Sometimes I need a smooth latte to squelch my thirst. I feel primed and ready to explode. Everything stands at attention, snaps back at my grin, a feel good moment that just wants to burst forth and cop a feel. A smirk and shift in posture that leads the audience on a magic carpet ride—a political romp through the grittiest of Safaris. I’d show Hemingway around whilst reading a Fleming. I’m a spy built for battle–a mage destined to take the tower in hooded geekiness. I’d stand atop arms akimbo awaiting for a bolt of lightning to strike my chest. Heart Attack, a flash, and then the sky ripped open and a bolt of Zeus struck my chest, singed the hair, Vibraniumed my rib cage, and jump started my heart like a Chevette possessed to run. I would have fallen to my knees if I were a lesser man, but instead I transcended—I floated. I found my path and it wasn’t grounded in literals and metaphors it was steeped in literary sophistication. As my vision cleared there it was—a pen and a piece of paper propped up on a pedestal. Like a fountain run black with squid’s ink it flowed and spurt forth lexicons and dictions that kicked the studded tires and squealed out on the lanes of rhetoric.
I looked to the right—and, then I looked to the left.
“Nothing there,” I whispered to Ollie the stuffed elephant.
He wore attire akin to Babar, but I christened him Ollie after watching Orlando slay an Oliphant in “Lord of the Rings.” I crept out from behind my bed. I had pushed it away from the wall—leaving just a large enough gap for me to slither behind–with Ollie in hand.
“Ssshhhh, Ollie it’s ok. It’s almost over.”
Mommy and daddy were fighting in the living room, and it was making Ollie upset. I could hear daddy cursing. He was saying words I had never heard before, but I could barely hear them over mommy’s crying. I was brave, so I didn’t cry, but Ollie was scared and he wouldn’t stop.
“Ssshhhh,” I said again.
He stopped fussing for a bit, but I could still hear him whimpering. I heard a loud crash from the kitchen and suddenly mommy stopped crying. Everything was silent—even Ollie stopped. I scuttled under my bed and hid. The door slowly opened and the light from beneath the door spread throughout my room. I cupped my hands over Ollie’s mouth to keep him quiet.
“Bud…where you at?” my father said softly, “I know you’re here.”
This time I was scared. I slid further beneath the frame of my bed. The last time he talked like that I got hurt and now everything’s fuzzy if I think too hard and I don’t remember things too well anymore. My closet door groaned open.
“Bud, you in there?”
My pajama pants snagged on a loose nail in the floorboard and ripped. Normally the sound would have been minute, but with the tension in the room it sounded deafening. I automatically clasped Ollie’s ears. Suddenly my dad’s face appeared.
“There you are bud.”
He clumsily groped for me but he couldn’t see very well because of the blood on his face. I kicked in him in the face—hard. He groaned like the closet door and then cursed again.
“You little bastard. Get the fuck over here before I break your fucking legs.”
I screamed and lunged for the other side of the bed. I scuttled out like a crab, but scraped my back on the metal frame. I screamed again. I start running for the door with Ollie in hand. I made it out the door and stumbled into the living room. I looked over my shoulder and saw pure hatred. I tripped over mommy and fell into the kitchen. He smiled.
I flipped over and said, “Sorry Ollie,” and swung him out in front of me.
The little buttons on his vest raked across daddy’s face and he stumbled over mommy just like I had. At that same moment there was a loud ‘BOOM!’ and the dishes shook. Suddenly daddy’s chest started to turn red and he slumped to his knees and fell beside mommy.
I started crying. I couldn’t find Ollie. And, then everything turned black.
When I awoke all I could hear were people murmuring and the soft tone of a television. I was in an all white bed. My vision was blurry, but I sat up and began frantically searching.
And, then a nice man in a uniform handed me something soft.
“Ollie!” I squealed with glee.
“He was a bit of a mess, but we cleaned him up real nice for you,” said the nice man.
