Welcome to my stories and scribblings.
I remained silent. It was hard, very hard. But it was my only way out. To remain as silent as stone. He reminded me of Scrooge from Charles Dickens, just as insolent and rude.
‘I am taking your computer,’ he shouted while he burst into the room and snatched my laptop literally from underneath my hands. I was still typing. And then he ran out again.
‘But,’ I stammered, ‘I just emailed the writer. I was giving her directions. Now how is she going to get here?’ My colleague obviously had no answer. She was numbed like me.
He burst back in. ‘And you won’t be getting it back until tomorrow.’
Numbed like a dead phone.
I did get it back the next day. Filled with porn. ‘This is the best program,’ he scowled.
‘But sir, it is full of porn. I cannot open any program because busty ladies won’t let me.’
‘This is the program we’re using. Because this is the best program.’
‘Well, I’m sure you feel that way sir.’ My colleague was waving at me to hold my tong. I had to bite it. Scrooge was on a roll but so was I. I didn’t want to, but somehow the words came out all on their own. I was like a puppet on a string. Unwillingly dangling on another beings whim. Still this was the first job I had in a whole year, I couldn’t afford to lose it.
‘It is proven. The only program to use.’
A penis flashed at me on the screen. My colleague and I were gesturing Belgian fries underneath the table. They’re so limp they always bent before you bite, so your chin gets smeared with mayonnaise.
‘From now on we all use this program. No exceptions.’
‘Well,’ I say as I fold my hands in my lap, ‘you have caught my attention. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the program called?’
‘This.’ He points at my screen. A man and a woman are undoubtedly swapping body fluids. His eyes widen. He startles. And leaves the room without another word.
‘But sir, is it expensive?’
Yeah, I should have remained silent. Like a stone.
The light was gloomy. Like the day wouldn’t show itself. It kept it’s new beginning contained, hidden behind an exterior of shadowy images of day. Even birds were flying low. They crossed your path like regular pedestrians.
I bounced back when their wind stroked my hair, I thought they would land on my head. Stroking my hair as if to put it straight, I saw it. The birds cried in high shrieks leaving goosebumps on every limp and my eyes watered. Oceans entered. Barely see-through, but black oceans, oceans of hate and violence.
I saw the guns. I heard the bang. Felt the slap. I wanted to bent. And falter. But instead I froze and stood in the haze of the gunpowder taking the last bit of light the day had granted us. I think I sniffed or hissed, or produced a sound remotely human. He just stood there and looked at me. What did he know? He could not see what I saw.
The violence was in my mind, in my memories. Just surfacing for the occasion. Like I could take them out of a drawer anytime I needed them. But the thing was I no longer needed them. Now, they had become dirty ghosts. How do you explain your ghosts to your date that thinks he found a decent and smart person? I think of the bird raking my hair. He was right, I should have taken cover. Into the gloom.
The signals aren’t always clear. I prefer calling it signals, because I don’t believe in Omens or signs or any of that spiritual uplifting read my energy and safe the planet kind of vagueness. But there are signals. Definitely and clearly. Many signals.
Not that I send them out. I’m just the receiver. The person at the other end who sits there listening with a half broken radio. Victor, Charlie Charlie, do you read me? Loud and clear. But it’s a one way signal. I know they can hear me. In my storm, with my half broken life sending an SOS, on repeat.
All I get is the beating, the heavy storm damage, the howling wind that rips through my life leaving it a waste and a mess. Now I can pick up the mess, but I cannot chase the storm that never lies down.
And so I am here. On my floor. Designated area. Hoping for protection. Hoping for help. Or just hoping, that somehow I can make the storm lie down, even if it’s just for a while, so I can discern the signals. And know what to do.
The windows are barely see-through anymore. In my kitchen the dishes have piled up nose-high, while my wardrobe seems to have moved to the floor; leaving nothing but white spots to walk on. Like step stones in a river of clothes.
‘What are you doing?’ A voice behind me says.
I’m trying to find a way out,’ I explain standing in the middle of the minefield called living room.
‘Have you ever considered cleaning up?’
‘I have given it a thought, but I decided it wasn’t for me.’
