The years of being marginalized and misunderstood eventually resulted in my avoidance of them. Initially, seeing them once a year and even that became too much frustration to deal with: two hours of idle meaningless talk was unbearable. The dead weight fell to the floor and I leap from my chair to see the unmoving body with lifeless eyes staring into eternity. Of all my curiosities, I’ve never desired to see someone die, not a stranger, not someone I’ve know for years. No, I don’t want to see a person die. The adrenaline flowing. Fight or flight. Fight or flight. I jumped and raced to the phone, no, not the kitchen phone, it is a rotary-precious seconds would be lost. Continuing down the hall, like a short artery, that spilled into the guest room, the bath, my room and their room. Pulling the receiver with more force than necessary and pounding the “9” key and with intent of following with the rapid succession ones, the receiver returns to the cradle.
Everything in the house was still, the only sound is my heavy breathing and the blood rapidly pushing through my head. Maybe I don’t hear the blood flowing, but I only feet it. I deliberately and cautiously leave the bedroom, slowly making my return through the hall and returning to the kitchen with the steady and meaningful pace that has accompanied me since I turned from the phone and left the bedroom. I continue past the refrigerator and see the goal: to find some fleeting meaning in years of suffering. Earlier in the afternoon, while in the basement, the heating repair man and I heard father fall upstairs. The police will inquire of my version of events and the repairman will confirm it. The staff at the local DQ will also confirm in their homespun style that I would often stay for hours and today was not exceptional, not for what I said or what I did: writing for hours. My right hand pulls the cabinet drawer and I turn to alignment myself to the now open drawer revealing the various rolls of plastic wrap that have rested there for almost a decade, waiting, it seems to me, for this moment, that it, too, many have a nobler purpose than covering leftover food. Kneeling, the plastic finds its place. I never wanted to see some die. Not now, not ever. Focus on the corner of the laundry room.. Yes, the Italian shore. See, Tamino enters.. “Zu hilfe, zu hilfe…” That’s it. Concentrate on that until the ladies start arguing. That will be enough time. Time enough. The plastic now crumpled and in my right pocket, I reach for the truck keys, whose home is not the ignition, but hanging on the wall. The key’s vacation, the time away from their home is the ignition, like the Italian shore. A vacation. A getting way. A peaceful rest.
Violent pounding followed by hysterical screaming. Nature's “fight or flight” is antithetical to coherently conveying what and where. The panic of death, of never wanting to see a person die. No morbid curiosity to witness a person's death. No, not now, not ever.
The moment of truth.
Revealed as the beginning and the end.
The beginning and the end.
Beginning and end.