Tag Archives: Tears

Radio Schmadio

“Eleven past midnight’s a good enough time for anything anymore,” he thought as he raised the garage door. Overhead, the moth-spotted light flushed space with visibility and clumsily tugged at the door. The ’57 Chevy Bel Air glowed with its two-tone Tropical Turquoise tint. Clean and polished, he winced as his mind thought of the fingerprints he just put on the body getting in. “What is work without use?” He politely admonished the senator from Hygiene, and advised him to take his seat.

A quarter turn gave the car power and his displays lit up. Georgia Gibbs welcomed him. Three-fourths of a tank would be fine for a ride. There was plenty of asphalt, if you knew how to plan a circuit. Reversing out into the street, he sleepwalked with Santo and Johnny. Oxford skies cloaked while he drove the roads alone. One traveler without destination or purpose.

Absent from its day job, traffic lights stopped in conversational anticipation but were received with the silent treatment. Miffed at its foiling, a reluctant green light was given for safe passage. Safe passage from the ghosts that haunted these streets. Ghosts of the dead, ghosts of the gone, ghosts of his youth, all spun strings helter-skelter around him. Like Cole Porter, anything goes. He had driven since he was sixteen. He knew almost every inch of road in the city, and that which he didn’t wasn’t of any consequence.

He drove at night to lose himself, maybe run away. Was it mental anguish dripping from his forehead? He wiped. The smooth rub revealed nothing tangible, much like his thoughts. Another ghost. Haunting like it knows how. It hurt, but the injury couldn’t be seen by naked eyes or cleverly dressed imitations.

The ghosts drifted about. Memories of all kinds sprang forth, and most of them lamentable in one way or another. In the day it would be the zombies. He wasn’t sure what was worst. “Probably daytime,” he reconsidered, as the undead had Mass. They would all worship the space he possessed and collide violently over the possession of such.

It all became too much around a side street. His childhood home was present, barricaded by the thoughts of long ago. Spectral walls rose from the world around him and towered with malice. It took but the light October wind to blow them down about his mind and he pulled off in a small park. Disappointment was the last and heaviest brick to land. He thought of what he had done, the alternatives, and most of all he thought of the silence and its contrast to the Five Satins.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t know where you are. I’m sorry I couldn’t find you. See you. Know you.” The leather-wrapped headrest gave a little to the right. Crackles and pops of pebbles underneath the tires competed with the crickets, which would win had they persisted. Moments passed and the noisemakers picked up where they left off. Life moved forward, as it always will. Burning vision pulled itself up from the steering column. It was time to go home, when Double chimed in.

“Oh, shut up!” The radio went silent with a push of the button.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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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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