I didn’t see it coming. She was standing there, in front of me, green eyes huge smile and all, and it struck me hard on the head, as if some baseball player had just taken a swing on me. Luckily for me, baseball had nothing to do in the equation, but I did take a pretty good shot from the guy behind me. I fell down in what seemed to be a single movement. I felt my body shiver and tighten at the same time, my legs unable to move. Someone laughed over my head, a high pitched cacophony.
I got no clue of what was happening, things just went on their own way and I wasn’t a part of the plan. I had been used to that to a certain extent, but for some reason it always took me out by surprise when I was dealt with a lousy hand. I never knew when to prepare for rough stuff, and god knows I have been warned about this. Some day, you’ll end up in a farm or worse, in a crappy backyard somewhere in Minnesota, because you’re naive that way. My father used to tell me that. I never got what he had against Minnesota, or backyards for that matter, but often times in my life I thought about this and thought that deep down, he might have been right.
Tiny feet came to be placed on both sides of me as I lay on the ground, trying to come to my senses. She stood over me now, the figure of the one who, willingly or not, had taken me down. And next to her, was the shadow who hit me hard on the head. The lamp post nearby blinded me and it all seemed fuzzy and blurry and eerie. It felt like an intervention, but in the worst way possible.
Blonde hair was blowin’ in the wind and yet Dylan had been dead for years now. And so was good music. For some reason, I started thinking about many dead figures, forgotten names and idols like Cobain, Petty, Baldwin and many others. I thought about them and smiled to myself, the major part of me completely forgetting the predicament I once again found myself in. Are you still there? she asked. I wanted to nod but I said it’s all right, and the Tom Petty choirs somewhere else sang it’s all right. I thought breakdown, and she did break me I feared.
Good, she said. And the shadow laughed. Didn’t want you completely out before doing this. I thought, doing what? Why do people have to be both so open and yet so mysterious? Who wants to be the jack who claims “oh I have done something great but I won’t tell you”? Nobody. Or, maybe? But it’s like Luther King telling the world – “I have a dream, but I don’t wanna talk about it you know”. No sense whatsoever. My feet moved on its on accord and I thought that finally, there was an ounce of rebellion in my body. Perhaps I had learned a lesson, within the limbo of my inconscious.
You’ve been nothing but poison to me. Nothing but poison. I liked you, loved you, and told you. And you did nothing. Nothing. I wondered if the person she was talking to could hear her but then she kicked me in the ribs. I coughed and squirmed. I didn’t do nothing. The shadow kicked me in turned, in the kidneys this time. I felt something going down, knocking down doors inside of me that I didn’t think existed. My uretra itched and I felt like brushing my teeth at the same time. That was how the world made you, thinking opposites all the time.
I coughed again and said sorry, I’m sorry. The shadow kicked me in the ribs another time, and the pain wasn’t as bad as I expected. Maybe I had started to develop something of a shield. Maybe I’d had enough before all of that. Maybe I was losing sensation altogether, who knew? She moved her right feet and placed it over my chest. She must have been trying to place my heart under her shoe, I worried about my shirt. I received it as a gift a long time ago.
The shoe didn’t move for a time and no one said anything. The shadow was gone somewhere I couldn’t see him, and the blonde hair was diluting in the stream of white light. I felt vengeance and guilt and pride and many more things at the same time. And yet I couldn’t do anything more than stare. I had always been that way – staring, contemplating. That was who I was. I hate you, she said. I hate you. And I will crush you. With one movement of her tiny and yet powerful legs, she pushed and leaned on and I exhaled one long and deep sigh, marking my utter incapacity to understand anything that ever happened to and around me.