The day is cold and cloudy, a light snow melting on the ground. The child I am following is waiting for the bus, he is anxious. Today is the day, he has decided, he will tell her. I follow along sampling his anxiousness, a light morning snack to tide me over for the main repast to follow. I can smell the bus before the boy can see it, a rushing bull reeking of delicious, addicting emotion. The machine rounds the corner; the feelings emanating from its iron hull are palpable. The boy shivers, a gust of wind and something more piercing into his soul. I sighed, or thought of sighing, perhaps even wished to sigh, for I cannot physically do so myself, I have no lungs. The boy is in his seat now, his head pressed against the cool window, music playing loudly in his ears. He has locked himself in a tortuous mental prison, thinking and over thinking the situation, playing and replaying the scenario, the ideal outcome, the tolerable one, and lastly the ruinous failure. The bus continues forth and as time passes the boy’s anxiousness grows. It fills his essence like a putrid toxin, encapsulating his being in a morbid fear. Relax, I emanate. Be calm, it will be as it must, I exude. The anxiousness lessens, but does not dissipate. The boy rarely listens to me in the times he most desperately should. A body places itself into the seat next to my boy. There is a sweet aroma, or perhaps a sweet feeling since I am unable to smell, regardless it is something that would remind you flowers, and suddenly the music stops. The child looks over, his heart fluttering for a moment, yet he is unaware. His childhood friend sits next to him, a girl of his own age, dark wavy black hair like that of a pedigree mare, so smooth and silken that to touch it would forever destroy a mans perception of beauty. However, this is not the girl he wishes to speak to. The boy fidgets awkwardly in his seat, attempting to understand and articulate that feeling inside the depths of his viscera. He talks with the girl freely and openly, they have been friends for quite some time now, sharing everything and anything…except this one secret. I have speculated for a while now that, despite the connection these two share, they will never fully realize the potential they have for each other. Yes, I can easily see it now, the way she hangs on to his every word, the way she watches him breath in and exhale out, how she playfully ruffles his hair and then moves her hand away with the slightest hesitation, how she longs for it to mean something more than jest. My child is blind to this dream; his so called love has already been given to another, his lust and sex drive him towards a false god. He mentions his figure of affection, a Medusa of desire, and a harpy of passion. I watch the girl carefully, she understands well enough. Anger flows into the air first, its red hue melding with the green of the leather seats they perch on. Slowly it shifts, becoming a mix of blue and white, despair and lost hope. Written on her face, she wonders why her Adonis would care for such a trivial woman, yet she says nothing. Her actions scream of shock, she belittles herself for her ignorance, the anger rising up again to wash away her sea of doubt. This foul little temptress will not take her man away! Yet, still, she says nothing, digging deeper, adding bolt and chain and lock to her strongest feelings. If I had a head to shake, I would do so here. Why do humans hide so much of themselves from others? I know this question will never be answered. The bus comes to a stop. The boy, his head held high, steps into the world. His anxiousness is no longer detrimental, his new found confidence built on the cracked shattering world of the one whose love is true. She is the last thing on his mind now, while he is the first on hers. A bell rings signaling the start of learning, and while the other children file into the building, a single female stands in the center of the path, her hair like black silk ribbons, head turned up to the sky, gaze filled with the gray clouds of a cold winter morning, and she whispers, “I love you.”
The boy is in his seat now, in the far back left hand side of the room, idly looking out the window, rain drops sliding down one by one like a
horse race. The gray winter clouds have become fierce and black, tumultuous wisps of air and water dance around to the beat of thunder under the flashing crack of lightning. As if by providence, the boy looks at the doorway as his Aphrodite/Lilah arrives. Her golden wheat hair lies straight and boring on her shoulder, her sharp nose pointed up in disgust at the plebeians she must associate with on a daily basis. His eyes are locked on her figure; he drinks in her very presence like an alcoholic alone with a bottle of fine liquor. He reads her every movement, watches her lips form the words she speaks, her chest as she inhales to continue her pathetic unimportant drivel. I have seen this girl and many like her before, they come and go in continuous waves, like a flock of sheep, ever changing to suit and conform to the needs of men, a shallow husk destitute of complex emotion. She has no friends, only those who wish to be like her, those who want to revel in the attention she pretends to provide or those who wish to usurp the lime-light. She is the penultimate mock beauty. It disgusts me. I try to regulate this to the child, but no one ever listens when they need to. I take a look at her again, prying into the essence, searching for some redeemable quality unseen to normal eyes. Hidden in the bottomless, abandoned, barren, forsaken, stark void of her essence there is a mirror. Its frame is made of silver, gems of all sizes and shapes encrust it, a gaudy mess. A small girl prances in front of the glass, an oversized fur coat draped over her, bright red heels many sizes too big adorn her petit feet. Her toes wriggle in delight as she watches her reflection. This is her self-image, her concept of beauty. It is, to me, an image of complete insolence. I leave behind the girl and the mirror, the experience disturbing me deeply. We are no longer in the class room sitting in the seat beside the