If I Had a Hammer

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Two weeks ago there was only one way to get out of a room that I cared about, and that was straight through the door I came in. Now, I care about so many more.

I could climb out the window, hang from the ledge and drop to the ground that’s about 12 feet down. I could use my fist to punch the wall over and over until I break a little hole and then chip away at it with a small knife. I could pull the light fixture out of the ceiling and tear away the plaster above me, getting into the attic and out onto the roof.

All these things would be tantalisingly easy if I wasn’t tied to the radiator. The only thing I can think of now is pulling the radiator off the wall and watching the room flood and the floor weaken and collapse beneath me. But I don’t have the strength to lift my arm up for too long, let alone pull the radiator. Besides, he would find me marooned in 2 inches of rusty rad-juice before I got my chance to escape. Then he would probably touch me.

He gets everything delivered to his door so he doesn’t have to go out. Supermarket deliveries, dvd’s, pizza, books, cds… Anything you can put in a van, bring on a bike or fit in a post box comes through his front door everyday. I can hear the doorbell ring and faint voices sometimes, maybe whistling. He must see them pull up cause he always comes into the room to threaten me first. I nod, like an obedient slave, as he says ‘One word out of you and I’ll slit your throat’ or ‘Say anything and I’ll slip poison into your dinner’ or even worse ‘move a muscle and I’ll rape you’. I don’t dare disbelieve him. My imagination might tear me from limb to limb picturing all the ways that I could be free, but I won’t let him do it.

He opens the door to them. I almost wish they’d go away. The temptation to shout is as horrible as the punishment. I want them to leave me alone so I can think of a way to get out without them.

I have nothing to bargain with because I don’t know what he wants. Sometimes he waits outside my door and sings to me. Those are the worst times, dreadful off-key singing. Annie Lennox ‘Walking on Broken Glass’ and some protestant hymn ‘If I had a Hammer’ are his favourites. I cry then, when he sings. I cry because the songs he sings are mine too. Because I sang them in school, and in choir, and in the bathroom getting ready.

I cry because couldn’t even die if I wanted to.

Created: Feb 25, 2010


Kathy Document Media