I wonder where he is? he asked. His thoughts were so far away from the ledge in front of him. I want him to love me but, he paused mid thought as a rock crumbled beneath the weight of his foot. Searching the sky for signs of the moon, he eased back from the ledge a little. Maybe he’s looking at the same moon. Same clouds.
His heart sunk as a small malicious voice from the back of his neck, in sharp whispers said, you don’t know that’s true. No, he said. Yes, it says, he has no need for love sick fags derailing his focus. He’s all objective and goal and you’re in the way. He doesn’t even return your phone calls. But he’s my best friend. Men don’t have best friends, that’s what brothers are for. Shut up. I love him. You think the world will let you two idiots be together. He sniffed, stifling a cry. Slowly he pulled out his phone to call him, and when he didn’t answer, sent a text that read: Pls can i stay by u. He waited. Shushing his inner demons. Clinging, terrified to feel alone facing this ledge.
The waiting. crushing. every second that passed with no reply. He crawled into a ball refusing to cry because the darkness didn’t deserve his screams.
My body, poked and prodded with posters and pictures. I see her in a scarlet depression, smoldering. Curled into herself as she constantly slams my doors and cuts the lights. Thank God the eggshell paint absorbs some of the tension. I swear the heavy, sickening thickness in her bated breaths makes me tremble. Is it pain there behind her eyes as she sleeps, tossing in between bed squeaks? It can’t be just that.
This morning she rose gravely, perpendicular to the mattress like a fresh zombie from a grave. Something happened out of the ordinary. Before the un-swaddling of the covers, mussing of the flattened curls, smacking of sleep intoxicated lips and eye lids. There was a smile there amid the sunken sadness. A smile. Then she looked up. Before the morning music or shower, she looked up, past me, as if to thank someone. Brief and silently lingering was that look. Then the balls of her feet gripped the linoleum and she was off.
Sometimes I want to beg her to stay here in the dimness with the five of us. It’s safe, safer than where she disappears to anyways. Her scent is all over the place, and we’ve known so many over the years, but I think we like her. Another smile, and then another, in the mornings, sometimes in the day, and even in the night. Something’s changed. It must have.
Rarely any shallow sobbing into the silken pillow. Surreptitiously, we surrender our services to her. Soak in her off-collar looks, call in the breeze at night, and gently whisper in her ear as she drifts from the conscious world into the next.
He said I am the Anti-Christ, as a smile slipped its way across his face.
The pupil of his eyes twitched and danced hastily anxious to inflict the commands cooking in his mind. I part my lips to stop time to listen, flex my muscles to bend walls around my will be done he whispered as he hugged me almost lovingly. Mark a new beginning in the sands of society. Tie a broom to the necks of the unfaithful to sweep away the steps of the unworthy. He paced the room beaming with the brilliance of his plans holding the world’s fate like a freshly peeled orange in the palm of his hands, and in panicked breaths I could smell the citrus scented death. But, my face was placid and unimpressed by this man, who not too long ago used to grasp my hand.
Now he’s moved to the doorway triumph in his stride, a lion’s pride, a devil hides. Raises his arms and proclaims himself king. And I his daughter as future queen. I stare at his imagined victory over our little hallway, disheartened laughing at the notion of crazy. Just then he jumps forward wrestling with the world’s shadow, mumbling curses as he punches the plaster while quoting something that sounds like what satanic verses aught to. Accustomed and unafraid I exist only as a witness to the effects of cell bars and failed dreams, to un-addressed depression and loneliness that prefers the company of a bottle, to unabashed character flaws when Daddy should have been hero. He has won the battle, cheering excitedly standing firmly the savior. The head of anarchy singing loudly louder until he’s screaming shaking the roots of our building but he is a human being.
From the base of my soul I will smile because he’s smiling. There have been days when the light I see now was a smashed candle on the canvas above his chin wax and wick mixed into the hate and bitterness. From the core of my being I will swallow hard & laugh with his laughter at the powers that we will have as the Anti Christ and partner because I love my father albeit his mind doesn’t have all the chapters. Gladly charter my sanity for him, not to sanction his actions but because I understand it is hard to walk down the road as a large black man. Constant surveillance will make you consider God’s eyes less and less, make you wonder, should I answer the approaching officer or just nod my head yes. Yes I know I fit the profile. Through the procedure of cuffing gruff hands that controlled the sands of time are the ones that would firmly clasp mine, reading Miranda I trace memories along the lifelines of his palms.
They never hurt me.
Placed behind his double wide back. Maybe beat mercilessly the wooden face of a board, the weighted burden of anger heavy eradicated as knuckle met door. Wait, you have a self proclaimed king in your custody. He may have hid the broken bottles of his pride and shattered his relationship with God but I still need him to be the boulder in a world that rattles endlessly. Give me a chance at stability. Enough women already suffer from men coming in and out of their lives constantly.
This story unfortunately has no ending
Just the unknown future of a world that reduces its fathers to shambles
How can he help raise children when a broken soul just produces a broken one?