Rattle

Rattle

A Chapter by Leap

    Should These people be scared? Sure. They have no reason not to be.

    It's insane here in the lower ward today, which -- granted -- isn't saying much, but the show is always better on the weekends. People fly about like they're all experiencing controlled seizures together. They even bang into each other once in a while, and that's just good comedy. People cry; Yell. They moan. They are all always bouncing. However immobile the bouncing may seem, it is happening. Of course in my situation, I have no inertia; no overall kinetic energy and therefore, I give way to no momentum. I sit in a wheelchair all day long in front of this incredibly monotonous nurse's station. I observe and commit to memory. That is not broken. Sometimes, I get to go to the windows. Just depends on who's pushing.

    I live day to day in, what you would call, a permanent catatonic state. Now, Catatonia is an interesting piece of human nature. It can be slight, or it can have two extremes: Stop or GO. In severe cases, a person can be a victim of constant hyperactivity -- Hyperactive Catatonia -- or they could be like me and cease all f*****g function. Either way -- no good. It is not the problem just a reaction. Many causes create this reaction: Post traumatic stress, drug abuse and schizophrenia, to name a few. I am plagued by two of the above issues. In my mind I am very much alive. I'm just motionless, bored and way too rested.

    All just sits on the ripples.

    I do have a friend though. I think I might have more than one , but I could also be wrong. Marley sits next to me for hours a day. He's autistic. He rocks back and forth repeating numbers, but I promise, he looks nothing like Dustin Hoffman. Marley's unique. With him it's not constant. The only time he opens his mouth is to eat, drink, swallow his given meds and blurt out a random ten digit number always starting with 660. Always ten digits. The number fluctuates but is announced every sixty minutes like clockwork; always on the hour. First three letters, they always stay the same 660. Sometimes it's a little lower. Sometimes it's a little higher. I don't know whether he does it in his sleep, but I'm curious. No one around here knows what the numbers mean, but people come up with some stupid s**t to make it make sense for them. Routing numbers of checking accounts is popular and, by far, the least stupid.

    I know what they are. I figured it out a long time ago. I've been here for way too long. Besides his small habit of causing unease to certain people, he is not problematic. Marley has never bothered me. He's an innocent.

    After lunch, Doris comes over and pats my head before she glides me down the hall slowly. Doris is a nice enough lady but she's lost. She's voluptuous and smells like candy. She likes to have one-way conversations about the local gossip with me. Today, she mentions that we are going to the cafeteria because I have a visitor. This raises my eye brows. After this is mentioned, Doris flaps on and on about Caitlyn's divorce and how it seems to be effecting her focus. Yep. Doris darling, you are effecting my focus. She goes into detail about the 'misfilings' of paper work due to Caitlyn's distractions, adding -- "What is wrong with some people who can't leave their personal life at home? I mean...really!" She huffs and puffs. I would like her to quicken her pace so she does. I would also appreciate her not talking, so she stops...a little. I'm off today.

    All I can think about is how close we are. All of it can happen soon. I might have a very special visitor today. I know my importance as a kind of gut-feeling. Other than that, I know virtually nothing. Doris doesn't have all the information. None of them do. Minute fractions of knowledge, if that. She wants to fill her voids with more void, but soon she'll see what a real void is all about. I hope she likes it. The time has come for me to take my leave. I hope I'm going somewhere. I wish I knew what I knew.

    We get to the cafeteria doors and the place is sparsely populated. I search and search every face I see, and maybe it's the distance, but I'm not recognizing a soul here. Doris is still making sound and moving much too slow. I ease her into being a mute and give her legs a bit more strength. I'm gradually realizing what I'm capable of. I don't want to say it to myself until I'm sure though. My feet finally bump into the table. We've stopped. From my current angle, I can't see much. She rolls me up so I'm sitting to the right of a man. I saw him from his back as we approached. He wore a dark, brown suede jacket and a dirty-blond lumberjack ponytail. He had his hands in his pockets and turned his head slightly left when he heard us behind him. He had sun glasses on inside. It's gonna be this kind of guy?

