Train Ride

Train Ride

by Thadd Presley

 

I met her on a train between Sussex and Hamby Abbey and
immediately had a connection with her. Even before she sat down, I was hoping she would speak to me. I was surprised that she chose my cabin to enter to begin with and it seemed my day was looking up already.

Train rides were always awkward for me. Meeting people and
having them ask you questions was the thing I hated worst than anything. I am shy and it’s always been hard for me to talk to girls. Especially, girls for whom I feel a connection. But, somehow, I knew she was different. I felt I could talk to her and I wanted her to talk to me.

“Hey, pretend you’re my boyfriend.” She said.

“Huh?”

“Pretend you are my boyfriend,” she said. Then, without a second
passing, she leaned over and kissed my mouth. It was a hot kiss that
made my blood boil. There was a bit of spit involved and it made me
tingle fro head to toe. My body was vibrating from the touch of her lips.

I was glad I didn’t have to answer her request, because I would have
messed it up. I couldn’t believe I had said , “Huh.”

While she kissed me someone opened the door and seen us.
While the kiss lasted, the door stayed open, then she broke the kiss with a pop and a small string of saliva bridged our lips. Faintly from
somewhere, somewhere far away, I heard the door close. “That was a close one,” she said. “Man, that guy has followed me four mornings in a row.”

To my disbelief, I almost asked “huh” again, barely
managing to stop myself. My face was still vibrating from the touch of her lip. I could actually feel her kiss on my lips.

“You saved me.” She said and smiled. “That guy was stalking
me.”

“No problem.” I said, trying to sound cool. “Do you want if I tell
him to leave you alone?”

“No,” she waved him off, “he got the message. He was only bothering
me because he thought I was an easy target. If He’ll leave me alone now. And if he doesn’t I have you.”

The words made me feel more alive than I knew possible. I was ultra-alive and we were connected. We were truly one with each her. Who have I ever kissed or felt this way with?

No one. I had never been so comfortable with anyone this
fast.

Who had ever made me feel this way?

No one, that’s who.

“I hope I didn’t scare you off with that kiss,” she said. “It was
all wrong. That wasn’t a good first kiss. I didn’t get to prepare.”

I smiled. “Are you prepared now?”
“Yeah,” I said. “This time, I think I am.” She leaned in and I got ready
for the greatest kiss of my life. A kiss with my soul-mate. This was really it, I thought. The special someone who I have a real connection.

I couldn’t believe my luck. She leaned in and my lips began to go numb….
BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP

I was suddenly awake, sweating, and lying in a steaming mess of
blankets and sheet. I suddenly knew where I was and I knew what had happened, but I tried to push it away. I tried to tell myself that she was real. But, there was no use, deep inside I knew that it was only a dream.
There was no girl, there was no kiss, nothing. And now, I
couldn’t even see her face.

Damn dreams!! Damn my dreams…

Damn!!

I rolled to the side of the bed and mentally prepared myself to
go to work. One thing was certain. I would definitely take the train into work today.

A Turn South

A Turn South

by Thadd Presley

“She’s worse, Pa,” Maggie said, coming down from the attic, “she won’t even touch the biscuits and I put jelly on ’em special.”

Of course, I couldn’t help it. When I heard that Angela wouldn’t eat, I started cryin’ and Pa tore off in a tantrum.

After Pa had left Maggie got up and took as if she was goin’ to slap me, sayin’ that I was drivin’ Pa to drinkin’ ag’in and that I needed to quit my cryin’. That made me feel worse than ever because all I ever wanted to do was help.

John came down from Angela’s room then and just looked at us. During the few seconds, where us girls just looked at john, he said, “Call Doc Morgan,” then he looked toward the window. “Tell him she has taken a turn south.”

June, the youngest of us, asked what “a turn south” meant and that made me start cryin’ again, because she was so innocent, but John didn’t answer. We all knew that Angela was gonna die and she would be with Momma in heaven. And although these two thoughts conflicted each other in emotion, they seemed to make the other worse; on the one hand, I felt so bad about Angela and I never wanted her to die, but I also knew she wanted to be with Ma and that she mourned her the most, being as she was Ma’s favorite, but I also didn’t want her to see Ma because that wouldn’t be fair. I also wanted to see Ma. So she couldn’t die, that was it.

