Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So as I have done a couple of times in the past here on this blog, I wanted to write a series of short stories about a concept I have been really studying and questioning over the past few months. So over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be posting a couple different short stories that are all a unified piece.
But before I jump right in to the story, I have to say this:
It has been a great while since I have been here, blogging world. And theres a part of me that wants to apologize, and then another part of me that goes, "I was living." So I'm going to go with that voice. I'm sorry for the 5,000 of you who have been on this blog since my last post( which is INSANE! I didn't even write anything new and theres been 5,000 views, what the crap?! Thats awesome.) But back to the originally statement, sorry for not keeping up with this blog. A lot has happened in my life over the past few months. Many different things I could dive into. Such as film school, work, Rob Bell's newest release that has stirred much a controversy over the past few weeks, the screenplay I am writing for a college course, many many things I could talk about, but right now is not the right time. Just know that for those of you who read this blog just to make sure that I am in a healthy mental place, know that I am doing great. Florida is starting to make sense and feel a little homier.
So with that little catch up paragraph we can now dive into the first short story of the series.
THE FACELESS SERIES: Willie's Tale Part I
I think it is safe to say that most people feel hurt at least once or twice in their lifetime. But I'm not talking hurt like, stub your toe on the bench type of hurt, I'm talking real hurt. Throughout my life I've seen a lot of pain in the eyes of the people that surround me. Even the people I do not even know, I can pass them and see pain just resonating in the damp eye sockets of a man or woman, who at one point, knew the feeling of happiness. I don't know if its a gift or a curse that I can see pain, or if it is my past that made me really see life for what it really is. I can not pin point the reason for my ability to see the pain in the eyes of the hurting, but I can pinpoint where it began...
When I was 9 years old, my parents knees buckled with the weight of the Depression. With my fathers scarce wages, and my mothers little money earned here and there, the family barely stayed a float. I still wonder to this day how we made it the first 9 years of my life. All I know is that it came to a point, where it was unbearable for my father. My mother later told me that my father couldn't stand the thought of not being a provider for his family, which drove him to his death. My father shot himself, leaving his family in even worse shape than before. I know that my story is not one that is unique, many men couldn't take it back in the day of the perfectly named, Great Depression. It was a dark time and I wish that the coward had stuck it through. If he had, maybe my mother wouldn't have died with so much guilt on her chest...
I think the clearest memory I have of my past, is the morning that I was dropped off at the Manchester...
My mother woke me up early that morning. I remember looking at my bedroom window and still seeing the streetlight pouring in and halfway illuminating my mothers face.
"Willie, willie wake up, baby." I looked at my mothers face and could see that there were tears streaming down her face. "What's wrong mom, why are you crying?"I remember asking her and then placing my hand on her face. I can still feel the warmth of her cheeks and the stinging heat of her tears. Her tears carried more than just sadness. They were boiling with sadness, grief, and desperation. "Willie, listen to mommy, I'm only going to say this once and we haven't much time. Mommy has to go away for a little bit. I am going to be taking you to this very nice house called the Manchester. It is the nicest place you could ever see. They have warm beds and warm meals, and very nice teachers there. You are going to love it." I could see my mother struggling to convince herself of this as she spoke to me. "But I don't want to go there mommy, I want to go with you." This was when my mother lost all control. She broke down and started sobbing hard into my chest. After a few minutes or so she gathered herself enough to tell me, "You can't baby. You can't. You need to go to the Manchester. Mommy can't pay for both of us to eat right now. You need to be eating enough for your growing body, and I can't provide that for you right now." My mother's hot tears rained from her cheeks like weights down onto my face. Every one of them carrying so much in their downfall. "I'm not going mom, I don't have to eat." That is when my mother smiled at me, "Yes, you do. This is going to be a good experience for you. Don't worry, you're going to make lots of friends, and then mommy will be back to get you once I've raised enough money for us to live right. I promise..."
