Tag Archives: hurt

Little Did I Know

I spent most of the day putting out office fires and rifling through all of my childhood memories like a Rolodex. Who uses one of those anymore? The embarrassing ones always seem more vivid. Shame was used to keep children in line. Remember “Another Brick in the Wall”?

When we grew up and went to school

There were certain teachers

Who would hurt the children anyway they could

Instead of the teachers, in my case, it was the students.

Masses. Everywhere. Animals. Inmates. Terror.

The best thing for a kid like me to do was to blend in and not get noticed by the unchecked, vicious little bastards teachers would do little to stop.

Public servants. 30 and out. Make no waves and live to be paid another day.

In classic, tragically-humorous fashion my younger years were wrought with fear and anxiety. I think it made me question life far sooner than my contemporaries, as it simply seemed surreal. One of the more laughable things I began to panic about was the thought I was the only person on the face of the planet with flatulence. Yes, I thought I was the only human being that could fart. How I arrived at this supposition was an evening of balancing myself, end up of course, against my parent’s rust-colored couch. After finally being able to put my feet on the ground over my head without rolling over, I quickly celebrated with a trumpet fanfare from the posterior section of my body.

What was that noise? Oh, God, why does it smell?! My child brain raced to remember if this had happened elsewhere. No. There were no other recorded cases of this phenomena before. Please don’t tell me I’ve been “gifted” with this ability. I want a refund!  Surely, I had never heard anyone else break wind before. I was the first case in my experience. This was not good. This was mortifying.

So, months went by and I kept that little paranoid gem to myself. Sneakily, I was trying to pull information out of other people to see if it was something common to humans will little success. My speech skills aren’t stellar, and interrogation was never my strong suit but I couldn’t let any of this top secret information out. I would never have a moment’s rest from the little savages that sit next to me for 8 hours a day. After several awkward conversations, I became discouraged. How was I going to cope with this gigantic, red F carved in my chest?!

For a long while, I was able to keep things under wraps, until the mythological tricksters of the school decided to change all that in Mrs. Shadel’s Social Studies class. I remember the subject because the books were so ridiculously thick. How were we ever to get through all of that? Anyway, I was called on to read a passage from the book. This wasn’t possible, since it was stored neatly under my seat on the suspended wire rack. Little did I know I was about to demonstrate to the world my musical “talents.”

I leaned over and put a hand on that brown-paper-bag-covered textbook only to let off a noise that would make a foghorn jealous. Frozen. I couldn’t move. A tear formed in the corner of my eye, as if I watched the ending of He-Man & She-Ra the Movie: Secret of the Sword (shut-UP, I loved that movie ಠ_ಠ). A commotion started with jeers, laughter, chiding, and all sorts of hate directed at me: the easy target. The stooge. The not-good-enough. The reject. The scapegoat. All the noises began swirling in my head and I shut my eyes to black out their faces, until I heard a voice silencing them all.

What was this? A reprieve? Was it over? Can I go back to thinking about social studies now? Not quite.

“All right,” said Mrs. Shadel, “I’m going to count to three and you’re all going to get it out of your system.”

Fuck… it’s a firing squad.

At least the noise was uniform, albeit painful. After about five seconds the teacher cut them off and went back to the lesson. I can’t remember what it was. I was too preoccupied to function. The day was ruined, and I just wanted to go home. There were a few stray insults after that, but the simple minds finally got distracted with something else. I was free to disappear… and forget… until now.

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Peanut Brittle Family

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and accordingly, there were several meditative posts on people’s fathers. I had to think long and hard if I wanted to post anything on the subject. On a life’s scale, it could be far worse. He could be absent, unavailable, incapacitated with drink or other drugs, in jail, physically abusive, deceased, but he is not. He can be very hard to handle at times, though. I was concerned yesterday evening would be such a case. My muscles were tight and on stand by for the typical family meltdown, but I put on my best happy face and tried to make the best of it.

We made it off a rocky week. My father thinks acting like an ass to upset me is wildly amusing. Maybe private-time me would only be irritated, but to be difficult during business hours is unacceptable. Dragging feet or pretending to drag feet and being obstinate is out of the question. Saying afterwards, “I’m only joking,” is not enough. In fact, I’ve never found apologies meaningful. It’s true they may be sincere and valuable to the speaker, but I don’t find meaning in them. If you would like to apologize, help me out.

Sunday I made it out with only having my meal ruined, and when compared to other times in my life, I’ll take what I can get. My family set out for Port Columbus Int’l (CMH) to pick up my sister. She’s 38, but takes to driving in larger cities like cats do to baths. Something I take pride in is being able to drive, fly, or otherwise commute on my own. Independence has been my bride for years, and I have loved her as tenderly as I ever could love a woman. It makes me grouchy when I get whiffs of fecklessness in my peers. In turn, I get very sore with myself if I find it in me.