John had the phone to his ear and I could see the disappointment in his eyes, and then his face seemed to fall, and I thought is this what the bible meant when it said that Cain’s countenance fell?” Somehow I knew it was right and John’s countenance had just fallen. Then John said, “the doc ain’t home, he’s out on a house-call.”

I thought a moment about praying, because Pa said prayer could make any situation better, but before I could a knock came on the door. Then Pa’s voice called out. “Might as well go on in doc, since as you done come all this way.”

“Thank you.” The doc said, and I heard the door handle turn. I looked toward John to see if he had realized and immediately knew he had. The doc was here. To myself I felt that the prayer was working and I hadn’t even said it yet.

The doc came in and went straight up to see Angela. He nodded at John, on his way, and smiled to us girls, but the smile was only for appearances. It didn’t show any of the doc’s real emotions. I could tell by his eyes and by the way he held is breath that something was bothering him.

He was always so nice, I thought.

Ten minutes after the doc had disappeared up the flight of steps going to the attic, Pa came through the door with a load of split wood. “where’s that quack at?” He bellowed, breathing hard from the chopping. “I got a supper to cook and you girls needs’da finish your outside chores.” He dropped the wood into the box behind the stove. “John?”

“Yes, Pa?”

“Are you going to tell me where the doc is, or do I need to smoke him out myself?”

“Oh,” he looked up the steps. “He’s in with Angela.”

“Bless that man for caring,” he said and looked at the roof. “Bless him for trying. But girls, and you John, you know what he is doing is tampering in God’s business, right? You know he is trying to be the Lord himself.”

I could see John’s mind turning over and over and I felt Pa’s words grow bigger and bigger in the air, just asking for someone to bust them so all the insides could fly out and make everything worse. “Yes, Sir.”

“‘Cause it’s the Lord that determines life and death. Just like before…”

“Before was different, Abe,” the doc said from the stairs, “and I thought you might have learned something from you wife’s,” he seemed to watch Pa, “condition. Why did you wait so long to call me?”

“What I want to know is how you found out?”

The doc finished the three last steps and came into the living room. “My wife heard it at church. During the women’s study group Yvonna asked for everyone to remember the little Ramsey girl. Of course, my wife told me, thinking I should check in.”

“Does she know how me and my family feels about good for nothin’ know-it-all’s meddlin’ in God’s business?”

The doc didn’t answer, he only looked at Pa. Then, he seemed to relax. “No, Abe, she does not,” he paused, “and the reason is this: I don’t think she could understand what you did.”

“Do you think she will understand it this time?”

“I think she would have a hard time believing it.”

“I am still firm in my belief, and I don’t want my daughter taking them elixirs and potions you’re cooking up down in town. You can keep it.”

“Abe, if you would have given your wife only a few doses of that bottle…just a few…” he hung his head. “Do you realize that she would still…”

“The Lord knows what He’sa doin’,” Abe bellowed. “You should know that. You went to school didn’ye?”

The doc looked at us kids, and then back at my father. “Damn you Abraham Ramsey, damn you to hell.”

John shot out of his chair then. “I’m sorry, doc, but they’s won’t be none of that. We don’t swear in this house.”

“Mind the children Shelby,” Pa said, as he stood up, “I’m takin’ this man to his horse and I’ll see to it that he gets down the road.”

“Let me do it Pa,” John said,” grabbing his hat. “I’ll make sure he get’s fer good.”

“Hold on,” the doc called, “now just hold on.” He looked at John. “We need to help your sister first. Now, I took on a hunch and brought the medicine she needs. She should only take two spoons a day until she gets better and then…”

“And then nothin’,” John said. “Now, get outside and on your horse.”

The doc turned and went out the door. His head was low and John was right behind him. “I will not have you deciding God’s fate in my home,” Pa said. “And that’s that. The Lord is something you can trust in.”

