July 3, 2012

My Grandmother used to tell me that it was because of my vibrant violet eyes that I can see the truth in all situations and down to the core of peoples hearts. That I comprehend the world as our ancestors did long ago. Today, I live in a world where serpents slither through minds, causing thoughts to be transported to far-off places. Tiny monsters inhabit everyone’s pockets, consuming their owners until they are no longer a person but a thread of messages that fly through the air, bound by nothing of substance.

I wake up, get ready for school, and walk down-stairs to the kitchen. Immediately I hear my mother frantically scream, “I’m coming!” as she runs down the stairs. I watch her hastily grab bread to put in the toaster and fruit to put in the blender. I can tell the monster has already consumed her. Her eyes are glossy, her back slouched and at seven in the morning she is already overwhelmed. She has probably been up for hours with the monster, her fingers dancing along the keys making musical clicking sounds.
“Melanie. Remember to ask Mr. Jones about that B in chemistry and don’t forget you have a dentist appointment at 3:00!”
I roll my eyes back in my head and muter, “stop trying to run my life.”
She continues talking both to the monster and to me, her attention split between us. I reply to her comments in irrational, defensive statements that I know I will regret later, but I say them any way. On this negative note, we depart…

On the front steps of my school Caden comes up to me and casually throws his arm around my shoulder. “Hey Mel,” he says as he kisses me on the cheek. We sit down on a bench to spend time together before classes start. The tiny boxed monster with its bright lights and smooth cover screams inside his pocket and just like that I know I’ve lost him. I stare off into space and think about how I am completely excluded from his relationship with the monster. I wonder to myself what they talk about, if it’s interesting or funny. I repress those thoughts convinced that I am over thinking it. The bell rings and I leave…

I sit across the dinner table from my father at our favorite sushi restaurant. I order all of my favorites and smile with content. I don’t see him often so to catch up he asks me questions about my life. I respond with interesting facts and amusing stories to make him proud. He tells jokes and I laugh.
“Hold on one sec, this is work- I have to respond”
The monster creeps up onto the table and consumes him his fingers pound at its surface, his eyes turn bright green and his skin vibrates neon yellow. I wonder to myself how he can love the monster more than me or even enough to let it into our special moment. Knowing the night is over I raise my hand to get the waiters attention, “check please” I say.

The next day I go to the beach with Caden. We sit in the golden sand and the breeze whips my hair against my face. He is still distracted by the monster. I sigh, disappointed that the monster could find us here. Clouds move in and rain starts to fall. With the rain the monster melts away and its suffocating weight is lifted off my chest. I laugh, delighted by the freedom I feel. I finally have all of Cadens attention and there is no moment more important than right now. He wraps his arms around me and I fall deep into his chest. For this one moment, the monster with its slimy long fingers that follow me everywhere cannot touch me. I am free. Free from the millions of strings that connect me to the universe. Free like in the days of my ancestors. I am in one place living one life. We sit and watch the waves crash on the sand until the sun disappears on the horizon.

The author's comments:
This is a magical realism short story inspired by my personal struggles with technology and its effects on those I love.

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This article has 2 comments.

Katherine said...
on Jul. 7 2012 at 1:55 pm
Wonderful effort MaryKatherine and it inspired  me to put down my monster!

Naama said...
on Jul. 7 2012 at 1:06 pm


great Article.

I love the metahpor and the personal interpretation you gave to the relations that are characterizing our life noe a days.

Keep on writing! 


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