Being the considerate, I drove most of the trip. Being it Father’s Day, we decided to have dinner at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. As a gift, I paid for the four of us. I thought it better than a stupid gift card to a home improvement store. Maybe I was mistaken?

After the arrival at CMH, spirits were rather high. While we waited for the Frontier gorillas to mash the luggage a bit more, I was entertaining myself by riding up and down the escalators like a simpleton. My sister had her little escapade in Pennsylvania, and was being pleasant. My parents seemed happy. We tried to take our luck to the restaurant and ride the fumes out through the night.

Here’s where it started to unravel. With my mother a might peckish, she became irritable. The 45 minute wait was not well received by her, but I was firmly against going to something like Bucca Di Beppo.  We patiently waited, and I decided to anesthetize myself with a 22 oz. beer. Not only did it do the trick, it made me louder. I was told to keep it down more than once by my mother.

After seated, we headed for the dinner buffet. I generally dislike buffets for the clientele it attracts, but will always make an exception for this place. Filling a couple of plates with delightful food, such as bratwurst and German potato salad, I overhear the light squawking of my mother about two pans being empty. Tuning out the first-world problem I went to the red cabbage.

By the time I reached my table, I witnessed the tail end of a “discussion” between my mother and the server. It wasn’t an amiable discussion either. From what I gather, my mother said something about food not being available and assume the server said  it wasn’t her problem in a round about way. In truth, it wasn’t. Those trays are the problem of the line cooks in back. They are the ones to be nagged. She was less than impressed and entered her icy, withdrawn, silent treatment mode with the waitress. Things got ugly after the server left. When we were alone, she turned to me and said, “don’t you dare tip her.”

She couldn’t have struck me harder if she used a monkey wrench. What balls she had telling the person buying her dinner how to pay for a meal. I am her son, yes, but this damn near broke my heart. My willingness to eschew the small irritations of having a good meal for the family went disregarded. My parents are the type of people to stiff the help, if they got a bug up their ass. I am not. I am firmly not. My father chimed in with, “she’s not getting any money from me.” Does anyone truly pay attention in my family? I was… uh… I was picking up the tab for this, Dad.

We made more small talk. All the while, I began to plot. I plotted on how to get them out of the building in order to pay for the meal. The more I thought, the less I tasted my dinner. What a waste. I finally settled on trying to pay at the cash register. A few minutes passed, and I thought we were out in the clear.

My sister, in the stupidest move of the night, unexpectedly cut in with “I wonder at what point she realized she was screwed.” In a very, very hurt fury by now I kicked the leg of her chair and barked, “eat your food!” The usual heavy blanket of silence fell upon the table. A fuse was lit, and I waited for the explosion. My father started in with his usual old man bitching with, “this wasn’t a good idea.” Fuck youFuck all of you miserable assholes. My insides were torn apart. I wanted to be anywhere but there at that point.

Looking at my phone, I found out how much time had passed between our seating and our departure: 30 minutes. 30 minutes. That’s how much time I was given for a family dinner, on my dime, and with nothing but pissy attitudes with it. Everyone was so cross, I couldn’t finish my second beer. It had to be left behind to get these assholes on the road. Fortunately for me, I was feeling some of the beer and it didn’t hurt as much.

I got everyone out of the building to the best of my ability and found the server. With my speech a little on heavy side, I explained to the young waitress I didn’t care what was said, but it really pissed my mother off. It was also stated there was a healthy tip with my payment, because I don’t believe in stiffing people. Ever. Not being able to process English, the girl tried to tell me her side of the story. I ignored her. What part of “I don’t care what happened” do you not understand? Take the fucking grace, dipshit.

On the way home, I kept everything to myself. That’s my only recourse. Do not add fuel. Be courteous. Be brief. I wanted to escape in the worst way. Reflecting in a bar that night, the problem came to light. I’m not an adult in their eyes. I’m nothing but the small boy with the He-Man figures. I’m their little boy… to control, dismiss, and scold. I may never have an adult dinner with my parents for as long as they live, and that’s painful.

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Crime and Punishment?

October 17th, 2017

…or at least I think it’s the 17th. Maybe it is the 18th and I’ve miscounted? Oh, I’ve tried my very best to keep track of how long I’ve been in here. There are calendars available in the dining room, but there are so many different years scattered upon the table. I don’t have much of a reference point; I don’t know when this all started.

The house seemed to be permanently snow bound. I found that I could shimmy out the kitchen window with a little bit of effort. It’s not much of a victory though. I can’t go out much more than a half a mile without losing my sight of the structure. It’s simply a barren wasteland! There are no trees, no houses, nor anything else that would identify civilization within sight. I’m seemingly alone here.