“You will live to regret your errors, Abraham, and you will never forgive yourself.” Then quietly, John and the doc walked outside.

I watched as John and the doc were in the window. Pa didn’t pay them any mind. Pa knew that John would get him on his way and that the doc would go easily. His face was turned down and I could see his lips moving. He was praying.

In the window, I saw the doc give John a dark colored bottle and John hid it under his coat. They shook hands and the doc left. Then John came back in.

He sat back down for a while in the living room, but no one said anything for a long time, and then he said, “I’m going to check on Angela.” Then stood up to go upstairs.

“Take that coat off,” Pa called.

“Yes sir,” John said, but walked on up the stairs as if he wasn’t disobeying a direct roder. When he vanished behind Angela’s door, I felt a lot better. I couldn’t help but to think, that if we would have been older and wiser last year, we could have saved our dear Ma.

The Universe is inside of us

Have an of you ever heard the music created by Symphony of Science. It is really an experience to listen to it, even though it’s a collection of scientist’s talks set yo an auto-tuned track. I’ve always been truly impressed by the songs they have.  Take a moment and listen to “We Are All Connected.

Carl Sagan said that the Universe created humanity because it wanted to know itself. I take it a step further and say that we have eyes because the cosmos wanted to see itself. I also believe that all of our atoms were created inside of stars. Inside of each and everyone of us are pieces from all points in Time and parts that came from many places in the Universe. It’s amazing to think that at one time the elements we are made from did not exist. Therefore, before we were possible, iron and oxygen and many other atomic structures had to be imagined and created. Only later did it become possible to have organic machines as complicated as we are.

There is a famous photo taken by on of the Space Telescopes that looks like an eye.

galaxy_eye_space_1440x900_hd-wallpaper-77821

The last time I wrote about metaphysics and our amazing existence, I told how I thought Super Clusters looked like bigger versions of neurons in our brains. I explained how our consciousness might continue to exist as part of this larger structure even after our bodies die. The similarities of such large structures and tiny ones inside of our bodies can not be a coincidence. There is a bigger picture out there and we will someday find it.

You can read my last post on super clusters and neurons here:  http://fictionweekly.net/what-happens-when-we-die/

The galaxy above is amazing, but below I leave you with another beautiful representation of how our Universe exists right inside of us.  Our eyes look more like galaxies than the galaxy above looks like an eye.   Isn’t this unbelievable.

 

eye of the galaxy
Each eye is a galaxy of it’s own

What happens when we die?

Some of you don’t know that I am a student of metaphysics and the global consciousness and tat we have the ability to alter our reality. Some of you only visit the blog to read poetry of short stories.

This has been a hard year for me. I’ve lost many friends, which has me thinking about life and death tonight. Here is my summation of what could be possible.

Does our brain waves simply disappear when we die? Do we have a place to go after this world and this body has deteriorated? Besides our spirit or soul, what lives on after death? Many of these questions can’t be answered with accuracy from this side of the life/death threshold. But, if we look around us we see many things that resemble other things many ways. For example, an atom resembles a mini solar system, a river system looks like a lightening strike, and something recently discovered was the amazing similarities between super clusters in space and neurons in our brains.

Then, we have maths that go deeper than all of these discoveries which we use to try and understand the amazing underlying complexity of the world and how it is built up from simple mathematical expressions such as the Mandelbrot Set, and the Fibonacci Sequence.

All of these amazing discoveries proved over and over that we are part of a bigger picture and our understanding of the universe isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination. The mystery of dark matter and dark energy is only one example of what we don’t know.

The fact that a neuron looks like a super cluster give me the idea that all of our memories, our experiences, our lessons, and more than anything our personalities have a larger interface to connect to once we pass on to the next phase of our experience.

Someone once said that “the Universe created us so that it could know itself better.” Maybe it was Carl Sagan.

