Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm On My Way

Filled with the thoughts of my grandfather, I had fallen asleep full of pie. For the first time in a very long time I slept through the night soundlessly and had only good dreams. Despite my good sleep, I woke up to the sound of screaming and yelling above me on the roof. It sounded like an argument but I could only hear the one voice....? All of a sudden I heard "What THE FUCK are you doing with that gun!" At the sound of that I jumped out of bed and grabbed the first pair of pants I could find. It just so happened that they were my old black pants I used to wear to practice in. As I yank open my door, I am just pulling my pants over my hips.

Running up the stairs to the roof, I trip over the stairs and slip and fall. I feel a sting. I look down. My pants are torn and I have blood running down my shin from my knee. I take a second to breathe before I pull myself back up. I push myself off the floor wincing as the ripped skin is rearranged on my knee. As I get up, I hear a single shot ringing and echoing off the metal above me. I ignore the pain and yank myself up the stairs knowing I must help.

As I get up to the roof, I see a man reloading an old M16 incorrectly. I thank my father for this knowledge due to his career in the Russian army. The man does not even realize that I am less than 20 feet from him. He continues to rant as if there is someone else there. I cannot help but wonder what is wrong with this man. I see him walk towards the edge and I step out to go to help him but he turns around and looks at me with a blank dissociated sort of look. It is a serene moment. Like one from a movie. Interrupted by the police, they scream and yell at him to drop the rifle. With his eyes still on me, he raises the rifle awkwardly to his chin and pulls the trigger. His body falls in slow motion to the ground as the police rush to him.

I know it is now my time to leave. Slowly walking back down the stairs in a fog, everyone rushing up to his aid, I cannot get the sight out of my mind. I know that it is time for me to leave. After wanting to for so long, it is my chance. It is the right time. I am ready. The progression I have made must be continued elsewhere. And it will... must continue. 

I do not stop at my room but go to the store and find an old box. Still in shock, I find my way back to my room. I pack all of my belongings into this one box. Box in hand, I call my mom, the one person who has always loved me. The message machine comes on "It doesn't matter where you've been you can still come home and honey if it's you we've got a lot of making up to do and I can't hug you through the phone so hurry home" all I say is "Mom, I'm on my way"

I board bus 52... goodbye watershed heights I say as I watch it fade into the distance.

Monday, May 2, 2011


After my long dinner last night, I came home and continued working. I knew the dust could not disappear with just an old rag so I went across the street to get some wood cleaner. Cleaner in hand, I grabbed an old shirt and began wiping down every surface. The filth was unimaginable. After the dirt, I moved to the windows. I caulked the holes and unstuck the window where the paint had begun to stick together. By the time the filth was gone and I had a real working window the sun had vanished and Watershed Heights was quiet.

I woke up to the smell of fresh, warm pumpkin pie drifting in through my freshly fixed window. Immediately, it took my back to standing in my grandfathers kitchen on thanksgiving day with all my family around. I can still feel the burn I got one year when I was careless pulling the roasted turkey out. I laugh to myself and look around with a smile on my face. Although I am sitting in Watershed Heights, I see myself in his kitchen. My grandmother would have been out gardening or at least picking fresh mint out of the garden for lemonade. No matter what time of the year I went to their house the fish pond would be running and there would always be fresh, chilled lemonade. The garage, most likely, still has his old 3 point bucks on the wall and grandmothers painting scattered around. I can feel the humidity from the greenhouse and the breeze coming over the Birmingham hills on my skin.

I jump out of bed and grab a decently clean shirt and pair of loose jeans. Outside of my door I hear others leaving their rooms and clambering down the steps to get to their pie. Trying to beat them, I jump over the banister and manage to successfully land on the steps below. Running outside, I see a line curving around the block. I sigh. I think to myself "oh well, if this pie can bring back my grandaddy then it has gotta be worth it" as I get in line.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A New Understanding

Once again I wake up cold. However, after seeing my phoenix rise from the ashes I know it is time for me to change. Looking around, for the first time, I realize how screwed up this stupid apartment is. I have clothes strewn across the floor and clothes filling laundry baskets to the brim because I have not been able to afford the basic dresser or any sort of shelving. With this new sort of vision, I am shocked at the filth I have been living in. How could I be such a disaster?? I used to be the epitome of youth. I used to be the one everyone looked up to! But... now I have fallen too low and must pick myself up.

After looking at this disaster of a place, I begin picking up the pieces of my life. I know it is time for me to move back to where I should be. For the first time since I have been here at Watershed Heights I step out into my hall and begin knocking on doors until I find someone who would have a box. When nobody answers, I run back to my room. Looking around, I think about where I should start. My clothes are the worst part of the filth. There is one pile at the end of my bed and I begin there. Little by little my pile of crap turns into a neat folded pile of life.

I finally sit back and look at my work. My clothes are folded. My torn, raggedy sheets are pulled up. Besides the dust and the cracks it looks decent. I find pride in what I have accomplished. It is the first thing I have managed to do in a very long time. I walk to the window and look down at the watch I have which surprisingly still ticks. Time has slipped away from me and my stomach grumbles from lack of food.

I wander down the stairs breathing in what I am dreaming to be clean fresh air. I follow my nose to the smell of roasted pork. I find myself in the gloomy darkness of the local Vietnamese restaurant. I can only see one other man through the darkness and he is shoveling down food like he has never eaten before. I sit down across from him and he does not even notice me. I try to ask him how his food is and what he is eating. I tell him I have never been to this restaurant before and I do not know what is good. He grunts back at me. The waiter walks up and asks me what I want and I merely tell him "I will have what he is eating."

