The day I was left behind
I used to proudly think myself strong
That no matter how tough life can get, I will always know where I belong
I used to think of my feet as roots ,far beneath the earth binding me to my truth
Strong and wild stretching all across the land, a testament to my everlasting youth
I’ve lived in dreamland quite often throughout the years
Fought demons and dragons and mourned my loved ones with bloody tears
I thought I would be ready for anything, that I could take on the world
That my heart was strong and my mind will never be stirred
Thinking back on it now, how foolish I have been
No matter how old they get, you can never, a child from their parents Wean
It has been 2,028 days since tragedy struck my soul
My time froze on that day, and I have been constantly losing control
I tend to block the memories to be honest with you
I’m yet to fully reconcile that there was nothing else that I could do
But every time I think I found some peace of mind
I’m haunted by the ghosts of my past, forever confined
I remember that day as if time has never passed
How could it, when I have been trapped all along, aghast
He came back home like always, and I opened the door
As if With my hands I blew the horns of my eternal war
For the first time I didn’t look him in the eyes
Taking for granted the times we shared, not ready for the upcoming surprise
Suddenly I heard the call,
The sounds he used to make whenever the episodes, him befall
However this time the silence was long and deafening
Unable to fathom the loud truth , the air unsettling
And I ran!
Like a madman escaping the prison of solitude, I ran
Barefoot, cold, fuming with freezing heat my strife just began
I never knew fear like the terror that flowed in my blood on that freezing night
As if on overdrive every organ underneath my skin and bones was ready to fight
Knocking on doors I never seen the like of before
Desperate for anything that could pick me up from the sinking floor
But you see, when our eyes turn blind and our voices turn silent
Deep within our genes the truth screams to come to the surface unbent
I started to hate things I used to love so badly before
Car rides in the dark when the deafening silence my heart tore
I prayed that night like a devout saint my heart was stripped naked and bleeding
To not take him away, for this to be a nightmare , in vain pleading
But fate had a plan for him without me in his life
It seemed like the game was over and the player did not survive
They say that fear like a plague invaded the heart and the mind
Once it takes over, the old you will forever, in the past, be left behind
I don't know why it's this memory that sticks out to me so vibrantly. One summer afternoon, not too late, perhaps two or so I'd gone to visit a cousin. I live in Texas so the air simmered, June bugs providing a scorching melody capping off an aesthetic. I had to have been in middle school, when I brought along a small, blue spiral journal full to bursting in black ink with my story ideas. I was hoping to get feedback and pitch ideas to better solidify each one in my mind. Only it rained that day afterward, and when we could finally go back outside to get it the pages had become moist, grey I could have lost all that work. I was lucky it had been a brief seasonal shower. But that isn't important.
Within the time there was still sun and I was no older than twelve or thirteen years old there were three of us. Myself, my cousin whose house we were in Jesus Antonio-- fondly and universally addressed To-no(with the Mexican n with the dash)-- and younger than us both Aaliyah. Was it a plan or was it spontaneity once we'd decided fooling around sparking a fire in the barrel had been a good idea? I'm not entirely sure. Either way, we had the marshmallows, we had graham crackers, and we had three prongs one for each to place the cooking mellows on.
What I do remember that day is how vibrant their expansive yard seemed. How it's green just popped to my eyes. That particular Uncle owns a ranch you see, allowing for the typical backyard with a large, old tree that was an enormous undertaking when we'd been toddlers. That Tono had dared to climb, to my chagrin. There was the typical storage for tools, feed, the mower, and it smelled bad, somewhat of poop. The bugs were relentless, attracted to water and a multitude of earthy hidey-holes. But there was also the dusty plain called the middle. I don't know what the old cars or trailers or RV had been for, perhaps its just where they'd all happened to die. There was another, wider, bigger storage shed sometimes used as our own base of co-op for roleplaying games. Other times a rest stop. Where just beside us teased yet more property where the animals actually were and even a lake!
I knew all this. Either from exploring for myself or second-hand. I loved his home, I loved to play and run after him. We loved venturing out to where the cows and the stallions and mares were, exploring, imagining, laughing even as we scraped skin off our arms or stabbed a foot by accident.
