Storytime... (KISS)

...the twisted little way I have of writing...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Never Again-That Night puppies cry

There was a puppy who liked to go out and play. On this particular day the air was cool and full of new scents. The puppy, we'll call her Ellie, found a railroad tie in her yard, old and damp from the rain. It looked like nothing fun, but Ellie knew it was in her yard and being hers it was her job to inspect it thoroughly. It had holes all over it where the wood had fallen away.

She stared at a leaf lodged in one of the holes wondering how this particular leaf had fallen so as to fold up and lodge itself there. It wasn't long before Ellie had her question answered. Out of the hole popped a tiny mouse. It grabbed the leaf and started pulling it into the hole bit by bit. Ellie thought this was so fun and quickly ran to get her blanket of stars to cover the hole and give the mouse something pretty to look at. The mouse the next day however, had chewed holes in the blanket to make pictures with the stars. Tiny little spots of light shone into the hole making the prettiest swirl of dots on the floor of the hole.

Ellie thought this was so fun so she quickly ran to get her least favourite toy, an apple core. Day after day this was what Ellie did when she went outside to play. Apple cores and other bits of scrap and she watched the mouse build a secret world there in the hole. The whole time wondering if the mouse would ever come out to say hello and thank you. But the mouse was always so busy, she never seemed to have the time to talk.

When the flowers grew and the wood was dry, the mouse came out with baby mice ready, thought Ellie, to show them the friend she had made who had given them so much food and such pretty stars to look at. But Ellie was dissappointed when she herd the mouse say: "This is our wood, we live in it. These are our stars, I put them the way they are. And this is our apple core, it shows up here every day just for us." Ellie tried to corect the mouse but when she put her paw out to shake hands and introduce herself the mouse bit her and ran back into the hole.

Ellie, realizing she just must have been startled and tried the next day to catch the mouse and set her straight. But no matter what she said to the mice, they always ran away and never once said thank you. At this Ellie got so mad that she decided to take away the stars. She covered them up as best she could because by now the blanket had so many holes and was so weather worn that she couldn't rightly bring it into the house.

And then Ellie dicided not to give the mice anything else. And day after day the mice showed up looking for the stars. But there were no stars to be seen, Ellie was covering them so it was just always dark in their hole. Thet got thinner and thinner looking for apple cores that would not show up. Too scared of Ellie to go outside and look for other food. But Ellie wanted them to say hello and thank her for all she had done for them, otherwise she wasn't moving from that spot. After all, this yard was her world and she was nice enough to let them live there.

But when one day the mice she had spent so much time watching and caring for no longer showed up looking for the apple core Ellie got sad. She started looking everywhere for the mice but never saw them again. To this day she lays down licking her wound, covering the stars and crying into the dark hole, hoping the mice return to say hello and thank her. To this day you can hear her whimper in the wind of a rainy night.

"What's wrong with that dog?" It was the man from the agency pointing to the old bitch we had found on Easter.
"Lady Easter?" Came the woman's voice from the kitchen window, her eyes following his gaze.
"Hasn't moved from that spot all morning. Some guard dog huh?"
"Don't really know," she said "s'been like that since round the time she came in with a thorn in her paw. S'been lickin' it open and laying there since. Won't let the damn thing heal. S'like she just don't want to leave that damn wood alone. We were going to have it removed when we figured out there were mice in it, but since she's so attached to it we haven't the heart. 'Sides, I think she scared 'em all away. So no harm in lettin her have it now."

He was in the bedroom, avoiding the man from the agency. Listening to her talk to some other guy made him a little crazy anyway. He usually dissappeared to make some "business call" when there were people around anyway. Don't know who he called, but I could guess. I knew that sound well. I heard him crying over the phone, he was whimpering like some wounded puppy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Never Again-That Night his crying