My food arrives within a few minutes after I order. I begin eating and the taste of the roast pork dumplings is not what I expected. It has a sweetness that reminds me of an old desert my mom used to make. As soon as I get used to the flavours, the man across from me jumped up and ran out of the restaurant. All I could do was watch as he ran out and fled whatever he was scared of.

Not long after he left, I began to feel a pressure. A sense of being watched and a slight paranoia. I gingerly finished my meal. The sweetness still felt like a shock in my mouth. I paid. I walked out thinking I finally understood.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


After being woken up from the fire and barely sleeping, I arise to the clanging of metal and the coughing of a broken muffler. I roll over cussing under my breath and force myself up. My head is killing me already from the bootleg liquor I had last night and this racket isn't helping a thing. I rub my eyes and wince at the brightness of the day. Closing my eyes, I stumble around trying to find something to shade my eyes with. I trip over a hat before picking it up and hiding my eyes. Struggling to the window I look out. I see two men struggling to push the old ATM on a hand truck. Their struggle brings a slight smirk to my face. I continue to watch as they barely manage to get the ATM into the bed of the truck. Somehow the police next door do not see them.... it is more likely they just don't care though. I guess the men figured nobody would care after the trouble caused by the fire.

My eyes wander to the rubble and ashes left by the fire. I see a girl covered in soot and blood rising from the ash. A phoenix of her own sort. Her rise although filthy, was magnificent. A reminder of my days and my continuing dreams. But also, a reminder of how Watershed Heights has dragged me down. A reminder of how pathetic I have become. This memory drags me back to my bed. I curl up. I hold myself. I cry. I let the tears of my own phoenix fall.


I hear screams of fear and smell a stench so vulgar that even I am appalled. For the first time in forever, I run to my window just in time to see a fireball exploding. All I can see is a man standing on the edge of the flames with a deranged disturbed look on his face before I fall back asleep...


The chill is still in the air but the snow has disappeared from the earth. I have woken up to the chill and a the smell of stale, old, buttery popcorn. I hear screams and laughter floating up from the streets below. The prolonged cold has made my bones ache and my thin sheet cannot protect me from it all. Creaks come from my body as I roll over and stand up. As my feet touch the floor, I shiver from the shock of the temperature. I should be used to this now here at Watershed Heights but I still am not.

The clock reads 230 pm. How could I have slept so late? My body never does what I tell it to do anymore. I have begun aging in such a dramatic way since I have moved in here.

I peer out my window and see everyone from the Heights plus a hundred more at least running around. Once my mind has grasped what is going on I begin searching for warmth. My clothes are spread around the room on the floor but I manage to find a torn, but warm, winter jacket and an old pair of pants.

I roam out of my room and stumble down the stairs. The few people I see drop their head when I walk past avoiding any sort of contact. I manage to find my way down to the freakfest that they are calling a carnival. It wasn't hard to find considering everybody was trying to get there too. I didn't really want to go but I knew I needed to get out and do something and fight of the desires to sleep and vanish.

The closer I get to the freakfest, the more I see freaks walking around breathing fire dangerously close to the local kids and playing with swords. I truly hope nobody gets hurt here today.... As I step, slowly step, further into the chaos, I walk by run down booths surrounded by little kids and grown adults, one in the same. Each toy given to a winner of one game or another is some disturbed image of hell or sex. Children should not be seeing images like that at such a young age. What is this world coming to?? I sit and watch the ferris wheel for a while laughing at the stupidity of the Heights crowd. My eye catches this one couple that would shock anyone. This girl looks like some drag queen hooker but the hunk she is with... wow. He looked more tempting then the cotton candy. As they got on the ride, her heel keeps slipping on the worn down metal. I can't help but laugh... Boredom begins to overwhelm me and I begin to wander around again. I see a food vendor and slowly head towards it but my path changes when I spot the liquor booth. The rest of the night I leave up to the stars and liquor...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Life Can Never Be Boring...

As I wake up from a long restful night of sleep, the covers have slipped off and my skin is chilled in a way I have not felt in a long time. I look out my leaking window to the sight of snow. The sight is one I have always loved and treasured since I was a child. It was one of the only times I ever got time with my mother... she was always working or in her room doing things I never want to think about. As my mind wanders to my past I wander over to the window and look around. Despite the beauty of the falling snow, the ground is covered with slush. A brown disgusting slush of snow, ice, and dirt. My stomach turns at the sight but I still crave to be out there where the world will be quiet for once.

I turn to face the pile of clothes around my room while trying to find the warmest items I have. I manage to find an old pair of thick brown socks and a blue insulated jacket that my ex gave me for our anniversary. Once I slip on my socks and shoes and pull on my jacket I walk back to the window. My gut turns but I know if I don't go out and enjoy the coldness I will only regret it. I turn my back to the window and face the door which has previously only led to my misery.

Once I find my way down the rickety stairs, the coldness overwhelms me and brings a smile to my face. I decide that the best place for me to go is someplace to get food. I have not eaten in days and it has begun to take a toll on my body. I quickly cross the road and turn down Maple Street. The slush is soaking through my shoes and socks but I ignore it. The chill, in some weird way warms me... By the times I had snapped back to reality, I was outside the bar. As I walked inside, I realized how hungry and cold I was. The bar called my name and I ordered myself a cheeseburger and fries with a large coke. The food filled my belly while the grease ran down my fingers. But I did not care...

As I walked back outside, I could see the lonely man walking to the park. Whenever I look out my window at this time I always see him. The weight of the pain he carries is visible on his shoulders... I can't help but wonder what is wrong. What happened in his life that causes him to have this much pain and heartbreak??? I wish I could help the poor soul and be the cause of him raising his head even a little. But I can only watch as he walks away....