In that day, to simply be with them and be in that heavy, rustic air surrounded by good company and the promise of candy... could that be when my love reached it's peak? My love for his company, barely understanding just how exquisite it was despite years spent in each other's orbit? When one of his many sisters provided the chocolate we were surely ecstatic. I knew I was. S'mores. Real s'mores right out of cartoons and commercials and books.
We spent a lot of time together, we laughed, we goofed, we said each and every thing that would make a grown-up balk. When I was with my cousins there was always reason to enjoy their company. Maybe not all the time, maybe not most of the time but the moments where our personalities simply drift, in the small, minute moments we can simply be together and be in sync just makes the chocolate sweeter, the marshmallow a little less overpowering. The heat, all the more of a pleasant sting on exposed skin.
I enjoyed a campfire that day. I got to enjoy the quiet moment where in the crannies between the silence we were content to leave it that way. I'm not sure if they noticed then or if they see now, how rare it is when ourselves so perfectly come to match. We were happy with each other and it was fun! We all got a turn toasting marshmallows. Some even caught-- by a wick-- on actual fire!
It had been careful work to get each melted mellow on a cracker, completed each by two units of small Hershey's chocolate.
Once the crackers were gone and the plate was full we retreated to the kitchen just beyond the back door we'd gone out, to enjoy the spoils and cool off.
It was divine to feel the cool AC after that long in Texas sun. There was a TV above the kitchen table. One that had gone forgotten for a few years. Back then there'd also been a swanky and proudly sized TV in the living room too. But that day, it was the kitchen Tv we turned to YouTube while each enjoying a s'more.
I didn't completely understand all the music, and swear words still displeased me, but it was funny and the talk flowed seamless anyway so it hardly mattered. They even let me go on about my story journal.
Puzzles with Mathias
Mathias is a 5-year-old little moppet, small for his age, with sandy brown hair mantling his round head. Inset there like stones are eyes the color of pewter curtained by dark lashes which put a new meaning on the term windows to the soul. Inside his soul are planted perseverance and concentration for anything he puts his mind to. He is diligent, precise, and careful. As the youngest child in the Robles family, he often has to entertain himself alone. One of his favorite pass times is floor puzzles.
After waking up and dressing in an insect-printed t-shirt (often pants are entirely forgotten) he rifles through two cabinets stuffed with all sorts of puzzles. Upon choosing the specific one he desires he dumps the pieces onto the tile floor and begins turning them over. Most people do puzzles quietly, engrossed in connecting one piece to another. However, lost in his own world Mathias wiggles his fingers together rapidly moving his little hands up and down. “Booshes” are heard as he articulates sound effects for the characters in the puzzle. Random squealing, humming, and other odd noises are all part of the operation.
If you happen to pass him while he is spewing saliva in his excitement you will receive one of two facial expressions. The first is Mathias’s exaggerated smile. This smile is always contagious and will probably end in a giggle. Starting at the corner of his lips the smile spreads up to his eyes causing them to disappear under smile wrinkles that look like the tail of a peacock. All his teeth show and his nose scrunches up into a button. Of the two expressions, this is the most desirable.
The second appearance is a side-long glance that makes you want to laugh until you cry or crawl into the floor. His eyebrows move simultaneously toward the middle of his forehead. His eyes emit a glare that seems to verbalize his disturbance. The corners of his mouth turn down into a semi frown and his head is cocked to one side. If he could maintain this visage for more than a few seconds he would appear menacing but it always melts into a silly smile and he resumes his task.
Mathias’s puzzle-making never ends with the first puzzle; the process continues until he has conquered at least four. The little lad just continues his booshing, wiggling, and squealing. When he has completed as many puzzles as he had aimed to finish, he circles the masterpieces with pride. Never wanting to destroy his handiwork he does not clean up and put away the puzzles until the end of the day. As his big sister, I know that it won’t be long before he is on the floor again dressed in another shirt and probably no pants booshing away puzzle after puzzle.
Writers on the Storm
"Well, would you look at that" Whispered the Wind. Upon finding such placid seas before thee. Out f breath a nearly dead wind. Summoned its last gasp attempting to reveal itself and said.
"Hello! Let’s go. Get moving Sea!"
