Saturday, June 25, 2011

Twenty Four Minutes

Stop talking; we're losing light
Shadows and black, I'm losing sight
One thing before another, I forget the order
She moves swiftly, shoulder to shoulder
Skin glistening in twilight, this quiet landscape seems louder
My body aches to confide in her - to surround her
I'm left shaking, face to face with human mortality
And daylight has gone, overcome by bald frivolity.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Day at the Amusement Park

We bounced all the way there, our childlike enthusiasm unwavering. It was childlike, not least of all, because we were children then. The days were full of enigmas, but none of them held any weight; indeed, ours was a world of feather-light gravity and constant intrigue. Our spirit was hardly dampened by our father’s constant grimace and perpetual awareness of the drudgery of his daily life. He didn’t ask to be tied down, and to have his every move revolve around others who were utterly dependent. We could hardly detect such things back then. In any event, he was there, and he was trying. So what if he didn’t want to be there?

Looking back, we didn’t want him there either.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Limits

The ride to the office was quiet, aside from her occasional screeching. She would say things that didn’t make sense. She asked questions that didn’t need answering. It was a lovely day, as we passed the rocky hills of the pacific coast. I watched the road, and dreamed of hearing the words that would change my life. I dreamed that there would be an answer, finally, at the end of this long road. I no longer held out hope though; it was just a silly dream. The years of struggling had long since killed it, the way she had killed her father. The road seemed as though it would wind on forever before I spotted the sign.

“Jerry Staller, Pediatrician & Child Neurologist.”

I sighed, and pretended to read a magazine. She stares deeply and intently toward the floor, as though she were trying to solve it. She is my flesh and blood, my DNA. She might as well be me. She is so strange though; so very different from who I am or who I’ve been. I was a normal child. I ran around, I jumped and laughed and cried. She stalks about the house like a ghost, ashamed of having to haunt you. I can’t look into her eyes without seeing disappointment.

“Your daughter is perfectly healthy. I see no reason to believe she suffers from autism or any other ailment.”

“Then she is simply burdened?”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand your meaning.”

“Look at her. The weight of the world rests atop those shoulders.”

“Is everything alright, Manal? Are you feeling okay?”

“Yes. Everything is alright. Everything is fucking grand. My child lives in a bubble of her own thoughts and creations, oblivious to others, or simply disinterested in them. What could possibly be wrong? You know what the worst part is though? Do you know what the worst fucking part is? I don’t like her. I don’t love her. I don’t like seeing her everyday.”

“Uh… I don’t…”

“And I fucking hate myself for feeling that way.”

It was the first time I had ever admitted it, but it had crossed my mind many times before. Everyday. Everyday, since she was born. My instincts never showed through. That intangible thing that causes you to love your offspring, no matter what, that blind spot for all their faults; I didn’t have it. I just had unmet expectations and a life of servitude to this terrible being who is needier than most, while she stares off into the fucking ether.

Tears ran down my eyes as I stared out over the cliffs and we drove home.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Artist and the Theorist

“Spin, spin, Satan”

As the pentagram in front of me rotated in a counter-clockwise motion, I couldn’t help but think how silly the whole thing really was. I liked the image for what it reminded me of; it was the music I listened to, and the things I liked in those lost halcyon days. I never believed in the occult or in the existence of some sort of demonic being. I did rather enjoy offending those who were frightened of those things though. What did it really say about me though?

“I want it, but I don’t know why. I don’t think I’m going to regret it, I just don’t know why I like it.”

The man in front of me was not interested in my stories or the introspective journey I had embarked upon. He was only interested in whether or not I could afford his services. I assured him that I could. As I lay there on my stomach, trying desperately to relax and not think about what was actually happening, I pondered the choices I’ve made in life. Do I really understand anything that I do? I don’t suppose it really matters.

“Why is it that self-awareness seems like a fraud?”

“What?” he said, stopping his work momentarily.

“Nothing. Just thinking aloud.”