Jamie tried again to wash the blood off his sleeve; it was a fruitless endeavour. He sighed as he rubbed vigorously at the sorry pink stains.
“****!“ he cursed to himself as the bar of soap slivered out of his grasp. It landed with a smack on the tiled floor. He took a sharp intake of breath, clutched at the rim of the sink - his knuckles whitening with the pressure - before trying to reach for that damned bar of soap.
He knew this dance well, though. He lowered himself slowly, careful not to disturb the many angry gashes that napped discontentedly on his stomach like skittish new babies, waiting for the slightest excuse to commence their screaming. Clutching the soap close he knew he brought this on himself.
He also knew if he didn’t get the stains out of his shirt his mother would get the white-coats on him again. That was the last thing he needed. He just needed to make it through the next few days - till mother’s blue-eyed boy went back to his world. Then he’d be okay. He’d be okay. He’d be fine.
“Oi, what’re doing in there fag, jacking off?” Nathan bellowed, as he slammed his hand into the bathroom door repeatedly. Ripping the comforting thought of Monday out of Jamie’s head as he did.
“Go piss in a bush if you’re that desperate,” He yelled back while pulling on an overlarge black t-shirt that seemed to be making an escape from the dirty washing basket. Quickly shoving the stained shirt to the bottom of the basket before unlocking the door.
“About time, gay boy,” Nathan snarled as he shoved passed his brother.
Jamie ran through a list of things he could have said back, muttering to a few to himself as he trudged to his room. He locked the door behind him before peeling off the foul smelling t-shirt and casting it in the direction of a pre-existing pile of assorted laundry.
He prodded gingerly at the frantic gashes on his too thin stomach. He sucked in stale air, wincing. They were still too fresh to touch. They obscured the old wobbly white lines that littered his midriff.
He knew the ruby red slashes would fade, eventually. They’d join his growing collection. Yet more mistakes to hide.
He pulled some anti-septic wipes from his bedside cabinet; there was no use in getting an infection. It gave his mind something to focus on, kept his idle hands busy. What was that thing his mother said about idle hands? Empty space for the devil to fill. Or something like that.
Mustn’t be idle. Must not. He flinched. Retched. Then gave up. Infection be damned. He fished out his battered mobile phone from his draw. No new messages.
It was going to be a long weekend.
Either Jamie was taking the worlds longest dump, or he was at it again. Slicing himself a new one in the bathroom. Nathan knew which one was more likely.
Their mother would have Jamie’s head if she found out. Didn‘t he get, he was on the outs. His last chance to make good. He shouldn‘t waste it being stupid. “Oi fag, what’re you doing in there, jacking off?” Nathan pounded on the door; the deep tenor of the thumping noise leaving him vaguely satisfied.
“Go piss in a bush if you’re that desperate!” Jamie shrieked, in his shrill, nasally voice. Nathan feeling - as ever - the man of action continued to beat the door rhythmically. He wasn’t about to let the scrawny little fool do himself any more damage.
“About time, gay boy” Nathan grimaced as Jamie pushed his ungrateful little self past.
He sighed, locked the door, then pulled Jamie’s sullied off-white shirt from the washing basket. Their mother would have a coronary if she saw that, have the mixed up brat shipped straight back off to that mad house. Nathan didn’t see that the place did him any good. He came back looking like death in a skin wrapper. The kid just needed to man up, not be locked away. Should have nipped it in the bud early. Mother should have noticed.
Nathan sighed. He should have noticed. Not just shrugged it off as Jamie being, well, Jamie.
Some man of the house he’d made. His father would no doubt be turning in his grave, the bastard.
Nathan punched the wall.
It didn’t take kindly to his assault. Stripping the skin off of his angry fist as a warning. Nathan cursed, wiped his knuckles on his brothers bloodied shirt, then marched off to his bedroom. Only a few more days, and he’d be off. Away from the egg shells that lay like unexploded mines, waiting scatter his limbs to the wind.
All he’d have to worry about where he was going were real bombs. And they didn’t seem half as dangerous to Nathan then.
I'm full of silly, silly glee. I'm sitting in my aunts living room. D'you know what that means? Warm, clean, tidy house, with a working cooker, laptop with wireless, very adorable puppies and the promise of copious cuddles from a toothy, dribbling nine-month old. Now I remember why I wanted to live with her when I was little. Because I didn't realise that all of that comes with a price. The price being one violent drunk, two bratty children and barrage of emotional abuse.
