And here's another. Might as well get them all up here for people to seenot a bad haul for one day. Right? Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this one.
Can't figure out where this bruise came from.
It's on my arm and looks like something has gripped it tight. It's not from an injection or bug bite. I know what those look like. No, this is a strange bruiseno idea where it came from.
Yesterday was like any other and today seems like more of the same, although it's only morning and it's tough to say how my day will pan out.
Probably like every other day.
The bruise hurts. But it doesn't hurt like a normal, sort of dark bruise does. I can feeling it going deep. And every time I look at it I feel sick to my stomach. What kind of bruise does that? I don't know. This bruise, I guess.
I don't think I've put this much thought into one largish bruise since I was little.
Back when I was a kid, I would get into all kinds of trouble messing around. If there was a fence needing someone to pee on it, I was your guy. If there was a roof to jump off of with only a terribly knotted sheet to save you, I was the kid you gave some MI even accidently set a neighbor's shed on fire because I accidently built a bomb out of spraypaint, cans, and matches. Oh, and sheer little-kid determination. I was the freaky terror of the cul-de-sac. I was the kid who chanted nonsense as I tied your kids up with jump ropes to telephone poles and later explained it as a "simple Satanic ritual".
Yeah, that kid.
One day, I was grabbed by one of the neighbor dads. Floyd's dad. I remember him clearly. He was an odd sort of father for the timer, with visible tattoos and longish curly hair. He also had one of those horrible bushy moustaches. I don't know what he did for a living, but he liked to walk around his home in old jeans, shirtless, and in his bare feet. On the day he grabbed me, I had explained to Floyd that the glue I was using on his dog was perfectly safe, and Shemp should be okaybut maybe it would protect him from cosmic rays. When Floyd's father showed up from inside the house, garbed in his usual at-home "attire", Floyd cheerfully explained to him what we were doing.
Look, I didn't want to hurt the dog, okay? I had other ideas. Hurting animals for no good reason is fucking unforgivable.
My arm was grabbed, and a bruise was left. Now, I had all sorts of background in excitement and daredevilry by that young age, but this new form of excitement was different. I was never afraid of my parents, and I knew they loved me. Floyd's dad openly referred to me as a "freak" and never hid his contempt. He grabbed me and yelled at me and soon after I could hear my mother calling for my father on that nice summer day in the American South. My father stormed over and gave Floyd's dad a talking to. My father, while accepting, had little patience for what he was calling a "goddamned piece of shit hippie burnout". And he led me away
Soon after, Floyd and his family moved away.
While I silently watched out of my front window as they loaded the moving truck, I occasionally looked down at the bruise Floyd's dad had left on my arm. It was darker than other bruises, and it was obvious he had grabbed me too hard. My arm ached, and my mom sprayed Bactine on it because she thought it would help me "make it feel better". I knew Bactine should burn, especially in the eyes (as Tom found out), but I let her think she was helping. I took some Aspirin to make her happy, too. The pain didn't bother. Floyd moving away didn't bother me, either.
Not much bothered me, actually.
The bruise did trouble me a little, though. I kept looking at it. It was slow to heal. A couple of nights later, I woke up at around 3AM and looked at it some more with my camping flashlight while under the covers. This wasn't too unusual as I tended to wake up late at night in the hopes of catching ghosts going about their daily business, pray for demons, look under the bed for monsters I could keep as pets, or just mentally shout out for space aliens to hear my thoughts.
I really enjoyed being a little kid.
The bruise eventually healed and I went on with my life, growing up, becoming more confident in the world around me and how to best interact with it. But I could never stop thinking about it.
The bruise. It was a lot like this one which has appeared on my arm. Same place, even.
It's cold to the touch. Like a chilled ice cube tray. Bruises aren't supposed to be cold, I know that. Bruises are supposed to hurt, feel like the spirit under the skin is encased in styrofoam. Feel like broken vessels in the greater vessel of the Whole. You know?
This bruise is different. I think it's trying to tell me something.
It's odd to think that Floyd's dad could stay with me for over thirty years. If there is any being who has haunted me, it is him. He might be the only thing I have ever been scared of. When I was little, I imaged him as the spectre of death. When Floyd moved, I felt nothing. But as I got older, I began to appreciate his father had moved away and it was unlikely we would ever meet again.
I could never shake it. So, one day, I hired someone to track him down based on the information I remembered. It turns out that Floyd and his entire family died in a terrible accident two states away and my fears of his father were just plain stupid.
My friend was dead, sure, but his dad was dead and that's all that mattered to me.
I then led my life fear freeuntil now. With this bruise.
Where did it come from? Why is it here?
My fear free life is marvelous. Nothing holds me back. I do what I want. I need to be cautious, of course, but I can pretty much do as I please because I am very likable and eager to please people.
Everyone likes a people pleaser.
The bruise feels colder now. As if it has gone deeper. I don't understand it, so I will take into account what I am doing right now.
I am not at home, like I was thinking. It isn't morning. The day hasn't changed. I am very cold. Something has gone wrong. But what? All I can feel is that bruise.
Floyd's dad begins to haunt me again; right here, right now. Everything was exact. There was no room for error because I left no room for error.
Dammit. Some people just get lucky, I suppose. Even alcoholic home healthcare workers all alone on a Saturday night watching Friends reruns.
The bruise. It's trying to tell me something. I have a hard time hearing what it has to say over the ringing. All I can hear is Floyd's dad yelling at me. Screaming. Shrieking. I don'tI don't even know anymore.
Did I ever leave that instance in time?
Am I still there?
The bruise is done speaking.
It is time for the bruise to take me.