Monday, January 09, 2006

Maple Orange

This is a piece of fiction that I wrote last Spring while being delayed at the Houston Internation Airport. A disclaimer: please keep in mind that while this story would suggest otherwise, it is not blatantly based in any truth; I am very fond of my father, and my family. Enjoy if you will:

It was nothing like I had expected it to be. My stomach didn’t hurdle upwards. There was no limb flailing or panic stricken adrenaline bursts. No screams, no rubber necks. It was near weightless; a crescendo falling leaf descent, slow and stroked by drifts and jolts. I delivered myself to my destination gentle and quiet. Back to the beginnings in an odd homecoming. Back through the fog with my eyes shined. The air pressed itself steadily on my face, rippling in sheets under my weight. It whistled and hummed in my ears all constant and breathy.

I remember the taste of blood in the mouth. Vivid, dripping down onto the throat from the nasal cavities. Pooling up under the tongue, sparking up in the taste buds; sharp and acidic. Thinking about him I could taste it. The sound a fist makes on the skull, the nose, the jaw line. It’s a thunder laced wrecking ball. The splintering sound of bone formations snapping. A shatter and then an explosion through the nerve lines.

My earliest years are vacant, permanently blank. They’re sterile and lacking. Before the bad there was nothing. The fatherhood, aside from biologically, was forged. He may have, very briefly, been fond of the idea being a father. He may have, in rare and fading instances, entertained the role as a fantasy. That phase, incapable and cheap, his finest moments, came to a quick end. There was no molding of personality, more so a wet lump of splattered genetic matter left melting in the dark. Then the beatings got worse. I got older. And the words, the words were just as horrendous.

The windows passed in strobes through the corners of my eye. The floors counting down in film strip frames. Eight, seven, six, five… Even then in those cathartic seconds I couldn’t shake him. The dragon fire on his breath, the course leathered wrinkles burnt into his face. His voice. I thought my chest would combust, sending a flash flooded fire through my veins before it actually was all supposed to end. Four, three, two… And then, when the cold concrete puckered it lips to mine I shifted - open wide at the chasm. I could see his eyes, piercing mine. Jet black dots smeared in a hazy blue. Crushed and begging. I saw him as a small child: in an empty corner, fragile, as a cog in the wheel, bruised and quivering. This was pity. Some unconventional and awe inspiring sense of forgiveness and then… then the sea of white.


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