I like to think the summer heat has me lazy. I don’t want to consider the fact I might’ve lost my touch. I have a story to write. I need to keep going. I need to die happy. I need to make the people who said I never could buckle under their jurisdiction.
Hamilton would always be the first through the window. He was lighter and more agile that his brother. Richard, a strong figure with his prosthetic, could make a perch with his hand that his younger brother stood on without fear of collapse. Richard would stand for five minutes or ten minutes waiting for the familiar click of an unfamiliar lock, faced with Hamilton’s face that told him what lay inside. Today there was blood.
“How old does it look?” He asked, hobbling through the door and receiving an answer through the harsh, sour scent of something long rotting in the summer heat. Now inside he could feel it contained in the air of the cabin. It was like cracking open a can of sardines that had gone past the date, though even bad food couldn’t attract this many flies. Hamilton struggled to keep them off his face.
“It’s fucking disgusting dude” he said, picking his way across an almost clean living room floor. “You’d think after the tenth time it wouldn’t smell this bad.”
“Rotting flesh is still rotting, doesn’t matter how many times you smell it.” In the light of the dirty window Richard saw the contents of a woman’s suitcase scattered along the floorboards. He kicked it with his plastic foot and saw a cluster of maggots in the musky bust of a dress. “There’s a girl then?”
“Yeah, mum and daughter probably. Father too. Three bodies explains the smell. It’s this way. Watch out, floor gets sticky.” The living room faded through ominous shadow into a kitchen. It was difficult to imagine how three dead adults could fit in a kitchen so small, but someone the Goya had done it. They both stood at the edge of the room. The glass of the broken window lay on the ground from initial entry; ground into finer dust from Hamilton’s feet. He stood looking on forlornly, hands held in front of him. Richard could see he was looking at the girl, naked from the waist down with a tangled, broken leg. “It’s a fucking shame” he said with eyes scrunching shut. “Look at her. She’s what, nineteen? Probably studying something. Could’ve been something before all this.”
“Yeah, it sucks.” Richard knew not to dwell. He cautiously entered the room, observing the situation before deciding what they would do. The father would be the worst to handle. The Goya had slammed his head in the freezer door until it had finally stuck through the ice and blood and measly wire racks. There was meat in the freezer, once frozen now raw and alive with buzzing. Richard carefully tried to open the door but it stayed shut. “We’ll need to replace the fridge. No restoring it after this treatment. Not just the blood, the welts in the metal too.”
“Thank the lord it’s tiles and timber floors” Hamilton remarked bleakly behind him, finally entering the room and crouching down next to the girl.
“Don’t touch her, Hamilton.”
“Jesus, I’m not an idiot.” His older brother turned around, watching him keenly as he picked fruitlessly at her bloody blouse. It was if he was attempting to piece together a vase smashed to dust. “Think she’s lying on the knife, or a blade, or something. I can feel it in her chest.” Richard went to the kitchen drawers and carefully began to open them. A well sharpened butcher’s knife sat comfortably in its leather. That was typical of The Goya. He shut the drawer hard.
“The whole scene’s been here at least…” Richard pondered, sucking on his loose tooth “A week, maybe even a week and a half. You can tell looking at the mother’s face, no eyes now. Goya’s long gone, probably already started another one already.” Hamilton released the all too familiar and annoying groan of a baby brother.
“Seriously?” His hand was still holding her blouse, red smearing on his fingers. “I… fuck. It’s just hopeless sometimes. I’m fucking sick of it.”
“We’ll catch it soon.” Though the older brother of Squeam couldn’t be sure.
The tongue is from a branch of the same tree as mouth, so this’ll be overall short. You, my tongue, hold yourself very well. Almost too well. I sometimes wish you’d snap back exactly what you think of that customer or defend someone who needs the defence. Getting in trouble would be worth the backlash. A sense of achievement would be the reward. Nevertheless you’re locked tight and if someone tells you a secret you keep it. I suppose that’s loyalty. It’s also boring. By the third hour of work you enter stupid o’clock and the words merge together and stumble on the one foot they have. It makes you feel worthless when this happens but you’re just as gifted as any other, tongue. From the approval of partners your actions are louder than my words, so you’re appreciated. It’s just that my body is longing to move forward and gain a sense of confidence and pride, but you have sat in my mouth, a stubborn tenant refusing to yield. Drunken you are looser, so why not allow that into sobriety? I’ll give you sour sweets? Either way you, tongue, can hold a secret well, and I thank you for that. I trust you enough to leave you with my own.
