70: He was born like most children are – healthy, complete, intact. Loaded with possibilities. Conjoined with parents and brothers who trumpeted to the world their undying love for him, he believed them.
80: His childhood was filled with enough food to keep a small town fed for weeks. He loved birthdays, the fun, the pomp, the decorations, the gatherings in his honor – but it went away – god didn’t like it, his parents told him. He could not see why god should care, but apparently god did and strongly, he was told. No more birthdays ever!
94: He loved art not engineering, writing not sports, music not tradition, reason not beliefs.
So they got rid of his art; his brothers made fun of it – called the dim grey on white pencil sketches girly while his mother chucked out all of his books and the stacks of handwritten outlines of wild adventures they had inspired – endless, endless. Heresy – they all cried, he could not be allowed to become a heretic. They were doing him a favor, he would thank them one day.
103: He wanted to go to art school – but his father wouldn’t pay for an education that was the work of idlers and dimwits or even worse: women. So he did a degree in whatever and took a whatever-job. Some days he woke up and did not even really know what it was that he actually did. It was that whatever.
85: Through the clouds of disillusion, pain and confusion, he found or met or ran into, the most beautiful girl in the world. He was a Taurus she was a Capricorn – it was perfect. How did it happen to some one like him he still doesn’t know. But, in a crowded room he could feel her arrive before she walked in. When she spoke he could hear the flickering drum of his heart beat in his ears. It was bliss. It was like floating down a warm gentle stream with arm and legs spread out, face up, under a powdery, pale, azure sky.
He wanted to marry her: even introduced her to his parents. She was nice to them. She spoke with politeness and love and trueness that cannot be faked…
92: So they hated her…
97: His brothers made jokes about her – said her eyes were crooked, one looked right the other left.
When he objected they promised never to do it again. Only to break down the next moment – her legs are not even the same height, they said…103. He objected again, and they promised again…only to break down again…110…then promise again…113…then break again…115…
117: “Whore,” his mother called her, a no good bitch who could never get married into a noble family like their own. A scrupulous family, a pious family, an honorable family…122.
Yet he insisted, and they resisted: girls like her were good for passing time not marrying.
He wanted to leave his parents his family, run away with her but God intervened. He was reminded how it was his duty to obey his parents no matter what, it was god’s word…No matter What…
125: He stole time away from his whatever-job to work on his so many unfinished tales and scenes of pure beauty and gave her up. Not for what they all said but for what he could not do to her, he could not subject her to a life of them. She was too precious. From then on she has only existed in the portraits of happy families in parks with big blue and red and white carousels and scenes of deep intimacy and pure love.
121: They married him to a whatever-girl of their own choice some years ago. She had some career, which they encouraged her to give up. It was not how god intended it, they said. His mother weaved in stories of how it was a sin for a woman to step outside the house. He intervened on her behalf.
125: So his brothers accused him of not pitching enough financial support for their old parents. Did he not know it would anger god?
He took a second job. There was no time for art anymore – ‘practical’ life as they said was calling. His poor whatever-wife tried to please them. She was up before dawn making breakfast, frying eggs and making bread – it wasn’t enough. She stayed late after dinner doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen – it was never enough. It would never be enough. She even gave up her career. It did not make any difference. She cooked and cleaned the entire day. Yet they kept hammering and chiseling at her with incessant complaints and comparisons, until at long last she was done…
128: Done into a stone monument to all of their sordid ideals. A stone sculpture that alas didn’t speak, nor heard, nor saw, nor felt. One night when he had reached for her purely out of his own needs she rolled away, “they won’t be pleased,” she said in a low tone that didn’t seem to emanate from her throat, in words that didn’t seem to issue from her lips – but from the depths of her smoldering soul.
135: So many people in his rare view mirror had zoomed off. At parties they bragged about how they found their passion, about how their families supported them through out, how they feel complete with their decisions, in words that would fill his throat with a perfumed smoke that would make him nauseous to his core.
He had asked them – his family, why they had never supported him. Never let him do his own. What was so wrong if he could persue his heart in life. in this only one life.
You know what they all said?
We never stopped you from anything, if you wanted to you should have gone and done whatever you wanted.
They said this over and over as one body with several heads. All morphed. If he truly wanted to marry that girl he should have. If he truly wanted his art he should have. If he truly wanted to write he should have.
144: Everything was morphing around him.
148: Everything was morphed – light and dark, divinity into evil, reason into confusion – what was right and what was not – did not make any sense. Or it did and was one and the same. Answers were turning to questions, questions turning into mind breaking silence. Was he right, was he evil, were they right, were they evil. Everything was mixing with everything else, only he was utterly and completely being…
“What’d you say?” the superintendent called back. The red flash of the ambulance in his face made him squint his eyes. Behind him a whole highway of traffic was being diverted due to the accident.
“Completely dismembered, sir, one-male-from what I can tell, there is no way he can be recovered. We can just cut the car up in pieces and remove what ever we get,” the young EMT replied, crawling out from under the collapsed trailer his flashlight in his hand, “he must have been going very fast I have never seen anything like this, must have been doing more than 140. Why do people drive so fast? What are they thinking.”
Both the EMT and the superintendent look back at the wreck, at the sedan car that must have jumped a traffic light and t-boned the unsuspecting trailer. And with such force that the trailer had collapsed over it and the front of the car had broken free and almost made across from under the trailer.
The roof, the seats the wheel, the one passenger had all dismembered and mushed up together as one.
Credit: Illustration by M