Dialog Between Willy & His Brother

“I wish he would just die.”

“You don’t just wish for someone to die, Willy. You never do that. You know what happens if you wish someone would die and then they actually die?”

“Dunno, what would happen?”

“Well… a lot can happen, obviously. But none of them good, Willy, none of them good. Perhaps you feel guilty. Maybe, just maybe, you’d start believing they actually died because you wished it, Willy. You’d feel pretty bad, I can tell you that. Or maybe someone overheard you wishing, Willy. Ever thought about that? They’d call the police on you. Saying how they heard you wishing they would die and that you probably killed them yourself. You’d be a murder suspect just like that, Willy.”

“I wouldn’t like that at all.”

“Of course not, Willy, no one would. You know what you should do? Wish they would get something bad, but really, really unlikely. Or something to happen to them. Like, really bad, but very unlikely. That way if it happens, at least you could go on believing you have a super power or something. Or if anyone overheard you, they’d never mess with you again because they would think you might put a deadly magic sickness spell on them or something.”

“So, an illness then?”

“Well, not a cold or something, or a flu. No, something special and painful. And they would die in the end. Gruesome.”

“Like polio?”

“Polio could work, but I dunno how painful that is. I mean, do you die from polio? Don’t know. No, wish ’em something they’d die from for sure. Like a snake bite. Or malaria.”

“We’re in England. No deadly snakes here. Or malarias.”

“I know. But I said ‘unlikely’, remember? Can you imagine how afraid people would be of you if you wished a for a snake bite and then they would be bitten and they would just slowly die and be in pain for days? No one would be calling you Willy anymore, that’s for sure. They’d call you Will or William or sir or something. Respect you.”

“You call me Willy too, like, all the time.”

“That’s because you’re my little brother. I can call you whatever I want. And your snake bite trick won’t work on me, now would it?”

“No, guess not. Mum’s late. I hope we can have pizza for dinner. You know, because we are late because of her. I love pizza.”

Looking

Looking out over a city at night,
radiating light,
we stood on the rooftop balcony
of the restaurant we agreed to meet.
Sipping champagne,
we saw the endless flow
of white headlights and red tail lights
in the streets.
We pointed out the bright windows
and the people that lived in them.
The fat man in his white tank top,
on his fourth beer of a six pack.
The young girl, alone,
dancing in a colourful outfit
in a living room,
all furniture moved aside.
We must have stood like that
for over an hour.
Looking at the city
and the scenes that unfolded
on the little tv screens
that were appartement windows.

Looking in the corner of our eyes
became quick glimpses.
Quick glimpses became longer looks.
Longer looks became a deep
and intense staring.
Something grew that night.

I told you I did not know the words
to tell you how special the moment felt.
How special you seemed to me,
right there and then.
You said, “That’s okay, your eyes tell me all
I need to know”
. I remember every word.
We joked a bit
that this might very well be
that silly true love thing
other people always talked about.
And, like we often reminisced after that day,
we both hoped.

Only those who have seen
true love’s beautiful face
know there often is an ugly side too.
True love lasts a lifetime,
but relationships don’t give a fuck about that.

I heard you are happy again.
Good.
I see you on the pictures you share,
and you smile.
But I always zoom in as far as I can,
and your eyes tell me all I need to know.
I miss you too, my love.

One Time Beauty

She had never looked so pretty. Long hair, beautiful makeup, a gorgeous pink summer dress with red accents that really brought out her big breasts, and nails to die for. Of course the hair looked pretty because of the extensions, and the nails were not her own, but damn… the mirror made her happy for once. She couldn’t remember when she was so happy about herself. For the very first time she shot a selfie, posted it on her profile and sat down on the couch with a glass of wine to wait for the police to arrive.

Once the police chief got his stomach under control, he appeared before the tv cameras and stated that details about the crime scene could not be revealed pending the investigation. He did however reveal that one person, female, in her forties, had been apprehended and that – so far – one victim had been identified. Pale with disgust and sadness, he cut the interview short and walked back to his car – head shaking. In his decades of service, he had seen all kinds of human behaviour. From the best to the worst. This… this, never.

The prosecutor did not hold back when he told judge and jury what went down that fatal night in July. Police photographs of the scene illustrated his horror story, written to put her away for good. Her defense lawyer did not even try to deny the facts. There was no denying. The only thing he could do was add more gruesome details to the tale, in order to make his plea for insanity sound plausible. Judge and jury, pale in their faces, some crying, did not need a lot of time. Life without parole, to be locked up for good.

