A sharp cry of fury pierces the quiet atmosphere of the public housing complex. Neighbors from almost a block away can hear incoherent statements of rage and disgust. However, they seldom hear the sounds of violence. One would have to linger just outside the door to get an inkling of the ****** noses, busted lips, ripped shirts, pulled hair, bruised skin, or reddening flesh punctuated with shouts of “I don’t hate you; I hate your action” or” you’re going to end up just like your father rotting in cell.” Even “say you’re sorry, say you’re sorry or else” or “If you got it so bad why don’t you call DCF and have them take you away.”
Though the statements varied and the violence was different it always ended the same. The young boy locked in his little room watching the world spinning on without him. No books, no games, no hint of fun allowed, or the ire of the matriarch would be incited and more violence would ensue. Only homework, bible, and sleep were allowed. Some days dark moments of despair would creep in. The little boy would eye the electric socket with curiosity and desperation. Thinking that all it would take is a butter knife. Jab that in there and this would be over.
Sometimes he would grab the blanket, crumpling it together till it formed a hill then trace the strange pathways around the cover like his index finger was a car, or imagine his route of escape from this silent prison. Other times he would lie on his back still as death only breathing. In and out, in and out over and over again till his body felt as though it was moving with the tides of an unseen ocean. On rare occasion if only for a minute or two he could almost feel his body recede and his consciousness float up and away. What a strange thing for an eleven year old to experience.
At night in order to fall asleep he would imagine himself with his favorite fictional heroes, saving the world, and being part of their family, accepted and loved. After an hour or so of strange heroic and familial fantasy the boy would slip into the safest place he knew. Daring to dream, reality would fold in upon itself. Spheres of varying color, overlapping and blending would float through his unconscious world. Space dust and sparkling stars urging him on into the strange void. Even the blinking explosions of dying star ******* greedily at his ethereal essence seamed a sweet relief from the daily nightmares of life.
In the midst of this mosaic wonder there was a perfect peace. He could softly surrender the darkest moments of the day. Bubbles of light would gently cradle him in their warm and wet reassurances. He could almost believe this was heaven. There were no loud or sudden movements of fury, there were no bruises or busted lips, only the sweetest freedom.
Waking, that world of wonder would retreat into the clotted corners of his already anxious mind. Until, their comfort and wonder became only impressions, which were eventually swallowed by the day. A day that would be spent ******* in a plastic cup or just draining himself on the ***** green carpet to avoid being yelled at or beaten for leaving his room.
From the window, he watched his peers play unhindered by the dark shadows that seemed to linger in every corner of his home. Sometimes he envied them, other times he found himself furious with them, laughing gleefully at the thunderstorms which interrupted their play time. Still when sleep released him to his playful peace there was just enough joy to sustain him, just enough happiness to get him through the day till the dreams would come again. Then again, inching ever closer to maturity, then to freedom of his flesh from the maternal *******, then freedom of his mind much much later in life.
Now with the ease of an old friend he visits those wonders each night; sometimes waking in tears of gratitude and pain other nights waking with a sense of reinvigoration and determination. Each day a blank canvas to paint a better world upon, and each night a brighter adventure then the one before.