Waking Up

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It was dark outside, I could tell. It's quieter at night, like things are farther away somehow.

I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling. Patterns show up in anything if you stare at it long enough. I tried to imagine what I was seeing would somehow show me something new. Something I hadn't seen before. Answers maybe.

How is it possible to see answers even in patterns when the secrets are locked away so deep? Especially when I'm the one who's locked them away. No matter how hard I look, I'm sure I'll be able to trick myself into not seeing the answers. I'm good at that. Distracting myself from what's real.

The hardwood floors are cold to walk on. Just as I turn the shower on, the phone rings. I listen to it ring. By the time it stops, the water is hot and I climb in. It might help if I turn on the light but I'm not sure I want to see what I know will be there. Blood. It's always blood.

Don't ask me where it comes from. I couldn't tell you. But every night it's the same. Wake up sticky; spend most of the night cleaning up blood. Washing clothes, skin, sheets, windows, walls - you name it, if it has a surface I've cleaned it innumerable times. Ow. My head hurts. I check around but it's inside where it hurts. I'd better not think about it or it will get worse. It always does.

Later when the shower is clean and the laundry is running its third load I go to the refrigerator and look for something to eat. Nothing looks good, as usual. It might help if I actually bought food to put in it but even in the stores, nothing looks good. Fuck it, I'm not hungry anyway.

I hear someone walk by in the hallway. They stop for a moment outside my apartment door but leave. Probably the landlord again. Don't know why. I pay my rent. Maybe he's worried I'm going to move out or something. Everyone else in the building seems to be leaving. Who knows, I don't talk with my landlord much anymore. He stopped asking if I was leaving last week. I assured him everything was fine and I wasn't planning on going anywhere. He didn't say much in response. Maybe it was all the blood on my hands and face when I answered the door that night.

Now he just accepts the rent and leaves me alone for the most part. Maybe he wants me to leave, I don't know. But where was I going to find a place with rent this low or a landlord that's so understanding? I think the understanding I have with him after I caught him installing a hidden camera in my bathroom helped though. I guess as long as I don't turn him in, he doesn't make a big deal about the rent. It never worked anyway. The camera I mean.

I need some fresh air so I put the laundry in the dryer and lock up. The night air is refreshing, the noise is far away. But footsteps grow closer. Patterns, remember?

I recognize the pattern. I'm being followed. Maybe not intentionally but that's easy to change. My head starts to hurt again. Something inside is trying to wake up and scream.

I change the way I walk. It's easy to get followed. Walk like a victim and be a victim. Hesitate just so, walk a bit more. Adjust my short skirt self-consciously and huddle my arms around my chest as though I have something they shouldn't see. Soon enough the pattern changes as do the voices. Not just the ones in my mind, but the boys following me now.

My head hurts more and less in a strange way. It's almost as though I could put my finger on it but not yet. As if the footsteps are tapping a code I can almost decipher. I quickly and obviously take a wrong turn down an alley and run very helplessly and girlishly to the end and turn to greet my stalkers with a gasp.

They most definitely have me at a disadvantage and I make that as apparent as possible. My head is pounding almost to bursting and I grab my temples and fall to the ground. They take that as an invitation and come at me.

That's when the pain stops and I remember. As they're ripping at me and pushing me around I remember why I'm here and what I'm supposed to do. I also remember why about the blood.

Waking up is hard some days... you'll have to excuse me. I have some cleaning up to do. See you tomorrow maybe.

Created: Jun 27, 2010


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