Everybody in the room was staring at us.
“Thank you—,“ I began to stammer out, “—but, where’s mommy.”
“She’s alright,” said the nurse that I hadn’t even noticed, “she’s in the next room. She just had a little bump on her head. Officer Ackles here made sure to take care of her while you were asleep.”
“Thank you Mr. Ackles.”
“Just call me James, son”
“Okay,” I said, drawing out the ‘a’ as I clutched Ollie.
I don’t remember much after that. I remember Ollie, I remember seeing the nice man again, and I remember seeing mommy, but everything was a haze as I fell in and out of sleep.
I was seventeen at the time. I’m forty-nine now. What I do remember is—is Ollie. That was the night Ollie the elephant killed my father.
Like a mad Mrs. Dash I hit the pavement running. King couldn’t catch this “Running Man”; not even with a pen and a stack of pages. I scratched back like a Jimmy Dean skimmin’ across a record with a vibe and a slick groove. Electric…wait for it…slide. More curvy than a thick 8-track and more retro than a phonograph I hit the curb and skittered off to the tower of Titans. I heard a chirp; I heard a flutter.
I thought to myself, “Is it a blue jay? A robin? Nah.”
I pushed it from my thoughts and thought about the universe. Lightning and thunder clapped and rained down around me as I sprinted to an unknown finish line. I’d cross it and cross it again before even the next lighting flashed like a ’58 bulb caught in time. The Flash wish he could run like me. Speeding by cars and trucks I leapt tall buildings to show that the Super Man wasn’t the only one who had hops. The sun winked and urged me on—I winked back and the moon raised an eyebrow. My sneaks sparked and moaned, they caught fire and split, but I kept runnin’. I hit Mach 5 like Ani on a Swoop. The sands of Tatooine couldn’t hold a speedster like me. I broke the chains of the Huts just to take my disappearing shackles back to Houdini as he plunged into the cold waters of the Green River. Pop culture at its finest. Keanu may have had a runaway bus, but Bullock took one for the team and hit the high seas for round two.
“Just crusin’,” I whispered to myself.
Even my breath caught wind and broke the sound barrier. BOOM! Even a whisper can shape the future. A butterfly effect in full swing. It dances with the past and serenades the present. Chaos theory organized and then reshuffled just to be jumbled by the muttering of words that caught enough velocity to break sound. I smirked and lurched forward. I took a tumble caught a rock and sled to a stop. The Mojave was hot, but it was about to get hotter. I took a runner’s stance and took a step forward. Faster than the speed of light I rocketed from my position into the stratosphere. I reached the stars and then the heavens in less then a millisecond. There I found the den of dead Gods and again I smirked.
“Freewill it is.”
I fell. I crashed through the troposphere and hit the tropics creating a mushroom cloud of rock and foliage as it after shocked my system to the current moment. I took off again. I had places to be and my thoughts were already there. I needed to catch up.
I feel like a man out of time; not quite here, not quite there. I have thoughts and revelations, capricious notions scattered throughout a contemporary wasteland. I am told I am clever and witty. I merely adore the arts. The beauty inspired by others inspires me. It wishes me to compose my odd prose. What better career, in an age of doubt and atrocity, is there than to be surrounded by pure awe? To hear an acoustic riff that sparks the electric soul to soar into a nostalgic cloud is an experience of humanity; to see the brush strokes of a master as they depict the sadness and happiness of a life is an experience of humanity; to smell the vast wafts of spices, sauces, and herbs is an experience of humanity. They all propel the soul into a stratosphere of transcendental elation. I want to be a writer, not because I believe I am talented or am deserving of the career, I want be a writer because it allows me to share a piece of these beauties. It allows me to be apart of something greater than myself. I perceive the world differently because I see the beauty of it. The horrors are masked, eroded, and non-existent in a land filled with art and culture. The written word is my avenue and the pen is my Mustang…all I have to do is drive.