Monster (Meg & Dia)
The couch. Always behind the couch. Under the table. The closet under the stairs. Three places to run. Three places to hide. Every time their voices would rise I would run to the closest sanctuary and thank God I was small enough to fit.
Those voices that ran across each corner of the room seemed to reverberate off my very skin. Dad. He told me to call him Sir. Never Dad. Mom. She told me to call her Hannah. She was so pretty when she slept. She was so pretty when she was happy. Now, her body of twenty years was old. Tired from no sleep, breaking from fingertips pressed into her sides, and boiling with too hard of liquor for her fragile, porcelain outline.
After every uproar, every tear by her, and every empty bottle by himthey would come looking. Her, happy to see him turn his malice towards me. Him, happy to turn his malice away from himself. I was the six year old pathetic coward.
Sir, I would say.
My eyes would wander to Hannah with frightened curiosity.
What had I done?
I called him sir. I called her Hannah.
They called me Henry at school.
They called me Henry at church.
They called me Monster at home.
After black, they would confine me to my room. A tiny room with one window, where their words said minutes earlier would form long sentences and wrap around in a circle above my head like those music boxes loving mothers would clip to the sides of their infants cribs. I hated my room. I hated the dark. They knew it, too, and took pleasure in locking me in. Locking me in where they could get me.
Dear Reader: Please note, if you ever were a six year old child, remember what it was like to lay in bed and imagine that loud heartbeat pulsing thick from underneath your mattress. Remember that hand that hovered over your face once you closed your eyes. Remember that loud breathing that resided around your open window. The creatures. That white little girl that crawled towards you in the night, hair hanging around the neck, fingers outstretched To a child it is horrid. To an adult, it is a memory that most barely ever remember.
Twenty years later.
I didnt understand love. I didnt understand human connection. I only understood the weather: constantly changing. I understood change. I didnt understand safety, or any emotion, be it love, or hate, that could be unconditional.
I was at my second year of college. I was striving to be a writer. I didnt trust the crowds. I would go to my apartment, sit at my small desk I had gotten at a garage sale, and stay there for hours with my books, my papers, and a bottle of brandy. Then the day would end, and Id get ready for the next.
I slept with the lights on.
I didnt want many things, but every once in a while, I hate to admit, I would want to feel that popular emotion I had read about in so many books: love. I was scared to administer it myself. I was scared to feel for another person.
So things happened.
On the walk to my apartment I saw a girl in a red sweater. I pardoned her and asked her if she knew were Rebecca street was. She looked at me in a funny way, paused, and turned her back to me. My hands ran to her shoulders, my lips to her neck. Hard fingers, hard hands.her soft hair, thin ankles.
I ran off, leaving the crème skinned girl crying at her violette bruises left in patches under her sweater and skirt.
I had been born of glass but now I only felt apathy. No regrets, but still, that hard human pain that is there when you know you have done a terrible trespass.
I went back to my apartment. I turned all the lights on and opened the window. The night was calm and beautiful. The wind brought in glow flies by the dozen. They did not bother me like they did to most locals here. They brought light and company and I loved them with all my heart. I broke the lamps and poured the liquid into the bath tub. Small shards of porcelain glass managed to mix in with the water as well, that was now pouring from the faucet. I added the remaining kerosene I kept under my sink and by my desk which I had used as a denaturant for my alcohol.