Hate is a small feverish sticky child it’s twin is jealousy. Both smelling of fear and stale sweat. Clinging to my neck exhaling sickly sweet breath into my face. I fight to tear them off before they smother me.
I wake up. My stomach is sour. Bitter acid burns the back of my throat.
I was outside my house, the one on Hollyhock, in the front yard underneath a tree. I was working on my bike. I wasn’t allowed back inside. I felt the sunshine on my face coming through the tree in a semi rhythmic way as the wind gently blew the leaves, I was shaded then unshaded. I felt the warm breeze dry the tears from my cheeks. There was no specific reason for the tears I couldn’t tell if they were happy or sad. There was only a vague sense of unease filling me. Unable to remember the cause, fear stirring inside me. I knew I had to go and there wasn’t much time. I had to leave before who? what?
I tried to ride off, but the chain kept slipping and skipping. Wishing I had my own tools I was forced to go back. Sitting in the dirt I tried to tighten the chain without success. I cut the palm of my hand removing a link from the chain. The blood was mixing with the dirt and grease on the bicycle chain. I got distracted watching it drip from my hand onto an ant that had gotten in the way. I had nothing to clean the wound with, so I wiped my hand on my pant leg. The cut was deep, it burned and throbbed but I wasn’t allowed back inside.
I rode off again but in the way that usually happens in dreams, it became a big truck. The sun’s glare was in my eyes and I was having a hard time seeing. It was so bright it was burning my eyes and making my head ache. I felt responsible to keep going even though I felt out of control. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew to drive and go fast. I was angry I felt betrayed, but I couldn’t articulate the reasons for it in my head. I had hot angry tears that wouldn’t quite fall from my eyes. The a/c was blowing hot dusty stale air in my face further irritating me. I just knew I was not going to be allowed back inside.
I wake up clenching my jaw and my hands in fists in the morning.
In a flash, I became conscious of your love’s searching touch upon my heartstrings. I believed myself impenetrable, of stone and steel, not blood and bone. Gently you’ve been guiding me considerate of my inexperience. Eyes locked, slowly you move with me, pressing me into your heart, your hand on mine. We will grow together, independent yet intertwined.
You were just supposed to know
I needed a hug
I wanted to feel safe
I was afraid of your indifference more than your anger
You were making me anxious and fearful about the person I was inside
When I was in pain when my heart ached
You were supposed to know
I am driving up a curvy mountain road in the snow. Lost in the dark, searching for the route that will take me home. I wonder if I’m dreaming I don’t remember anything before this. I want to pull over to the shoulder, but there is no guardrail only orange safety rope with big sections missing. Beyond there is only darkness, and I imagine a steep drop off. If only I could remember my name, I’m confident I’d know if this were reality or a vivid dream.
I have to drive faster the snow is starting to pile up and drift onto the blacktop. Looking into the rearview mirror, I gasp and quickly direct my attention back to driving. A little girl sitting in the backseat arms outstretched she’d been reaching out to me. Pale white face and hazel eyes. Her mouth opens wide in a silent scream. In my head, her wail, “Why did you kill my family?”