window, the boy now sits among his peers for lunch, his eyes flitting back and forth to the girl and the topic at hand. His friends know of today’s endeavor and they offer him support and advice. All save for one. He has been silent since the boy made his plans known. His eyes too dart back and forth, between him, the girl, and a familiar figure. It is the childhood friend from the bus. I had almost forgotten. My memory, if you would call it that, is fleeting, only sweet, delicious emotion stays with me. A foreboding blackness oozes out of this particular child, an impenetrable shroud of hate. He is not as blind as my boy, he has noticed the way the girl dotes on his friend. He wishes she would stop chasing such futility and open her eyes, he lives for her! But it seems humans follow a general trend; he says nothing, putting his feelings into an eternal cage of self-pity and deprivation. The bleak black cloak of his bitterness washes across the table, a tasteful sample of humans more devilish ways. Another bell rings and the moment of truth draws closer. Kentucky
The teacher is standing in front of the class, his back facing them as he writes the equation on the blackboard. His voice is monotone with no enthusiasm; this is the same lecture he has taught time and time again. He is as bored with the class as his students are; his thoughts drifting to and fro like a morning eddy in crystal clear water. He did not want to be a teacher, stuck in the dredges of societal want, repeating the same rubbish day in and day out to inattentive ears. Not once can he think of a moment where a student offered a sincere thank you for the information he passed so willingly. His resentment is a pale yellow aura, vibrating and pulsing in rhythm with his thoughts of lost opportunities and failed dreams. If only he had pushed himself harder in school, if only his parents had been of higher social status, if only society didn’t require so much from him, if only this, if only that. The pale yellow of his lost causes makes it seem like he is wearing a golden suit fit for that of St. Peter at the gates of Heaven…or for Satan himself as he sits on his Infernal Throne. Students snicker in the background of the teachers thoughts, interrupting him in his haven of self-loathing. He turns to see who it is so he can make a mental note and reprimand them later in his own subtle way. He has been doing this for years now, doctoring the grades of those students he likes and dislikes; his own brand of personal justice. A viscous green goop plops onto his desk as he sits down, his malnourished and ill-begotten feeling of justification ejecting itself. I devour this readily, as I am an eater of all emotion and feeling, be it right or wrong, strong or not. Yet the main course is still to come. A bell rings.
The boy has been waiting carefully now for the past hour. He is preparing to strike, waiting for his prey to leave the safety of numbers. He knows that she tends to walk alone to a certain place and that is when he will confront her. His anxiousness has returned but it has lessened and settled into the recesses of his mind. It is a simple question that denotes a simple response and from there he will take it to wherever he can, he feels. His confidence begins to well up, a bright indigo cape trailing behind him though there is no wind. I munch on this for it is not an emotion the boy readily frequents and so its taste is bizarre yet appealing to me. The girl bids her farewells and leaves the crowd, it is time. The boy follows her, the indigo cape slowly diminishing as he approaches her; it is a mere memory by the time he reaches her. He fumbles for the words he wants to say, even though he has practiced this moment a hundred, nay, thousands of times over in his thoughts. The girl barely looks at him, wondering with disgust how this lowly being would dare speak to her. The boy knows he is on his way to failure, the bottomless pit already beginning to form in his bowels. He pulls a small square piece of paper from his back right pocket. He unfolds it, the paper smudged with eraser marks, the writing lightly smeared. Ah yes this paper, I recall, brought me a most scrumptious repast. He reads it out loud to the girl, knowing that if anything this will win her heart. The boy is not remarkable physically or mentally by any means, however if I were human I would have to say he has a way with words. At first, her face is blank; there is no trace of emotion, no figure of coherence. The boy is slightly puzzled; this reaction was not one of the many scenarios he imagined. He looks away from her and back to his written piece when suddenly there is a sound. The girl has caught up it seems, her face now broken with laughter, the orange light of her mirth exploding out into the air. She walks away without a second thought, leaving my boy clutching the wrinkled frazzled paper. He does not know how to act, does not know what he should do now, his ‘love’ has been rejected. You should have listened, I expunge. Now I wait in anxiousness, for the time to feast has arrived. He crumples the paper with his hearts devotion and drops it to the ground. He feels utterly nothing, the calm before the storm. A bell rings and he walks towards the buses, his hands clenched, his eyes dry, his jaw locked.
I wait in desperation, the boy a broken mess, the music playing loudly again. His childhood friend sits next to him on the bus, but he has not said a word to her, nor she a word to him. She knows he was rejected and he knows that she wants to comfort him, but he refuses to let her. That is his punishment he tells himself. That is his punishment for not being good enough he believes. In silence they sit, till the girl departs with a wave and a sigh. She turns back before she steps from the bull and whispers the two words of apology even though she knows the boy will not see. The doors close behind her, and finally the boy releases. Tears begin to stream down his face; his knuckles turn white as he presses his fist into the streaked glass. His body erupts in a blue glow of sadness, of ultimate despair.
This is the moment I have been waiting for.