Sometimes when I wake up I remember a time when I would get up and look in the mirror and think about how much more interesting ugly things are. Brush, brush, brushing my teeth and looking at my face. I can’t really remember any. Any faces at all. What faces would pass by the window that looked like the faces shaped the way they were supposed to be shaped. Instead, every night ten plastic faces go by the window and I used to be scared of them and I would hide my head in my hands, but now I remember how I feel in the morning and I forget they’re outside, and I fall asleep. Such a little boy he was. Now I don’t hear anything except for the noises I think are in my head but may be from out there. No. I have to be right. The children calling each other names and spitting and pointing and laughing at me through the glass. How dare they. Question what I’m worth. I’ll show them. No. It’s not real. Don’t go out there. Can I keep them?
I tried to hold them and love them like they didn’t to me, but their brittle faces crack and fall off and they cry. Red and blue lights everywhere. What have I done?
Someday the bandages will come off, and I’ll remember the face I used to see every morning while thinking those thoughts. I try to pull on them with my fingernails, which are getting longer and browner each day, but nothing happens. I just scratch and nothing happens. Sticky tacky glue on my skin I haven’t seen for however long. I want to get it all off. What if my skin comes off too in clumps and pieces like the hair I pull on the back of my head that leaks through the tape. It rips and tears and I have a better time without it. Away it goes. All over the floor until I have a new place to sleep.
I found a book today in the library. It was old and had a good smell about it, but the cover was missing. It was very large, so I decided to start it quickly. I’ve only read about sixty pages, but it’s great. I think it’s about Greek gods in Ireland maybe. All in all it’s very good, and I want to finish it soon. It’s also helping me remember things that I used to know like where to put commas and other punctuation marks. Can you tell? I’m better already. I’m even better than the man in the book sometimes because he goes on and on sometimes without even putting a period or a space in some places and there are strange words in slanted type that I don’t understand. I want to understand it. All of it. So I went to the back of the book and saw that the words kept going on and on and the whole chapter was only eight sentences. I felt lost on the page, drowning in a sea of all those letters until I felt that I couldn’t read at all and I got sick on the floor of the library. Still, it’s a challenge I want to take.
By the way, I guess I should have told you. This is a diary. You are a diary. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Of course you did. You help me remember what things are real and what aren’t, even though those boys in the hall laugh at me as I drop my books and keep my eyes down on the ground. I spit on my friend the other day and they sent me to the principal. I don’t know why. We were just playing and I was the monster and I found it fitting to spit my poison onto him. It was all play. Adults are too serious about things that aren’t real anyway.
Anyway, I should also tell you that this place is a school I think. An old one with tall walls and gates that won’t open and hurt to climb. Pointy tops that poked a little hole in one of my hands like Jesus. There’s a big one of him in the chapel. Arms splayed all wide and looking so sad. See, I’ve been reading lots of books and these things come back and I’m excited. I’m glad that this is a school because if there’s one thing I remember it’s that I always wanted to learn. Yes, even when I was little my mother would tell me about how I had the love of learning. Like a sponge, she said. Big men outside the walls taking pictures. I want them to go away and leave me. Most kids don’t want to go to school. I live in a school so it makes no difference. Except that there are no other whining kids here to bother me. Sometimes, at least.
My eyes hurt. That’s enough. Time for bed. Floor? Nope. Hair bed. Still cozy.
Now you listen here, Sinclair, you ugly sonofagun. You listen. If you don’t go to bed I swear we’ll send you away for good to that place up on the hill. That old man said that when I went to that building over the summer. Mother said it was so I could grow up faster. I don’t know what she meant, but I listened. I’m trying to think of what it was exactly that I did or if I got sent away. Is this the place up on the hill? I wish I could climb up and see. I suppose then I could just climb out and it would make no difference whether I was on a hill or not. Well, it hasn’t happened yet.
I’m sorry I said I was going to bed, but sometimes I can’t stop writing things down like this because I get excited. I know that I should practice proper grammar. Like so: “Oh come,” the young man said, “or your soup will have skin upon its surface shortly.” Period inside quotations. Didn’t know that before. But now I’m confused because the man in the big book that I was reading doesn’t do that. I think maybe that I found another diary by someone else who used to live here. We at least both seem to enjoy writing the same things. No, no, no, no. He was in Ireland or Greece. Then again, is this Ireland or Greece? I am sorry. I really should sleep before I hear anything else outside. That old man is talking again in that summer. Quiet now. Don’t look outside. They can’t come in, can they? No. Think of the ugly face. Try to remember. So, so beautiful to me. Good enough. Right to sleep.
Posted 3 years ago