‘Because it’s useless. You do it and then you have to do it all over again, and again and so on. It’s like a vicious circle or like the grasshopper that won’t stop chirping!’
‘People have done it for over the last millenia.’
‘That is a good point. But that still doesn’t make it more bearable.’
‘Than pay somebody to do the cleaning for you.’
‘I can’t even afford breakfast,’ I say while I’m trying to move upstream.
‘I might not get the psychology of this, but I do know one thing. You look stupid.’
‘Be that as it may, this is my mess.’ I’m pointing down, but I might as well have pointed sideways or just circled around like a windmill.
The voice laughs. ‘And your mess is better than their mess?’
‘My mess is my mess, and their mess is, well beside universal, also devastating. Like fire, leaving nothing but ashes.’
Levine looks at me. His eyes almost water. ‘This is no way of getting control over your life.’
I raise my eyebrows. ‘I’ve given that up a long time ago. Now at least let me have my mess.’
‘No, you’re staying with me for a while.’ He crosses his arms in front of him.
‘Does that mean I have to do dishes?’ I say with a pouty lip as I try to step forward, but I triple and fall flat on my face in the only blank spot that was left and is now turning red.
‘Get up. We are leaving your dirty ghosts.’
I jump up, but stagger, triple again because my foot gets stuck in a panty with strawberries on it; and again I am flat on my face. ‘No way, they will let me go.’ I get up and wobble.
‘I don’t care.’ He sweeps me off the floor and tosses my over his shoulder. I feel his muscles and firm grip. He makes a step. ‘Hey is that my ass?’ I say dangling like a ragdoll. He misses. He totters. He bends.
‘Run!’ I scream. ‘Run and fly! Or they will get us.’
The summer breeze whirled through my hair. And I stood there overlooking the ocean as it danced to its own rhythm unmoved by any factor but it’s own desires. I stood there witnessing. With the wind in my hair and no soles on my feet. Could I be him?
Could I move into the waters, into its very core and just soak it all up until my pores are filled and my veins hold it’s beat.
I witness the steady waters of the ocean. My eyes fill up. My tears are salty. We are one. Surrounded by the light summer breeze.
As I pour my coffee into the cup with flowers and butterflies on it and the smell of satisfaction enters my nose, I think of what music I will put on when I’m in the car. In my head I browse my Spotify playlist of favorites, old time classics and newby’s that are on constant repeat. I get eargasms when I think about it. I take a sip from my flower cup and go uh-huh.
In my mind my fingers touch the screen, swipe over perfect words like ‘Say you won’t let go’ and ‘Slow hands’, sometimes they stop, tap and then swipe again. But then suddenly I’m missing half an arm. How can I browse with half an arm? Where did the other half go?
Shake it off, I say to myself as I try to delete the thought. Delicious coffee, brand new day. But my hand trembles as I bring my coffee cup to my mouth, it’s like a slow motion picture and all I want to do now is fast forward this moment. I suddenly feel so tired, it looks like the whole world is distorted.
When later in I trod the busy streets of the morning, new coffee in hand, I realize I’m so tired I want to cry. Fall down on my knees, in the middle of the street and cry an endless stream of tears that mean absolutely nothing. I’m so dead beat I can’t walk anymore, I can’t even think anymore. My brain and body are simultaneously giving up functioning and all there is left for me is to produce streams of water as if they could rise high enough they could drown me.
My eyes are looking down, I feel so drained I can’t get them to rise. But then I nearly bump into someone. And that someone is missing half his arm.
I have been here before. At this premonition playground. But I don’t get to choose where I want to swing. They do. The premonition playground decides which way they will push me. Like they’re the fat guy at the other end of the swing set and I’m going to get launched exactly where they want me.
Whether loosing my arm or loosing my dignity.
I didn’t know. Nobody knew. Me. Levine, Macy or anybody we knew. It was as if a fog had lifted, clouding us all; like infants looking for an answer.
Nor did I see it. With my eyes wide open I didn’t see the signs. The fatigue on my own face, doors suddenly closing behind me, and those neighbors. Even the biggest goofball would have seen it in their outfits, their matter of speech and frankly everything else. It was as obvious as rain on a dark and cloudy day.
And that’s when the days began for me. The days that changed it all.