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Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1512638
Snippets of life, through my eyes. Come check it out!
#1 Home Is Mine for the Taking

The asphalt on the driveway is still fresh as my sneakers guided me back into the lair I can call my own. These eyes scanned the face of this plot, taking in the bits & pieces of what was once, of what I was here to revisit. My visual aids seem to successfully convince me that this land lingers with the last of my touch. My gardening trowel & gloves remained at the foot of my leftward-leaning mailbox, still infested with the last of the gravel & fertilizer I had dug out the last time. The pride flag atop the mailbox still stood proud despite the slight heaviness of dust on its colours. The blinds inside were still drawn, not even a single glimpse of the inner walls of the house could be seen. My lazy chair out front on the veranda stood still with time, only accompanied by the natural dirt of the outdoor air that has collected on my favourite Betty Boop cushion & a paperback copy of Gone with the Winds. I begin to wonder if the bulb in the lamp in the corner had blown as I watch a few fireflies hovering over its cover. The sunshine yellow portable outdoor barbeque grill was left abandoned in a tiny corner, with its sides clogged with barbeque utensils & other silverware. My beat-up dusty deep red jeep seemed to be displaced, even though I’m pretty sure whoever drove it tried to park it back into perfection, in between the lampposts right in the corner of my driveway. I shook my head a little & laughed a quiet one.

Walking over to the jeep, I looked at it like a framed piece of a museum. It looked almost ancient under all that dust, eaten up & vomited out by the absence of affection from a car wash. I ran an index across the front passenger door & over to the bonnet, resting my palm on it. Warmth exuded from under the roof housing my power engines. She’s been at work, hasn’t she? I thought & smiled to myself. My palm patted on the dusty bonnet roof before I clap both hands to be rid of the dust & dirt.

I walked on, tugging my luggage along in one hand while holding on to the strap of my backpack on the other. I made it up the few steps onto the veranda almost effortlessly, like I was meant to. My fingers reached out into a side pocket of my leather backpack to get hold of the almost-alien keys. As I held on to the door knob, I paused & drew a step back, turning my back so that it faced the door instead. I listened close to the sounds outside & inhaled a whole lungs’ full of Philadelphia’s chilly night air, just as my eyes fell on the sign by the road outside that read Kater Street. My back leaned into the front door & exhaled slowly as the seconds go.

I’m where I’m meant to be, despite never looking back when I turned on my heels not too long ago.

I’m finally home, the little voice in my heart professed.

I let a satisfactory smile creep onto my face & felt my alter ego soul punch a victorious fist into the home air.

# A Cigarette Connection

I sneaked a smoke in the bathroom just the other night.
It wasn't an urge but idk, I just did it. It wasn't a first anyway.
But that night, I dragged on the cancer piece far longer than I usually do.
& for some reason, I always faced up to blow out the smoke. & then I was done, right?
But it stank in there, too obviously. So I took a real long bath hoping essences from
the shampoo & shower gel would cover it up. It worked well.

I didn't plan it. But that stale cigarette air right before I bathed, made something in
me tick.

I remember how he used to smoke in both the toilets at home, usually after a bath
or while he shat. I remember how my Mom would always remind us to wait 15 mins
or more before going in next so the air would clear out. Then I remember how this
house stank of nicotine for most of my life. He would always have the fan on to help
air out the house after a fag.

Then I realized something. Something disturbing, but a certain kind of knowing.
Something accustomed, but not necessarily instilled. Something symbolic not of
a pride, but an unconscious connection.

I realized, that was as far out as possible, how I connected with my dad.
I started young, as did he. It was the obvious trait my Mom was never fond of but
she let him be until money got too tight around here. Perhaps that was why they
swore me off the working industry until graduation when they found out I was
smoking behind their backs.

But what he did, where he started, was from a moment of folly, which in time,
became his living mistake. I guess that's where we bond, my dad & I.
We're both stained with mistake we make up for with our whole lives.
He has shit teeth, mine's becoming, too.

So I took a shower, right?

But since then, up till the time I went to sleep, something in me ticked again.

Is that all there is between father & child in this house?
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