as well. Making sure that the smell of raw sacrifice lingers through time, somehow absolving the prior victim, now turned tormentor, whole again and free from judgement for soiling the futures of other innocents."
"So many spoiled ideals and codes of conduct. Solids reduced to steam under the immense heat, dampening the already soft walls of fragility. Making hard the artery. Constricting and choking the voices that have become sweet and hard to ignore."
<Ummm... Back to that bodies thing, you sure you don't want to call in sick tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that? Maybe you'd feel better if you took a stroll? Let those fumes inside your head dissipate before you decide to come back.>
"Whispers of conclusion and an allusion of divinity has us rearranged. We have been leading a beaten body with a head full of sin and pleasure into the foul, diseased waters without worry. Feeding on impulse. Chewing on history lessons like day-old gristle that we are sure can't be digested, but that we chew on for a bit to see if maybe we can get anything nourishing out of it."
<Is that the break bell? Just got to run out and grab a terminal voltage shock collar for this guy. Something that delivers it right to the heart might be even better. Short-out his AV & SA nodes, cease the function of the guy's heart circuitry. Stop this before it goes too far.>
They say it's darker on the shadow side. Well, baby, this guy is dark all over. A swarthy man-shadow with fully discernible features. A vampire out in the high-noon Mediterranean summer sun . A Brit with a subscription to "American Rifleman". This guy doesn't care for consistency. It's straight-ahead, no deviation devastation. That's fucking it. The last hope is to get him busy and MAYBE he'll stay occupied enough to let things settle for awhile. Who knows, he might have a shit short term memory and move on completely.
Not the case.
It gets worse if he's stuck on something and he's been rattling it around inside his head for some time.
"You should meet Page."
<Uh-oh. Anyone else want to work with this guy?>
"Page has got answers. Page has got some real ideas. Page is kind."
<Yeah, sure. This, Page, a he or a she? Could it have the side-effects of your medication written on it? You going to quote this Page?Is Page a torn and wordy individual? Can I take Page?>
"Page runs the camp. We grow our own vegetables and some fruits. We have a well for water. We hunt goose, deer and duck. We even keep bees, some chickens, and a goat. Page is a seasoned hunter. Page has the real weapons. You really should come and listen to what Page has to say. You'll be a believer after, I guarantee. You'd be a good shot, big strong guy like you. I see in your face the look of a man that could handle a long gun, expertly. I bet you'd be just great at it. Bullseye every time, I think."
<Thanks for the compliment. You may have a point there.>
The guy's words changed instantly. They weren't twisted and frightening anymore. They became easy and familiar. The inflection of his voice became idyllic and soft. He wasn't as threatening as he was at first. Speaking to you, not at you.
"And the women. If for nothing else you should come for the women. All the beautiful women. You should come. They are beautiful. Free love, and all that."
The guy's betting heavily on the licentious tendencies of man now. No shame in it. As forever somatic slaves to the pelvic nerve endings and associated endorphins, it's the right bet to make. No contest.
*The imagery from the cover of the gun magazine comes back into focus*
Defences start to lull and alter, taking up with other, more para-sympathetic parts of the brain stem-- not viewing the guy as a security threat any longer.
"Page can find what you need. Page has connections. What is it you want? What do you need? Do you want to transform or transcend? Become something else? Page knows you do. You know you do. Yours is the type that Page wants at the camp. What is it that you want? You know there's no integrity left in the city, you're not stupid. I can tell. Come to the camp. See the set up. There aren't any shackles out there. The population is getting out of control. Wouldn't you agree? The congestion is like a slow moving freeway, all blocked up by a horrendous accident that's so far out of sight that you'll never be able to tell how many perished in bringing the traffic to such a slow pace."
<Now that you mention it, that does kind of make sense.>
"We need to be armed. Protect ourselves, right? Defend what's ours. A utopia. Do you know what a utopia is? Of course you do, you're so smart. That's why I know you'd be perfect. Oh, and the women. They'll just love you. You are a very handsome man. There's this one..Petra. She'd be all over you, I just know it. Beautiful too. Twenty-three, I believe."
The guy's tics and tells aren't even noticeable now. Just another mildly addled personality with arrested purpose and conviction. Truly benign. The guy's like most people: a little banged up, but ultimately resilient. A little crazed, but regulated enough that he could dress himself, string proper sentences together and get food into his mouth-- instead of all over his face and on the floor.