The Greek believed that what we saw “out there” was “schema.” Nothing but the reflection of ourselves. Sometimes I wonder just how much ancient knowledge we have lost, because know that we can see 13 billion years into the past and we can see the movement of brain waves along with the ability to create living, working neurons, it seems the Greeks might have been right. The universe is a like us.

My theory is this: when we die, our information goes from the operating system inside our craniums and uploads to the giant operating system in the sky.

Gigantic Planet

Gigantic Planet

by Thadd Presley

With walls built high to the sky,
and seated on the mountain high
the shielded city shined so bright.
Only the cannons divided the night
every time a missile’s scream let fly.
And my mom told us not to cry,
for we would find our way back in time.

The idea took centuries of planning.
It was the undertaking of supreme understanding
and physics that included the greatest mathematics.

We began catching unknown radio-static
And combined with unparalleled skills of mechanics.

Lift off had to be perfect because this planet was Huge Gigantic.
The fuel was posi-electric, the engine quasi-magnetic.
We stood in a circle with our hands connected
and waited silently while the solar collected

The ship was a solar-quantum drive
designed for outer-galaxy flight
created by one of the Great Elder Nine.
Those Elder Ones who had positron-organic minds.
Both robot and human, the only nine still alive
Surviving the war of an ancient time.

Inside the ship was a symmetrical atomic receptor
adapted to fit the solar collector,
and in the form of two towering rings
stood the statues called the Batteries.

Did I tell you, the planet was Humongous Gigantic
with underground laboratories very deeply planted?
Because the past was so terrible and utter fantastic.
Tales of life, and war and love so romantic
and the sorrowful hatred by mankind was tragic.

Underground were homes built by a forgotten race,
who had been here a long time, but now lived in space.
Once they were humans, but the virus gave waste
It was agony for those left behind, some screaming
The whole world watch a world where infection was teaming.
Never to return, the ships left one by one long into the evening.

We traveled to a new galaxy and saw the cold surface.
We called this new planet, the Calla Bryn Sturgis.
The green air here made the scientists and military nervous.
Never before had the priest preached so a long service

But soon we would have to open the door.
There was plenty fresh air, but out there lived much more?

The zoo we brought for the new world to be filled
Many creeping things and animals and humans, but still

life would have to forge it’s own way and it wouldn’t be a pretty dance
We went so far in space that we would only got this one chance.

With our breaths held and our eyes squeezed shut
the big door squeaked opened and the air suddenly gushed

It wasn’t poisonous or acid and it didn’t give spark
So we left our ship, the craft we called “The Ark”

and stepped out into a new world to get a fresh start.
My mom told me, in order to make our lives fantastic

We were brought to a safe place, where a promise lasted.
I smiled and asked if this world was like the old, home planet.
She shook her head, smiled, and said:
“No sweetheart, our old home was Huge Gigantic.”

Unite

In 2012 I became the bass player for the band Minor Nine. We never got famous, but we made an album in 2013 and had a blast playing shows. For almost three years I practice Saturday and Sunday and played almost 200 shows. During our time together I learned a lot about music and a lot about getting shows.

It hard to keep a band together. Everyone has a role to play as a member of the band, as well as a life they much continue to live at home. The two lives are often at odds, leaving hard choices to be made weekly.

We did however create amazing music. We had a diverse group of musicians. Even though there was only 4 of us, the age range when we started was 13, 28, 34, and 60.  We all had different backgrounds and somehow it worked magically. With a set list of 30 originals we set out across Tennessee and played show after show meeting really cool bands and even cooler people. One show we played with Swedish metal band Avatar is my claim to rock and roll fame.

I quit the band for many reasons. I suppose the biggest reason being the band falling apart from the inside. I had better things to do than watch it crash, so I took my gear and went home. Simple as that.

I created a few videos for the music we created.  The one that follows is “Unite.”  The words came from a poem I wrote years ago and the music and voice is Rex Green. He and I have a special ability to create music. I don’t think I’ll ever meet another person like him and I’m sorry we aren’t working together all the time.