    The problem here is that my head and neck are also leaning to the right. Doris -- the pleaser she is -- gently places my head on the opposite side on my limp, rash-ridden body. The gentleman is smiling with his hands in his pockets.

    "Hello Kid." He has a toothpick in his mouth. I'm wondering if he's ever choked or swallowed one of those things.

    After Doris inspects my bag and wipes my mouth, she coughs and says, "I'll just be going now, if you need anything I'll be right down the hall." I let her say that. She's a good pet.

    "Oh well, thank you, Doris." He's got a nasty grin. Doris has her laminate tucked into her shirt today...doesn't notice he knows her name.

    Doris walks away at the same speed she came. The older man to the left of me shifts his weight and clears his throat. He places one leg over the other and rests his hands there in a similar pattern. He looks surprisingly comfortable. I do not know this man at all.

    "I know I look...different, but you're gonna have to get over that. I'm here to gather and set things in motion. You, my old friend, are going to help me. It is officially time to end this." He definitely knows me.

    A silence ensues. The vacuum is rattling.

    This man stares at me in such an intense manner, time seems to stop. I'm pretty sure time has paused for us before. Recognition seeps in smoothly. Smoothly...smooth. I know everything.

    Suddenly, I feel like f*****g with him a bit. The old b*****d changes up on me. I can't see his eyes through the aviators, but I can feel them dicing me into small sections. Wondering if I'm coming back. He shifts his weight and clears his throat one more time before his hands crash down on the table, giving way to a monster in his throat. I flinch.

    "You can speak you f****r! Try it. I have little time left for any games!" People are looking at us with too much caution. He settles back into his metal chair and waits patiently with his signature smile.

    "Old man you need to calm down." This is what comes out of my mouth. My head is buzzing and I'm seeing too much light. My neck is soar so I say, f**k it, I and roll it around; cracking it many times over feels amazing. I massage the base of my skull with my hands then stretch my back out. "S**t. It is about time you came. This act got old eight years ago." The old man laughs a little, giddy with excitement. "I lost track there for the last few years, but your ugly mug brought all back real nice for me."

    "I didn't come to hear a b***h session. Just to collect you." He throws his gnawed on toothpick to the floor; selects a new. He replaces the old after biting off about a quarter of one end and spitting out the sharp tip. While he does this I get out of my wheelchair and push it away. As much as it stings, I tear out my catheter and throw it into the garbage. My Depends will have to stay on for a while, but the good news is I've already s**t today. My body is irrelevant so the infections won't matter. I get a metal chair and situate myself across the table from the old man for a proper discussion. 

    By now, you've figured out that I'm a fake. By now, you've also figured out that I do in fact, know this man. I have known him forever. Forever.

    "Getting right back down to business, I see. Just like you." He shakes his head.

    "That's me. Give me one of your picks." He gives me a look I truly recognize. A look of expectation. "Please and thank you." The old man lifts one out of his pocket and hands it to me.

    "It's good to see you."

    "I know. What's with the face?"

    "Hey now, I happen to enjoy this body. It's facial expressions suite me better, don't you think?" At this, he once again smiles.

    "You know, I think you're right." I smile with him. "Now that this phase is finished, the next will need a beginning. Fill me in." I tell him how ready I am.

    "Kid, you need to relax. We have some imperative things to take care of first. Besides, you should take a while to enjoy mobility again."

    "What else needs to be done?" I missed vocal communication. I love the vibrations in my throat. I'm loving the feel of what muscles I have left moving under my skin. I can move my self without fear of discovery. I missed laughing. I can scratch my itch and itch my scratches. I missed chewing on toothpicks. I want a f*****g cigarette. I will not miss being hand fed. I will not miss the smell in here.

    "Well, we're going to walk out of here and gorge ourselves on burgers and milkshakes." The old man winks at me. I forgot about winking. Huh.

    "That's imperative?"

    "For me it is." A serious look overcomes his face.

    "Why do we have to gorge? I've been fed here, you know that right?"