Her reflection in the metal prison cell mirror showed her true self, but she still saw the beautiful woman she saw that night. Long hair, makeup, dress and big breasts, nails. Of course the first responders were quick to take it away after they stormed in her house, but to her the image had stuck. Her husband, cut in pieces, stripped of skin and hair and mutilated in ways that made the coroner puke in a corner of the bathroom, finally helped her feel beautiful. After all those years of calling names, abuse and neglect. After all those years of wasting money on gambling and booze, leaving nothing for her to go to a hairdresser even once, to buy a dress or to go get a manicure.

His hair looked better on her anyway. His skin was loose enough to become a really nice dress, and his nails needed only a little bit of cleaning and scraping to fit on hers. The makeup wasn’t even planned, but his blood on her fingers made a convenient lipstick and gave her pale skinned cheeks a healthy blush.

He finally, just once, had made her feel beautiful.

She Chose

It’s only the knees and the fierce red dress I remember. Walking back into the party, after you said I should go first and you’d wait a while. You never gave me your name, and your face is long forgotten, but those knees… If I ever saw them again, I would know they belonged to you.

You chose me. We exchanged some looks across the dance floor, and I certainly thought you looked cute, but it was you that chose. You pulled me aside, whispered in my ear I should meet you outside, and went ahead. I remember standing there, not sure what to do. But you seemed so confident, you really did not give me a choice. You chose, and I remember a fiery curiosity that I could only extinguish by following you.

I remember walking back into the dancing crowd. I remember the glowing. The blushing. I remember standing at the bar, with a stupid grin on my face, watching the door that you would soon open to walk in. I remember a sense of panic as you didn’t show up. And when you finally did, I only saw your knees. Those beautiful knees, matching the colour of your spotless red dress. A testament to your skill and to your dedication; you never spilled a drop.

I kept my eyes on you that night, but you never looked back. And at a sparse moment I wasn’t looking, you left. Never again would we meet, and I think that was yet another choice you made for the both of us. My only memory those red, bruised knees under a bright red dress, and the itchy sensation of my chafed knees as the rough fabric of my jeans moved up and down on every step I took.

I am glad you chose me that night.

Mother Says

It was a day in June. The exact date has escaped me, but it was a Saturday. The week had been stressful, and as I always liked to do, I left home early and drove to the woods. A hike seemed to clear my mind; it sure as hell helped me deal with the shit I had to put up with at work. Just walking in the woods, I felt more connected with nature – with life, if you will. I felt more human, more alive, to leave the death and the grey of the concrete, tarmac and brick to enter the world of rivers, mountains and trees.
Around two o’clock I took my first break. I must have sat there for at least half an hour, enjoying the view and the absence of car noises, shouting people and sirens. Without really thinking about it, I plucked a little wildflower, growing beside my feet.
“You shouldn’t do that,” a young girl’s voice said.
She scared the living hell out of me.
“Hi there, you scared me for a minute,” I said, heart still beating like crazy. “Are you lost? I didn’t see anyone near when I walked up here.”
No answer.
“Are you all alone? Are your parents nearby?” I asked.
“Mommy is here,” she said.
I looked around, but saw no one else.
As if she felt right at home, the girl sat down next to me. I remember well how her little white dress had an intricate design of colorful flowers, bugs and birds on it. She might have worn shoes, but I can’t seem to recall anything other than the dress. That beautiful dress.
“Can I sit and talk to you, for a moment?” she asked.
“Sure, but aren’t you afraid mommy might go looking for you? Does she think it’s okay for you to talk to strangers like this? Won’t she be worried?” I asked, secretly hoping she’d feel inclined to go back to her mother. I’ve never felt particularly at ease with children.
“Mommy knows I’m here,” she answered. “She sent me. To sit with you and to talk to you, I mean. She wants me to tell you that you will die on November 5th.”
I needed some time to process. Took me a minute.
“What… how… why would you say such a thing? That’s… I mean, you can’t just say something like that to people. That’s not nice, and you shouldn’t be joking about something like death. That’s my birthday, for god’s sake,” I uttered.
“I know it’s your birthday,” she said, with a hint of regret in her voice. “And I know it’s not nice to say. Or to hear, for that matter. I dont like saying it. Not at all. But mommy was very clear: I was to meet you here, at this time, and I was to tell you you are going to die on November 5th. That’s it. I am not joking, I’m doing what mommy told me to do. That’s it. Now I gotta go back to mommy.”
And just like that she got up and started to walk back the way she came from. As if she was relieved her pesky job was over, she hopped out of sight. Maybe I should have followed her, but I was stumped. Don’t remember much of the way back either, but I guess I just walked back to my car and drove home. I remember sitting on my porch with a beer until long after dawn, that’s it.

