When it Bleeds, it Gushes

When it rains, it pours. When it bleeds, it gushes. I know I'm being bitter as hell, but I don't care. I'm laying on my side in an alley with beer cans digging into me and a big gaping hole in my stomach in the rain. As far as I'm concerned, I'm fucking allowed.

I think I might be crying, too, but I'm not sure. The rain's making my face too numb. Damn, it's really coming down. Like little needles. There's no way I'm gonna open my eyes either, partly 'cause of the rain, but also because I don't want to look down and see all my blood going into the sewer. The only part of me that's warm is my hand, and that's 'cause it's covered in blood and who-knows-what-else, trying to hold my guts in. The hole's gotta be nine inches wide. It hurts like a bitch. That, just there, was a huge understatement, by the way.

Damn those fucking kids, with their fucking bandanas and their fucking spraypaint and their fucking crowbars. Fucking gangs. I hate them. And if I ever get out of this, I'm going to hunt them all down and wring their fucking necks until they turn purple and black and blue. And I'l beat them to scrawny little pulps and throw them into the sewer so the fucking Ninja Turtles can take care of them. Or the alligators. Or the rats. You never know what'll come out in New York.

Ah, rats. That's a nice thought--more plausible, anyways. Little--no, FAT--fucking rats climbing all over them and biting at their faces and ripping off pieces of skin. Yes, a very nice thought. We'll see where their fucking crowbars will get them then. I can see it now--the dumb fucking kid who stuck me with his bar now trying to beat up the rats with it, only succeeding in bashing it into his own head. I would be chuckling if I didn't hurt so damn much.

You can't blame me for being morbid. I'm laying in a fucking puddle of blood and needles in an alley, bleeding to death. I can be as negative and morbid and fucking potty-mouthed as I want. Fuck you. Really. I mean it. Fuck you.

Man, how the hell was I supposed to know that they were in the middle of stealing a car? All I thought was that someone had set off their own alarm. It happens every damn night around here. So I continued on my way to the dumpster to throw out my garbage, and the fucking guy just went after me with his crowbar. I bet he wasn't older than twelve. And now I'm laying in garbage. Not only am I bleeding to death, but I'm doing so in a pile of my own mother fucking garbage. God damn it, if I'm gonna die, just fucking take me now so I don't have to deal with any more of this damn humiliation.

I can tell I'm getting tired, too. It's a really weird kind of tired, though. Like, a desperate kind of tired. I want to go to sleep so I can just ignore all this crap, but the rain's holding me here. It keeps making me feel.

Wait, not really--I can't really feel it anymore. I'm numb. Almost completely numb. And all that feeling that's now gone away's been replaced with cold. Blank, hard, persistent cold that coming from inside me as well as outside me. My skin's not just cold--my blood is, and my bones are, and even my fucking liver is frozen. I think. If it didn't get shredded in the whole altercation. See, the guy didn't just impale me with the crowbar; he fucking tried to pull it out of me too, while he was running, ripping a giant fucking gash in me and dragging me to the ground before he managed to pull it out. It was the most painful thing of my life. A lot worse than the numb cold I'm feeling now.

So, I'm just laying here, pissed off and lonely. Hey, maybe I should call for help or something. I tried once, earlier, but I don't think anyone heard me. Either that, or they don't even care. Nope. I try, but my throat's too scratchy and weak. It's like my vocal chords don't want to work. Okay, this is really pissing me off. I try to push myself up with my hands, but they're too weak, too. Plus, it's so damn painful, with my stomach and all. My elbows and my hands are all skinned up, but that's the last thing I'm going to worry about. I finally open my eyes, just so see if anyone's around, and immediately notice a rat. So, looks like they've come for me. It skitters into the trash bin that I'd been heading for, seeming miles away now. I see another rat, and another, all skittering about, back and forth. I wonder if they've been here all along, or if they're here just because I am? I'm starting to feel panicked. I hate the damn things. Those damn tails are what does it. Their tails look like snakes, only dirtier. And harier. I close my eyes again, pretending they've disappeared, but I can still hear them skittering around, inside my head. I don't think I can actually hear them with my ears, though, just in my head, and I know they're not going away. I want to scream. I shudder, and it turns into an intense shiver.

I want to die now. I know it's the only way that I'll get out of this. Nobody'll help me, even if they see me and hear me. They don't care--they're too scared. It's too dangerous in this part of town to risk helping someone--you don't know what you could get caught up in, with the gangs and all. Hell, you can't even take out the garbage. Can't even take out the garbage.

I manage to whisper a choked "Help" one more time before my voice decides to completely go Out Of Service. I can picture a little "Permanently Out Of Service" sign hanging from that little ounching bag in the back of my throat. Actually I can picture them starting to pop up all over my insides. There's a sign in my legs, and my arms, and inside my stomach. That one's been there a while. Soon there'll be one covering my heart, and inside my lungs. I can't wait 'til one pops up in my brain. Then this'll be over.

It is, though, getting tougher for me to think. If water used to be what kept thoughts flowing through my brain before, it's molasses now. My whole body's molasses. Freezing cold molasses. The colder it gets, the thicker it gets, until eventually it will just stop flowing altogether.

And then, while wondering why I hadn't before, I think of my mother. She's just the right size, big enough to hug as tight as you want to without worrying about breaking her, but small enough to get your arms all the way around her. And she has long, brown hair, and rosy cheeks, and she always wears thick sweaters and long flannel nightgowns that smell a bit like detergent. I wonder what she's doing now? Probably sitting at home in her favourite blue easy chair, watching TV or reading a romance novel. She owns about fifty of those cheezy things. I can see her in my head now, the picture replacing that of the rats.

She has no idea what's happening to me. If she did, she'd already be here. I know she wouldn't be afraid to come and get me, no matter how many rats and gangsters there might be. She's so brave when she needs to be--hell, she gave birth to me without anesthesia, and I was eleven pounds. I'd call that pretty damn brave.

She's gonna be so sad when she finds out. I will be, too. I hope someone else finds me. I hope she doesn't. No, she lives across town, and it's Tuesday night. She only comes to visit on Sunday afternoons, and not every Sunday, either. But I wish she was here. I wish she could just pick me up and keep me warm and make me feel again. I wish I was five years old again. Everything's so easy when you're five. You don't worry about dying when you're five. You don't worry about your mother outliving you. Yout worry about your crayons accidentally melting in the sun, and about your secret pet frog somehow making it's way into the cereal cupboard, and about having to share the rainbow blocks with the kid who picks his nose at school.

Does everyone think about their mom when they die? Well, maybe their wife, and their kids, too. I would be if I had any of those. But really, I just have mom, and I actually haven't seen her in a month. I'm wishing so hard right now, with my eyes squeezed tight and teary (this time I know I'm crying). It might count as praying, something I haven't done in a long time. Well, if there's no time like the present. Here goes nothin'...

Dear God. Please make all this cold go away. Please let my mom feel better when she finds out. Please give her a hug for me. And please give me one too.

Well, that's that. I hope it's good enough. I've never been too good at praying. Maybe it's because I never went to church much. Wow, it's getting hard for me to hold my train of thought. It keeps wanting to drift away from me. I can hold emotions, though, and single thoughts.

I hope I go to heaven. Then I'll get to see Dad again.

I can hear the rats.

Mom's reading right now. I can see her. She's crying. Must be a sad book.

I'm crying too, mom, I'm sorry.

2001