Thursday, Aug 21, Spring 2012
It’s the things that you remember that keep you alive. I’d rather forget. But I can’t. I quickly lift myself on the counter of the abandoned gas station to evade the attendant that snuck up behind me as I was leaning over to check for any dead. This is where I am. Somewhere in Texas kicking my feet at what is left of a gas station attendant. My eyes skim over the word Bub on his name tag and I find myself wondering what Bub was like before he had half his face hanging off. Maybe he was nice. Maybe he was salt of the earth. But now he is less than two feet from my face. The only thing stopping him from eating half of it off are my two arms pressed against his chest as he inches closer to me, pinning me to the counter. I look around desperate to find anything to protect myself and my brains from Bub. Desperate but not hopeful I scan past displays of gum and candy. I look directly above my head and see cartons of cigarettes stocked and notice they are organized by color. It reminds me of the garment rack conveyer at the dry cleaners. I suddenly remember I never picked up Dad’s shirts from the cleaners almost a year ago. Bub moves in closer. I feel hot tears fill my eyes as I realize I am going to die while wondering where I left my dry cleaning ticket. Bub is so close I can smell the rotted skin hanging from his face. I turn my head from the stench and something on top of the cash register next to me catches my eye. A railroad spike that has been welded to stand up straight and hold spiked receipts. I take one hand from his chest and with it goes what is left of my strength. His body smashes against mine as his hands paw at my chest. The material of my suede jacket is the only thing keeping him from ripping me open. I grab for the spike and realize it is just out of my reach. I want to cry out but I know it will take too much energy and draw more of the wrong kind of attention. I start to hit the register with one hand hoping to knock the spike off while my other hand is stopping Bub’s face from eating mine. The spike doesn’t move. I look in his eyes. They used to be brown but have become the muddiest red like Georgia clay. I feel myself giving up. My mind starts to close out the horror that’s in front of me. It takes me to a different place. A better place.
Somedays I feel just as dead inside as the lifeless eyes that lurk and follow waiting to catch their prey and make me one of them. Waiting to take away what little light I have left in my cold blue eyes. I don’t know what stops me from letting them have it. From walking into a herd of flesh eaters like they were oncoming traffic at Time Square. It’s the memories that will you to live even when life isn’t worth living anymore. Try and forget all you want but the life you lived is still there and as long as it exists in your mind, in your heart, in your soul; then the hope for having it again will never leave you. Like a dream that wakes you from your slumber when all you wanna do is sleep. Like a dream that keeps you awake when you’re so tired. I’m so tired. I remember being unable to feel anything but the ice cold water in my veins. I remember trying to kick but only sinking further and further. I remember the light from the day above the water starting to go dark. I was so sleepy. I forgot about fighting my way to the top. I stopped kicking my legs. Just as my eyes closed I saw hands reach in the water and grab a hold of me. My mother’s hands pulled me from the water to the shocking cold of the surface. She shook me awake, willing me to live. It’s the things you remember that keep you alive.
September 17th. Put that date on your calendar. Check back here often!