"It's paradise out at the camp. A sanctuary. Not some shuttered in place. No one to bother you. We all pitch in and work together. Isn't that how it should be? A real community. Not like these income relative, hygiene-biased government constructs and commercialized zoning designations. When was the last time you had mud between your toes, or stayed up all night watching the stars, waiting for the sun the come up? There's great fishing not too far off, too. That's my specialty. I love to fish. Do you? You look like you'd be a good fisherman. Take to it immediately, I bet."
<Ahhh...That does sound nice...What else you got?>
"Just come and see for yourself. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head, but you should come. You'll be amazed by it. Come stay a night. There's a bed there for you to lay your head and rest, I swear it."
CUE THE OVERTURE.
"Trust me, it's paradise."
*still mine-used for dramatic purpose.
I come here to find catharsis. What that is, I never truly know, but that doesn't stop me from looking. Even if the fund it does evade me, I do feel better after awhile, roaming around the dirt field.
The earth here is the texture and the colour of very fine-grind coffee. People other than myself must come here to pace and roam like I do. Why else would the earth be so fine? So worn down and flat level.
I can't say those who else that come are looking for what I'm looking for, but still, I'm not the only one that does frequent. And although I'm sure I'm not the only one, I never see another soul out here, ever. Not even a tractor or an old truck on the road off the highway that I take to get here. Not a stitch of life except me and the earth and some greenery (alphalpha) off yonder, to the east, where the dirt field ends. There are bunches of trees (four by my squinted count), in the distance, but I can't see that far to know if anyone or anything darts in and out of there. If something lives inside a house made of a bunch of trees-- Sweet and nNatural. Other than those bunches of trees, that greenery, the sky, and my dirt field, there's nothing. I don't even hear birds chirping or see them flying through the sky. Not one little scurrier either. Nothing but me with the beat of a heart.
My pilgrimage, today, was for reason more than just to bask in the sun and let my mind wander in the open air. Whenever I buy a new book, I like to come out here and kick it around in the dirt a little bit. Beat it up some. Get some personality on it before I begin. I usually like to peruse flea markets and places like that for second-hand books. There's more than likely some good wear on those. But the one I'm about to read evaded me at every place I went.
My new book is an old one: Frank Herbert's DUNE.
I've read it already, but it's just so good I've got to again. And to rough up that new book store-shine gloss when it skids and skips across the face of the dirt field, oh man, I couldn't wait. Getting dusty from so many fine particles of earth, scratches on the cover and back page from the more burly and solid stuff, is too appropriate to not do. Arrakis, for fuck sake. Enough said.(Yeah, yeah, yeah...Arrakis is a desert planet(sand & spice, little fertile soil)...whatever...can you suspend your disbelief for a goddamn second?)
After a few kicks and tosses, I feel a speck of rain hit the webbing of hand between my thumb and index finger. When I look up there is this grey that is starting to crowd the shining sun from my patch of dirt field, but it didn't cool down. The late-June heat still wraps itself around me, keeping me well comfortable.
All at once, the grey cloud dumps an unexpected, flash-shower on me. I rush to get my book from off the ground. I don't want to ruin it by getting it sodden and muddy, to the point that pages start to tear easily and get stuck in a mash and all warped and wavy. I'm just after a little character, no more.
Luckily, I got to it in time. The watermarking was minimal. But when I looked down at the book in my hands, it was beautiful. Something in me didn't want to hold the book close to my chest and run off to the cover of my car to keep it dry. So I held it out in the shower for ten seconds that could've been minutes. I feel the book get heavy, soaking up the shower. The binding glue started to loosen at the top and bottom and the pages started to curl up slightly. The cover ended up coming right off, but the mass of words and story stayed as one. The edged were a bit on the sopping side, but whole. The cover didn't matter to me anyway.
In that instant, the shower stopped abruptly. The dirt field was now a muck field, and keeping my traction proved precarious. But as that fat grey cloud wandered off to pour itself out somewhere else, and that hot sun and summer heat came once more back to stretch across this field of dirt, I feel great.
Catharsis might be the word. ©
Nature turned on me. Or I was careless. It's one of the two.
No one knew I was the reason for it. At the moment they weren't concerned with who was. All they wanted to do was help & save, flee & survive-- not find the culprit.
But yet there I was, the guilty party in the arms of heroes, under the canopy of safety, while others suffered because of what I had started.
It was a small fire, for no other reason than to have one. I had no fish to fry, no need to keep warm. I just like the smell and the pop and the power, I guess. And all it took was an errant eye and wandering responsibility and one strong gust of wind through a forest of pervading thirst and delicate dryness, to turn the small pile of poorly arranged dead wood and twigs I was burning into a blaze that cut through, at break-neck speed, anything and everything that would have it, as a pack of hungry mongrel strays would an unattended outdoor feast.
