Saturday, March 10. 2007
Posted by Johnny Elbows in A Defense of My Life, by Jonathan Bicara
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I jerked awake, startled by some unfamiliar noise. I forced myself to lie still, listening carefully as my heartbeat slowed to normal. Whatever it was, the noise did not repeat itself. Hours seemed to crawl by as I laid there, trying to fall asleep. Finally, I got up.
The sliding glass door seemed to grate on its tracks as I pulled it open. I waited, half expecting David to come out of his room, tousle-haired and crabby, but nothing happened. Quietly, I stepped out onto the deck, raising my face to the moonlight, and savoring a deep breath of the cool night air. The nearby trees shivered in a slight breeze. I felt it whisper around me, carrying a whiff of pine and wildflowers.
I sank down onto the deck, leaning my head against the rough logs of the cabin. The night sky, endless and full of questions stretched overhead. "What am I doing here?" I murmured to myself. "This isn't my problem. It isn't my fight. Even now, I bet I could go home. I could tell them everything, and they'd leave me alone."
"Yes, you could. And yes, they would. But you won't." Startled, I looked around for the source of the voice.
"Who are you?" I tried to hide the tremble in my words.
There was no answer. I jumped to my feet to look around. No one. The night was still, black, and empty.
I slumped back down, resting my forehead wearily on the heel of one hand. "I've got to get some sleep. Now I'm hearing voices."
"Would you feel better if you were seeing things, too?"
I was on my feet in a moment, staring wildly around, searching for a weapon, and searching for the voice. A strange, nagging sensation picked at my brain. Something was wrong. No, not wrong, just . . . the breeze. It was gone. The trees were frozen, completely motionless. And somehow I knew that even the stars had stopped their movement. Time was standing still.
I turned slowly around. "Are you there?"
"What's happening? Am I dreaming?"
"Who are you?"
"Hmmm." I could almost hear a laugh in the voice.
"So . . ." I trailed off, waiting for some kind of introduction or explanation. When none was forthcoming, I repeated myself. "So, who are you?"
"Give me a name, and that is who I am."
"You want me to give you a name?"
"Didn't you just ask me to?"
"But you said ---"
"I said, 'give me a name, and that is who I am.'"
"Think about it."
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