Thursday, February 14, 2013
Gone Rogue - Practicing writing my memior
Mindlessly pushing piece after piece of thick terry cloth, the color of the forest, while inhaling the smell of dye, the flavor of rotten eggs, my nose collects a jar of toxic cotton balls even the Grinch would never use. Eventually, I relax into a fantasy, letting the four-spooled surge machine pull one washcloth after another through my fingers until I feel the sticky film of pond scum-like moisture from the wet dye, stick to the creases of my finger tips. I emerge from the textile factory, floating away to another place and time.
Often, I ended up at the mall. Shopping wasn't my thing. I didn't imagine my shoulders growing weary, carrying five shopping bags on each arm, while my fingers ached for relief from the ropey handles. Instead, I found myself leading a group of other vigilante warriors clad With automatic rifles and semi automatic hand guns. The mall has become ground zero for a terrorist attack. It was up to me to lead a group of fearless, young adults through a maze of flying bullets and large, angry men. If we didn't calculate every move, another life was lost.
My group appeared to walk straight from a movie set for Terminator. My straight-legged jeans, snaking tightly into my knee-high black, leather boots were no larger than a size 4 around my six-pack waist. A thin black T-shirt covered my breasts underneath a biker jacket. Arms donned with leather tassels, dancing with attitude along my arms would have easily provoked a blister along the cheek bone of an intruder.
The adrenaline pumping through my body hummed and rumbled as loud as the weave looms in the room next to our sewing shop. Large metal laundry bins, filled with 480 washcloths, soon turned to buckets on wheels full of ammo. One after another, from midnight until 8:00am, I would haul away empty shells and bring another full of bullets, ready to pierce the knee caps and hearts of the terrorists at the mall.
I was fearless. The smell of metal exploding with gunfire created a glow in my eyes, bright enough to singe the eyebrows of those bad men. My teeth glaring a "bring-it-on" smile invited each less-than-human thought to invade my mind, taking me deeper to the dark side.
I was interrupted with the sound of a girl crying, hiding somewhere under a fortress of clothing, still marked for sale, which had once hung on a circular rack in the department store. Biceps bulging from cocking a shotgun with one arm would rise to the occasion of another metal scraping "click", loading a bullet into the chamber. I headed in the direction to the sound of tears and terror.
Angry enough to turn roofing nails into thumb tacks, I would become aware I had been grinding my teeth. Fading back to the crime scene at the mall, the sick, sweet taste of blood would penetrate my thoughts like a down spout for gutters on a two-story house. Upon hearing my approach, a masked man, covered in blood would dart from one smashed counter of glass and broken perfume bottles to the women's dressing room, often ducking to avoid the chase of my bullets. Yet I made the decision to stop, side-tracked by a child-like cry from a grown woman's voice.
A soft, breathless sob created the rhythm of a slow bass drum in my ears. Knowing my chest was visibly pounding one beat after another, forcing me to take a deep breath. I pulled back the mound of blood stained garments, price tags tangled, ripping fabric. Eventually, the fortress uncovered the secret, a barely covered woman laying in the fetal position, arms wrapped to cover her face and breasts. Knees drawn to her chest with feet crossed and tucked to cover her bloody private area.
It's not me laying there. So why am I feeling nauseated, confused? She is the tormented soul, trapped in a bruised and bleeding body. The smell hits my nose, burning the hairs from my nostrils, reminding me why I am fighting this war on terror. Brut. a trace of that cheap aftershave wafts past my nose and I think I will be sick.
Wanting to cover the secret, wanting to rescue this victim of rape, wanting to chase down the perpetrator and rip his skin from his face, destroying his identity, I wrestle with my thoughts for what to do with the crying little girl inside this woman's body. Salt water trickles down my face, burning my skin. I realize the tears are mine.
Gently, I wrap a large garment around her almost naked body. With eyes sharp as and eagle's, I watch for the perp but focus my attention on her, pulling her close. She rests her head on my chest. I wrap my arms around her shivering body, careful not to leave her exposed. I feel her shame as if it is my own. I fight the need to pick her up and carry her to the penny fountain, baptizing her body to wash away the soiled experience, to wash him away from her.
My skin feels repellent to the touch of hers. For a moment, I almost tossed her back onto the pile of clothes. Then I remember she is the one who has been hurt. She is the one I came back for. She is really me. I cannot abandon her twice.