And that's without the toothy baby in the bargain.
Nothing in this life is free. But that's what it makes it all worth while. The little trades and compromises. The habits and quirks you pick up. Maybe this is just me trying to make myself feel better, but I really think that suffering - if you can get through it - makes you better. Because you have to be more, or you lose yourself to it.
But maybe it's just me. Because I can trace most of the quirks I have to some semi-traumatic event - big or small. Most of them are relatively harmless, some of them I really need to get rid of. Though I suppose that's all part of growing up - figuring out what works, and what doesn't.
I know one thing for sure - it's hard to do it all alone. Exponentially. So, even though my aunt and I don't see eye to eye on most things, and she can be horrible at times I'm seeking help. Because she's the only one in my family who really will help. And she really will.
I've been here about five hours and she's already setting about getting me a moped licence, moped, funding for college, application forms, a job. Anything she can think of.
I have to give a lot, and take a some real ****, but at least - unlike the with the rest of my family - I get stuff back.
I guess that's what life is really about. Learning how much you can get, what it's right to give and when to just walk away.
Also, I just had a rather odd conversation with my nine-year-old cousin.
Him: Why d'you let a gay person stay at your house?
Me: I'm gay.
Him: Yeah, but...
One step in front of the other, now --
No, not like that. Come on Kid, you
can make it if you try, you know how.
Don't pout, if you won't, then who?
Yes, I'm here and I always will be
but, love, come on. You have to
do this for yourself, don't you see?
You need to do all that you can do.
One foot in front of the other, my
dearest. Just keep moving forward
my love, please, you have to try
and make it though I know it's hard.
You have to save yourself.
I started something a few days ago.
'I carry my Father’s severed head with me everywhere I go. It lays dormant in the right breast pocket of my navy blue blazer. And I do not flinch, or fret, or flutter. Because I know, he is there, on pages and ink. In verses and rhetoric I do not understand.
This is why, when I lay my head against the cool, hard wood of my chemistry desk I know I will not fail. Even as the words of my dry teacher wash over my unwashed ears. Even as my classmates snicker at my drifting, I do not flinch. I will not fail, so long as I have his head about my person. I am his son. I cannot fail.
"Wake up, Smith!" Mr. O'Malley slams his ruler down next to my grubby face.
I lift my head from my desk, as lazy as an old dog in summertime. I gawp up at him, blinking, bleary eyed. “Yes sir?”
The cold children snigger and my teachers tomato face hangs above mine, suspended by a single, angry thread. “Yes, boy, yes? Why, you haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying, have you?” he hisses, furious droplets splattering onto my face as he does.
“Of course I have, sir,” I reply before my brain has the time to tell my mouth not to.
“Oh, of course you have. Of course you have,” he shakes his head vigorously “So, I’m sure you’ll have no problem telling me what it was I was trying to teach you insolent louts, will you, Smith?” he smirks, completely sure of his victory.
“Chemistry, sir.” my response is greeted with unrestrained laughter, but it’s filled with venom. No, not a modicum of mirth to be found in their hollow, nasal cackling. Mr. O’Malley grabs my ear, and drags my awkward body from my desk.
“Don’t back chat me, boy! I think it’s time you had a word with Mr. Shepard.”' -- And there I fall flat.
I don't know.
I start to write, then I get all turned around and upside down. I start thinking, and then I think more, and I think more. Then there's so much thinking, so many thoughts. Things, things, things. So many things.
My friend, Lauren, and I were having a chat on Windows Messenger earlier. I think it explains my problem somewhat:
'(22:30) Me and the dragon: Life is interesting.
(22:31) Lauren: why?
(22:31) Lauren: and not just because the app on mum's fancyphone has the capability to work out the exchange rate on weed and coke, or "hard drugs" and linux?
(22:33) Me and the dragon: Because things happen, and people are born, they grow up - or they don't, they exist. Lots of things happen to them - or very few. Then they die. It's interesting.
(22:34) Lauren: ...you are way more meta than I am
(22:34) Me and the dragon: Explain?
(22:36) Lauren: I kind of live in the world, mostly, or my own version, partly because philosophising scares me, and thus never consider these things. whereas you seem to be in and out at the same time.'
I don't know, maybe it's just that I'm young. Maybe when I'm older I'll stop being distracted by intellectual shiny and just work.
I wish I could sleep more. Everything seems different when I sleep more. I wish I could sleep so much I'd wake up an old woman. I wish I could wish my life away.
Separate names with a comma.