we were on a mountain. it felt like Colorado, it could have been anywhere, though, as my brother said at fourteen: if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. (he referred to mountains, but oft said such things about anything that bored his senses) i roamed a landscape filled with washes of greens and greys, not the ochres and rusts of the Southwest. the South would make more sense since reading Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. memories, however, steep longer in our mind, igniting the senses with tasted reality, than a black font across the page that then triggers a formation of lines and colors. we become audience, passively whispering our thoughts into a characters mind who shall never listen to our wisdom. we wish they would listen for we’ve tasted their death, it has been rebottled and reprinted with a label bound for the bottom shelf awaiting closure.
there was a certain amount of closure in that dream. some how we said good-bye. scratching the surface after twenty-four hours of eyes open, the mind’s eye doesn’t quite peer that deep anymore. a cliff overlook where we dined as cars zoomed past us. where did we expect to go after that, yet there was a pause in traffic when we stepped down to meet the ground from the mountain. it was too late, nothing remained sane after that. we moved on; the light was too bright from the East and my curtains are the colour of champaign…good for drinking up, but not for sleeping in.
remembering then forgetting. my father told me the other day that i had seen the Smokeys when we drove to Florida. i said, i don’t remember, i was only six. he said, no you were even younger, five.
why do i recall a glimpse of Disney’s haunted mansion, and overhearing that girl in line warning to watch for men that snatch young girls off coaster cars? why does the image of agonizing over cream fish net tubes of preselected seashells conjure a smell of dank water and a midwestern grocery trying to sell fresh seafood? where did those mountains go? i know, perhaps that was when all 45 pounds of little girl body wedged into backseat vinyl trying to sleep while fighting brother’s bony feet every inch of that cramped car. thank god the mind does forget the tortures of being trapped under the mercy of waiting and watching, hoping that someday the answer will be, yes, we are there.
how do you wish to die?
it was certainly a statement, clipped. it didn’t ooze patience. no, it was thick as blood off the lips of one whose questioning was calculating a motive. one could reason mortality with such questioning. does that mean it is up to me how i shall meet the final exit.
his hands flexed, fingers thick rolls of flesh with nail beds that showed sins of godlessness. how to reason with someone who views your last breath more as sport than game. could i outthink him to make it an ending of less pain. could this vessel be broken without being broken into. there was a whispering, somewhere.
will you really honor which ever way i say?
glazed eyes gleamed briefly. a glimpse into the machine. power ignites, there was no doubt his wheels were turning, waiting for a version of my dream. lie, it was the only way.
i cannot say.
i cannot give you an offering at such stakes.
it is not a fate i’ve ever dreamed.
the words came out in strings carefully stated without begging, without a sign of anything. his body remained in state. hand rests. the mouth drew a thin white line. heavy brown brows furrowed until a dent formed between his eyes. sweat begins to form.
it was an odd sensation, this feeling of being underwater not breathing while air kept sending strands of hair sideways. i prayed for wings. i prayed for fins. i prayed though i’d forgotten to whom to pray ~