The BoyA Story by Beau-dee-loot
He lent his full body against it, pushed. It was heavier than usual, the weight behind it greater, the noise behind it, some bustling commotion he knew nothing of and yet it moved with time, with effort, the door moved, opened, and there it was, the terrible party.
The room of big things and colours came as he appeared through the door. There were the colossal chairs that he had hidden behind during playtime, from mummy and daddy, who counted then came, curious, eager to discover, importunate, searched him out, found him, loved him, held him up, showed themselves, the world; who hid from him now in the crowd of noise; the boy, forgotten, invisible in the furniture, amid the throng of unfamiliar moving monsters, the crowd of noise. He stroked the chair’s soft flanks, the great immovable objects, two to three heads higher than the boy, who shrank still further beneath them. He saw the familiar dining table, the centre piece of the room, was pushed into the corner, feet gathered around it, shifting unpredictably, outside of any rhythm he could feel comfortable with, monstrously; sandals and the red summer legs of the grown-ups, huge lumps of skin, smell and other smells; and there were many of them, the unfamiliar legs, all bulky, the terror of loud unfamiliar voices, and his mother and father lost in it all, inaccessible, just other voices in the melee.
The chairs were bigger and more foreboding, with the giant unfamiliar giants sat in them drinking glasses and bellowing, spitting, guffawing, creased up in their grotesque faces, red and bursting. He kept his eyes from theirs.
The furniture, the group of people, the room itself, wasn’t as he knew it, the people he knew were unknown, the others unknowable, were different, were all giant immovable objects outside of his control. He knew this wasn’t his party.
No one he knew was present. His friend Nadia was nowhere to be seen, while her big pink uncontrollable mother was giggling with his own big pink mother, who looked different in this context, was grotesque. He felt sick and strange and lost, somehow abandoned, as if she wasn’t his anymore, with her unfamiliarity, her strange smell, her new bigness and her voice somehow ten times its own size. The boy was much smaller than he was, felt tinier than he ever had been and didn’t have a voice. He couldn’t be sure whether he existed in this mass. Only his heart made him certain, beating strong in the fear, the boy weak in the room of too much, wanting to leave the room but was deep in the crowd of giants, who were fencing him in with their unpredictable movements, menacing the boy: pink, red, smelling bad, spluttering, guffawing, stamping their feet, fat and happy.
He could hear his father bellowing in the kitchen with his new voice, words that his father didn’t use, people who he didn’t know, terrifying and free from the boy, who thought he heard his own name mentioned in passing but knew that it was of no importance today.
The incoherent noise continued, continued to become more incoherent and confusing. No one noticed the boy, small as he was, quiet as a boy, invisible in the grown up fun. The noise continued to grow, the laughter, the unpredictability of the bodies, many of which started to move even more unpredictably in a terrible rhythm of blurry and smudging redness that made even less sense than anything as the music, which was deafening and senseless, was introduced; music that bellowed loudly over the bellowing grown-ups who bellowed still louder, swallowed drinks still faster, as if they were forced to keep up with the incessant beat of a sound just as horrible as themselves, laughed almost continually in a terrible music of their own, moved even more unpredictably about, staggering, shouting; one man was sick, looked at the boy and then left, leaving another terrible face behind it, redder, pinker, more full for the boy to see.
People sat on the huge chairs, on the table, looming over; huge people, red and pink all over, smelling, smiling, looking from the chairs, goggling and giggling, grinning, unable to see or breathe or move coherently. Some noticed the boy and he averted his gaze, and soon they had forgotten him, their minds no longer working in that way; especially when the food was introduced, when his mother and her friend Angela came through singing with the food, dropping much of it, treading it in.
There was a brief rush for the table and food was consumed, drinks spilling on the invisible boy; crunch, crunch, as they greedily hustled forwards, treading in crisps. Then it was back to the bawdiness and gyrating. The confusion and unfamiliarity grew. The people grew, and for the boy there was no amusement, only disorder. The eyes started to come and then drift away, and it was like that. Attention wasn’t on him so much as seeing something insignificant pass, passing through him, and then the memory was gone. The pinkness of people and all their eyes moved around in an insatiable search for more. The boy was unseen.
The boy, at knee-height, wandered low amongst them, intrepid, terrified, stooping as they patted his head, ignored him, spilt things on him: drinks, ash, their hands wildly gesticulating as pairs or threesomes related different stories to each other at the same time, all nodding, no one listening or hearing above their own din; the boy wincing and ducking with their yelps, smothered in the clamour and horrible mess of grown up conviviality.
No other children were present. Nadia, who visited often, was nowhere to be seen. Nadia’s mother, who the boy knew well by sight, continued to laugh and enjoy moving about. Her father was nowhere to be seen. The boy’s own father was now moving in a ridiculous fashion, haphazardly, close to someone else’s mother. The boy couldn’t see who it was exactly, in the blur of bodies, but it could have been Kevin Jones’ mother, who the boy had seen arrive like a giant pink cake some hours before. Kevin Jones had not been invited. The small boy was curious as to where Kevin and Nadia were and what they might be doing. He continued to thread unnoticed through the grown up bodies that were cramped closer and closer together.
His father’s subjective rhythm at first amused and then terrified the boy. It wasn’t his dad. It was a big man shifting about wrongly, breathing heavily, and the small boy, when he was close, tugged at his father’s leg, going unnoticed.
Familiar and unfamiliar voices prattled on, huge pink and red bodies swayed and bounced, threatening to bump into or fall on the boy, who had started to use their legs as steadying posts as he meandered his way more determinedly to the far side of the room. No one had formally recognised the boy.
Amid the horror of laughter and clinking glasses there was no fun to be made. The smell became more and more unfamiliar, unpleasant and nauseating. The noise continued to grow in one terrible sound, and the small boy, with his panic amid the pink, red, fat smell and tiring din, could no longer think his own thoughts.
Soon the boy, in his oblivion, in his effortless stealth, had made it over to the fireplace, the ominous if unlit furnace, a sooty black cave, breathless, whose mantelpiece loomed, where ornamental figures glared at him, threatened to come to life; nothing would have surprised the boy, nothing was to be trusted anymore. A world of unstoppable noise had begun. His mother and father had been taken, lost to something insurmountably gross. The world had turned over and another scary world of big, pink, over-abundant, loud and insufferable giants had been discovered, an unliveable menace always upon him; the wet, hot stench of transformed people clamouring.
Reaching on his toes, he failed. Standing on a crate of beer, he reached and collected the keys unnoticed from amongst the figures on the fireplace, bravely confronting their steady threat, his parents detained gregariously with friends, captive, intoxicated, pink, huge, gross different people, not his parents.
Meandering his way back through the pink and red forest of shuffling legs, stentorian guffaws, bellowing giants, a long and hellish journey made more bearable by the success of his endeavour, he managed the door, slipping free into the empty hallway and, for the first time alone, left the premises.
© 2012 Beau-dee-loot
Manchester, North West, United Kingdom
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