I wish I could tell you how I feel about clowns. You know... how some people find them scary, some erotic, some just feel like a clown is a clown. I'll admit I have mixed feelings. There's even a professional clown in the family. She didn't do it long. Something about the family needing another income on top of his. It was a long time until I personally met another clown. It was when I was taking a break from traveling carnivals, took a trip through college, that I met the guy. He was able to laugh and smile the most infectious smile at the drop of a hat. Quite the father figure type to everyone he met.
He used to hug me and cry about how everyone saw that side of him. How no one knew who he really was. Sobbing for hours he'd soak my shoulders with fears that no one knew or cared that it was all an act and he needed people to know how unhappy he was beneath the painted on smile and the big nose.
It was his shoes that got to me. Gingerly taking them out of a box he'd treat them as the soul of his happy self. Gingerly he'd handle them. I thought he was afraid of them. He paid utmost care and attention to them, as if they were glass, the only doorway he had to happiness, and the very thing that trapped him in a world of pain. He wanted to break them, feared them, was afraid to hurt them. Yes those shoes housed his other soul. As soon as he put them on, with their squeek-squeak-honk as only over-sized clown shoes can do. He went through the most sudden and strange transformation. From melancholy faucet of depression, tears and anger to bubbly wistful and laugh-factory.
It was a cold and moon less night. the shoes were in their box. He asked me to dance. We chased each other around town. I remember the wind blown jacket and wondered at something he said "you can't spell slaughter without laughter..." It didn't scare me at the time. But he did scare me, from time to time. Progressive his crying fits got more violent. I could hear him build himself into a rage. I knew when he was upset.
When the crying stopped I used to think how nice it was that he finally started getting over it. I was wrong. When there wasn't much else left to break in the house, I thought maybe he'd gotten it out of his system. I was wrong. When those shoes squeaked I knew I didn't have anything to fear until they came off. They squeaked as he paced and danced like Bo Jangles. They honked as he jumped and did hand-stands walking on the ceiling. Buand when the came off he'd cry or rage. But one night they came off and it was quiet. Silence, I learned, is the scariest thing of all. I thought He might be sneaking up in me with a knife or something. I was wrong.
I learned I was the weak one. I should have let him cry night after night. But when we started fighting, when hands were for something other than soothing, I withdrew. I decided I couldn't help him any more. I should have taken all he had to let go of. It's better than his crying and much better than silence.

Never Again-That Night soothing

I was one of the Leads in the school play, the lines were simple enough. I knew them just fine, somehow stage fright never got me upset until all of the sudden it would take my tongue away from me. I remember the frightening feeling well up after I stepped on the stage and tried to speak but my memory went blank. The more I searched for what had to be said the less I could find what I was looking for.
I was mostly distracted though. I was staring into the chairs and the bleachers. Faces, lots of faces. No-where. I could find my parents no-where. I couldn't concentrate; What were my lines? Where were they? Was no one going to help me? I already look like a fool... And then I accepted the silence. It was mine.
The words came out, all-be-it late and full of ad-lib typos. But I did my thing as effortlessly as possible. It was like some other me took over, a me that was at home with failure. When I got off the stage, into the wings, I tried to get to a quiet dark corner. To collapse and to cry. It was never that easy for me though. He grabbed me by the wrist and pushed me against a wall and was breathing heavy into my mouth saying something about how much he wanted me.
I tried to think of the easiest, simplest way to get past this and get to my quiet corner. Reasoning with him that I needed to study my lines wasn't enough. I could have kissed him, I could have kneed him in the groin. Neither seemed like the right thing to do, but no matter how I struggled, he wouldn't let me go. I was his first. He was mine. We wouldn't get to that point until years later.
When I got away from him, I found a set of wooden stairs in the dark back corner of the the stage. It was for another show and they were just too inconvenient to move all the time, but too necessary to get rid of. I used to sit on them all the time to concentrate on memorizing my lines. This time I thought I sat on them to cry. But no such luck, too many people passing too and fro. I had to be quiet. After all, there was a show going on.
I closed my eyes to think of the show, the people. What had happened, to figure out why I just couldn't think up there. I saw the faces in the audience, dark and featureless. Welling tears and I bit my lip. I thought of the lines I'd forgotten, perfect without thinking. A quivering hand and pain at my heart, I tucked my hands in each other in my lap. I thought about how I'd just been shoved against the wall. I started wringing my fingers and rocking a little. I remembered how I suddenly came to peace when I realized I had failed completely.
The shakes and the vulnerable feeling, my stooped posture, quivering lip, and even the pain in my heart went away. I was a failure. But I couldn't let it show. I couldn't let any of it show. I looked at my hands. Small as always. But my nails were dirty underneath. I started scraping them clean. It was the only thing I could think of to do to cope with this feeling. On nights like tonight, the grating scrape of nail on nail is soothing.

Never Again-That Night want to care

We were waiting for the bus. standing by the side of the road quietly is something an impatient ADD kid like him can't do all too well. It was a constant exercise in creativity for me. The game was something like ""get the rock" crossed with "how far can you throw." And the goal was to hit the other side of the street. Then go get it. once it turned into dodge the traffic. We stopped playing it then. I remember he wanted to run out into the street, swore he was fast enough. I dared him to do it and his better judgment won over. I was the only one it seemed, that knew he had better judgment and called on him to use it.
Once, in the barn in the back yard, there were rats and it was dark. I don't know how I knew but when he got lost inside and couldn't find his way out, there I was like some savior out of the sky. The next time we were in there I "fell" out of a two story window and was forbidden from ever going near that place again. What bugged me other than the fact that they forbade me was this: What if he got lost again. What if he needed me. I really believed I was the only one who knew things, the only one could understand, the only one could help sometimes.
Most people realize as they grow up that they aren't really as special as they once believed. I never had that because I always had the truth of him to fall back on. Without me pushing him to do better, he never got better, never even tried. Without me understanding what he meant when he talked, no one would even think he could communicate anything cohesive. Without me knowing how he thought, he'd still be lost a dozen places. No one would take care of him, or pay attention to him until I showed him how better to do.
Like all people I needed to feel needed. We all revert to nervous habits when we feel less needed, less desirable in life. But I think I would have turned out all-right, probably better if not for him. I should care about his well-being, about him. He is, after all, my kin. I want to tell you that I need him, that I care.

