Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Enjoy- Deathless Flame


I wanted to fill the hole in my heart.  I wanted to know what a real smile felt like.  I couldn't feel the sun on my skin.  I grimaced.  How was that different from any other day?

"Sister what's that."

A little girl ran into the middle of the road.  A young woman raced after her.  The crowd gave no heed to either of them.  A pull, voice in the air, something I didn't understand stopped my mechanical walk.  I stood on top of the small stone wall outside a clothing shop. It put me high enough to watch the show and not be trampled. People were all the same. The wave of them, walking the same beat with the same impassive expression. They looked neither right or left but straight on to their destinations. They talked to no one. They were alone and didn't know another way of living existed but neither would I if it hadn't been for Micheal and his books- those cretinous sardonic journals.

"Don't touch that you don't know where it's been," the woman said.  She pulled the little girl's hand.  

The child wiggled from the woman's grasp and crouched over the object. 

"But what is it?"

I sensed the older woman's desperation but didn't understand why she felt it.  She hooked her hand into the girl's collar and dragged her away.  The girl released oaths no child should know and struggled like a trapped animal. The crowd was blind to her actions and deaf to the girl's screams.  I didn't care to help.  The woman picked up the red faced girl and ran down the street.

I moved to the object that infected the girl.  It was a  piece of paper. The miserable thing has had a hard life.  It looked so weary. I wanted to burn this pitiable paper and end its torment. If it could talk, it would tell of the time people didn't know existed. Did I want to hear its story and listen to the pain that weaved together each and every tale?

No one else seemed bothered by this forsaken paper but what kind of person would be? 

I pulled a napkin from my hand bag and with it, picked up the limp green piece of paper.  Numbers were in the four corners, a ten.  An imposing man was in the center.  "Hamilton" was printed under this bust.  Another picture of an impressive building called the "U.S. Treasury" was on the back.  The rest was too tattered to be legible.   It looked as if it had once been attractive.  Why would someone have thrown something this nice away? With another napkin, I folded the paper and put it in my purse.  I wanted to hear its story.  

Store owners, in complete succession, emerged from their shops to secure their doors and windows for closing.  The distinct sound of an electric fence being turned on caused the air to sizzle.  

I eyed the longest building in the city.  It occupied over eight blocks with too many floors underground to count.  It has been my second bedroom for as long as I could remember.  There was a room far enough underground that no life reached it.  I sat in that room every night and listened to unknown sounds in the gloom, noises so horrible they were heard and felt by people several floors above.  It was a sound that dug under people's skin and grabbed hold of thoughts, memories, flaws they wished dead and pulls them to the surface.

 Even after years of listening to that song, my ears hadn't grown accustomed to it; my heart hadn't learned to expect it.  I knew I was alone but a presence with unforgiving skin wrapped around my body like an iron clasp.  They treated me as if I kept something company.