Contents 3: True to Life Meanderings of a Tortured Soul

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Contents 3: True to Life Meanderings of a Tortured Soul

Post by heinzs » Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:23 pm

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 1)

Somewhere in the world
In an alleyway in a city somewhere west
Safely ensconced behind the relative safety of a dumpster
I watch as the tableau unfolds
Two men approach one man
I recognize the two as some of the ‘hot lunchers’
Whom I try to avoid whenever possible
They are young, maybe 20ish
The other is a relatively harmless soul
We have exchanged words on occasion
His shabby appearance masks an active intelligence
That few have seen
He is much older, maybe 40ish
Scraggly beard and unkempt graying hair
His step falters as he sees the other two approaching
He moves to the near side of the alley
They separate and angle towards him
He turns to retreat back the way he came
But it is too late
They are upon him
Roughly they shove him about
Between them
Voices raised, obscenities flying
Demanding money, demanding his coat
Which is still in good shape
Though dirty and stained
Demanding his shoes, his hat
Everything he possesses
He tries to escape their grasp
But they are too strong and he too weak
He struggles, futilely
They laugh and curse and beat him
To the ground
They begin to take from him, forcefully
His worldly possessions
He curses them and struggles still
Thrashing from side to side
Kicking and lashing out with his fists
I want to help him, but
What can I do?
So I watch from the darkness
A flash of light
Glinting on steel
Appears and then is buried
In the struggling man’s chest
His body tenses
Then slowly relaxes as they take
Everything he has
Leaving him lying
In the alleyway
They move off, laughing
I watch them until they are out of sight
Then I go to him
Lying there in the grime
His hands are clenched still
In the fists of his rage
He is breathing raggedly
Opens his eyes as I approach
The fear still showing
I kneel beside him
Seeing the dark stain
On his torn and filthy shirt
The terror is gone from his eyes
As he sees me
And in its place
A pleading
Crying for help
But what can I do?
The wound is deep
Already he is slipping away
I sit and cradle his head in my lap
Stroking his cheek
Trying to ease his last moments
Of Agony
He coughs and blood spurts from between his lips
I know it is almost done
I take his hands, still clenched in fists
In mine and give him the only thing I have to give
Companionship before the long journey home
In his eyes comes understanding
He looks into mine
I try to smile, to give him some kind of peace
He takes my hand weakly with one of his
And unfolds his other hand
Placing something within my grasp
He tries to say something, but no sound comes
I think he is trying to say ‘thank you’
But I will never know for sure
He takes one last ragged breath
His chest falls slowly, eyes staring wide
At the stars above
He is gone
I sit for a few minutes in stillness
Stunned by the thought
That I have just been witness
To the passing of a soul
I open my hand to see
What it is that he has imparted to me
Paper of some kind
I can do no more here
I shift and lay his head gently on the ground
There is blood on my hands and arms
On my clothing
On my face
But I don’t notice these things until later
For now I am consumed by curiosity
What is this thing he has put into my hands?
His last will and testament?
The number of a family member to contact?
I move into the light to see
I open my fist
And there within my grasp
Lies a wad of currency
I separate them one by one
Three ten dollar bills
Two fives
Six ones
His life savings

Bakersfield, CA 1993

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 2)

Also somewhere in the world
In a small ranch style house
In modern suburbia
Where people live out their lives
Going to work
Having back yard bar-b-ques
Flying kites in the park down the street
I sit in my bedroom
On my bed
Where he has taken from me
My childhood
My maidenhood
My happiness
Staring out the window
At the clouds up in the sky
Wishing I could float away
Like they do
Blown by the wind
To far off places
I think back to a time
Before all of this began
I was twelve years old
Can it be only three years ago?
It seems like forever
I watch the clouds listlessly
An occasional tear running down my cheek
Holding the key in my right hand
The key to release
I watch the cars driving by on the street
Other children playing and laughing
On their way to
I wish I could laugh again
But it is too late for me
I have made my decision
No one else knows
You see, I have changed my attitude so much
In the past three weeks
No more depression
I even smiled
And it didn’t seem forced
It almost felt natural to me
I teased my brother
For the first time in what seems like
An eon
We all laughed happily
They all think I am coming out of my ‘funk’
And I believe they are right
You see, I have in my right hand
The key
To freedom
To release
To happiness
To oblivion
I open my hand and admire
The straight edges
The shiny metal
So thin, yet so strong
One edge is blunt, with an overlapping piece of metal
That holds it in its handle
The other edge is very sharp
I run my left index finger over the blade
And feel the skin parting
As it cuts into my flesh
I look out the window again
At the clouds
The sun is setting now
Dinner will be ready soon
It is time to unlock my cell
To fly away on the wind
With the clouds
To unknown destinations
I grasp it tightly in my right hand
And drag it slowly across my left wrist
I exclaim as the pain shoots up my arm
But I Keep going
Now I transfer it to my blood covered left hand
And repeat the process
Good! Now I will be free
I lie back on the bed and wait
But someone is here now
Calling for help
It’s going to be okay now
Please don’t cry
He comes in and sees the mess I have made
He takes off his belt
Will he inflict punishment?
Instead he wraps it around my left arm
Just above the elbow
Pulls it tight
Then he is gone for a moment
But back again very soon
With another belt
He yells at my mother to call
Move God damn you!
She goes
Now there is another belt on my right arm
They hurt badly
And he has tightened them as far as they will go
My arms grow numb
And the world fades away to nothingness