Tomorrow is November 5th, and all I can think of today are the little girl’s last words as she hopped out of sight and I angrily yelled who her mommy was… who this wise lady was, if she thought she knew when I was going to die.
“She was here all the time, silly… she is everywhere around! She is the trees and the butterflies and the flowers and the river and the rock you sit on. She is the ants and the earth they build their nest in. She is the bird and she is the air under its wings. She is the sunlight and the shadows. She is everything and she knows everything. And if mommy says you’re going to die, you most certainly will. They always do, if she said so!”
Tomorrow is November 5th. And I don’t want to die.

Of Words and Sticks and Stones

I typed it all out. In one night. All the nasty things anyone ever said to me. Every remark, every negative comment and every joke made at my expense. Each one on its own sheet of paper.
Funny, it took me a lot longer than I anticipated. Quite a stack, I’ll tell you.
When I was done, I took a stapler and a box of staples. Bought them especially, that same afternoon. Looking at the pile of paper on my desk, I wondered if one box would be enough.
It was.
When I was done, I stood in front of the mirror. Small red lines of blood streaming from the spots where staples had pierced the paper – and then my skin. Darker lines, where the blood had been sucked up by the back of the paper. A crimson drop, here and there. Not as much on the ground, thankfully.
Every negative, fucking thing someone ever said to me. Stapled to my skin, and just my eyes were visible. I looked like a goddamn mummy, with his bandages stapled on while still alive. But, I stood tall. It hurt like hell, but I stood. And I stood. For hours. It didn’t kill me. That was never the goal of this.
Taking it all off was a pain in the ass. The dried and clotted blood held on to every staple I tried to wiggle out. In the end I found it best and least painful to just rip ’em off as fast as I could. Almost passed out, but – and I’m particularly proud of that – still I stood tall.
All my wounds have healed since. It hardly shows. Only if you know what I did, you’d be able to spot the little paired dots where the staples were. And if you knew what I did, maybe – just maybe – you’d understand how powerful I feel right now. I took all those words and purposely turned them into sticks and stones. I used staples to attach them to myself in a really, really painful way, and I stood tall. And then I ripped them all off. And that hurt even more.
But they are gone now. All those words. Gone, forever. I ripped them off my skin, but I tore them out of my soul at the very same time.
Those little red dots, neatly aligned two-by-two on my skin? Those are fucking bite marks. Tiny, little scars of tiny, little vampires that tried to suck the life out of me but failed. A warning to all other blood suckers: don’t you try and inject your poison. I’ll rip it out. And I’ll stand tall doing it. And it will only make me more powerful.

Under the Table

I like to hide sometimes. Not like children do, because I like it best when people aren’t even looking for me. It’s not a game anymore, and I am not a child anymore.

The more people, the noisier, the greater my urge to take a few steps back. To dissolve into some shadow.

Those moments, with lots of people and lots of their chattering, I don’t want to leave completely. Like a kid on a party will all grownups, I love being there and just observe. To hide underneath a table, so I can still hear everybody talk. See them sit and move, without them knowing – or caring – I am there. Okay, maybe a little like a child.

The best part is nobody ever seems to notice me gone. They just go on and on with their silly conversations. Laughing, shouting or whispering. Saying nothing important at all, they just seem to talk to fill the silence.

Witnessing that feels almost like eavesdropping. But it’s not. It’s a way to feel part of something I really can’t be part of.

I like to sit on the social sidelines like that, one foot on the playing field, one in silent solitude, watching the game like an anonymous member of the audience. Shifting my balance from one foot to another, in and out, as time passes.

Those who know, who understand or just let me be are the ones I hold dear. They accept it’s the best I can do, and do not think less of me for it. Like they would of a child, probably.