As someone who considers themselves wholly antisocial, I have been all too social recently. In fact, for three days I was supposed to be booked out to the point that home became a pit stop where I kept the good tea and well fitting clothes. I say supposed to be because in the second half of day two while helping my sister move a wardrobe from one end of the peak hour town to another we were rear-ended. I’ve been in crashes before and despite there being a trailer between us and the colliding car it was still fairly brutal. I don’t want to talk too much about it because it’s overall quite the same for most car crashes though unlike the previous times I went to hospital for neck pain and illness after getting out of the car. It was a long and arduous experience and will allow me to say ‘yes I’ve ridden in an ambulance’ when the topic comes up in conversation and answer ‘no I didn’t like having a bendy needle in my arm’. I don’t like worrying people though I am hardly opposed to giving people a good scare therefore communicating with my friends that I was in hospital was rather fun (‘WHY DO YOU HAVE A NEEDLE IN YOUR ARM WHERE ARE YOU WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?’). One person didn’t seem too worried. This person was my current partner.
I say he’s a serious man because, as a traditional Australian man, there aren’t many emotions displayed on the outside. What I’ve gathered he feels about me is like a half written essay the day before it’s due, quoting sources that couldn’t hold the weight of a water cracker. His actions speak so much louder than his words. His hand will reach for mine when we are in the car together, a move I boldly went for when this entire whirlpool of a coupling began. He holds me so tight as if I’ve a viscous quality. My previous boyfriend was quiet about his feelings but the serious man is a mute. It’s weird and new and difficult to understand but I’m nevertheless ready to comprehend him and his ways. I asked if he thought I was boring and he said no, though even now I don’t really believe him.
More on the serious man to come.
While the lines are in the head they never seem to make it out your mouth, do they?
I love you for my love of bright lipstick though the love tends to end there. I’d always come to the decision that were I to lose any of my major abilities as a human I would definitely choose be to lose my ability to speak. Over time my lips have loosened but still half the conversation remains between my cheeks, restrained and forced to dissipate. How difficult it is being a writer but not being able to speak like one. The words lose their meaning and I start trailing off and the sounds that eventually come from me are incoherent and small. The same applies for many conversations, casual and personal and all a pit of lies. If you speak with me expect only have my intention to come from my lips and the other in my expressions. I like to think it’s not a problem when it clearly is. It gets me scared that I’ll never succeed simply because I can’t say what I want to. Will anyone believe I wrote such stories when they see the words that leave my mouth, so awkward and out of place? The world is a terrifying place when you can’t speak about it.
Really it’s through the written text I do the best talking. My mouth is there to look beautiful in various shades of pink, black, and chocolate brown. My mouth has been used in the past and each time I hate it even more. Perhaps I should do myself the ultimate favour and sew it up tight, relying on only what I write in order to communicate. I believe that would make way for conversations I am in dire need to having.
I could be your lovely lady,
I could be your baby girl,
I could be your dirty mistress,
I could be all three or none.
My face changes when you want it,
My moans get louder when I know,
That you’re loving what I’m doing.
If you want it I’ll make it show.
I fucking hate my nose. It’s a recent thing. I don’t know what to say about my nose that isn’t rooted in detest so I knew this prompt was going to take awhile. It’s a burden and a home for blackheads and scars from attempting to remove said blackheads. It’s a difficult hate to get around considering how central a nose is to someone’s face. Hating any part of yourself to the point of tears is greatly damaging. However these prompts are also about growth and thanks. I wouldn’t be obliging to this did I not look for a shard of light in the shadowy dark.
There is a cuteness about me that I insist upon in my clothing, my mannerisms, my way of speech. It’s how I enjoy being seen. A round face with large blue eyes helps sell the act. A large nose with a hooked end does not. In fact, it goes against the aesthetic I try to keep and simply goes about making its own. I see this picture and while I despise this lump of cartilage and hollow flesh I see something proud and enchanting, a nobleness within my gentle, meek self that will stand tall if I am shaken or turn away if I am ignored. It is an ugliness that isn’t afraid to be ugly. It is an ugliness that uses its appearance to its advantage. A nose however is not merely a stump.
It is through smells caught on the travelling wind that I recall the most vivid and idyllic memories; a summer or a holiday or simply a long forgotten feeling. Always these smells give me the strongest nostalgia as for a moment I am breathing the same air I did at the top of a lighthouse on Amity Island or the crisp cold gale of a Cornish countryside or even Christmas day. Though occasional, these memories from scent are all the more precious.
So despise you sometimes and without you perhaps I could be prettier. But I am not willing to take that chance and lose you, your strength, and the memories you bring me.