Bakersfield, CA 1992

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Interlude)

Much, Much Later:
Somewhere else in the world
In a hospital bed
My belly swollen with child
Hands grasping the handles tightly
Sweat pouring down my face
Into my eyes
Nurses murmuring encouragements
Incredible pain lacing through my body
Enfolding me in its steel clad grip
Tired of counting
I lose track of numbers
An aide comes over and helps me remember them
She holds my hand
(I know I inflicted some unintentional pain there
And I am sorry)
It seems to have gone on for hours
But they tell me it was only fifty-seven minutes
Something seems to be wrong
The baby is crowning, but won’t come any further
They try a suction cup apparatus
To pull the child out
But it isn’t working
She is facing the wrong way
Sunny side up
And her head is blocked by my pelvic bone somehow
They tell me not to push
As the doctor brings in the ‘salad spoons’
The child is finally wrestled from my womb
And immediately carried off
To another table
Where they measure and weigh
There is no father present to cut the umbilical cord
(A pointless gesture at best since it is already cut from
The placental sac, but I suppose it gives men
A sense of participation in the birthing process)
Nurses are busy stitching up my torn flesh
While my child is brought back to me
Screaming her protest at being taken
From the warm safety of my body
I put her to my breast
And she begins to suckle
I am so very tired
But I can’t help but be in awe
Of the feat I have just accomplished
(A little while later)
I must have slept
They have taken her to the nursery
Where no father, no grandparents
Ooh and ah over her
They have asked me for the father’s name
To put on the birth certificate
But I have refused to give that information
I don’t want him in anyway associated
With my daughter
Knowing what I know about him
They are stern in their attempts
At gleaning this information
But I will stand my ground
If I have to I will make up a name
But he will never know
Anything at all
About our little miracle

Denver, CO 1997

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 3)

