Monday, May 31, 2010

pernicious pumpernickel

it was hard to hear the sound of anything but the roaring river, but i managed alright i think. the water was orange and crashing in to everything it touched. good thing i was way up high lying on my back. if i could, i would turn around to look down at it through the cracks of the bridge. but i'm pretty scared of it. especially when it's moving, and i'm a worse swimmer than i let on. i was in a 12 ft pool earlier today, testing my floating methods. i ended up with chlorine in my mouth and my bathing suit falling off. but i guess that doesn't matter.

we talked about mistakes as the moon hid in the clouds, as if it didn't want to get sucked in our crazy existence. we talked about has-beens and will-haves and what to do with the time left in between. we talked about the secrets we keep from ourselves and how to map out the future so we're at least having fun living it. of course this talk is all left behind, on bridges over rivers that were rail tracks 200 years ago. we leave them behind, we always glance back to see what we're leaving behind. not because we're losing it, not because we won't remember it. but if we're back just in time to take it home before the sounds of the river carry it away, crashing in to things.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

a sticky situation

She had nothing against any of these people, for all she knew, she and her friends didn't even really want to be there. All she knew was that time was pretty much up. They knew she was involved, and this black tie event had turned in to a nightmare. People everywhere were either being shuffled out of the great hall or being held for interrogation. But the politician knew who he really wanted to talk to, all this was just a show otherwise she thought as a shiver ran down her spine. She recognized his mustache, and he recognized her solemnity.
They were both uneasy, and unprepared for confrontation.
Those who thought they had something to do with it were trying to run away. But the police would spot the guilty before they even knew they were guilty, and haul them in to a dark room to have them wait on their knees in their best suits and shoes. Her black dress glittered in the little light that was still on. She stared at her friends, who were standing a few feet away, helpless eyes staring back. She stared at her lover, who, for once, would not be able to save her.

It all started a couple of years ago. Everyone had heard of the horrific story that the president's son had been murdered, along with three of his friends, in his own room. The room was rectangular, and had one single bed facing vertically (pretending to be a sofa) and the other on the back wall, opposite the windows, horizontally (pretending to be the other sofa). It was a typical boy's room, pizza crusts, game controllers, wires leading in and out of various musical instruments. The windows were large and never really shut, the curtains were never drawn. And the sun was always outside, hovering among the eucalyptus trees. This one particular day, nothing was out of place. The sun was at an angle so that the shadows of the blinds were making dark lines on the carpet. The boys were smoking, the handsome son reveling in the company of his closest peers. She would glance at him often, his strong jaw, the sound of his laughter. She enjoyed being pulled towards his power and his elegance. God knows he was just an unfortunate son of a powerful father, trying to be simple despite the latter's best efforts. He believed in cliches like everyone else did, world peace, 70's rock, and the fact that the seafront was a magical place to be. She was standing in the space between the windows, her back to the wall, watching them play a really good game of football. The unfortunate son had just missed a goal and everyone was talking over each other. He lay his head momentarily on the vertical bed, in exasperation, when gunshots were heard. He looked up, 'nay, he didn't even have time to look up' (she remembered), before he was dead. She dived to the ground and pushed up against the wall under the windows, covering her face, shielding her eyes from the glass that was raining down. She watched in terrified silence as all four of the boys fell, one by one, in a pool of their own blood seeping into the carpet. The bullets came less frequently now till they stopped altogether. She lay still as the dust and debris made the sunshine seem gray. There was blood on her hands from where she'd been injured from broken glass. Unable to breathe in the dust, she struggled to get on her feet. The bodies strewn across the room were almost unrecognizable. It seemed like bullets had ripped apart every visible fiber of skin. She turned around to look out the window. Four men were standing on the roof of a one story building, three had Kalashnikov, and one was smoking a cigar. They were standing, relaxed, talking, looking content, till one of them glanced over to look at her and alerted the others. She wanted to run, to save her life, but her feet were rooted. All four men stared at her, and she stared back. She waited for the bullets to penetrate her body, for her to be lying on the floor as well. Then miraculously, one by one, the men turned, descended the stairs of the roof, and disappeared. The cigar smoker turned to look at her one last time, his pale suit seeming orange in the evening sun. He itches his mustache, and leaves.

Now, years later, when she had completely changed her life around, they had found her. Now, after she had tried so hard to run away, to forget, by completely altering her social circle and her priorities in life, they had found her. She stood in line now, waiting to see the president. The door opened, and the guard signaled her to go in. She didn't glance back once at her friends, at the immaculate setting, at the world she was leaving once she entered that door. The room was dimly lit, the marble floors were empty except for one big carpet and three chairs, all occupied.
'I guess I'm meant to stand', she said.
'Yes', came the answer. The politician.
'You know why you are here. You know something that is of value to us', another voice spoke. The president's wife. She was looking particularly nice tonight in her maroon dress. She reminds me of my mother.
'We just want to know the truth. You will be allowed to leave', said the president.
She stood still, head bowed, like a child who's being told off.
'What were you doing in his room?'
'What did the men look like?'
'Why did you disappear?'
'What did the men look like?'
'Where were you when we were burying the bodies?'
'Were you a part of this conspiracy?'
'Did you not feel obligated to come forth with information?'
'How much did they pay you?'
'What did the men look like?'
'What did the men look like?'

Silence. The wife is in tears now. The president is wiping sweat away. The politician is looking at her wearily. Her head is still bowed.
She falls to the floor. On her knees in her beautiful black dress. The unfortunate son's laughter is ringing in her ears. She cannot say anything because there is nothing to say anyway.
'We just want to know what the men looked like', the president said calmly.
She meets his gaze, slowly, sadly.
I'm so sorry...
She looks at the politician, wanting to rip off his regal mustache.
He shoots her in the chest.

She is alive when they tie her up and throw her in the sea. She remembers seeing her blood mix with the ocean's water, the sun shouts its goodbye. She knows the unfortunate son is standing at the seafront.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

82 sunday

i am upside down, watching planes fly through my window. they leave easy breezy white-blue trails of dust that the sun seems to swallow without hesitation. i miss a summer of clicking fans and upbeat traffic. where my room is not my own and my clothes are large. time to leave another unknown place, where spanish strawberries do not exist and cracked heels aren't given a second glance.