I’m well aware it’s nobody’s fault. From what I’ve heard and seen I think the child actually has a mental or physical issue which allows this to happen and, if my theory is true, then I will tolerate this without snarkiness. And if I’m laying prematurely awake with red eyes at 8am on a Sunday morning then no doubt the parents are doing the same. The parents can’t well tell him to cool his boots every single morning when he yells in excitement. They’re probably knackered too, throwing the pillow over their head and longing that this time he’ll keep it down. But he’s four years old and any child that age is essentially a barrel of hyperactive monkeys, which in this case are howling. Kicking a child like that down at such a young age could kill a talent and an unconscious dream and I don’t want that for him.
I’M WELL AWARE IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T WANT TO SET THE NEIGHBOURING HOUSE ON FIRE WITH EVERYONE INSIDE INCLUDING THAT SCREAMING BANSHEE CHILD. THERE ARE TWO THIRDS OF THIS HOUSE COMMITTING TO SHIFTS THAT END AT TEN THIRTY IN THE EVENING AND 6 IN THE MORNING AND BECAUSE OF LITTLE MR. ‘I HAVE A MOUTH AND WILL SCREAM AS I CHOOSE’ WE CANNOT HAVE A STABLE SLEEPING PATTERN. GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE DEMON OR AT LEAST RETURN TO HELL OR PERHAPS THIS IS HELL. FROM THE GLEEFUL SOUNDS IT’S MAKING IT SURE IS.
I’ll feed the brat to one of those crabs at Sydney Aquarium. We’re bros.
Hair is essential. Hair is what we are judged by in some situations. When a young woman is bald we do not know how to react. Is she sick? Could she simply be happy with no hair? Perhaps she removed it to be free in one way or another? As a girl you’re raised to keep your hair long and neat and without anything but a natural colour. At least, that’s my experience. My hair is something of a family treasure considering how much of a rarity it is with my parents both having brown hair. Never have I been the spitting image of either of them.
I also have very long hair. It runs in tranquil tangles down my back. Since an unfortunate cut from a woman having a relationship with an underage boy I have vowed to go long and never, ever short. Besides, I doubt short hair could hold the memories and feelings otherwise. Twenty two years and always it’s always been a shade of blonde. In my immediate family there is no blonde hair. Only two people have blonde hair. They’re both dead now. One was my mother’s real father. I want to talk about him in another post. Never were there pictures of him, only a curt description from my mother. The other was my auntie on my father’s side; his younger sister. It’ll take me a few tries to write this one. Even now I feel my eyes growing hot, my stomach beginning to turn. This’ll be a long entry, I can tell you that.
Always I’ve been so different, harbouring the constant feeling that my body is distorted to fit this family puzzle. Do I really fit there? Sometimes I humour myself by thinking I’m adopted. Of course I love my family, of course I do. However to find the source for all these hard to explain differences would be beautiful and serene. To find someone like me would be… I can’t imagine. I don’t want to. It’s stupid to think like that.
My auntie had blonde hair, weathered and frail from when I saw her in 2007. Always she would call my Belgian grandma for my birthday and wish me a happy and special day. Always I would be at home, oblivious, too young to speak French or even understand. Never did she call for my sisters, only me. Apparently I was the spitting image of her; a round face, blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair. She was dying in hospital. My Auntie smoked too much. I only saw her once before she died. I hardly know anything about her. Perhaps she was this mystical family I was looking for and yet I allowed her to slip by, ignored.
The guilt weighs every golden strand down. I want to rationalise I was too young and too self centred as children are to understand but I won’t allow it. A few words down the phone line would’ve been enough. Now it’s something I’d happily do, mumbling bad French and trying to ask her what the weather is like. Caring. I only have one thing of hers; a well used paint box with half the colours gone. My mother suggested I return it to my father, her only brother. I couldn’t. I never did. It’s the only connection I have and a hint that perhaps we were more similar than I ever thought. The hospital bed made it hard to connect. You don’t realise how sharp guilt’s talons are until amending becomes impossible and self-loathing is the only solution.
It’s not something I think of every day but when I take the time to think about it I usually end up like this, crying quietly and promising to do better next time. I’ll keep my blonde hair and I’ll remember her and live in the ways she couldn’t in those last years of her slowly ending life. It’s all I can do.
I don’t know whether to thank my hair or simply dismiss it. It runs in messy curls the colour of ashen wheat and I promise to keep growing it and keep nodding at the compliments it draws in and keep waking up with it looking better than it ever would brushed and sticking my head over high places to feel the wind tickle my scalp. I’ll live with it as she once did. Perhaps, when I’m stronger, I’ll find out who she really was besides a frail woman in a hospital bed. Perhaps, I’ll find a little of myself in her.