Another writing assignment- write story about a setting. I chose moments being in my head.
| I closed my eyes and I saw. I saw many things. Shapes and colors; I even heard sounds. I could also smell and taste. I was currently looking with my eyes closed at a scene from long ago. It was at my father’s house and my siblings and I were in the backyard playing in the pool. I could feel the sun on my skin, the cool breeze giving me a slight chill until I’d feel nice and warm again because I’d covered my skin with water. Each of us took turns jumping off the diving board into the water as we sang lines from Joan Osborne’s song ‘One of us.’ All four of us were close in age. I, being the youngest, was probably 10 or 12 at the time, and my two step-sisters a year older, and my brother three years older. We would play Fish-Out-Of-Water or Marco-Polo, sometimes cheating by peeking to see where someone was, or just opening our eyes underwater. Things were fun. Thinking back on this particular memory, anyone would say it was a happy one. And it is. I just don’t feel that way about it anymore. I actually don’t feel anything about it anymore. Just kidding- it makes me sad. It makes me sad because things are not and will never be that way again, and it sucks. I will forever be stuck with this scene of happiness mocking me whenever I think of pools or sunny days, or when I feel cool water on my skin. Or whenever I step inside the house I grew up in. All my happiest memories became tainted, and now I can’t ever see them the same way.
And yet, I always see them.
Mentioning the house itself, the scene on my eyelids changes drastically. It’s as if a light switches. There is yelling. Screaming. Doors are slamming and there are sounds of a child crying frantically and desperately trying to escape from the other child who follows screaming behind the first, and the sounds of things that are so loud are immediately muffled as I remember clapping my hands over my ears. Somehow, silence feels safer… until it isn’t. I remember cold fear, and yet felt hot from shame. The shame turned into anger and began to feel white hot, boiling up inside me. Anger from not feeling like I could tell them to get the fuck out of my room. The terror that my own family would possibly hurt me if I stood up to them. The anger that I couldn’t even tell my parents because even if they grounded someone- made them stay in their room all day- nobody’s behavior would change. No one would learn their lesson. No one would grow and learn that yelling and screaming and hitting is not okay. The anger I felt because not having a lock on my fucking door meant that anyone could come in and do whatever they want, and I had no place to truly escape to. I was a child trapped with terrors I couldn’t get away from. And still can’t even to this day.
I carry my terrors with me always. I see them even with my eyes open. I see them every time a parent screams and spanks their child, or beats their dog whenever it’s too hyper. When a child cries from being pushed and shoved by another, and the surrounding children laugh. I saw it the night I came home from Las Vegas with a former best-friend. I could still taste the alcohol from the night before and how gross I felt from not having showered before we left the hotel. I can still feel how claustrophobic it was being squashed in the car between two women. I remember how cold the air was whenever someone rolled down the window, and how mother-fucking loud the bitches I sat with were. I spent six hours trapped inside a car being yelled at and belittled by someone I used to see as a friend, sister, and mother. And I see those other three women who stayed silent or joined in. Some shit never really leaves you. Or shuts the fuck up.
Sunshine- pure sunshine- is hard for me to come across nowadays. And those rare times I find it inside me, it never stays for too long. It’s like trying to grab air. In growing older, I feel as if I’ve come home from war. Life isn’t as sunny and happy as it once was, as I’ve learned a thing or two. When you’re young, you’re like a young buck with all the confidence in the world. And then you go off to war, and you see and learn things, and in my case, I’ve seen some darkness. Not much, but what I’ve seen and experienced has forever changed me. And I can’t tell if it’s in a good way or not. I grew older, but it cost me a great price- my innocence and now, more importantly, peace in my mind. The knowledge of the darker sides of life have, however small the taste, soured things for me. I now know not to blindly follow, to trust so openly, and that not every smile holds pure intentions. I know that things that I had no control over were never my fault, yet I will always see them, with open or closed eyes.
The memories in my head get loud. I imagine something and it’s as if I’m right there, back in those moments. Good or bad, but bad ones more than good. They’re like echoes that strike loud and vividly the moment something reminds me of them. The scenes in my mind are constantly changing. Ever evolving and yet somehow always swaying from positive imaginings to sad, angering memories. Life in my head. It’s very strange. And constantly influenced. From things outside as well as in. A pendulum swinging from having Hope and finding the strength to keep going, to the time old question of ‘what’s the point of it all?’ I have a constant storm in my head and my heart, and this boat is just trying to stay above water. I aim for the calm, sunny patches of blue and desperately try to steer my way there, but am always reminded of the clouds threatening to take over me. The least I can do is remind myself that these shadows- these memories- are not real. They’re not me. The least I can do is grab hold of the wheel and steer towards the brighter things. The happier thoughts. And if I can’t remind myself of happier memories, then I’ll aim for making new ones… and be around quieter, nicer people.