The old mythology, how the sky and the earth fell in love. How the sky would look down upon the earth’s rivers and forests, longing to touch, to hold, to love. How they would reach for each other, the earth by her mountains and the sky by his weather. A small conundrum that often circles my mind is the gender. The earth can be portrayed as a woman, soft and flowing, beautiful and sincere. It can also be man, rough and ragged, angry and intense. Now the sky, in my mind at least, has always been a man. He is bold and brash, sending off storms and making loud, dominating sounds. I understand people’s opinions may be different, and i’d like to know why. But first I must, really, finish my view. The sky often sends down ways to touch, often more painful than comforting to the earth. The lightning bolts he sends to love is received with pain. After centuries of this I can foresee contempt and hatred. The earth just gets tired of failed attempts, not bothering to make itself beautiful for the sky. Leaving charred forests and dried up rivers. The sky could turn to sadness, or more likely to anger. Lashing out on the sight he once thought was so gloriously wonderous. He may even turn his sights to new heights, looking toward the stars instead. This is a sad ending, but it’s an ending of possibility. A constant emotion that is found throughout history, and throughout life.
I am the King
The skulls of my foe lay at my feet
My guards watch and serve
Willing to slay any who oppose
I am power.
Power is me.
I will rule you and you will obey
If you defy
I add you to my collection on dead
You will serve me
You will follow me
I am the one
I am the only
I am the King.
How do you do what it is you do?
Like nothing I’ve ever seen
Like milk and poppy and lemon it is
A wonderful mixture of neutralization
You’re red and blue, making yourself purple
A neutral little island of delicious distraction
You puzzle with pompous animation
But not once, no not once, do you reveal you intention
You stir up my emotions, my feelings, my desires
Why you even ruined my marriage arranged
You take no stance, you have no opinion
You are cocky about yourself but use no words
I don’t know why, but why I do know
This woman will be my new low
That time in your life where everything flies by
That time when friends and romance are most important
When you sit and study for hours hoping for a good grade
Dreaming of what your life could be
What you could be
It’s either the best or worst time in a person’s life
You’re either the prom queen or the one alone in the shadows
Surrounded by friends or sitting alone at lunch
But maybe you’re that person in the middle
Friends enough but not quite popular
This is the last year of high school
The last time you walk down these halls
The last time you see these faces
The eager excitement or crushing dread running through your system as you think of that last day
It’s up to you if you fly or fall
So, what will it be for you?
It’s the moment when you’re sitting on your bed feeling alone, unwanted, unloved. Feeling stupid and ugly and just so fucked up when it crashes into you a million miles per hour, smashing through your defensive thick skull that you realize; you ARE wanted and you ARE loved. That there IS someone who thinks you are smart and beautiful and so fucking special. You just now realize that because you didn’t recognize it sooner and because you denied his sweet words of devotion, you were denying his love and affection that he wishes to give to no one but you. Now you sit there feeling so bad for how much it must have hurt him to know how blind you are. How much he must want to pull you up into the light of your own perfection.
I am the creature lurking in the shadow you cast. The one who watches you sleep. The one who stalks every move you make. You believe you are a good person. Someone who does their best. Someone people can look up to. But I know you. I know how black your heart is. I know how much you desire to unleash yourself upon people. You are nothing but a leech. Living off the drama and pain of other people. You dress yourself up, wearing nice dresses and pretty make up. Batting your eyes at people, fooling them into thinking you care. You’re so good you’ve even fooled yourself. That’s what makes you so dangerous. The fact that you don’t know how bad you are. That is why I watch you. Why I admire you. You’re obliviousness to the darkness in your own soul amuses me intensely. I love it.
I might even love you.
And that is very bad for you.
The way you talk
The way you laugh
The way you walk
The way you love
The way you live
And that’s the best part
The ride back to Ken’s went as expected. I sat in the passenger seat while little Hannah, Susie, and Violet bounced all around the car. I found two wads of gum in my hair and a severed barbie head in my backpack. We got to his house and let the girls out. They all ran to the front door, fighting with each other as they waited for Ken to open it.
“Shut up Hannah, that’s my doll!”
“Not even, Susie. I got it from Violets bag.”
“You went into my bag!?” They all started to scream at each other and I stood back, watching as Ken had to maneuver himself around the cluster of violence to get to the door. Finally he got in and the girls dispersed within the large two story house. Ken went into the kitchen and I made my way to the first floor bathroom. I locked the door and sat on the toilet.
I pulled out the weed. It was all ground up into a thick line of green. I thought of smoking it, but I didn’t have anything to smoke it with. Then again, I did smoke the first batch by switching the tobacco with the weed in one of my mother’s cigarettes. If I looked hard enough I could probably find something. I don’t know why I wanted to smoke so bad. Maybe it was just the ability of being able to escape for a while. Being out of control and just flowing with it. Now that Ive had a taste of what that was like, I wanted to throw myself into it. Into a swirling storm of reactions and feelings. Getting thrown around by a chemical that muddles your brain.
“Tan, wipe your ass and get out here man!” Ken’s large fist pounded on the door and I jumped.
“Uh, yeah. Hold on.” He told me to hurry and walked away. I shoved the bag in my pocket and stood in front of the mirror. My face. My mother’s light brown eyes, my father’s sharp nose. Thin lips that were the product of them both. I sighed. Turning on the faucet I thought of my parents. My short, chubby mother. My tall, even chubbier father. Luckily I beat the fat gene. However, the tall gene hit me like a train. lanky. That word defines my body. I splashed the water on my face. My shaggy black hair was unruly as usual. I flicked off the bathroom light and waked out the door.
