I'm standing in a small living room, dead center. My family and even some people I don't know, all proud Mexican people, stand around me.
I don't know why, but this memory is blurry and filled with static.
Some buzzing, angry voice cuts my ears. The sound a sharp, electric squeal. It hurts less as I get used to it, but I've been used to it. My ears tune the squeal and I know this sound. My uncle maybe. To be honest I can't remember.
My mind drifts off.
I blink in the light from the projector. Words flash across a sterile screen, something about an opioid overdose. First aid training presentation. I sit in a chair that's too small for me. My hips feel bruised.
Someone in class answers a question but I'm barely paying any mind. I can't stop thinking about drugs. I read the words in our follow along study guide earlier and now I can't get it out of my head...my head.
The hum turns into a low rumble.
I glance over to where it's coming from, the corner of a ****** apartment, the rumble creeps through the wall until it hits the sliding door to the balcony. Lightning bolt. I'm tripping acid somewhere I used to live.
I know I'm not there though. Just more flashbacks. Just more memories of things that feel good.
The phone rings.
I'm in my car, my cousin hesitates through the phone. My grandpa has cancer. I don't know how to feel because I've been avoiding him. I try to feign distress. Maybe make him think I'm not a terrible person for not knowing if I'm supposed to care…
I know I feel something. My stomach feels uneasy, like it always does. Except right now it feels uneasy like it usually doesn't. I tell him I need to hang up. I do. But it feels like a lie. I am self centered.
I am quiet.
The living room full of brown skin and brown eyes, red spit. They yell at me. My uncle's make fun of me for being ashamed of my skin. My last name is Montejano, but today my thirteen year old self has disowned my family. I'm tired of being called immigrant at school.
My cousins are solace, peace. I'm sure one of them told, but they pretend they care and some of them mean it. I am the bully in my family, I see them and I wonder if I even deserve my brown skin.
The memory sort of fades as I listen to the talking in front of me. Projector playing a slideshow. Things I should be writing, things I know. My right index finger is cut by a glass I'm washing in the sink.
The wound is large. I can see loose tissue while I wash it out. We find duct tape and some paper towels from the burgers we had last night.
I snort xanax. I'm outside.
Someone's playing guitar, I'm looking at the ceiling. It's just a memory but it feels so good.
My grandpa is in the driver's seat of a semi truck. We are passing a massive golden spire surrounded by trees. Somewhere near Maine or Virginia. As I try to remember the place we were, his face fades. His black hair is grey. And I don't remember it.
We're sleeping at a truck stop where he warns me not to open the doors at night. I don't sleep.
I step out of my dad's pick up truck a week later and it's the first time I experience perspective shifts, his truck isn't as big as my grandpas.
This is the first time I realise how small I am.
I'm pulling into a parking space as I get home from work. I can't remember how I got here.