"No thanks Wind I’ve settled in quite nicely. Pipe down and try to be more low key"
Replied the Sea.
"I hope you’re ready to make a splash? This blowhards here to light a fire under your ass"
Countered the Wind. Which in turn caused a normally levelheaded Sea to respond contemptuously.
"Shut your trap, you ain’t got the gas. what do you foresee blowing in for me? Victory at Sea. Will you huff and puff and blow me away? Your woof early scratch the surface. Go away I’m sleeping in today"
We’re upon hearing such ridiculous guff. The Wind sarcastically yawned and said "Enough is enough" Followed by a seawolf’s deafening growl. Which of course caused a chain reaction. Wherein the Winds started howling. Blowhards from all over cutting in with their two cents. Growing and strength from a gusty gale. Into a massive cyclone, last of the season late in the fall.
The ripple effect on the water. Growing into a myriad of massive rollers. Cresting high above foreboding troughs. White capping so treacherously no Sea Captain worth their salt would dare to scoff.
Days later a thousand miles away. I stand on a bluff changing out of my wetsuit elated and exhausted. Pondering a thought
The bodies taking shape before me. Tall drinks of water. Blindsided surfers not up to the task. Lead their like lambs to the slaughter.
For those who’s skill our good fortune ferried them passed the shore break. There rose plentiful peaks advertising perfection. World class waves peeling of in either direction. Offshore winds standing them up for some last second corrections. Send sea spray shimmering skyward. And lesser surfers scrambling for the channel and it’s perceived protection.
As another who’s placed themselves directly in the path of the oncoming swells. Meets one at its apex. Entirely under its spell. As it prepares to crest and crash on the reef. In its awesome display of its power.
There atop a towering peak. A surfer nearly has in their grasp. All that they seek. "Backside? No frontside" The right side of the goofy footers brain insists. A hundred yards down the line later. You can hear the surfer howling. Finishing an epic ride on the beach.
Death In The Afternoon
On a trip to Spain to visit ancient Roman sites (because I'm a big history geek), I stopped in the town of Caratagena. I'd traveled south from Barcelona to Tarragona, then on to Valencia, and finally Cartagena. After leaving the train station, I blundered out into the city, only to find that this city had no street signs posted anywhere. After an hour of dogged wandering and asking for directions in Spanglish, I finally found my hotel.
As you probably haven't been, Cartagena has a distinctly Muslim presence and influence to its culture and architecture, as it fell under Muslim control after the fall of Rome. Not that I felt threatened, per se; every person I met was kind and helpful. I still felt like the whitest person in the city though. One day, during siesta hour, I decided to venture out into the city so I could see it without the usual crowds, and I was rewarded with a spectacular unobstructed view. As I wandered down a wide, empty street in the hot midday sun, looking like a typical tourist, I smiled, looking around to wonder at the tall buildings on either side of the street. Then I heard it.
Someone was whistling a catcall at me. I'm gonna die.
I felt alone, vulnerable, and helpless. My eyes darted around, scanning from window to window, searching for my potential assailant, feeling my heart pounding, my stomach wrenching, my brain spinning.
I heard another catcall, low and slow.
I was nearing panic. No one was on the street, not a soul. The hot cobblestones seemed to be baking me, along with the rising fear threatening to overwhelm my senses. Then I heard a different sound altogether.
Caw-caw! went the parrot.
I think I am in denial...
denial that you have left this earth and your journey has come to an end
denial that we have lost a family member and a friend,
your memory forever lives in my mind.
you chuckle and everything seems fine wth the world
for a second the worries I had fades away and and I feel whole
you nicknames are forever branded n my brain
you loving kindness, forever will reman
you were truly one of a kind, a character carefully crafted by God to make us smile!
your antics and crazy moments are forever uttered at gathering, and you are right there! even only for a while ...
In my mind I can still see you dancing on your own and singng to golden oldies!
I miss your warmth that came instantly when you walked in a room.
I miss how for all your family you would go to ends of the earth or even travel to the moon.
I miss Saturday shopping trips, and pockets filled with sweets.
and I count the days until we meet.
For now we pretend we will stll find you snuggled up watching crime.
just for a little moment untill we meet again.. until our time