Never Again-That Night cant stand

He has a way of making you believe he's some all-mighty. I guess because in his mind he is. But it's akin to leaving the light on in the basement because the switch is at the bottom of the stairs. Lesser of both evils is really all.
I remember being in my knees staring at the carpet. I think I was trying to count the blue threads vs the green threads. Thinking about someone I'd met that day, trying to stay out of the way to prevent the fighting.
Ethel I think was her name and she was in a wheel-chair. Normally I follow the don't be rude, it's none of your business card. But she was reaching for something dropped and obviously having a hard time. Very old. I picked it up and handed it to her and instead of saying thank you she said hi.
"I remember being your age," she was saying, "...Where those kind's of things just couldn't grow and it was in that field I lost the fingers off my right hand..." She told me about growing up on a cotton farm durring the depression of the 30's. "Most folk didn't like to admit to needing help those days. Not like now." And I was thinking about that arrogant, self-centered, entitlement prick I was living with. My head was down, force of habit. Kind of a speak only when spoken too thing from my childhood and I noticed her leg move. A foot stretch beneath the blanket. She saw me cock my head in silent inquisitiveness. "....but that's just the trouble with kids these days." She concluded, coming to a brief silence. "You know why I'm in this chair?"
"Because you can't walk or need to recover from something." Confidence was something I could force out on cue.
"His name was Ira." She began, "and it was ten years ago this May. They work but they haven't held me in ten years. It started out as a joke between two old buzzards who seemed to have nothing left. He'd drink because he was old and retired and so he could and I would tend house, clean up after him. Deal with his temper and drunken messes. I kept telling him I couldn't stand his being like that. One night I took a deep breath, walked into the kitchen and sat down by the table. 'What if I can't stand anymore' I asked him. And the old buzzard didn't believe me. I told him that I would not stand again until he got sober and stayed sober."
He said: "Bet my life on it you won't go through with it."
"It took him a few days to understand me. I went hungry until he started feeding me, sobriety had to come with the responsibilities. Took him a month to get me a wheel-chair and get me around the house. Ripest I've ever smelled in my own house. Or out of it for that matter. I refused to stand and I refused cook and cleanign went out the window. But he loved me and eventually he started caring for me as if I couldn't get up. Sitting down gave him a look into what I'd been doing for him all the years he wasn't sober. One day he told me not to get up, not to ever lift a finger again because he knew he owed me and if I did, it would feel like I was telling him my turn was up and he didn't want to drink again.
"'It's tempting...' he's say... and I know I cant stand. I won't stand it because I love him..."
The little old woman in the wheel-chair Smiled up at me and was slowly pushed along by a sweet seeming little old man. I couldn't believe this was what was lurking beneath a drunk and bad man.
Picking my fingernails, listening to the drunk in the other room, counting the green fibers, I've noticed there are three or four to ever one or two.
"You don't even care what happens to them!"
"I don't care?! I don't Care?! Who do you think goes to wor..."

He's right for now. For now she needs him. I want to tell you that I need him, that I care. But honestly; I cant stand it when he gets like this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Never Again-That Night scuff scuff tck

Picking my nails helps me think. Helps me forget. Helps me focus on anything else.

Suddenly I hear whispering. Hushed voices and the sound of crickets chirping. Silence is usually my best friend. Not necessarily the case this time. I get up off the floor, temporarily giving my nails a reprieve. The bullfrog I was watching out the window doesn't seem to notice but I pause just a moment to watch and see if he grabs the cricket crawling in front of him.
I cant watch long enough. There's the voices again. "You shouldn't be..." and after mumbling "she's not...and I don't..." Muffled through a door I can't hear it and it's none of my business. I get my brother a glass of milk from the fridge and run into him. Face to face with my enemy and my fears.

I can't hear his voice I've turned it off and tuned him out. The face says anger though. Another fight and I can still feel the last one on my cheek. I growl in his face that I don't have the patience for this tonight. Pushing past him to leave I storm out towards te stairs. He charges after me and before I get to the stairs he grabs my arm spinning me around. More yelling I honestly can't hear, but it's right in my face.