I watched the television, sipping on a hot coffee, swaddled in an emergency woollen comforter, as the news stations report on the spreading fury.
"The fire had jumped the river and was coming for our campground," said one witness that was now rescued.
I saw her children huddled with their father beside their SUV. Then the thought came to me that I, not the fire, could've been why one was not there with them.
I started to think everyone knew I was the one that set it all off, but no one came at me shaking fist or slinging slurs and threats.
The television cut between footage of 100ft flames flanking a highway that seemed to disappear in the heavy smoke produced and cars jammed, some deserted in the ditch, on a two-lane stretch of the only road out of there. Those recording it were at a precarious vantage point and I thought how stupid it was to risk their lives for a few as-close-ups as they could get. Then I thought how it was not they that put themselves in a position of danger, that it was I that did. They were doing their jobs, and I was the 'how stupid'.
I knew there was a possibility this could happen when I started out earlier in the day, and I paid it no mind. I figured that I was in control.
From the television came word that evacuation orders had been issued for a city close by, and that we too, in the rescue/community centre, were not safe and would have to move. They said the fire could not be controlled and that it could push, "under the right circumstances", well into not only the city, but the next province within two or three days. How foolish a phrase it was to hear the commentators say, "under the right circumstances".
"The arid conditions were perfect for the wildfire to spread" was another one I hated hearing the newscasters say over and over and over. It increased my well deserved guilt and shot my nerves into a maelstrom of jagged initiative. "I should be out there!" I said-- getting up and spilling my coffee all over my comforter that really wasn't mine but that was given me to do with whatever I needed.
"It's okay, sir. There are trained professionals out there doing what they can. People are getting out of the way. Now if you'll please gather your belongings and get ready to leave." said a soft voice from behind me. I didn't want to turn to see the face that spoke it. And all that registered was, 'leave'.
"But..I..." I couldn't say it. The words were there but not the will. I had to remain unbound to my gross recklessness. There would be nowhere else to go if I did. No one to console me or ask if I needed anything or if I'm alright.
I went outside for a cigarette, and when I looked North all I could see was a distorted sky of black clouds that became grey and white as it rose high and away from the concentrated core of the fire. The cherry on the end of my smoke glowed as I sucked back-- the same as the inferno I saw on the television-- and I was disgusted. That red and black illumination of consumption made me ill and I threw my smoke down and stepped it out, streaking a black mark on the pavement beneath my boot.
Back inside I continued on watching the television, but not for more than a few dozen seconds at a time. I thought back to what the woman said about trained professionals, and how the ones watching and transmitting the enormous ravening bane, were labelled professionals too, but that they weren't actually helping. They were just conveying and reporting the crisis, taking cues from their bosses that sat in offices somewhere, telling them to get closer, to get that award winning shot. The thought made me forget none of this would have been happening if it weren't for me. Then from the speakers came reports that the fire was not natural, that anything other than lightning designated the fire as man-made.
I peeled away from the images on the screen and I could feel every muscle and bone and organ in my body get tight with a cold feeling of dread and culpability. Stay quiet, I said to myself. No one saw you, no witness' to point you out, keep calm and stay quiet. Over and again I repeated those words to myself in no more than a mumble under my breath, trying to settle the anxious shake in my hands and pace the frantic thumping of my heart.
Now I can't turn from the television. It was my 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers. My silent admittance and bill of contrition I had to tend to.
The screen and absent voices briefed viewers of how the fire spreads so quickly. That once the sparks start catapulting from one tree's crown to the next containment becomes a dire exercise. It made me think that now, in place of preventative action and suppression, how prayers for heavy rain must flood heaven's gate in a time like this.
The screen also projected images of the aftermath: large patches and mounds of soot and ash and scorched earth, a dry lightning that formed and circled above the rapidly advancing aggression, and the black bare and frail trees that looked like wilting used matches waiting to return as charcoal pieces to the forest floor from where they sprung. My eyes hurt.
I remember it starting. The wind, as it came in a kind of North Western way, whistling towards me. And from the corner of my eye, the flames of my fire flutter and dip with its blowing. It wasn't until I heard the crackle behind me, and seeing smoke where there should be none, that I realized there was a problem. It had ignited too many spots and the wind induced too quick a escalation for me to remedy and once the dry branches and thirsty forest floor got going, partnering with the North Western kind of wind, there was nothing I could do alone to stop it.