Sometime in between:
Somewhere else in the world
A bit north of where it all began
I lie awake on the couch
Reading a book
My only escape from my present reality
Although I have been doing more
Thinking than reading
Wondering how to break the news
I am so frightened of what he will say
Of what he will do
When he learns that I am
In a family way
I hear his car coming up the driveway
The door slams and he is here
I hear him rummaging in the fridge
Looking for what is not there
He curses loudly and drunkenly
Why did I stay up?
I should have gone to bed hours ago
But my mind wouldn’t let me
He comes in from the kitchen
Staggering a bit
Grabs my book and tosses it aside
And slaps me in the face
And asks me why the hell I didn’t remind him
To pick up beer while he was out?
I try to say that I did, but he slaps me again
I cower on the couch
Trying to make myself small
But he grabs me and pulls me up
To my feet
And he smiles
His ‘I guess I have to teach the
Stupid little whore a lesson’ smile
His hands are on my arms
Fingers digging into the flesh
And he is yelling into my face
From mere inches away
I cringe back from him but
He holds me tightly
Sneering at my attempts
At reasoning with him
It didn’t used to be this bad
Only an occasional beating when
I didn’t do something the way he wanted
Or didn’t treat his friends the way
He thought they should be treated
But lately, it has gotten very bad
very bad indeed
As if the burnings weren’t bad enough
Now he has started beating me severely
Two cracked ribs just last month
And the bruises…
But I hope that he will see my point tonight
Because I have something very important to tell him
Instead he holds me by the arms
Grinning at me now
Suddenly his booted foot comes down
Upon my bare one
Agony shoots up my leg
Then again he stomps
And again
I crumple and would fall but for
The hold he has upon my arms
He stomps again and I feel something let go
There is blood on the carpet
And something else
I can’t figure out what it is
It doesn’t matter now because
He is not holding me anymore
He is hitting me in the chest
In the side
In the stomach
No! You can’t hit me there!
You don’t understand
I try to speak but I have no breath
I am collapsing to the floor
And he kicks me in the side
Cursing all the while
At my stupidity
He should have let me sit in that cell
Instead of giving me a home
Stupid fucking whore!
He is kicking me all over now
And I curl up into a fetal position
Much like the tiny bit of life within me
Will someday be
(If he lets it live)
The kicking continues for I don’t know how long
I have never known so much pain
I keep my arms across my stomach
In some attempt at protection
And it goes on...
Some time later
The house is quiet and dark
I can hear him snoring in the bedroom
I try to stand up, but I cannot
The pain is too great
My whole body seems to be a large bruise
I begin to crawl towards the bedroom
And I see something on the floor
In the middle of a blood stain
I wonder at what it could be
I stare at it for what seems like an hour
Without comprehending
I reach out a trembling hand
Fighting back tears at the pain in my side
And I pick it up and bring it in front of my
Out of focus eyes and I stare
And a sob escapes me as I realize
That what I hold in my hand is
The little toe from my left foot
The one he was stomping on
Dropping the small bit of
My own flesh in horror
I crawl down the hall
To the bedroom
He is snoring loudly and muttering occasionally
I pull the closet door open and use it
To support myself as I pull myself erect
My back protests the motion
Sending great waves of pain
That make me want to puke
I grab what I can from the closet and
Stumble to the dresser
I open the drawer and
Frantically grasp a handful of clothing articles
Not even caring much what they are
Then I move slowly and cautiously down the hall
I find a trash bag in the kitchen and stuff my armload into it
My brain seems so foggy and there is a buzzing in my ears
Shoes! I need my shoes!
I think I left them by the couch where I had been lying
Not so long ago
Trying to determine how to tell a man
That he is going to be a father
No need of that now
I will be gone or dead by morning
I am not sure which
Something within me is voting for dead
But I go on anyway, searching for my shoes
I find one, the left one
And try to put it on
But I have forgotten about the toe
And I have to bite back a scream as
The still bleeding area comes in contact with
The side of the shoe
I breathe deeply and try to control my shaking
I look at my foot and see that it is still bleeding
I hobble out to the kitchen again
Wincing with every step, every movement
Until I find the drawer that holds
The dishtowels and wash cloths
I take a cloth and return, slowly
To the couch
I wrap my foot in the cloth
wadding the area around my departed little toe
Taking a deep breath, I shove my foot into the shoe
Then I lie back on the couch for a minute or so
To recover from the pain
Well, that is good, I have one shoe on
But I can’t find the other one
I search frantically around the couch but
Find nothing
So I pick up my bag and start for the door
I need to get out before I pass out again
As I approach the door he yells something
From the bedroom
I freeze in a panic
Left hand clutching my pitiful bag of possessions
Right hand halfway to the doorknob
And in my mind I see
An unmarked grave in the woods
And a man standing over it with a dirt covered shovel
And a satisfied smirk on his face
And that is when I see my other shoe
Under the TV stand to the right of the door
It must have gotten kicked over there
I can’t bring myself to admit that he was trying to kill me
And I wonder if he was just a little less drunk
If I would be able to even walk on my own
Grimacing at the pain I bend down and pick up
The missing shoe and return to the door
He is snoring again
I clumsily slip the shoe on my undamaged foot
Turn the knob
And walk out into the night

Grants Pass, OR 1996

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 4)

In another alleyway
In a different town
Dusk closing in on another day
I walk along looking for discarded clothing
Peering into dumpsters and trash cans
A new shirt and some shoes would help a lot
So I continue my search
Someone is yelling at her husband
A door slams somewhere ahead of me
Off in the distance a siren sings it’s mournful song
The light is fading fast now
and the rain has begun to fall
I will have to give up my search and go ‘home’
I start back down the alley toward the street
But something is wrong
I don’t know what it might be
But my nerves are all standing on end
Becoming jittery
I pause by a gate in a fence and look back the way I came
Nothing but gathering darkness and deep shadows
I peer ahead into the gloom of oncoming night
And see nothing
Senses shouting to run, I try to shake it off and
Make up my mind to start walking again
But before I can make that first step I hear it:
Slow and quiet
I can’t tell if they are behind or ahead so I stay put
Hoping the gloom will hide me from view
Hair raising on the back of my neck
Muscles tensed to make a mad dash for the street
I hear a small sound to my right, turn
He is there, not 5 feet from me
I see his shape outlined against the dim glow of a porch light
Fear grips my heart with an icy hand and I run
But he is ready for that and quickly catches me
One arm around my neck and the other holding my arms
Tight against my body
Hot sour breath on my cheek
I try to kick out with my feet
And he tightens the grip on my neck
Whispers in my ear
‘Do ya wanna to die?’
I shake my head quickly, gasping for breath
‘Then cut the shit or I’ll stick ya,
make ya suffer before ya die, got it?’
Fear turns into terror as he moves me between
A parked car and a fence
Pushes me down to the ground
Making sure I see the knife in his right hand
He puts the tip against my throat
With the other hand he begins to remove my jeans
Roughly cuts through my panties
Digging a long shallow gouge in my left thigh
I tell myself to just let him get it done with
And I will be ok
Just get it over as quickly as possible
And everything will be ok
He roughly shoves my legs apart and
Positions himself between
He cuts through my shirt
From collar to waist
Slicing my chest and stomach as he does so
And he begins to take what he wants from me
One hand covering my mouth
The other holding the knife against me
The knife is digging into my left cheek
Just below my eye
He holds it there firmly
Steadily pushing it across my cheek and
Up to my forehead
Then he brings it down to my left breast and
Slices across to the right one
His rhythm picks up speed and with it
The knife moves faster across various parts of my flesh
I try to move away and he pushes the knife
Into my side, below the ribcage
Searing hot agony courses through my body
I scream against his hand as again he pushes the knife in
He stabs a third time and shudders as his orgasm takes him
Then he is gone and I lie there, bleeding
Rain falling in my face
In a patch of bloody weeds
Between a car and a fence
In a grimy alley
Behind a row of ill-kept houses