At one time, it was amazing how we were climbing in the scene. Now, I’m not talking about fame and fortune. I’m only talking about the little music scene in Knoxville, Tennessee.Yeah, I know it’s not Long Beach, but it was our patch of the scrap yard and I enjoyed it.

The music in the video was created by Rob Ruddick, Matt Fahey, Rex Green and Thadd Presley.  I hope you enjoy.

 

 

Dear Michael

Dearest Michael,

I hope this letter reaches you. I have so much to be thankful for and everyday is a blessing. But, honestly, I am afraid I’ll not see you again.

I sewed up a deep wound today and this is how it went:

“Please hold still,” I told the patient nervously, knowing that he did not understand what I said. “If you keep moving this will not heal…”

“He does not care to heal.” The words came from an elder who stood behind me, watching me closely. The man wore a mask, as did the young man I operated on, and so far, he has been the only one to speak to me in English. “He only wants to fight once more before he dies.” The man on the table jumped as the needle pressed into his skin, jerking the needle from my hand. “To die on this table will endanger his life in Paradise, to have you touch him has made him unclean, that is why he cannot die. If he dies here he will certainly go to hell.”

“I’m doing the best I can,” I told the man, holding the needle close to ripped flesh, “but if he keeps moving he will certainly die here.”

At this point the man on the table passed out. Maybe from fear of eternal damnation, maybe from the loss of blood. His leader must have thought he died because he hit me with in the stomach with the butt of his rifle. I fell to the floor. Suddenly, angry words came from outside the room.

I hate to be telling you this, but I have to tell someone.

I am now directly in the middle of a holy war, although nothing about it seems holy. I knew where I was going to be before I came here, but I did not tell you the truth. I apologize for that. I told you I would be living in Jerusalem, but that is not where I went. Instead I went to a small town near the Syrian border because they needed doctors.

I am still at the school house, just like I said in my last letter. Remember, I told you about the children who were learning English and Bible scripture? That was true, but the children are no longer here. Only a small, rubble-filled building remains. The entire village has been abandoned.

Before the militants came, we had transformed school room into triage and another into a small operating theater. Doctors from the area came regularly to learn new procedure. As a result, many people were receiving medicine. Only now, it all seems pointless. All of our work has been reduced to smoking remains.

Don’t be mad, I’m so sorry.

We heard the explosions getting closer days ago.  We decided we would all go back to Jerusalem. I wanted to leave so bad and come home to you and the kids, but it all happened so quickly. Before we had a chance to pack, men arrived and began giving us orders. It seemed they only wanted medical attention, when we were taken hostage.

We are now trapped and the leader — I can’t spell his name — killed Steven and Matthew. He cut their heads off while they were still alive. I started crying because they were the only men with us and they beat me.

Now there’s only three women in our group and we are all Christian. It seems our captors have no conscience about what they do to us.  One minute they do not want to look at us, then their hands are all over us doing terrible things. Patricia has been wounded and won’t stop bleeding. I have tried all I can. I’m afraid she will die soon. I am the only surgeon left and I think I will be kept alive, but I do not know how long.

I’m sure this will be my last letter to you, my love. I don’t want you to worry. By the time you get this letter I will either be saved or dead. I need you to know that I am not afraid to die. I feel that I am doing God’s work even when I sew together the enemy’s wounds. I can feel mother’s presence all the time.

Please, give the children my love and tell them that I am with the angels. Tell them I am with grandma. Will you do that?

For now, I just am trying to think of my mother and how we used to stay up late and sew quilts for the homeless. Momma always told me I had the hands of a surgeon. When I graduated and began work at the hospital, she told me I could change the world with God’s guidance. Even now, I believe that is true.

Please dearest Michael, do not mourn me for too long. Your love is so strong and it has been my greatest strength here. Promise me that you will show another your wonderful love.

Yours forever and ever,



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

A Ghazal and a fun Haiku Chain

I often write poetry as a way to relax. This is a few poems I found that I’d written in 2008, back before I wrote Poetry Principia. They still make me smile and I hope they will you as well.  I know that Haiku are usually about nature. These are not, though they do reflect my nature.

