Author: b-U-b-TRUE PM
And Keith could have been an ordinary guy. Because everyone built towers in some way or another. CREEPY alert, physchologically challenging. See if your up for it. (k Just read it)Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 2,034 - Published: 09-02-05 - id: 1999425
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A story by Kim Dawson
And the path had been neglected,
But in a way it didn't seem as if it were a path,
Because paths have clear endings and beginnings;
It was more of a tower.
And each part of his tower had been sculpted by the hands of an individual feeling,
Each piece wedged into place by a different emotion,
One brick for each friend,
He had made along his vulnerable journey.
And when he was angry he'd tear the tower down,
He'd clamp his claws around each quivering piece,
Shake them as if he were a beast, Godzillas rival.
He'd roar with the voice that was the voice of a million different voices,
Fragments of voices that stuck out like sharp little pieces of glass in his mind when he didn't let them free,
Voices that came together to make one voice,
A language that despite it's volume and mass was indefinable.
The tower however had been neglected.
He had decided that if he didn't build himself up to something he wouldn't have the opportunity to tear himself back down to nothing.
And this was supposed to be his cure.
"I'll have two boxes of all stars," he said, pointing a finger at the organized display of cigarettes to the woman's left. He wondered if she was scared of him. He wondered if she trembled with some pre-decided fear when this great bruiting man ambled into her store, bringing with him the booms and crashes of a thousand storms. She should be scared, he thought as he eyed the woman with her wrinkled prune face and her light blue cotton sweater. Because I could crush her in a second.
The evening was light as he entered it. It was filled with that mist, that weak, yet refreshing mist that reminded him of the one time he had rode the ferry at Niagra falls, the "maiden," or so it was called. He had figured then that they called the ferry "the maiden" to add an element of ferry-tale to the whole adventure, but when he was on the boat he didn't feel any kind of unexplainable magic, he felt like whoever ran the thing was robbing him clean. Sometimes he'd walk along the route of the park, the one that looked out onto the lake, and he'd count the number of sails and city lights that dotted the horizon, thinking how the whole thing was so picturesque. But then he'd be angry, he'd be angry because he'd know that since childhood he had been robbed of the opportunity to be the one who lit up the city, who lit it up in a way that didn't inevitably include a jug of petrol, and a series of unread newspapers from previous unlived weeks.
He decided to walk the town tonight instead. To laugh at the lovers, because that was what you did when you were alone. Yet in a way he wasn't alone because something about the city made him feel whole, and not in a sissy sort of way. He wasn't filled with the joy that some people were when they experienced the life changing vision of art at the local museum or anything like that, he just almost, felt full, like the way he did when he had scarped down a truckers special at Al's and it swooshed around in his stomach contently, until he was ravenous again. When he was enveloped by the city and all its subtle chaos, all the voices that filled the cracks and crevices of his mind were at peace. In the city every voice was spoken for, every voice proved sane, and that was the best consolation of all.
Keith made himself comfortable on a darkened bench, watching the friendly doors of the ice-cream parlor swing open and shut as it's customers laughed and touched each other lovingly. He lit a cigarette. The smoke of it flared from his mouth as if his were the mouth of a dragon, as if he had the power to turn the whole cities happiness into ashes if he wanted to. And the smoke changed as it grabbed onto the wind, something lost forever, it changed as if it wasn't sure what it wanted to be just yet. Just like me, Keith thought to himself, doesn't know what the hell it is.
"Sharon, your going to get your pants dirty, you goof," he heard the mother of the toddler say as she picked her daughter up from the floor of the dusty patio. He hadn't noticed their presence there at first, on the railinged patio of the ice-cream parlour, and he knew it was because he had assumed that all the joy had been pressed behind the door of the place, all the smiling faces had been pushed inside. He knew that Sharon had been crawling away from her mother, away from the security of the woman's arms, why she'd want to do that, Keith couldn't imagine. "You know," the mother said to her child, lowering her voice after giving Keith a sidelong glance, but at the same time wanting him, almost needing him to hear what she had to say, "Daddy spent a fortune on those overalls, and he wouldn't like knowing that you were getting them all yucky by crawling all over in them".
Sharon giggled, "Yucky!" she said, dabbing her mothers nose as if it were a hilarious circus attraction, bright red like that of a clowns'.
"Yes!" exclaimed Sharon's mother. "Very, very yucky".
