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And the sun filtered through the tree tops, streaking the ground with shade. And the warm wind blew on my face, my hair into gentle curly ruffles. Your Mediterranean surroundings, in the middle of nowhere right in our city. And the garden shed, with all your vehicles surrounded by white pebbles. You brought me to the middle of Mormon land.

With tangerine trees dotting the landscape, over looked by a mountain of fir trees. The beige carpet of dead grass and rotten orange fruit. And green roses caving the rattan swing on the porch, your dogs circling the area, their tongues wagging. The heat in the air, the bright sun and here in the dark I look out and find that there is much beauty in a world like this. I do not care to judge myself or you for what we have become. I only know that what is wrong may some times be right, when a heart or two needs a mend.

I know that you or this place that I embrace with extreme love may turn into a prism of light fading into the sunset. But while I sip on the pretty drink you fixed, I smile and lick the sweetness off my lips and look at you looking at me, with just but one question on your mind.You ask, “Do you like the drink?"

To which I nod, turn the swing away from your face and look back out into the hills. And you, knowing you've intruded, retreat, calling out to the rest of us, the people that made this happen, yelling that the food is done. I can hear you think, "She's got too much ego."

And I smile because I don’t; only I make you think so. Only to protect myself from what you are to me. A train that I've jumped onto, that is to take me away from the place I dare not think of. A life of care free, emotionless love. Where just your body and mine satisfy us. And when I challenge you to calling me a whore, much later, when the sun's gone and your sky is dotted with the stars and that beautiful full moon, you throw your palm across my face, in anger. Though I feel the sting of your slap, I can't sense anger in me. Only I know that my body isn't here, where you are now. But I ask, mimicking anger in my voice, and my face, "What the fuck, you can’t slap me."

And you shrug, reaching out for another drink.I cant read your body or your eyes so blank. I can't tell what you’re thinking, you’re out of my league. And then you say, evenly with no other forms to read a reason out of your action,” That’s the second time you’re asking, and I think that answers the question."

And you walk away, looking for the battery lights. No power. And when you come back, we kiss. We talk so less, we are so little. While we dance with our lips, I feel remorse. Incorrect. I feel nothing, but your lips on mine. And your arms around my hip, pulling me close. And then you lift me up, so I have my legs circled around you, and my chest pressed against you. Your hand in my hair, mine in yours. And we kiss. And she wails, the other one. She cries tears for the one that she's already lost.

Like string beads on a monks neck, the years rolled on with your presence pressing down on me like a finger along them prayer beads. My heart restrained, and my mind wandering to a time when I found you enticing. I was stuck, like bubblegum on curly hair, I could not separate myself from you.

When the warmth of the women that passed turned cold on your bed, I crawled into the sheets, my shame out the window. I put my arms around you, while you slumbered on and brought you close to my body, begging what the other women got liberally. If I was a dog, I'd be licking your feet in gratitude, for a life that was given so easily. To think back, when you pronounced your palms on my face, I felt nothing. Now, I feel everything.

Every frown line on your face, like waterways along sparse ground, spell trouble. I juggle my emotions like popcorn in heat, try to make you happy. And if you notice me at all, you say nothing. You do nothing, and as summer after summer passes by, with wilting plants and torrential rain, I fade in your brightness. To you, I might as well be the cheap hanging frame on the wall. Brittle and dry, easy to break.

And Fanny came along. My joy. An accidental miracle, conceived after a night of your drunken self hurriedly satisfied its urges on this servant. If you noticed the bloom, you did not say. If you noticed her cry, you did not say. All you did was wash your anger out on me, watched me bleed while she wailed. And you grab some beer from the fridge, and walk into the shower, to leave a few minutes later to be greeted by another one of your women.

I wonder now, if they knew. That you were a child inside, a monster man outside. Perhaps they did, and they liked it too. To feel so powerful or maybe even lucky. Glad I was keeping you happy, that they didn't have to replace me or substitute me. Because they knew, if they had to, if you said that they ought to, they would. Gladly bend over. Let you use them. Only difference was, you wouldn't spit them out once you were done. You'd chew on them, till they became me. A lowly being, unfit to be recognized nor remembered. Just holding onto the happiness that became you, the life that became you, and the heart that became yours.

When Fanny came she cried. And she would not stop crying. There were moments when she was the baby she was meant to be, other times she screamed and screeched all day and night. We were lucky to get two hours of silence in a day. And you still ignored her, and me. I bleed, and she cries. I cry but she does not bleed. She suckles and she bites. Anxious, angry, turbulent and calm passes in under two minutes. I thought, I kept thinking amidst the clamour and the riot.