Interrupting him. Growling something about shit to do in the morning and someone has to take care of the people in this house I practically spat it in his face. His arm reeled up. Again.
It was too much for me to handle. Turning down the stairs I left the room. It wasn't time to deal with this, the best way to get away from anger is to walk away from it. Passing the door I look just a second longer to watch the bullfrog take a quick step forward and gulp down the cricket. Figures that would be the last moment of the poor critter's life. I'm scraping the inside of my nails and the scuff scuff tck sound is grating, annoying, painful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Never Again-That Night

You remember your parents being too busy to watch the kids? I do. Rather than pay attention to the hours of tv droning on in front of me I listened to what was going on. It was mostly household chores and talking to random people I didn't know. They put on M.A.S.H but it could have been barney for all I knew or cared. I listened to the conversations and the arguing and realized what a split looked like before she even knew it was a divorce.
With my ears I'd see her crying, I smelled the fear in the air when he got home, I smelled even more of it mixed with blood and pain in the late night hours. I knew what this was.
And silent and still I'd sit where I was told to, watching out for what was going on around us. I couldn't see anything going on unless it was close enough to need to get out of the way of. To move at all was a different fear all together.
"Lish can you wait a minute!" I could still hear the words. Glad that I appear to be doing anything else and not involved. I was involved. There was nothing I could do to run away from it. I was trapped with my worst fear. And I still believed I had a way out.
I pick. I's my Nervous habit. Scraping my nails, picking my teeth, picking apart the words I hear around me. Since learning to Not listen to everything around me. The probem is I do hear it all and the worst sound of all is silence.
Springing to my feet I run over to scoop up my older brother, making him cry with a pinch. "What you guys upset him for?" I yelled as I piled him into a corner telling him under my breath to just shut up and let me handle it. It was the first time I had ever interrupted a fight. And it was exactly when I was needed to. There was no beating that night. Our tv show, the one we used to watch all the time, is playing in the background and yet I can only barely hear it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"That Night" Written 2-18-2007

Our tv show, the one we used to watch all the time, is playing in the background and yet I can only barely hear it. I'm scraping the inside of my nails and the scuff scuff tck sound is grating, annoying, painful. I can't stand it when he gets like this. I want to tell you that I need him, that I care. On nights like tonight, the grating scrape of nail on nail is soothing. It's better than his crying and much better than silence.
I heard him crying over the phone, he was whimpering like some wounded puppy. I told him she was trouble, I told him to leave her alone, but like a fly to honey so too a man to a vindictive ex wife. It's not really her though, He tolerates her to see his daughter. I keep telling him nothing in this world is worth that kind of pain. He shouldn't risk letting that woman kill him just for a moment with that little girl. What use is he to his daughter if he is dead?
And he dobuts she'd kill him. But she's gotten him so close before. I'm surprised he survived this long. God knows I've pulled his ass out of hot water too many times already.
I remember when it started too. She had a hatred for me, thought I was the reason he left her. No, no! Couldn't be her manipulating self-centered neediness...
But I digress, He walked in the room and wouldn't leave my mind for months like the addiction I was picking up, every day I wanted another hit of his drug, another deep breath of what was his fresh air to the stale cigarette smoke of what my life had become.
He asked me if I knew what darkness was. I told him I lived with it inside my very soul.
He said it was nice to be home. It was nice... It was nice? I knew what pain was, what deep sorrow and lonliness was, I knew what it was like to not only have darkness with oneself, but to feel it inside, as part of my very soul. I knew maddness, pain, deep oblivion... He was no such comprehension. I let him claim to be, it made me laugh like a parent at their child when they jump off the roof believing they can fly. But his self image was a lie. He was no super-man, he was no devil, no evil no hell. He was merely human, flawed, scared, self-loathing human, just like me.
When I met him I though he was devioius, strong, unfeeling. I hated it, but it intrigued me. since then I've discovered he is just like every other weak-willed self-masturbratory, self-loathing, societal-paricite out there. I no longer look at him in awwe and wonder and I no longer feel he is my god.
For a while he took me away from the god I feared I followed. Being human we are all twisted, cruel and self-serving. I have crushed hearts, broken homes, ended lives and lived on to be indifferent about it. I thought he could be the embodyment of something different but similar enough, the next step up in my twelve step program out of Hell. I felt I could idolize him, emulate him. Be strong like him and ompassionate like him. He was weaker then me. The Bastard, he's never even killed, he lies worse than I do, and he fears. Damnable traits. I hate the idea of the society's fortitude, based solely in softness. I'll admitt my presence and part in the race but only on condition; you must understand I hate being associated with anything so weak.
So I distance myself from every lover that comes along, every man who I ever thought was worthy, who showed me he wasn't. One truely was so perfectly dark and cruel, he's dead now. Another made me believe he was until I saw it, his weakness in his eyes when he looked at me. Those soft blues and his slurred words, I Love You they said and he was helpless in my presence. I was left to defend him as he wallowed in self-pity.
Never again.
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