As a child, I was a barbed thing. I exhaled cold, hard Octobers and relished the stolid, 9-month rain. My mind fogged over thoughts of what-was-before-birth as my bleeding fingers dug for skeletons and stones to tell me stories about the Earth.
“You’re a fancy little thing, a goodie-two-shoes prude,” he’d say, his eyes the colour of dying leaves.
I was six-years-old and whispered words I considered dear friends, like countenance and wont and indubitably. I had discovered classic books and slept with an old, weathered dictionary.
And I walked around with a little rubber Dracula-bat for company.
“Street smarts are what you need,” came his words, lugubrious and warbling, as he held me beneath the numbing waters of the sharp-shadowed lake.
Splotches of ink leaked before my eyes and I found there was a kind of peace in drowning.
A visceral disgust.
Drunk on a spore-coughing revulsion, inward-turned and blooming like a fungus, I cursed, wishing I had cinderblock fists and a swarthy, iron frame.
I was just a small animal that bristled when he kicked.
And all I could see were his eyes, the colour of old stones at the bottom of a creek.
My one imaginary friend.
It is so enticing to lapse into that velvet mildew of black.
There is a peace in that kind of drowning.