Danse Macabre

Darkness pervades

my body, a

rag doll,

"Where's the money, Tina?"

"What do you mean, where's the money?"

"Damn it, woman, you know what I mean! What did you do with it?"

limp,

spineless,

"I…I bought some school supplies for Gail, that's all. She…she starts school again next week."

"Really? For some reason, I don't believe you."

Dead.

"I don't know why I put up with this!"

"I don't know why you do either. Why don't you do us all a favor and leave? We'll be happy to see the back of you!"

"All right, I will!"

"Oh yeah? I have trouble seeing that."

"Just watch me!"

Slam.

The ball point pen I had been chewing on, while thoughtfully penning my deepest thoughts on paper, suddenly slipped through my fingers. It made a small, yet penetrating, thunking noise against my notebook, jarring my brain out of its stupor, into hyperactive mode. Gears and cogs whirred through my mind in looping windmills—I had to get away. There was too much noise, too much conflict in this air. Clean air. That's what I needed.

Impulsively, I ran to the window and pushed up against its base, thus opening my eyes and ears and soul to the elements of the world. The insect screen had long ago been removed, for insects are as much a part of the natural world as we are. To live in harmony with them is to achieve true poetry.

There being no boundaries between me and the hot night air any longer, I broke free of the intellectual confines of my boxed-in room; my mind found true freedom outside. I knew I had to be as far away from the house as possible.

Perhaps those parents of mine were right. Perhaps that cross country team they made me sign up for was useful after all.

Darkness surrounds me. It threatens to

devour me,

rip my flesh to shreds,

Completely erased.

Cicadas' calls, pleas for recognition, for some kind of response, rang in my ears, as my dirty, ripped sneakers pounded against the pavement, untied shoelaces threatening to trip my feet at any moment. But though they tripped my body, my mind kept running. It ran and ran and ran until it came to an overpass. The porous cement walls of an overpass. So hard, yet so brittle to the mind.

Yes, my mind broke through. What was there to greet it?

Poetry.

Painting images in your ears of

mourning,

crying for the lost bodies,

a duty dance with

Death.

I don't know how long I stood there, my eyes closed tightly shut, under that overpass, listening, just listening, to that mysterious stranger, that street musician surrounded by the cryptic fog of anonymity. No one called the police; who would? The mournful blaring of notes from a trumpet's horn did not come from a mere instrument; they were a voice, a small whisper, a flickering beacon in the encroaching darkness.

But then I became aware of something strange. Something…tangible. The music had stopped. Ears having lost their hold on that voice, my eyes fell open to grab one onto last glimpse of it. Instead, I found myself and my clothes soaked in something cold and wet—the freak had opened his spit valve on me.

"Ew!" Though I tried my best to wipe off the spit on the concrete walls of the overpass, it was to no avail. I grimaced. "What was I thinking?" I muttered, and, slowly, I turned my back on that Pied Piper character, my mind returning to its rightful box in my room.


Ich habe gehabt vil Arbeit gross

Der Sweis mir durch die Haut floss

Noch wolde ich gern dem Tod empfliehen

Zo habe ich des Glucks nit hie

I had to work very much and very hard

The sweat was running down my skin

I'd like to escape death nonetheless

But here I won't have any luck


A/N: Written for the What Was I Thinking? Lounge forum challenge.