A Gentleman made of Salt-Water, Mountains, Tattoos and Ship-Wrecks
Monday, October 25, 2010
How Our Lives Look with the Lights Off
pages torn from dirty magazines thrown along the path, stacks of them hidden under tree stumps. not the lame kind with articles but hard-core. filthy. Even as young as i was, i knew the difference.
the woods meant something dark and dirty, something exciting - alive. once glossy pages, a bird trail of tits and ass. body parts rained on, weather beaten. I knew every inch of the woods. where knives were hidden. the secrets people thought they buried - I dug them up. after school and on weekends all i did was explore these woods, they made me feel safe, they made feel scared.
I could still hear the fighting and chaos in my head, the excessive talking to myself , but it was less here than home. It was in the distance. less here than at school or riding the bus to school . I listened for breaking twigs, foot-steps, noises, voices. I perched myself in trees or camouflaged within the brush. I saw things: kids smoking pot, drinking beer, peeing on trees, two teenagers fucked on top of wet pine needles and then against a tree. they fucked like how dogs do it. I saw a man bury a cat and another man attempt but fail to hang himself from a tree branch. I saw people bury things and days later dig them up. the girls who came into the woods only did bad things. in fact, most anyone who was there was doing or would do something bad.
I stayed until dark or as long as i thought i could without being missed. If i went home my Dad would find something for me to do. Some work. He'd call me worthless or pick on something he deemed to effeminate about me: the way i walked or the clothes i wore, anything to make me feel small. So I stayed in the woods because i am lazy to work and hate taking orders. I was to important, i knew to many secrets.
Bad dreams. i had bad dreams, nightmares- tornadoes in a dark distant sky, decomposition, the smell of it. bad dreams about bodies being buried and unburied. I'd wake with my heart beating fast, sweating, shaking. I couldn't remember, were these things i really saw or something just made up? - just dreams. I felt as if i had done something wrong. just bad dreams.
when i got older, I went from watching to doing. i took a girl i liked from school back there. i showed her the weapons id found. knives, arrows, rope,. she looked impressed. i showed her how to hide, to make yourself disappear in the woods.
"Let's do something we have to keep a secret" this usually involved pulling down our shorts, pulling up shirts. this usually involved drinking beers and kissing. this usually involved the planning of murder of her Daddy.
He touched her and that made me angry. I touched her too. how casually she gave in to me - anything i wanted, she'd tell any lie, keep any secret.
we remained friends. me and the woods. me and the girl. what we did or did not do. we keep in touch. the wounds have turned to scars. what we do or do not know. i can feel her, though she lives nowhere near down south. when we speak, I detect the slight drawl in her speech - and mine, well no one would notice.
"no more bad dreams? " she asks. " no more bad dreams? " I ask.