Bakersfield, CA 1994

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Epilogue)

Yet again somewhere else in the world
A thousand miles east of
Where I was before
I have a good job that pays fairly well
A drastic change from walking the streets
I have a young daughter who is almost
Three years old
She keeps me sane
(or keeps me insane, I am not sure which)
The two of us have made a nice life together
Although I still get, at times
Severe anxiety attacks
And occasional flashbacks
And I don’t sleep very much
Three to four hours a night at the most
You see, it is better to stay awake
Than to have to deal with the nightmares
But I am coping with the help of some very dear friends
I pretty much keep to myself in the real world
It is hard for me to go out into crowded areas
I guess I am a bit phobic when it comes to that
But I am getting better
Little by little
I have started taking my daughter to the zoo
On the weekends
And it is okay
I don’t have nearly the trouble I used to have
She is my inspiration and my motivation
After leaving home at sixteen
A high school drop out
I didn’t really care much about education
When you are living on the streets
You learn what you need to learn
To stay alive and no more
And I was always told how stupid I was anyway
So I thought it didn’t matter
But now, I have a huge responsibility
I felt a need to educate myself
Or be eclipsed by my own child
So I began reading everything I could find
Old college text books
High school history books
Many other things besides
I got my G.E.D. two months before she was born
I was so proud of myself that day
Now I am a ‘white collar professional’
In the field of computer repair
It is a challenge to keep up with
The changing technologies
But I am determined to do so
I will make a good home
For the both of us
And god help anyone who tries to take that away

Denver, CO 2000

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Introspection)

Mulling over the past
taking things out of their boxes
looking at them closely
tucking them all away again
Things change so much in such a short time
It staggers and amazes me
Eight years ago I was living under a building
Pan-handling for money
and scavenging what I could out of
dumpsters and garbage cans
Seven years ago I was a drunk and a drug addict
(yes... go ahead and say it)
and a prostitute
Five years ago I was a sex slave
Four years ago I became a mother
Two years ago I was a recluse, afraid of people
and avoiding all physical contact
One year ago I found my soul mate and lover
This year ... we are planning our first child together
It's funny how things work out
I guess you just never can tell where life will lead you
Until you get there
I came close to throwing it all away
with the blade and the cliff
and at those times in my life
those seemed like the only answers
to problems I wasn't willing to deal with
Looking back on that, I'm so glad now
that I failed both times
that I was given the chance to
make something of my life
and to finally find the place where I belong

Denver, CO 2001

Last edited by heinzs on Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by Ven » Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:24 pm

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 1- Murder)
68th line 3rd word. Should there be the apostrophy in it's ?

fixed the apostrophe

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 4 - Surviver)
Surviver should be "Survivor"

fixed survivor

True To Life Meanderings Of A Tortured Soul (Part 7 - Introspection)
9th line 2nd word should be "scavenging"

fixed "scavenging"

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Post by The Ravyn » Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:43 pm

the original titles of these pieces would be ...

True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Part 1
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Part 2
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Interlude
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Part 3
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Part 4
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Epilogue
True to life meanderings of a turtured soul - Introspection

i had to change the numbering around when posting them due to confusion as to the order ... but interlude was never meant (originally) to be one of the numbered 'parts' ... i think i would prefer them this way
take my hand if you don't know where you're goin' ... i'll understand .... i've lost the way myself ...
j. kaye

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Post by heinzs » Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:30 am

Fixed the titles.

An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
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Post by Berlie » Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:05 am

* added to book
twisting the throttle
as I lean into the curve
bug SPLAT on my face
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