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The Quicks
07-19-2013, 06:49 PM
To Which I Call Home
In the heart of the forest, where the trees became so nudged close that only a small boy could fit through, was a small clearing I escaped to, wishing to understand the turmoil between my parents. Being such a young child, I couldnít comprehend the division between them. I felt worn out, tired. As the battle between the two of them raged, I would cling to each of them, tears pooling around their feet as they brushed me to the side, bellowing phrases
(I know about him! How long has it been going on!)
that had little meaning to me.
With the roars of my parents at my back I ran into the forest behind our house, stumbling blindly through the brush as hot tears squirmed from my eyes, wavering patterns of trees and branches clubbing themselves against my face as I shook my way deeper and deeper, finally reaching the clearing. I breathed in harsh spasms, collapsing onto the grass with my forehead settling into the moist ground.
The damp grass engulfs me. Closing my eyes is bliss, like taking off a cast that has constricted your entire body for months. Guarded by trees, I feel safe. This is my safe place, this is my home. Squeezing my eyes tight enough blurs the vision of my parents red faces, veins bugging from their necks like tubes, rhetoric rage issuing from their mouths like rancid fire. I can fight the dancing images of pain. I can build a wall; I can survive.
Drifting up and away from this place I can find comfort, can search for the happiness that exists on the horizon. Keeping my eyes closed, I begin to count down from ten, hoping to be illuminated with future understanding.

(Ten,Nine,Eight)
Living through my parents divorce was a difficult time for me. In my eyes, they were the same person each time they stepped through the front door, unchanged and perfect. How could a ten year old kid like me understand the complex emotions that surge within a human, that tension wires can be snapped in an instant? Raised in a home that seemed flooded in warmth and stability, the sudden pendulum swing of our lives sent me tumbling to the ground. How could this happen to a family like us?
We had been a Scout group together, spending long hours sanding and carving wood blocks for the Pinewood Derby and Rain Regattaís. Our hands coated in saw dust, we worked meticulously on those blocks of wood, polishing and painting with careful swipes until those babies looked sleek as skin.
I never won. Never came close to winning. What was the point! I asked my parents once, Why should we spend all this time on something that wonít ever win? But they understood something I didnít. They knew that victory was formed in many ways. Surrounded by the oneís you love, the end result is never the destination. I may never boast a trophy for having the best block of wood and thatís fine for me. Because those hours we spent together, those nights spent spitting sawdust into the air, meant more to me than any recognition anybody could of supplied me with. Forever captured in those scenes is an unquenching amount of loyalty and trust, faith and gratitude. You taught me how to work as one. Together, we won. We won, together.
If I could send any advice back to my child self, back to that little boy who lay huddled in the woods, praying for strength, I would tell him this: Be still. It never makes sense, not at first anyway. The blinding darkness feels so lonely, but know that the fighting between mom and dad is only a necessary thing for their relationship. One day they will be beautiful. For now, let them grind and sand away at each other, let them figure out how to make it smooth again. When the room becomes congested, when it seems you canít hold on to your breath any longer and your eyes are rubbed red, remember that the dust will eventually clear up.

(Seven, Six, Five)
I was blissfully unaware of the man by mother was seeing for a short period. Perhaps consciously my mind has stored those memories deep down, refusing to allow me to dwindle over him. Thereís nights I wake up with a haggard vision of some no name stranger, a man with a goatee and a bullfrog voice. Maybe it would be easier if I could place a face to the man I hate with venom. Maybe, but itís easier to live under the cloak of ambiguity.
I do remember being at this guyís house once. It was during the day and he was out at work. My mom sat me on the living room couch and began cleaning the place up. And just like that we were leaving. Only years later did I realize where we were.
Once we had left the house mom asked if I wanted to go to the beach. She had been quiet and reserved all morning, maybe she felt the gentle breeze would elevate her feelings. But instead, a mile away from the beach she suddenly jerked the old mini-van into a deserted parking lot, not even bothering to put it in park. We sat in silence, hearing only the buzz of the unwavering sun. Her hands gripped the steering wheel like she was electrically charged. As she turned towards me her face fell, the corners of her lips quivering as she gently took my hand. I love you she repeated over and over, tears spilling down into her lap. I love you. That gaze of hers so full of sorrow that I saw the world fall in her eyes, could feel the weight of her life come tumbling down, tear after tear pouring from us both.
I saw mom lose her grip and I held on for her.
All these years later we hardly ever reflect back upon those days. Sometimes itís best to let the moment lay still, quiet the memory in your mind until it is nothing but murmured whisperings recognized only in the worst fits of sleep.
Little child in the woods, understand the horizon is wiped clean each day. Hold strong, for new beginnings arise at the conclusion of each day. Live for the day and dwell on nothing, child. Itís not your fault.