The last poem is a ghazal.   I put an explanation of a Ghazal below from poets.org for those who are interested in poetry.

“The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning.

Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians.”

  excerpt:  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-ghazal


Fun Haiku

The Implant

the lines move faster
if you get the chip implant
you can get cash back


Therapeutic Reading

I’m going to read
sit back and relax to words
yeah that’s the ticket


Smart Cops

It was broadcast live
America’s Most Wanted
suspect got away


Cascading Cellulite

She sat before me
with her second set of thighs
cascading downwards

Birthday 2009

A new Lovecraft book
H.P. for my birthday rocks
and a movie too


She called me Stupid

I was called stupid
I ask dumb questions sometimes
if I need to know

Writing Caused This

A blog can hurt me
a comment can make me fly
writing incites both

Divorce

You’re my one and only
well, besides those few women
But, they mean nothing.


The Ghazal

“The Night I Write”

Sitting near the window, under the moon, In the light I write
Harvesting thoughts that form from dreams, during the night I write

It has been my pleasure to write about my life, an undertaking of soul
As it happens, my lines bright design illuminates the night I write

Dark characters do die too soon to be born alive once again to sin
and hide in the shadow and in the dens to survive the night I write

The village where I create my men and the wives they so love
comes ever so close to disaster within the darkness of the night I write

The men cry, “Thad, thou hast done ill and evil to us mere men.
”I have learned they deplore all the sins and despise the night I write.

Transplant

Transplant

by Thadd Presley

She has no patience. Neither does he, for that matter. We must except that Love is something on which we all must wait. Wait all those long years to grow up, then wait for that special someone. If we are adults by this time, we wait respectfully for the divorce to be final, for the hurt to heal, so life can finally begin again.

Some of us — some of them, I mean — can’t wait for anything. They pick up everything they have, through away all they can’t carry, and trek to the love they’ve found. Resettle their roots, rebuild their futures, meet new friends, and begin to learn about their new life. For some it works wonders, like destiny manifest down from the stars.  Others, though, have a hard time of it.

Like a patient who gets an organ transplant, they take their medicine, the do the therapy, and hope it takes. All the while,  their life begins to seep from their unconscious mind and set in motion the nightmarish fever dream they have always feared would come. So much energy went into creating the monster that now causes them to cast about and say the wildest things.

As if their body rejected the much needed organ, their life slips from their control. They can’t hold onto anything. Everything they touch disappears. Their hopes and good intentions bleed over into the dream-foam from which they’ve constructed their worst fears.

Nothing satisfies them. Things they feel, taste, and want only remind them that they are not happy. All this happens while the real world ebbs and flows around them, many wonderful things go unnoticed. Their friends look on, knowing the symptoms and causes, but not what to do or how to help.

There’s no pattern to their destruction. One day everything’s good, the next day everything’s rotten. The people who care most are hurt the worst. Watching a friend in such misery brings into contrast how sickly and fragile many relationships are and how powerfully strong they can be.

Everyday dream beauty into the future, hope amazing things into your path, place yourself in a protective guiding light showing the way. These things take time to come to fruition, but she has no patience and neither does he, for that matter.