For as remote as the location is, oddly enough I still get amenities. There’s running water, power, and climate control. That’s a nice creature comfort, as the cold burns me instantly the moment I venture out of the house. My refrigerator is always stocked, too. I can only assume it’s by some kind of human intervention, but no matter how hard I look, I don’t find anyone. I’ve scoured this house, too. There has been enough time for me to view the contents of this house in detail. It’s almost as if I were left here to die, but not by conventional methods. It often hurts to think about that. So, I turn my attention to this diary and the books from a bookcase in the living room.

October 30th, 2017

I found a HAM radio in the garage. How I missed it, I’ll never know. I don’t know how to operate one, but what is the harm in trying now? Maybe I could find someone on a frequency that could help me get out of here? My lips trembled at the thought of finding someone. To talk in earnest, to express gratitude, to share in conversation, to delight in the warmth only physical contact could provide all swirled in my head with speed. I couldn’t think straight! Maybe… maybe it would even be someone special? It could even be some dramatic romance I could relive with tears in my old age. The odds were against me, but it made my mind wander.

“Stop it! Stop daydreaming and work!” I told myself. I flicked on the terminal, and grabbed the receiver with force. “Hello? Is anyone there? Can anyone here me? I’m trapped in a house far from anywhere. All I can see is snow. There are no trees and no roads. I don’t know my coordinates. Please! Someone hear me!”

My response was the hiss of static. “Maybe I should try a different band?” I muttered. I moved to another frequency and repeated my distress signal again. There was little improvement. I’m not entirely sure how long I sat there in front of that radio, but it was enough to see the sun set and rise. After the last band was tried for the hundredth time, I gave up. It was all a cruel joke.

July 30th, 2018

It’s funny and sad to see snow in July. I can remember a talking head on television cracking a joke about global warming whenever there was snow in non-winter months. I can’t remember the face anymore, but can certainly remember hearing them. It’s crystal clear. It was a typical morning show with perky hosts you’d like to tag with a rock. Vacant and happy.

Speaking of voices, I thought I heard something the other day while reading a new book. New books spontaneously show up in the bookcase periodically. For the longest time, I thought the shelves were full and that I had read every last volume. On closer inspections, there never ceases to be a time when I would find one or two books I didn’t see there before. If this is from someone else stacking the shelves, I’d certainly love them to slip up and show themselves. They deserve to be punched in the face for what they’re doing.

I had out a copy of The House of the Seven Gables, and was slowing sipping some English breakfast tea when I heard it. It sounded like a whisper at first, and then became more audible as I paid attention. I heard a faint “he’s creepy,” and in reply “yeah, he’s pretty creepy.” Bolting upright, I grabbed the first thing I could lay my hands on. In this case, it was a decorative urn at the base of the bookcase. Slowly, I crept around every corner, every nook and cranny needed to be searched for the source. The living room, kitchen, dining room, garage, bathroom, and bedroom were thoroughly inspected for any sign of life other than my own. I found nothing.

In a fury, I flung the bedroom window open and screamed, “Show yourselves! You cowards! Why are you doing this to me? Why have you left me here?!” I finally collapsed to the bottom of the window in despair. The sill was cold but felt good on my hot forehead. I’m not sure how long I can go on like this. I didn’t want to die, but is there a purpose in living like this?”

Scared out of my wits at not only the audio hallucinations but the contents of such, I cautiously took my seat in the living room and picked the book back up. I was too shaken to read any further though.

December 29th, 2019

The concept of howling wind never hit home until recently. Snow whizzed at lightning speed past the windows, as it was yet another snow storm. They usually come in every two weeks or so. After sitting in front of the living room window for the longest time, the sound came to me. Most of my life it sounded like someone blowing air into my ear. That’s way too high pitched to be a howl. This time it was different and distressed me something awful. It reminded me of the family greyhound. It would howl at 5:00 each morning for its food. I can remember pulling my pillow over my ears to muffle the piercing sound of that dog. It never worked, though. I always got up and fed the loudmouth.

For the here and now, it was an appropriate memory. This place was hungry. It was hungry for me. It was waiting for me to die to share in the spoils of my death. It played with me like a cat does to a spider, and laughs at the anguish it causes. A tear rolled down my cheek at the thought of being the subject of such torment and ridicule.

May ?, 2020

Dammit! I fell asleep while the power went out. I have no idea how long I slept, as I’ve been known to stay in bed for days on end. All of my counting, now useless!