(Four, Three, Two)
Even divorced, my parents chose to live in the same house. For two years they continued fighting, sometimes not talking to each other for weeks. Eventually they wore each other down. But thatís not exactly as it sounds. Maybe itís better to say they finally sanded away their problems to live comfortably in the smooth niche they had created. During the final year we would ever live in that house on the hill, they were normal again. Friendly, energetic, healthy. But moving to another home seemed best. Sign the papers and sail from sight of the place that seems suspended over sharks.
That last spring, before we moved out and on, my mom set light to the back yard. With a gas can in her hand, matches shaking wildly from her grip, she twirled around the yard, burning away all the soggy leaves and gunk that had accumulated over the dark stretch of winter. She was bright with excitement, bubbling mad phrases
(Get the water can here boys! Burn and watch them curl away! Boys the water!)
that became snatched up in the wind, spiraling out into the neighborhood with the twisted tips of smoke rising from our lot. Never have I seen mom so full of glee. It was chaotic, who was this woman?
But it was beautiful to watch. Little bundles of orange flames snaking through the grass, skirting to break free into the surrounding brush. Little legs pumping, blonde hair swinging, she ran to and from, laughing the entire time as we watched from the porch.

(One)
When I was a small boy, I would run into the woods that surrounded our house and be lost from the world, from my parents strange new fighting. It felt like my safe place, somewhere to escape that seemed impenetrable, unchangeable. I wish I could reach back, nudge him to return home. Thereís nothing to hide from, the dark canít hold out forever. I wish I could show him the safe place he will find six years later, a place of absolute hope and stability.
Youíre standing at the front of a court room. Take it easy, this is your safe place. Mom and Dad stand together, tall, faces clear and true as they walk hand in hand in front of the judgeís perch. The judge smiles down, Are you Todd and Joanne? and of course they are, who else could they be but the ones they have formed and shaped together. And the judge arches his eyebrows, cocks his head to the side, spins the world around its axis before asking, And do you take Todd to be your husband? and you wait, knowing the question is a formality but living in the suspense of it, watching as she looks into Dadís face, eyes crystalized glass, her smile dancing from her very body as she says Yes
And youíre there. Comfortably still once more.
Home

Jean
07-19-2013, 11:52 PM
This is good. I mean it. Really fucking good. The chosen form is perfect. I felt my heart beating faster and faster as the countdown moved towards the beginning; how I am heartbroken. Bears loved.

Shannon
07-20-2013, 11:26 AM
Dear The Quicks,

I would like to personally invite you to submit a short story or poem for consideration for In Mint Condition: 2014.

See more information here (http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/showthread.php?17522-In-Mint-Condition-2014&p=787704&viewfull=1#post787704). Thank you.

Shannon

Jean
07-20-2013, 11:33 AM
Yes! I was just going to draw your attention to this piece

The Quicks
07-22-2013, 05:20 PM
Thank you both! I have submitted two entries

Jean
07-22-2013, 11:01 PM
http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k291/mishemplushem/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif (http://s91.photobucket.com/user/mishemplushem/media/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif.html)http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k291/mishemplushem/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif (http://s91.photobucket.com/user/mishemplushem/media/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif.html)http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k291/mishemplushem/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif (http://s91.photobucket.com/user/mishemplushem/media/Facilitation/bear_thumb.gif.html)

nawaz
11-03-2014, 08:20 AM
This is good. I mean it. Really fucking good. The chosen form is perfect. I felt my heart beating faster and faster as the countdown moved towards the beginning; how I am heartbroken. Bears loved.



__________
Nawaz

whyto
02-14-2016, 04:40 AM
1 boy's story and thank you very much for sharing yourselves