The swelling heat pushed me back, told me to leave. To get in my truck and take off. And I did. I ran. And then I drove. But it wasn't far enough.
I thought after driving for an hour I would be a good enough distance to anonymously call it in and that would be the end of it. Someone would know what to do and get it all sorted out. But by the time I stopped at a remote service station it had already made the news and people were being told to clear out. It had grown greatly in that hour, eating and eating while I sped away, starving for easy fuel as the earth did for water.
Now, half a day removed from when it started, night was beginning to pull its blanket over the land, an all enveloping blanket that could not serve to choke the fire dead with deprivation of wind and O2. It would only add to the cherry-end illumination of the sprawling fire that I fear will not find satisfaction with ease, under these conditions. ©
The cars were well worn or abandoned, anything high priced or locked didn't stay so for long out here. The gutters full of garbage and contagious germ. These streets were all too proverbial to me, a familiarity I would just as soon erase. This was the home of demons and I needed to see it one last time.
I looked up to the sky and to myself asked it to shed some light on this darkened patch of earth, this niche that, even in the sun, pulses despair and a sullen, fleeting hope. I pass the building I frequented just years before: 1582 Dover. Anything you could imagine to take the pain away you could get, but it was never enough. Even when that face looking back at me in the mirror was a frail, sorry excuse of humanity, I still longed for that ever growing need of poison. It had become more a part of me than I was to myself.
Now that I've had time to reflect on my once predicament, I know that my friends weren't really my friends, we just had too strong a commonality in the wake of drowning out our sorrows. None of us liked who we were, but when we were together we became that one machine of smoke, swallow, snort and shoot, and we all ended up being what we wanted when we were together. We were a big happy satiated family of dysfunction.
Our fathers were dead beats and out mothers didn't care. Those maudlin lies so easily told to make our semblance of hurt more believable and sympathetic.
I lied about those whom gave me life, cradled and raised me as best they could. It's only now that I know how much I dishonoured them by alleging I was wounded. My mother would have done anything for me and I called her a whore. My father suffered severe depression on my behalf, worrying and crying for his deluded offspring. I had told that he raped me and that I wanted him dead, but it was the awkward part of me that I really wanted laying in a large oak box at the bottom of a six foot hole, but that I could not admit. Maybe if I did I could start new and wash myself of those loose but heavy chains that halted my progress of understanding and coping. I just had not been strong enough to confront those stygian emotions.
My new family lived in a squalid two bedroom that we rented at a very cheap rate in a shady part of the city. Many of the other tenants were also of the ilk to which we identified, and the proprietor made most of his money keeping us hungry, carving the fix. Problems with the facilities went mostly unattended, never really fixed. They were just band-aided like everything else at 1582 Dover. Overlooked and forgotten, 'make due with what ya got' was one of the landlords favourite sayings.
Some of us had jobs, some didn't. Some collect government checks every month, others weren't so lucky. But we always made sure to pool it all together and take care of our own. The paychecks were small, subsidies as well, but we got by. Some times by any means necessary, and no body enjoyed what that meant.
The sickness had grown in us slowly, inconspicuously. And once the the swing had followed through the wheel house for the last time, the carousel abruptly stopped, throwing us with momentum we didn't know we were with. I can't believe now, that I didn't ever think our hubris would catch up to us at some point. We had no reservation about precarious situations, we just had to be free, making our own decisions, at a cost that was most of the time too emotionally expensive to pay in full.
First, John had started. His skin became like sandpaper, and he got abscess sores that he dug into, thinking he saw the poison he had ingested earlier resurfacing and that he could get a double hit the high out of one dose. Not even his loving partner Sandra could touch his face or kiss hi lips. He spoke lowly to himself and spent a time independently alienated from us. We could tell the cut was deep. And those kinds of wounds take time to heal, even if treated properly. Which they weren't. But none of us heeded the warning. We just kept on trudging along through the thick heavy snow of dependence, hoping for the warm home and hot meal we all desired everyday.
A few weeks later Dee got sick. She couldn't leave the bathroom for what seemed like hours, and when she finally did emerge a brown and red clay like paste caked the toilet and was visible around the drains of the tub and the sink. Despite the mess in the bathroom her clothes would reek of ammonia and comet and ivory soap and cough syrup. Her smile was crooked and punished. Her eyes projected apology and embarrassment, but we will held her hands and warmed her heart as best we could. We could never turn our backs on each other. We were all we had and all we wanted.
