personal blog: simon
warning: dark matter ahead.
the darkness swells and all the pits rise… an indication of what’s to come… curtains drawn… a tickle… a touch… a stroke of my hair… motionless, and the sound of my father’s breathing through his mouth as he whispered what a good boy I have been, what fun we’re going to have on our next trip. the attention given. the affection granted… exploiting, holding an embrace a little too long… testing, manipulating, twisting my guard. a brush against my thigh, my lap, my chest…
I pour the water out the kettle and set it off the stove, as the living space absorbs the darkness and I pause against the kitchen sink. the brim of the light from the street illuminates a wedge of the table in my tiny space. the memories weigh heavy, like grains of stone cutting through my mind, settling between every little opening, every little scar, every little crack.
trembling. the dense air as my chest squeezes and the room spins. the silence dances in the dim space.
the scraping sound of silence. every little creak amplified. the stillness. the pitch void, where eyes and ears play ploy and a shadow is not a shadow. a hand skimmed along my body. the spiders again scattering on my skin.
“keep the lights down, low,” my father whispers.
I find my way to the couch, curling my tired body, burying my face into the cushion, and finally exhaling. the urge to scream. the urge to tear the room apart. the urge to weep. all crumpled to a tight fist striking the cushion.
the first hit was a shock but then I subdued to the pain. my father’s six-two-two-hundred-pound body of muscle, carried a fierce strike. he was a brute and I was a boy of thirteen.
the argument erupted and escalated fast. the hits were swift and precise. right on the midriff, spasming my diaphragm. the sensation of air immediately evacuating my body. my breathing ceasing temporarily… and I gasped, coiling, just before another hit to my jaw and I entirely lost my equilibrium, collapsing to the floor, checking out for a moment before coming to and realizing that my father was kneeling. his mouth saying something obscure and radical. I didn’t make it out at first as the buzzing in my ears blurred every sound.
he spat on my face. “get up!” comes through a haze with another blow to my side. “fight!” my father’s turned into teeth. “you wanted to be a big man… then be a man.”
I hold my breath and scream.
the threads of the rug underneath my fingernails, like gravel, pinned by my father to the floor. he was angry because I wasn’t obedient that day.
but, I was still like my palms pressed to the mattress when I was obedient. my father’s rough volcanic skin, burning like lava. his fingers dance in the dark to his lips. “hush,” as he strikes my skin, a match on fire, burning. the tuck of my pillow under my head and my father’s gorging smile. “sh,” the finger to his lips. “let’s read another,” and he turns the page. “you’re my special one.”
‘my special one.’ a significance of being picked. all snapped at the moment my father ripped through his anger the day I raised my voice and became disobedient. a revolt to all the nightly intrusion, all the whispers, all the buyouts of fake pastimes, every touch, every embrace, every brush.
I can feel my fingers solidifying to stone, my lungs squeezed and suffocating. I feel the onset of collapse coming and I don’t want to die alone.
read more: ← wednesday 23:23 • thursday 00:01 →
© simon whittle — second act