The sad part is I believed her that morning. I never knew my mother to be a lying woman, so I took her word and obediently packed my few things into a small sack. The whole time my mother was packing her things like she was going somewhere too. It was like the one time we went up to see my grandmother up in Baltimore before she passed away. It was almost as if we were going away on vacation together. "So its like a vacation mommy?" I asked genuinely from my bedroom to her in hers. She then walked in with the biggest smile I had ever seen. "It's just like a vacation baby. Before you know it, we'll be back here at home together, so enjoy the vacation while you're there. Sound good?" "Yes, mam. I will," I then gave my mother a big squeeze and told her how much I would miss her, but I knew we would see each other soon as she had promised many times that morning.
The walk to the Manchester had to be the fastest 3 miles I've ever walked in my entire life. Ever second I could feel my mother slipping away. Even at 9 years of age I knew that she was going to be gone for a longer amount of time than she had promised, but I knew that she was doing what she felt was best. My father had always told me that my mother was my saving grace and that she would be the reason I stay alive, and I knew that was true.
When we reached the Manchester my mother pulled me close and held me for a long time... but surely it was not long enough.
She told me all the things to say when I walked up to the door, "Tell them you're name, you're age, and then Willie, you're going to have to lie..." "Why mother? You always told me to tell the truth. I can't lie." "Yes, yes you can Willie, you have to. You're going to tell them that you are an orphan and tell them that the minister told you to come here." As she spoke the words I could feel the hot tears streaming down my face. I tried to do my best to "be a man," as my dad always told me to do when I felt like crying, but I couldn't hold them back anymore. Neither could my mother, her tears were bountiful as well. There in the cold I could see our tears piercing through the snow and creating steam... After a few minutes of holding each other and telling each other that it would be alright, it was time.
My mother kissed me on the forehead and she ran off into the darkness...
I could hear her footsteps and her tears for a good minute before everything fell silent. Once I could hear her no more, I did as she had told me to do. I knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer. A small, slender woman answered the door dreary from her sleep that I had awoken her from. She stared at me for a long time making sure I was real. "Can I help you son?" "Yes mam, my name is Willie Krauter, I am 9 years old, and I am an orphan. The minister told me to come to you for a warm place to sleep, and warm food to eat." I did it, I broke the code my mother had always told me not to break, I lied. Once the lie has slipped out of my lips the woman had already pulled me inside. "You poor thing, let's get you inside."
Once the door shut, the house was completely dark. The woman knew her way around the house even through the darkness. She bent down close to me and told me, "Stay quiet, the other children are sleeping." "Yes, Mam," I whispered to her as she began to take me from the front door step to my new bed. Once we reached the bed she whispered one last thing, "Welcome to the Manchester Willie. This is your bed. Get some sleep, we've got a big day tomorrow, everyone is going to want to get to know the new guy. Night willie." And with that she pulled the covers over me and vanished into the darkness...
I did not sleep at all that night. The bed I laid in was much warmer than the thing rag I had at home to sleep under, so it wasn't a comfort issue. I was too worried about my mother. How would she make it without dad or I to help her? I spent all night worrying about my mother and when she would be back. All the while of being lost in my worries I stared out the one window at the end of the bedroom and watched as the sky began to slowly fade from black to violet, to the blue that we all barely notice throughout our days. As the light began to pour into the room I began to see how many others surrounded me. There had to be at least 30 beds besides mine. All aligned around the walls of room. I could see some of there faces, they didn't look dirty like the orphans that I would always see on 2nd Ave begging for change when my mother would take me cleaning with her. These children looked clean. They looked nothing like beggars, nothing like the orphans I had seen.
Right as I felt the weight of my eyelids begin to capsize over my eyes, they sprang open with the sound of a woman entering the room screaming, "Rise and shine children. 7 o'clock time for breakfast. Up, Up, Up time to wake up."
Slowly the children began to rise, and slowly one by one each of the children began to fix there gaze towards me....
To be Continued.
Media Associated With This Post:
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Siamese Dream
Pictures All Found on Google Images