    "Well, yeah but I wasn't." A more than serious look overcomes his face.

    "What? Where have you been?" I honestly don't know.

    "I hid like you. I had no roof. I had no food and as you can see, the old body did not hold up so well. Old Gailyn was just too dilapidated. He was real handy there for a while, I just couldn't keep his blood pumpin'. I left and came back for you to finish this. For the last several months I've been very, very busy collecting inside this sonovabitch, and the old cab. You are officially my last pick-up. I've lived on gas station food for too long. I've been saving a good meal until I found you." His face went stagnant with a quiet grim breaking out across - cheek to cheek. "Let's go. We've got time to travel and time to talk."

     "Hey, you know there's a little over six bil out there. You think we're gonna find 'em all?" Arrogant prick just laughs and gives me the thumbs up for that comment and question.

     "Yeah, right at this moment, around six billion and six hundred million." Old man spurts this out immediately followed by Marley's confirmation from down the hall and to the right.

     We stand up and walk out of the cafeteria. Once in the hall, nurses and tenants alike stare in amazement as they watch me leave the institution. I am a free and mobile man-like entity. No longer mute. No longer unable to wipe my own a*s. No longer dead. Now I am only a trick of light.

    We find ourselves walking to the nearest diner. I'm more hungry than I thought. I took my diaper off. After a glorious meal in the hole-in-the-wall cafe and a short game of catch-up, we greet an old, restored Bonneville in the hospital parking lot. Beautiful. It's dark burgundy with a white leather interior. The top of course is currently retracted.

    I realize it's our ride. Nice.

    "Nice. Glad you didn't keep the cab for this stylish closing of universal curtains."

    The old man chuckles a bit and throws me the keys as he skips the door to hop inside instead. "Boy, the cab work is done."

    Sky's stay as calm as I want them to be, and the air is cool on my skin. Time to finish what we've started. We headed west on the interstate at exactly six 'o clock p.m. We were pointed at the crossroads. Sipping on chocolate milkshakes spiked with Sailor Jerry and listening to Blood On The Tracks, we vanish all in all into the setting of the sun.

    Three days later, I am never material again, and this reality ends as it was intended to end.

 

 

 

 

 

 



© 2010 Leap


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Featured Review

Definitely good, man. Strong voice for the narrator. I like the idea. The being trapped and not getting out, the monotony of it all. The waiting. "It was undeniable. We really were prison junkies and our heroin was trying to understand."< That was amazing. I loved how it came at the end of the paragraph too and not stuck in the middle somewhere...I copied it right when I read it so I could paste it here. Definitely brilliant. You did do the ' too many times. And what I mean by that is when you'd put something like, "I was waiting in the hospital. I was suppose to talk to my 'mentor' today". Those single quotations. It definitely works a lot but too many of them and the reader almost gets distracted and starts waiting for the next time it happens -- or at least I did for a bit. Other than that man, simple grammar errors were the only problem. The story as a whole is strong and should definitely be dived into more. I would love to read it in its completely entirety. The metaphor for the whole story was strong and the ending was great. I love ending it in a way that makes people almost have to go back and start over.
Overall, well done.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Definitely good, man. Strong voice for the narrator. I like the idea. The being trapped and not getting out, the monotony of it all. The waiting. "It was undeniable. We really were prison junkies and our heroin was trying to understand."< That was amazing. I loved how it came at the end of the paragraph too and not stuck in the middle somewhere...I copied it right when I read it so I could paste it here. Definitely brilliant. You did do the ' too many times. And what I mean by that is when you'd put something like, "I was waiting in the hospital. I was suppose to talk to my 'mentor' today". Those single quotations. It definitely works a lot but too many of them and the reader almost gets distracted and starts waiting for the next time it happens -- or at least I did for a bit. Other than that man, simple grammar errors were the only problem. The story as a whole is strong and should definitely be dived into more. I would love to read it in its completely entirety. The metaphor for the whole story was strong and the ending was great. I love ending it in a way that makes people almost have to go back and start over.
Overall, well done.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Leap
Leap

Portland, OR



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