View Full Version : Morning Bird

10-31-13, 11:23 PM
Morning Bird
I don’t think it was the filth that attracted me but the mystery of said filth. Not the stories behind the Marlboro cigarette butt lying under the couch, but the meaning of it.
Another late June morning waking up on a damp couch that has seen its fair share of cocaine and other amphetamines. I rolled over to see where the party had ended up and to see a few half-dressed friends—more like acquaintances—spilling their perspiration on the mushy rug. The house wasn’t dirty, it was the experiences that plagued its encompassing structure. Nights of unbroken sex and blow and a current hangover from the mess we loved merely hours before.
“You **** her?” a friend mouthed to me, referring to the covered up high school prostitute who’s name besides me. A quick nod reassured him of the empty pleasures or feelings I promised in the peak hours of the night.
There was Johnny, a regular to the house whose hobbies were drinking and smoking until the next time to drink or smoke came to be. He wasn’t a bad kid—none of us were—he just lacked the proper direction. Someone who would promise to repay you one minute only to forget about it as quickly as the joint went out. Then you have Mark, a young adult caught in between a life of fear and a bitter home-life. This house was his sanctuary, a key to his lock that threatened to tie him to his minimum wage salary and a heartache for love. He didn’t know any better though—but I did. The problem that comes with a mind as restless as the sea is I could see where we were all headed yet I never dared to speak up. To intervene would be blasphemy. It would be devastating to hesitate or ponder “what if I intervened?”
The morning was restless. Of course mornings for us were the hours between two and six when the sun was beginning its downfall. The sun, the only constant and reliable truth to our lives. We needed it. Not for time nor the warmth, but to hold us, comfort us, to reassure us we were in fact alive.
The anonymity of my escape was essential to my condition. I mustn’t let them know my path for I would scare the hell out of whomever came closest. The leaves and sticks I laid didn’t raise a single brow to the fact that I was an untouched boy. A man stuck in a situation fit for a mammoth in a pool of tar. I needed them as much as the needed me—not one bit. In a house like this, everything is disposable.
I stumbled my way onto my brazen legs where I stepped into Sarah’s half eaten chicken sandwich from the night before. This got my blood flowing. Who needs caffeine when you can walk headfirst into a spider web? I danced my way to the half-closed bathroom door to find vomit covering the toilet and some of the sink. I shook this off and started the water. The tap was a foggy brown and I quickly splashed some on my face to wash off any lipstick or goo that remained. I not dare look up at the mirror for the fear of what I would see. Most likely a monster, a beast, someone who wasn’t me—a doppelganger me.
I recalled a time when I was younger, innocent and couldn’t hurt a fly. What had become of this tiny man? Is he still inside of me? Behind these glazed over eyes, passed the struggling heart and tobacco filled lungs, must be me. I closed the tap and made my way over the bodies and to the couch. She looked disgusting lying there. At the same time, I wished to rescue her. I didn’t even know her but I needed to share my secret with her. Thoughts like these cannot be tamed nor put out, only reflected upon. My mission was to act upon these impulses, something so strange that it frightened me. This terrified me.
Her thigh stuck out of the tan throw blanket as she rolled over exposing her backside. Oh how she tempted me but I knew better. A sober mind is a safe mind for only hours before I would see something completely different.
My pockets were lighter than before. I fingered my way into the denim to find a few pennies and a half smoked butt. I chuckled to myself at the thought of their relationship—worthless. I tossed the contents on the floor without a second thought and found my way to the cellphone that vibrated signifying missed calls. My heart dipped temporarily at the sight of the words “Ma” in bold letters but she knew not enough to worry her. She was innocent, like the boy inside me, she knew not enough to falter her wellbeing.
I quickly deleted the messages and made my way over to the sliding doors that allowed the only sunlight in. The day was bright, beautiful—something I rarely felt. The sun’s rays pierced the windows like a candle in a forgotten house. I just stood there staring at the broken pool and sizzling bonfire whose embers still lay warm. The stones surrounding the fire lay two faced—black on the inside, clean on the outside. Those stones spoke to me, they yearned for me. Screamed for anyone who would listen, to care, to give them a purpose. My vision turned down to see the empty bottles littering the stony grass which held our night. Bottles, empty packs and bags echoed our enthusiasm for youth and for love.
I stood embarrassed looking at the skeleton of a yard. Embarrassed over the hollow emotions I pumped out to Mark about our friendship. We were both young men trapped in a situation larger than the house we slept in. Two strangers with a sole tie bonding us together for a handful of boring nights turned upside down. None of us knew love, nor did we want to find its source. We wanted instant gratification, attention for just who we were.
I reached for the door handle only to find a two by four pinning the sliding portion to the stained wall. Jimmy’s dad was a carpenter and alcoholic whom tried to piece the house back together one screw at a time. Would I dare move this restraint? Do I even know what would happen if I did?
I chose not to touch the plank as I took one last glimpse outside. I focused on a squirrel, a pathetic creature who hobbled around the fire pit hiding food to prepare for the upcoming and unpredictable autumn. The squirrel wandered free. Free to explore, to eat, to love. Digging and burrowing in yards even us cowards were afraid to go. He knew no boundaries, held no bonds.
I coughed, reaching for my mouth to muffle the sounds as I noticed burn marks on my left hand. Flashbacks of me getting too close to the fire haunted my sunny place in the doorway. I turned toward the rest who remain asleep, innocent in this position. Merely minutes had passed since I spoke to my friend yet he stay, on his side, fast asleep. A morning bird gets the worm, but what about the night owl?! I tiptoed over the bodies once more accidentally nudging a buddy’s nightly company as she groaned. I made my way back over the half eaten sandwich and sat on the edge of the couch.
My phone beeped once more, then twice. Two messages, one from my father and one from another patron of last night’s festivities. I paused a second then deleted both, feeling sick. Withdrawn from the world, withdrawing from the drugs I lay next to my temporary lover. I stared at the ceiling until my vision grew weak—skewed. I thought of the squirrel and his freedom, the stones and their texture, my life and my death. I envied everything that damn squirrel stood for, lived for.
I exhaled my doubts and put my arm back around the girl whispering
“I’ll be alright, I hope I’ll be alright.”