"closed to the public " working title
I lay in my bed... which has become a soft cushion far away from the defined word of "bed". Or in other words, i miss the feeling of being genuinely tired. My eyes are sore from lack of sleep and i'm just, here. The blankets are half
thrown off me... half on, all tangled up between my legs. My hands are gracefully & symmetrically folded on my stomach. And my eyes are on the cieling... zeroing in on sleep, or so i hope and try. I start to sweat and turn over to my left. The wall is merely four feet away and against it is a television that hasn't been on in ages. And even if it had, all that would be on it would be static.
Picture frames liter the room, with pictures removed. Some gracefully and others... the broken or unbroken glass only symbolizes my mood at the time that i removed them. Letting out a deep sigh i swing back and lay on my right side, now shivvering with cold and now gripping the blanket i had so carelessly thrown off me earlier. I kick it off my feet and shut off the fan at the end of my bed using my toes. I was too tired to reach with my arms. Also at the end of my bed is a window that i can barely see out through the squint of my eyes that i've created by settling my head in a nest of blankets and sheets. I stop the loud mix of tedious breathing and sighing and listen to the wind outside... it's probably one of those nice days outside.
The days which, when you were younger, would have you playing two-square or basketball with the other boys of the neighborhood. The girls would be near-by in their polka dot dresses playing hopscotch, twirling their jumpropes, their dollies along side them and they would be singing.... just singing with pride in their voice... always singing the same songs...
"Miss mary mack mack mack, all dressed in black black black," they would continue for hours, only a drive-way away. Oh how we would tire of them and their stupid songs.
"with silver buttons buttons buttons, all down her back back back," and they trailed off...
"ANNA, TOMMY!" my best friend's mom called for tommy and his sister... interrupting both the girls' and the boys' games. I watched Anna obidiently get up... pink dress with yellow ribbons, white shoes with dirt on the bottom, one of her knee-high white socks had gathered at the bottom. She stood up and then began to run, only to bend over a minute and pull up her sock. She had no grace as a girl... she was too worried about pulling up her sock to notice that as she bent over she was showing us her minnie mouse panties. We giggled as Tommy looked embarrassed and took one last shot at the basketball hope then chased after his younger sister. Their mom, positive they were obeying her, retreated back inside.
It was like this the whole summer of six grade for us, but the next summer we almost ubruptly stopped giggling when we caught a glimpse of Anna or any of the other girls' panties.
And by that time, they weren't decorated with a cartoon mouse.
I remember when I knocked on Tommy's door for someone other then Tommy for the first time.
"Oh, hello, George," his mother answered politely, knowing my face. She looked her best as it always was when she was flashing that shining suburban smile with those mauve colored lips. "I'll go get Tommy," she replied too quickly to be stopped. I was so nervous i couldn't say a word if i had wanted to. My shoulders shrunk low and i turned around to go sit on the steps, fingering the letter in my hand that i had meant to give Anna. It said everything that a 14 year old could possibly know about love. And to be honest it's still all i know about love. The butterflies & heaviness my skin feels when she's around... how much i'm tongue-tied even though i want to say the world to her. The only difference between now and then is i was only neglecting doing my math homework by daydreaming of her and now i'm neglecting more so-called "adult" things. I thought about ripping up the letter right then and there. It was a stupid idea... Anna would never love me. I stood up, looking down at my feet and began to walk across the street to my house.
"Where ya goin? Tommy will be right out," i heard the screen door open as she stepped outside. I turned around quickly to see Anna, and i said nothing.. voice in my throat. "He's just finishing up the dishes." She was barefoot and had pink nail polish on her toes. In her hands was a can of orange soda that she was drinking with a straw.
"Right," i muttered out, standing still. She looked at me awkwardly and then motioned toward the letter in my left hand with her head.
"What's that?" she asked, a smirk on her young face. Her brown hair was pulled back in pigtails, strands loosely falling out.
"Oh, nothing," i lied and hid it behind my back. "Just something i wanted to show Tommy."
"Well i want to see too," she said and took a step forward. When i pulled it away quickly she snapped back, obviously surprised. "Let me see!" she whined.
I just shook my head and doged her grabbing hands.
"You can't!" i said and stuck it in my pocking, pushing away her hands. My movement caused her to spill her orange soda down her white blouse and she looked at it in horror... quickly dropping her can to the ground and pulling the blouse from her chest.
"Look what you did, George Bayley!" She accused, looking up at my in anger.
"I didn't do it!" I gasped. "It was your own fault."
"This was my favorite shirt..." she continued.
"It's just a shirt, you can buy a new one just like it," i retorted smuggly but she wasn't listening. By that time she had already began to cry. She ran back into the house, pushing her way past Tommy on her way out.
At the look of her crying Tommy smiled. "What'd you do man?" he asked, referring to his sister. I just laughed, pretending it didn't matter and shrugged. "Sisters." he said. "Come on, I got something to show ya!" He continued on while i was still gazing into his house... I could still see Anna quietly sobbing in the house while her mother knelt down before her, wiping the shirt with a cloth trying to comfort her startled daughter. Her father was nearby in a reclining chair watching television... the only visible part were the bottom of his legs and a hand resting on his knee holding the remote control, much sedated to the world beside him. I watched as she dried her tears, contemplating the idea of an apology. Anna glanced over and seen me watching... immediately marching to the door and slamming it in my face. I flinched at the gesture of the style and grace she used without even thinking of the consequences.
But i soon retorted to her selfish act by tearing the letter in quarters and then placed all of the pieces into my pocket. It wasn't my fault anyway, i thought to myself and turned around to follow Tommy to his backyard.
There was a wooden treehouse that our fathers had built in the back of Tommy's yard. It was a typical treehouse, for typical boys. I climbed up the ladder to join Tommy and his grin.
"Well what is it?" I asked, dulled already. He produced a long, small lumpy rolled sac of paper with dried grass sticking out of one of the ends. I threw my hands up in questioned.
"You know those cigarettes that our dad's smoke that smell real bad?" he sighed heavily. I nodded. "I took un from him when he was sleepin earlier." He patted down the opposite pocket, then pulled out a red bic lighter.
"Why'dja do that?" I asked.
"Why do ya think? We're gonna smoke it!" He sat down and i sat right across from him on my knees. I leaned close to get a better look as he tried to light the lighter. He stuck the cigarette in his mouth first to free both of his hands for the lighter. He held it with both of his hands... one thumb on the red button and the other rolling down the metal. It took him about five times to get it fast enough to create a spark, and another five to get it to ignite the flame.
Then the flame finally appeared.
I was pushed back to the present tense by the phone, which i knowingly wouldn't answer. I looked at it as if it were a stranger's visable stoma, when i realized it was the culprit for disfiguring my much yearned for sleep. Although the phone rang next to me on the table my mind lingered with that one past moment in the tree house with Tommy and the few moments before; the first time i was scorned by a girl.