Ken was seated on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.
“There you are princess. Have a nice shit?”
“Why yes. Thank you for asking.” He laughed as I flopped down on the couch.
“What are we watching?”
“Saw 4. Haven’t seen it yet.” I groaned. This is another reason why coming to Ken’s house isn’t ideal. He is obsessed with horror movies. I’m not saying I don’t like them but I just don’t want to watch them every minute of every day.
My phone rang. I took it out of my pocket and stared at my mother’s name.
“You didn’t ask if you could be here?” I shook my head. Ken put up his hands.
“Good luck.” I stood and walked away.
“Tanner Jackson Malone, where are you?”
“I’m at Ken’s, mom. He is having a really hard time right now and I want to be here for him.”
“A hard time with what, Tanner?”
“His mom told him to break up with his girlfriend so he’s really torn.”
“Aww, poor baby. Fine, you can stay. We are still having that talk when you get home.”
“Yes mom, I love you.” I hung up. My mother is gullible and too caring. I should feel bad, but since I learned how to fool her from my father, I don’t. I walked back to the couch and grabbed a handful of popcorn.
“What did you tell her this time?”
“Your mom is making you break up with your imaginary girlfriend.”
“Oh no! Whatever shall I do?” We laughed and watched movies until we crashed on the couch. It was a good night. A night I would long for in my future.
Morning was less than pleasant. The girls woke us up, screaming that they would be late for school. Ken and I agreed that he would take the girls, but we would ditch. I stayed behind and showered as Ken took his sisters. The lack of clothing in my size made me wear my clothes from yesterday. I walked out into the kitchen when Ken’s dogs started to bark ferociously. I went to the backyard and tried to calm the two Saint Bernard’s.
“What’s with you two, huh?” They whined and went in the door I had accidentally left open.
“Aw shit.” I turned to go inside when I heard a thump. I turned to see someone laying face first in the dirt.
“Who are you? I will call 911!” The person pushed themselves up and faced me.
“Philip?!” He smiled sheepishly.
“Hey, Tan Man.” I opened my mouth to ask him what he was doing when shouts came from behind the wall Philip jumped. He ran to me.
“Hide me. Now. Please?” I nodded and shooed him inside, closing and locking the door behind me. I ran into the living room to see Philip frozen in the middle of the room.
“What are you-” The Saint Bernard’s Donny and Frey barked.
“Those are big dogs, man.” I called them over to me and looked at Philip. He laughed nervously.
“Didn’t know you were a dog person.”
“I’m not. They aren’t mine.”
“Who’s are they then?” Someone knocked on the front door. Philip jumped up and ran to me.
“I am not here. Please Tanner, please.” I nodded and he ran upstairs. I went to the door with the dogs at my sides and looked through the peephole. Two people stood outside, a man and a woman from what I could make out. I opened the door.
“Can I help you?” The girl smiled brightly, with what teeth she had, and shook my hand. Her stringy brown hair stood out in different directions and I saw puncture marks in the crook of her arm.
“Hi! I’m Mindy, this is Albert.” Albert grunted and crossed his meaty arms. Mindy giggled and stepped toward me. Her breath was revolting. I stepped back.
“Again, can I help you?” Mindy clapped her hands.
“Uh, yes, actually. Yes. You see, we have a friend, we have lots of friends actually, and we saw him jump over a fence. We were just wondering if it was yours.”
“No. No one jumped my fence. Sorry.” Albert pushed Mindy aside and grabbed a fistful of my shirt. The dogs growled.
“You don’t know what you’re messing with, kid. That little pussy is in serious shit.” He smelled strongly of cigarettes and pee.
“Whoever it is, they didn’t come here. Get off my property before I call the cops.” Mindy grabbed Albert’s hand.
“Well. It seems we were mistaken. Let’s go Albert, before the big scary dogs decide to make a move.” Albert grunted and walked away with Mindy. They went down to the sidewalk, turned left, and walked out of sight. Just as I was closing the door, Ken pulled up in the driveway.
The bathroom is small. The sink is old, cracked and leaking. Water drips from the crack along its bottom and lands in a puddle below. The floor is covered with toilet paper, trash and graffiti. Floor tiles are broken and stained, and you stand there clearly uncomfortable. The toilet is old, stained, and rancid. There’s no seat to sit on and you wouldn’t want to even if there was. The walls are murals of art and notes, a random hole, stain and crack here and there. There is no tub. There is no shower. You exit the bathroom and enter a bedroom which is almost worse. You feel pity at first for the people who live here, then gratefulness washes over you as you note that you don’t. The bed is old, worn and broken. The mattress sags off of the frame. Lights flicker above your head and the smell of cat pee overwhelms you. You sit on the bed and feel the hard, rough blanket beneath you. Pillows are rank with smell and stain. The floor is covered by a pink carpet, that is now dull and lifeless. Patches of carpet are stuck together with god knows what and you feel old food and trash crunch under your feet. As you look around you notice some dressers. Drawers are broken and falling out, clothes strewn all over. A tilted picture hangs on a wall, but the true art in this room are the sketches on the walls. There is no television, no technology of any kind. A cat meows and jumps onto the bed, wanting your attention. You figure why not and touch the orange feline. You immediately regret it, feeling all the ticks stuck to the animal and yank back your hand. You stand from the bed and move toward the exit, noticing a litter box which is overflowing. You gag at the smell and throw yourself out the door, so thankful this isn’t your home.
How privileged you are.