Monday, May 7, 2012

Erasing, or The Last Hurrah

Think of anger. Think of the most angry moment in your life, the moment you thought you would explode from pent-up rage and pure, biting anger. Got it in your mind?

Now imagine being erased from somewhere you had lived for half your life. And I'm not talking about just your stuff being gone. I'm talking your pictures taken down from the walls and hidden in backs of closets, your room rearranged to the point where you can't find any of your stuff without actively searching, books you loved in baskets marked "To Book Sale", some of your stuff in bags for the garbagemen. I'm talking about the complete destruction of everything you knew, like you were some dispensable piece of plastic that was just callously thrown away, or a toy used until the novelty wore off, then thrown to the bottom of the toy chest.

Today, I went back to a building I haven't set foot in for half a year, and I never want to be there again. Ever. I never want to walk up that driveway again, never want to feel the crunch of the half-gravel beneath my feet. I never want to smell that dank, empty smell of that house, feel that chill against my skin. I don't want to walk those floors, or see the lurid colors of the walls. Today, I went to my mother's house for the last time, to get the few things I still wanted before I said goodbye forever.

In that accursed building, I felt all of that, and more. I felt sick, like I had contracted some deadly disease. Despite the fact that I had walked those floors for close to half of my life, I felt like a stranger, like an alien on some new and hostile planet. I went to go get my books, and found most of them missing. I never did find the comics I had left there; I think she might have used them as fire kindling, but I don't know. She never did like them. I went to get my fossils, and found them in the back of the closet, hidden away behind the linens. I found a picture of me back there, too. Me, maybe two years ago, smiling at the camera, along with a picture of she and Dad on their wedding day. It was all I could do not to tear the place apart, or to run screaming.

I walked around that house once, just to see if I was dreaming, or in a nightmare. It was like I was in a stupor. I couldn't see, I couldn't hear. All I could see were memories, all I could hear was the sound of her screaming in my ears. It was so terrible, so terrifying. I'm glad I didn't get through the whole house; I probably would have been violently ill. As it is now, I feel desperately unclean, and like I have just emerged from the lair of some deadly serpent.

But still present is that biting, terrible anger. Through all the pain, and the fear is still the burning brand of rage, rage at being replaced by portable air conditioners, a new TV, and five chickens. Rage at being erased. Rage at having to do something that no-one should ever have to. Rage at being forced to hate someone I should have loved.

So I bid them adieu, and farewell. There is no power on this planet that could force me back into that building, into that life. That book is closed, that door has been locked. And now it's raining, washing away that sickness. I can't say as how I'm going to miss any bit of it.

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