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[ h i a t u s ]
There are times in life when crying is your only option. Those rare moments of true and unadulterated pain. You feel the hollow in your throat pulsating with the unspent tears, the salt stinging the back of your eyelids. You fell your gut twist and retch and curl in on itself until that pitiful little moan creeps unbidden out of your chest.
The tears spill hot acidic trails down your cheeks and you feel like they´re being forcibly ripped out of your heart bit by little bit until your heart and your eyes and your guts are bleeding out all over the place and no one can stop it. You stand there and you´re alone but in your mind you´re curled up in your mother´s arms like you were when you were born as you weep and hyperventilate the pain right out of you.
Everyone has those days. Everyone has those moments. Those hopeless moments where you revert back to when you were 12 or 13 and could get away with throwing a temper tantrum and slamming your door shut and throwing your weak and helplessly sobbing body on your bed. The times when you cry so much your bed linens are dark with tears and salt and saliva, because it hurt so bad you forgot to close your mouth.
And in the end it´s better, and you´re ashamed for being so foolish. You laugh at your tears and you think to yourself how ridiculous that you´re still able to do that for that long. You wonder if anyone heard or saw and you think how stupid you were to let it get to you that badly. You feel better though. You feel cleansed. You feel ready to go back out there with your head held high and face whatever sent you in there to begin with.
But he hasn´t felt that way in a long time. He hasn´t felt that way in so long that he can´t remember what that feels like anymore. He can´t remember the hollow in his throat, or the salt burning his eyes, or the wet sheets under his cheeks. He can´t remember clutching the covers over his head to muffle the sobs he doesn´t want anyone to hear, even though he secretly does because all it is really is a cry for attention.
Because that kind of shit fades when it´s all there is. Something can only be beaten and battered and torn to shreds so many times before it doesn´t fit back into its cubbyhole anymore. Eventually the balloon pops, and sure it still stretches, but it doesn´t pop anymore because it´s never quite filled the same way again. It leaks here and there and everywhere and soon enough it stops protesting when you stick the needles in.
And eventually people start thinking you're heartless, and you get tired of explaining it. People never understand how the psyche handles itself, how it protects itself. They never truly buy it. They think it´s all psychobabble and bullshit and philosophical posturing. They think he´s explaining it away because he´s a coward and surely he must cry when no one´s around because everyone cries.
Except he really and truly doesn´t, because he´s forgotten how. His throat closes up and he can´t swallow, and just when the tears should be coming that red cloud pounding around in his skull dissipates and all he feels is lightheaded and giddy. When the sob should be coming a giggle comes out instead, and the looks he gets are a mixture of fear and anger and reproach, but no one ever actually says anything because they´re the real cowards here.
So he goes with what he knows, and he deals. Things don´t hurt the way they should anymore, the way they used to, and he´s pretty glad for that. Things hurt for far too long and far too much for him to want to be in that place again. This feeling of nothingness is welcome to his battered and tired soul, and when he feels himself closing in on himself he beckons it with open arms. It´s about god damn time something good happened in his life.
So he´s been hollow for going on twenty years now when he feels that feeling that he thought he´d forgotten. But you never truly forget, not really. It´s always there, hiding in your subconscious, waiting to step out and shock you into early retirement. It likes to stew and plot and giggle with itself, planning the best modus operandi to attack you with such ferocity that you feel drained and empty and dead when it´s done.
So when the boy drags him home, bone weary and hobbling on broken legs and shattered spirit, prattling all the way about stupid bullshit he never did give a shit about to begin with, he lets him. He feels that lump form in his throat when the boy won´t let go of his hand, and he forces it down with ten swallows too many, and curses himself when it doesn´t go away. He allows the kid to lead him to a bed and he collapses on it and hopes against hope that he´ll never wake up, that this poor kid will find him dead and stiff from rigor mortis in the morning.
But the kid won´t leave. There´s high pitched chattering all around him as his head swims in and out of consciousness and he feels himself being poked and prodded and raped by dirty fingers and bandages and cold compresses. He feels a breeze circulating the stale air around the room and thinks that, as hot and deathly dry as the Mexican climate is, not even the highest powered fan could penetrate this sweltering incubator, so why not shut the shitfucker down.
He loses consciousness for a time and he must have slept because one moment it was loud and shrill and staccato and the next all he heard was the breath of the little boy as he held his hand quietly and swiped a wet washcloth over his sweaty and sticky brow. He´s a cold and heartless shit, but even he doesn´t think the little shit should have to see what that butcher did to his eye sockets up close and Technicolor like that, so he barks at him to leave him alone.
The kid stays though, and even though the kid´s speaking in Spanish and he never really gave a damn for that language, the sentiment is there staring him in the face. I help you, mister,’ the kid says in a small and shy voice that doesn´t have any right being raised in a place as cold and hard as Mexico. I help you like you helped me.’ And he doesn´t care, he really doesn´t, but he asks anyway in what possible way he helped this kid. Money,’ the kid says. You gave me money, when I had none.’
And he thinks that´s pretty pathetic, and down right sad, because the only reason he gave him money was to get the little fuck out of his sight. Which is just ironic enough to lift his mouth up in a smirk, because the kid really was out of his sight for good from now on. He thinks it´s pretty damn depressing that this kid feels an obligation to him for 10 lousy bucks that he´d thrown at him without a second thought. He thinks it's funny too, funny enough to laugh at. Funny enough to cackle at even.
So he opens his mouth to laugh, and instead a gut-wrenching sob comes out. Someone reached down there in his throat and tied a string around his vocal chords and forcibly ripped a sob out of him and now that it´s out they´re all coming out, and he can´t stop them. He´s hyperventilating and the sobs are coming too quickly and his stomach turns over so many times that he doesn´t even have time to lean over before he´s puking, and the worst part is the kid is the one who will be wiping it up.
There´s no tears this time though, and he can´t help but think that maybe that´s why he doesn´t feel better when he can finally breathe right again. There are no tears soaking the sheets, no salty tracks coursing down his face, only blood. Hot, sticky, thick blood coursing down his cheeks, metallic on his tongue. He thinks it´s funny that he always thought of crying as bleeding out your pain and now he actually is and it only feels worse. He thinks it´s funny, but he doesn´t try to laugh, because look where that wound up two minutes ago.
So it turns out, in the cold light of day, that you never really close up, not for good. You think you do, and maybe you fool yourself for almost 20 years, but when the shit falls and your eyes do too, the crying never really stopped.
It just went on hiatus.