Friday, March 11, 2011
I saw her reading those books again. I walked downstairs and there she was, flipping through them. I stomped down the stairs, walked with heavy feet, almost knocked over the piles in the den, tripped over a couple of DVD’s, and she didn’t even blink or look at me or anything.
Those damn books contribute to her illness. They’re those books about how you can change your life with just “positive thinking” and “believing in something really hard”. And I don’t mean, in a kind of common sense “well fucking duh life is always better when you actually try.” I mean, my mother thinks she is going to win the lottery just because she believes she can.
It’s helped ruin our lives. I remember, one cloudy, gray Sunday morning, our mother picked us up from our grandmother’s for some unknown reason. She wouldn’t say, until we were out of the Portsmouth line. She told us about her new “religion” and “way of life.” She told us about how everything was going to change and that we would be living in some goddamn mansion soon, instead of poverty.
I screamed and cried and told her to pull the damn car over. She just smiled.
She took us to the city of Suffolk, and to some rich neighborhood. The houses were gigantic and yet many of them were for sale. She parked the car in front of the seemingly most expensive house in the entire complex, and got out and told my siblings to come with her. I refused to go.
She showed my little sister the entire house and told her about how she would be living there soon. It doesn’t sound cruel… but we were raised in a certain environment, and now she was waving this false promise in front of someone who couldn’t know better.
The memory of that day drove me as I picked those damn books up. My mom had gone out back to smoke a cigarette, so it was the perfect opportunity. I ran out the front door as fast as I could. I ran right, and down the street on the sidewalk, despite the neighbors looking at me. I held onto the books tight, took another right, and ran towards the creek and where the old bridge used to stand.
There used to be a bridge in this neighborhood. However, the bridge brought over all sorts of crime from the neighborhood next to us. Soon, our neighborhood began to decay alongside the other one. The city decided to tear down the bridge, and now the only thing that remains of it is buried in the creek, forgotten and rotting and disappearing.
I tossed those books out into the creek as hard and fast as I could. They splashed into the water and the ripples spread out far and wide. The reeds swished and swayed, and I fell down to the grass.
As soon as the books had left my hand, I realized that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t change a thing. Though the books certainly didn’t help, it was my mother that did all of this in the end. And it was me, too. Hell, all of it. If I hadn’t of been born, then all of this wouldn’t of happened.
The belief was preposterous. Belief gets you zilch. Faith? What the fuck had that ever gotten me? God’s one thing, but believing in the self… that one will succeed. That one will get through it all unscathed.
Trust me, from firsthand experience, I know better.
I could believe in something all I wanted and it would do nothing. Hell, I could believe in the Fears. I could believe that the demons inside of me are real, and they’re stalking the streets. But belief is a fabrication created by humanity to help conceal or keep truth alive.
For all I know, my entire life is a lie. It’s already a mistake… I think a lie would make it better for me. If all of this isn’t truly happening… maybe I’m stuck in some sort of continuous nightmare? Who knows?
I broke out of my teenage philosophical trance as the touch of cold metal rubbed between my fingers. I grabbed onto something and brought it to my eyes. A pocketwatch.
It was gray-silver-steel in color, with a chain necklace connected to it. I felt the frigid chain against my hands, and let it drop bit by bit through my fingers. It scraped at the grass and the dirt, swinging and swaying back and forth.
Then I stopped the chain and held it taut, with the watch held up against thick blades of grass. Its lid unlatched, and the inner clock’s face revealed itself. The clock’s hands were stuck at the 12 o’ clock position. My eyes were transfixed upon it.
And that’s when the ticking began.
The ticking was soothing, for some reason. I let my mind get lost within it. Tick, tock, tick, tock. I walked away from the water with the rhythm in mind. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The seconds floated away as I made my way back to my dark home. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick.
I felt strange. I felt lost. I felt like I was alone… and yet, I also had the feeling that someone was watching me. For a second, I chuckled with the thought that maybe the Fears were real, and hey, maybe they were on the verge of tearing me apart.
I couldn’t tell if that thought scared me, or comforted me.