Then she looked over at him, the mother that is. And she looked over at him for a long moment, seeming puzzled. "I feel like I know you from somewhere," she said, holding her baby awkwardly in her arms, because her baby was too big to be held, but that was something you could never tell a mother. Keith smiled. He wondered if he was already aware of what she looked like under her baggy, forest- green sweater, and then he pinched himself for wondering. "You've probably just seen me around," he said in the most casual way he could.
She smiled, "Yah I guess," she said, "but then again I'm getting old, I mean I could have never seen you anywhere, sometimes my eyes just trick me like that I guess. Hey, um, you wanna come in for an ice- cream?"
Keith felt his eyebrows raise, though he hadn't asked them too, "What about daddy?" he wondered, and he didn't know if he meant it skeptically, or as a joke.
She laughed. "Daddy's inside," she said. "He runs the place. We're always looking for new customers".
The "place" as she called it, was crowded, he noticed that right away as he made his way to the counter. It was like one massive carnival and whoever happened to be standing, well, it was their show. Keith, was standing. "Must be pretty good ice-cream," he said to the girl at the counter as she came by to take his order, and he decided that he liked this side of him, this person that the mother in the baggy green sweater had taken to for some reason or another. He felt like he was a significant part of this giant laughing animal, and that he could sit down at any table and make small talk and be charming and wonderful, and not dumb, not the way that he always felt. "I'd like a double scoop, strawberry cheesecake," he said proudly as the girl stood looking at him with bright blue eyes, likely required for the job. She took his order and a few other orders as she easily zipped across the shiny metallic covering of the freezer, as if she had learned how to in "perfect ice-cream parlour worker handbook". She came back to him a few minutes later, with his ice-cream in hand. "That'll be $"3.61 sir," she chirped, quickly and efficiently taking his five dollar bill and awarding him with the change.
He took a seat by the window, perched on a high-rise stool looking out onto the street. He listened into the conversation of the two old geezers to his right as they silently planned a poker night. I'll be just like them one day, he thought, and I'll have something to show for it. He took a bite of his ice-cream, and at that moment everything went wrong. The walls of the great laughing animal that had devoured him began to close in, and the pulse sped up, and it seemed as if the room was full of a hundred chipmunks, or test hamsters or something that all talked much too quickly, and didn't make any sense, and needed to make sense and weren't going to make sense because when your angry nothing makes sense and when your angry-
Because he had ordered strawberry cheesecake, and this wasn't strawberry cheesecake. With fire in his eyes he looked back at the counter, watching the people who had been served after him walk back to their seats, joyfully licking at their new purchases. And to him they were all the same. They were the people who got what they wanted in life, and he wasn't one of them. Keith felt himself get up and stride back to the counter; he felt the bomb welling up inside of him, he felt it getting ready to explode. "Excuse me," he said when the girl's perfect eyes once again met his, his angry, fire eyes.
"I ordered strawberry cheesecake ice-cream, and this isn't strawberry cheesecake".
The girl smiled, revealing a nice set of teeth, pearly white and perfectly shaped, it was all just a game of her perfection. This isn't strawberry cheesecake.
"Well, yes it is sir", she said, glancing quickly at his partially devoured ice-cream, "but if you're upset with it then I can-"
He interrupted her as the bomb crept up into his throat.
"I ordered strawberry cheesecake mam, and this isn't strawberry cheesecake," he said again, this time more loudly, outlined with authority and anger, and for some reason he liked it when he saw her face crumble, her perfect face crumble and fall like she'd just gotten a school assignment back, one which was graded with a little less then an A. He liked it because he knew that when he was angry he was in charge, he was the master of the grand puppet show that some people called life.
"I-don't know what to say sir, I mean, I can show you where I got it from, I assure you it's strawberry cheesecake but-"
He heard himself yell a bunch of things, but at the same time he didn't, because while he was yelling, while that one horrible, ever -suppressed voice was getting it's turn to disentangle itself, all the other voices were alarms going off in his head, telling him that he needed to shut that voice up, that he needed to detain it, before it was too late.
But he told them that he couldn't. Because this was the voice of his inner child. This was the voice that represented the part of him that would forever insist that he was being robbed of something, even when he wasn't. Because once upon a time he had been robbed of everything. And this, this was the voice that needed to be heard the most.
That night as Keith paced around his jail cell, the one that he might as well have engraved his name into because he was so bloody familiar with it; he knew that he had built his tower again. And he knew that once again, he had clamped his claws around it and like Godzilla, like some unforgivable, hideous creature, he had torn it down.