Bruised and purple. I bundle her up. I can hear you in the other room, with your woman for Monday. I take some chocolate bars, no money and a picture of you. Don't think I don't care for you. You may never have, but I did. I do this for her. I lost me, when I submited myself that evening, so long ago to your care. I will not loose her too. So I bundle her up, and start walking.

I am numb again. In my head, I see mental pictures of your face. In anger striking out at Monday girl. Or will you only notice me gone when you find there is no dinner on the table waiting for you. Will it take longer, or will I only be able to get to the corner of the road before you drag me back, my fingers digging into the tar road. I calculate. And I know, you won't find me gone for awhile.

Her curls that curve and ripple around her face, in steps and layers. Her perky nose, turned somewhat strangely upwards at the tip giving her a comic clown like disposition. Cafe late colored skin, and thick pink lips. And her eyes, a dam storing enough water to cry through the night, and the day till the next day's morning.

Yet she is mine, the only thing that ever will belong to me. She is not somebody else's child like him. When in her anger she bites me, or scratches, I feel pain and I want to help her. Help her understand this world isn't a clock, it doesn't run in directions, it doesn't have any other purpose but to survive. And her anger and her disdain at the bark of the stray dog or even a sudden gust of wind brushing her face, is uncalled for, and in vain.

So when I've traveled far enough, from the place of my death, to rest I look at her face. Glad she's at peace, no longer tormented by the demon.After about a day's travel through the paddy fields and the hot sun, we came to meet a procession. It had been some time since I had been amongst a crowd of people, and the drums that beat and the blowing pipes tell me that it's a happy occasion this crowd in celebrating. I hold Fanny close to me, afraid she'll start wailing, and with no hurry I join these people.

I know that they will take me to a road, and I know I'll feel less alone. All through the day's walk, my head remembered nothing of him. It didn't not look forward; I didn't have time to wonder what happens now. I just kept walking, and I now keep walking with numerous people. They do not notice me, a stranger amongst them.

Those that beat the drums are busy balancing their sticks, sticking to the beats and wiping their faces off sweat from the sultry afternoon heat. Those accompanying them, and me, in the crowd, mind their children, while those in their early adulthood outline the borders of the procession with a frenzied dance. Three nights I followed the path of the procession. I do not remember the days, I do not remember stopping. Somewhere in this dream I lost Fanny.

Those curls would return to haunt me.

When I awoke from this travel without a destination, I found myself lying out cold in a ward. Blue steel beds and mattresses lined against the walls. My throat felt parched, and my lips had cracked. My hands were tied to the steel head of the bed, and I found a dripper with saline attached to my wrist. I looked around in my limited movement both ways, I was alone. My memory struggled to understand what had transpired from my last moment of consciousness to now. I could not distinguish what was a dream and what was reality. And for the first time in a long time, I was scared.

She talks in circles, and all day she stares out the window trying to remember. She sometimes put her mouth around the vertical iron bars; I can see her enjoying the taste of iron in her mouth. There is a film of dust around her lips when she pulls her mouth away, n she wipes it with the end of her gown with grace that shows she's royalty fallen in a very hard way.

Sometimes I catch her talking to herself, scolding herself in hurried, urgent whispers.“What’s the hurry, Sunshine?" I lull her into talking.

But as soon as she notices any presence of another she recedes deep into her shell. She turns quiet and her face darkens. She refuses to look me in the eye. She stares into the blue, a glazed look. Her hair an untangled mangy company of brown and increasingly white hair. We assume that this woman in her late thirties. And we call her Sunshine, because we are thought positive enforcement may result in positive reactions and interactions. She doesn't have a number or a category this one; she doesn't need restraints because she never gets violent. She never leaves her room, and never acknowledges anyone.

So we let her lick the windows. That's the only time she ever seems content. Any other time, she's glazed or searching. She keeps saying names in her sleep. The only bread trail we have, if any that she ever had a life or normalcy at all.

I lost you and I lost memories of you. I kept so much of you so close to me for so long. I am scared and I am lost. But I am relieved, finally I can forget. Not that you can hurt me. But you hurt her. Ripped from me, the only thing that ever belonged to me.

The sky does not fall, but the ground holds me. And yes, this world is tilted but I am cockeyed. The water drowns me, but I swim. My heart breaks, but I live. And in living alone, I know I can be what I was when you were not next to me. While she is lost forever, the poignant song of her death with my survival is sung every sunrise that I see. I am where you will never find me.


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