The Breakup

  “The Break Up”
by Thadd Presley

She called me from a pay phone downtown and told me it was over. She didn’t cry and she didn’t explain. She just said that it was over and she realized she no longer loved me . When I pleaded with her to tell me what was going on and how this could have happened, she blamed it on the summer and my part-time job at the mall. She said if I would have only been around more she would have never met Brad. Brad who, I asked. His name was like being doused in freezing water; out of no where, it stopped me in my tracks. How could she do this? How could she be with someone else so quickly? When I asked her if she had cheated on me, she hung up. I listened to the phone beep for three full minutes before it stopped. I continued to hold it to my ear for a minute longer. Then, I threw it against the wall.
During our argument, I kept my voice low. My father used to like Sally, but since he learned we were dating he didn’t want her around the house and wouldn’t let us be together, which is why I took the job at the mall. It gave me a reason to be out of the house and a place we could meet and see each other.
I knew my dad was downstairs. I imagined him sitting in his reclining chair, drinking scotch, when I was on the phone. Then he heard the crash of the telephone and I didn’t have to imagine anymore.
I knew he was on his way because the chair makes a certain sound when it is closed to fast, like a spring being tightened too much. It wasn’t fifteen seconds before I heard his thuds coming up the stairs. There wasn’t any chance he was going to my brothers room, although Jimmy’s room was across the hallway from mine. My dad never thudded to Jimmy’s room. It was only towards me that my father thudded.
Bang, Bang!! went my bedroom door and then it opened quickly enough to send a gust of air across my small roll-top desk. Two pages of algebra notes were caught up and swooped onto the floor. My dad’s eyes were bloodshot and he wasn’t in a good mood. He hadn’t gone into work for the last three days and he’d spent most of the time in the living room watching television. Now, that my mother was gone for good, he could drink at home. He used to go to the bar, three blocks away.

He surveyed my room for a moment, looking for something out of place. When I didn’t say what the noise was, he spoke: “Why are you crying?”
“I’m not,” I said and cringed.
“Don’t lie to me.” He rubbed his hands together. “Just don’t give me a reason tonight, I’m not in the mood.”
“I’m not giving you a reason.”

It wasn’t the first time my dad hit me, but it hurt worse than ever before. He never hit me hard enough to hurt, it was more of a warning, but the damage was always there. Killing very slowly my heart and spirit.

When I sat still and didn’t respond, he stepped forward. “You want that I do it again?” He asked this in a tone that I knew was going to get worse the longer I didn’t cooperate. But I got a surprise. His face changed, his hands went down. When he realized I was genuinely upset, his voice softened.
“Why are you crying? Tell me.”
“I’m crying because Sally broke up with me and pretty much admitted she has been dating someone else.” A wave of sadness filled me, tears ran from my eyes, not in drops but gushed. I coughed and gagged on the emotions that came out. I’d never cried so hard in my life, not even when mom left. I was having a break down.
Then dad started laughing.
“Is that all?” He said, turning toward the hall. “Hey Jimmy, come here. Hurry.”

I looked at him in disbelief. How could he be laughing at me? He knew how hard this relationship had been. How much I’d sacrificed to be with her. He had to know how hard it was going to be for me because of how much I loved Sally.
He knew…

My brother poked his head into my room. “Jimmy, look here,” my dad beamed with happiness, “we got some great news today and I want the whole house to hear it.”
Jimmy had heard from his bedroom and all the commotion, but he was too nervous to comment, so my father did it all for him.
“That’s right, Jimmy,” my dad continued, “Sally done called and broke the relationship off.” He put his hands up, “Thank God!! Am I right?”
This made me so mad that, for a moment, I didn’t care what happened to me. I stood up knowing I was going to punch my dad, but Jimmy saved the day.

He looked at me and noticed the small spot of blood at the corner of my mouth. “You mean, you’re not going to hit Joselyn anymore?”
“That‘s right son.”
“So, it’s true,” he asked me. “Sally really broke up with you and you’re not going to be a lesbian anymore?”
I started to say something, but my dad interrupted. “That’s right Jimmy, your sister’s not a dike anymore and we can all go back to the way it was.”
This brought such a big smile to my younger brother and I couldn’t do anything that would take that smile away. He’s suffered right along with me.
“Dad’s right. Sally broke up with me and it’s over. Cool, huh?”

He jumped for joy. My dad stood up and gave me a hug. Then he kissed my forehead. “Damn, this is such a good night.” I smelled the scotch on his breath and for the first time in my life I wondered if it would help me forget Sally ever existed. “I gotta call Fred. He’s been having the same problem with his daughter.”
I quickly glanced at the corner and saw the broken phone beside my tattered Teddy bear.
“Would you call from downstairs, so I can get ready for bed? I just want to sleep for now.”
“Sure, anything you want, darling, anything you want.” my dad said as he was leading my brother our of my room. “Anything you want…”