Curtis and Janelle were next, followed by Peter and Fredric.
None of us had any sense to get help.
Our miracles came in plastic baggies or balloons. Our deliverance was also our purgatory.
All of the symptoms were different. It was the one time none of us had anything in common and it became a source of quiet hatred and deceiving looks. Trust now crumbled like unset crust, prying and conniving eyes dotted the room. The love had died.
We became increasingly irate with each other over absolutely nothing, lashing out and scalding one another with the burn of personal insult. Over the course of time we had all, in one way or another, told our lives stories to each other. It didn't matter if some were lies, the perjurer still knew they were falsified. And that dishonesty still hurt to someone that tried to convince them otherwise.
I was especially targeted and hissed at. I had not become noticeably illl and was envied beyond forgiveness, and was therefore commanded to see to the needs of my dusted, decrepit "friends". The only ones I knew how to love, and I loved them still, that anything they needed was followed by my strict compliance.
I cut back my shifts at work nearly to the point of not being there, to spend most of my time inside that dungeon of bludgeoned dreams at 414-1582 Dover.
As funds wore thin tempers followed suit. I became more in touch with what was happening. Gradually, I saw the true nature of our addiction to our private, fantastical heaven. I started to open my eyes to what we were doing to ourselves, and I knew it had to stop, at least for me.
It was hell. Ruled by none but those that resided there. Of our own accord we had sentenced ourselves to suffer. The others had become shadows of arbitrary enmity and I was the lamb set for the slaughter. I was the hapless child forced to serve the demands of a domineering parent. My lies were becoming true. And I did not want to love them any more. I wanted to love myself.
My mind was no longer heavily medicated. The fog had dispersed. And for the first time in a long time, I had traction. I had will to run from the trash's tenure over my perception. I knew that I had my mind and that this was the real reality. These were not my friends in my midst, but monsters clawing, thrashing, yelling and screaming for more, of which, there was none.
Their eyes got worse in those next hours as I cowered in the corner listening to the babble and caustic bureaucratic nonsense about the "new relatives", being spouted by a now mentally defunct John.
I could feel them turning on me. I was now outcast and trapped. The front door had been barricaded and no matter what I did, where I looked, there were eyes on me, keeping me accounted for.
John told the others I was a witch, that I had plagued them, sucking their life force and diminishing their happiness. If ever I had been loved by them, it now had merit akin to a lie. The circle had pushed me out. And I was scared and itching from withdrawal. I had even come to believe what John was saying. The indelible hallucinations were terrible. I wanted to cry but knew I couldn't.
At some point the heat had been turned up and I was sweating heavily and I had moved by the window to be next to the coolness of outside that formed some frost crystals in the corners of the frame. I finally figured I had no other option than try to speak, plead my case and convince them I was still one of them and to let me back into the circle. I had to try to gain some sort of trust because I knew i would die if I did not leave.
And I did not want to die.
"I know where to get help," I spoke softly.
Their attention turned to me, all eyes, studying and dissecting to see if I did indeed harbour the fugitive cure.
John hardened his gaze and returned an answer. "You know no such things, devil-woman. It's all your fault."
The silence afterward was the most frightening moment of my life. I now had all of their undivided attentions, and I judged by their leers that I had no time to let them think and make the next move. I turned to the window, and with all my strength I heaved upward and cracked the bottom just enough so that I could jam my fingers under the sill and push it up enough so that I could squeeze through quickly, before they could get their hands on me and pull me back in. I hurriedly made my way down the fire escape, bottles and slurs hurled at me were crashing and breaking all around me. I could feel the shards as rain, but I kept moving, continuing my descent away from that hermetical hell that I once loved.
As soon as i was in the street I cried, cold and misplaced I wandered. I laid down in the street of shit and pestilence, a condemned district for junkies. I could still hear faint screams from the apartment and I was glad that they were just that. It was a comfort knowing that I was away from there. Even the cold chill was comforting, my rapidly pumping heart excited further by it.
My saviour drove a Volkswagen. She took me in from the cold and consoled my sadness. I told her in the most coherent fashion I could muster, my quandary. She was very kind and knew where to take me. I thought perhaps she was scoping the streets in search of her own daughter or maybe son.
The place she took me was a place that I took my first real steps in years. A place I learned the true meaning of love. A place that taught me all over again what it meant to be human. And now, standing here in front of 1582 Dover, I still hear those faint screams and I wonder if any of my old friends had made it out alive. ©