tigerinosf@aol.com

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I wrote ,the first three installments in 2007-09, but have since written two more installments, so I wanted to start over. Hope you like them:

Warning: Rated PG-13 - R!

Darkness, Part One:

As I walk down blackened corridors, each door in succession is locked, bolted, no way out of this thick, damp fog. My steps are small, my eyes as wide open as I can muster, trying to force light in so that I can see where the path leads, but it is still too dark, and I am afraid I will stumble, fall, scrape my knees and shins. I keep my arms straight out from my sides, feeling the walls I cannot see in deafening blindness, inching forward, passing door after door after door. Locked, locked, locked, locked, locked, and finally opening, finally, as daylight drifts towards me, enveloping me. But the cement floor turns to icy ground, and the light deceives, because I am still trapped by the slippery soil below, trying, trying, not to fall and split my head open.

And that is how some memories are, aren't they? Some you anticipate, but are now dislodged, and though your mind etches forward to retrieve them, that moment in time is still a prize unearned. And, then the ones you do remember, the ones that are solidified as an artifact, can steal your breath in their crushing beauty and pain. Behind that door, I was twenty-four.

And, it is strange what you can see so clearly in that claret pool of water. That morning in the warmth of my car, while the outside blew flurries of snow, I waited sipping my coffee, cream, no sugar. And, like the gray of the outdoors, inside I sat on the silvery tinged vinyl seat, finally having warmed as I reached my destination and pulled into the parking lot. The heartless, cold, cement building pulsated, beckoned, as I waited for my appointed time. I took a look in the mirror – I stared at the eyes that betray, a fragile vulnerability disguised as quiet confidence.

In this moment, this dream, my reality, I can even see what I am wearing, feel the textures – the white cotton t-shirt under the scratchy wool red cardigan with the missing bottom button, something I pulled out of someone else's closet, borrowed, and the steel toed boots, black baggy pants, and the herring-boned wool top coat. I can see it as if I am wearing it now, but that was then.

In that moment, I already know what the test results will reveal, can even see the index card with the poisonous stigma attached to it. I can see it, and it's just a memory, but in that reality, in that moment I could not know that this present would be both my past and my future. I sit numb, unblinking, staring at those steely eyes that speak back to me, and rattle me from head to toe.

"You're a phony," they seared. "Everyone knows how weak you really are." And, I knew it too without words spoken. I knew it, so I thought, knew it was soon to be my end, dreams shattered, bones and flesh lying mangled in a shallow grave. And it dawns on me in this moment, that this memory is not just something you witness, something you refuse to tear your eyes from, like some hideous YouTube experiment gone horribly wrong, but it is something you feel deeply, feel so intensely that I gasp out loud, take a deep breath, and remind myself that that's how it was then. And, that's what it looked like and that's how it felt. And, it's in the past where it can still haunt, injure, draw blood, feed off my anxieties like a parasite.

I pull the door shut, close my eyes, and open them again.

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