September ?, 2020

A new method of torture was introduced this morning. I awoke to the sight of a black tube pointing straight at my head. I was so startled at the sight of it; I fell out bed with a loud thump. Collecting myself, I moved in for a closer look. It was a turret camera. The noiseless half sphere stared at me with a blinking “rec” light on the side. My face went pale. “How many other cameras are there?!” I said, and without much delay, went running through the house. Sure enough, there was a camera in each room, including the bathroom, all with blinking red lights.

“You’ve got to be joking!” I yelled. “This has gone too far! Show yourselves! Now! Someone’s here, or can hear me! Stop this! You can’t do this! This is horrible! You’re horrible people!” Throwing myself on the bed I rolled up in the sheets. There’s a philosophy that tells people to live in the moment. The moment is now, but am I really living?

August ?, 20??

I could hear a tone in my sleep. It’s the high-pitched sound of silence. There’s no rest and no relief with it present. I think it’s coming from the camera. They all stare back at me expectantly, as if I need to put on a show for them. Entertain them, for chrissake! So, I put on a pair of briefs and hobbled into the garage. It has to be here, somewhere. Aha!

“You like to watch? Well, watch this!” I drew back and smacked the lens in the bathroom. The camera crumbed under the force of my framing hammer.  This energized me, and I ran into the other rooms for a repeat performance. They all had to be destroyed. The vultures! If they didn’t want anything to do with me, why were they doing this? This is torture! This is painful! If that’s all they had within their hearts, then they should genuinely leave me alone.

My satisfaction and vengeance wasn’t to last, as I woke up the next morning to brand new cameras in the same place they were before. It was all for nothing.

?, ?, 20??

Hot tears welled in my eyes. It had come to this? It wasn’t going to change for the next ten, twenty, thirty years. Not that I could tell, at least. I would end up right back here again, only with a different noose. The noose of age and ailment. Humans are such a pitiful, wretched, inexcusable species. Smart enough to see a cell under a microscope, but not smart enough to see the cell they’ve made for the likes of me. With such contempt and broken will I shouted at the rafters. “This is unjustifiable! This is the worst punishment Mankind has ever design to inflict upon humanity. It had no trial. No conviction. Yet it was carried out like a sentence! No contact. No help. No compassion. No clemency from some governor. Simply locks and bars and silence. I curse you all to your own design! I hope you wake up one day trapped in this house! I hope you all find yourself as isolated as you’ve left me! YOU ALL DESERVE NOTHING BETTER!”

Shortly before this all happened, I took the hammer and knock the drywall loose in the ceiling of the bedroom. There I flipped the rope over the exposed beam, and slowly lowered the loop on the other side. It felt so comfortable between my forefinger and thumb that I rubbed it for a few minutes. After the noose was around my neck, I put one foot on the bed and proceed to stand on the table. The air was still. The howling wind had stopped, and for one moment, everything felt peaceful. With the power of my front feet, the rocking motion sent the nightstand backward.

*******

A smooth, hot pink, Hello Kitty laptop was pried open on an economy-sized bed. The sisters of the Beta Delta Beta were gearing up for a Friday night out. Before the night’s festivities, one sister was eager to show her friend an obscure website she found on the Internet.

“This is some kind of art project. I think.” She explained. “From what I’ve seen it’s one guy, and he doesn’t seem to interact with anyone. At least, I never see anyone else in the rooms with him. It has been going on for years. Look!” A woman with the highlighted hair ran her finder down the video index off to the right. “Let’s see what he’s up to tonight.” A few muffled clicks of the laptop brought up the camera service.

Cam 1: Living room

Offline

Cam 2: Kitchen

Offline

Cam 3: Dining room

Offline

“That’s weird.” The woman with the highlights spoke as she was starting to look bad in front of her friend. “This has never happened before. They’ve never been down like this.”

“Maybe he finished the project?” Spoke a brunette.

“Maybe. There are three other cams. It won’t take long to check them out. He must be having technical difficulties today.”

Cam 4: Garage

Offline

Cam 5: Bathroom

Offline

“That’s a little creepy. Having a cam in the bathroom? You watch him in there?” Switching moods, the brunette became the critic. She was now bored with the whole idea and wanted to go out to a club. Maybe some kind of shaming technique would speed up the process.

“There’s one more cam. Just wait a minute! I want to see what’s going on.”

Cam 6: Bedroom

The video buffered and then snapped into dark hues. “It’s working! See? You need to stop being so impat… *GASP*!” Both women pulled away from the laptop as if the image would pull them in. The battered lamp on the floor still provided some light to the room. The bed had been a sufficient anchor to suspend a darkened figure in the air. As if to sense their presence the shadow slowly turned to the camera. The light was just enough to catch contours of a face and accusing hazel eyes staring directly at the lens.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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