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I wish I could go up to people and speak to them, talk about their day or mine. It could be a stranger or a classmate I’ve known for years either way it’s difficult. It's not that I can’t speak it's that my body won’t allow it, or rather I won’t. I get too nervous, afraid of what they might think or how they look at me. People tell me not to think about and that it's not a big deal, but it's not that easy they would laugh at me and hurt me. I don’t want to give them opportunity. Not just emotionally but physically, what if a disagreement turns violent I don’t know how I could handle that. I’m in one of those situations now.
I’m sitting on a cold and uncomfortable bench waiting for my ride home, when I hear an argument, no a fight, wrong again this is war. Three platforms down from mine I see a man a top the same bench as I’m sitting on except he is covered in Anti-Semitic nonsense. How can someone be so ignorant, I think. I hate that people are this way; I wish I could change them, maybe if I spoke to them they would realize how wrong they are. No I couldn't inspire that change in them they themselves need some sort of an epiphany. Besides even if someone could purseude them it couldn’t be me, I’m just, me.
“Hey you,” a voice shouts
“Um ah yes?” I respond
“You have the look of an Aryan, come join us to reclaim our spot at the top of the human race.” I Grit my teeth, pained by what he says, how can someone be so arrogant to think that because of some born right they are greater than someone else, what has this overweight bald man done with his life to think he is something special.
“Well my train is uh almost here,” I manage to squeak out.
“What's that boy? You’re one of them Jew lovers huh?” I hear the whistle of a train and thank god, I look to my left and see the passenger train billowing down the track. I look back at the man, point to my train, gather my stuff and escape.
Calming down from the altercation waiting to happen I can’t help but think did I have the right to judge that man? Well he judges a whole ethnicity of people without knowing them; I know enough about him, that he’s the scum of the earth, to know that I can judge him. I should have fought back, called him out on the foul putrid noises he says are words. Despite my front I’m scared, what will happen if I see him again, what if something happens to a Jewish person by the hands of that man and I could have stopped it. I fall back into a panic attack then, I feel weightless, what is this euphoria, then I realize this train has left the tracks and is headed into a lake.
I sit up, shocked, breathing heavy, and cold really cold. I close my eyes to calm down but it’s not safe here either, I see flames like Hell incarnate. Suddenly I am greeted with a warm embrace which would have scared me but it was so comforting. I can only feel part of this hug, why? I open my eyes and see a woman. She has thick tangled brown hair with deep brown eyes with skin that resembles a sunset, a soft reddish orange, is she a Native American?
“Another nightmare hunny?” she whispers softly.
“Yeah I can’t escape the Labyrinth of fire,” he says “even after years it still imprisons me.” This is strange I am in this body but it’s not me. The voice is not my own. I can control my thoughts and I can see, smell, hear, and feel what this man feels or should I say what he doesn’t feel but I can’t control this body. Am I a parasite living in this man's body? Letting him live life while I get to experience it without doing anything, or am I a prisoner? Trapped in this body with lack of control of what happens to me or this body rather. He gets up goes to the mirror and stares at himself; I’m astonished by the look of this man. His face is gruesome covered in scar tissue like some made a diagonal incision and cooked the bottom right side of his face. Down most of his upper body, minus his left pec and shoulder and very much the same. I can see they tried to graph on new skin but the damage is unrepairable.
“How are we this morning handsome?” his wife says.
“I’m fine, but hungry, beautiful.” he says. She calls him handsome, why, this man could win a Freddy Krueger lookalike contest, and I can feel his relief. Relief that she thinks he's handsome, because every time he looks in the mirror he gets angry and depressed but the overwhelming amount of support she shows him washes away any insecurities he has.
They get dressed and go out to get something to eat, the wife says something about coffee but his mind is clouded with worry, but when she clings to his arm as they walk he doesn’t care what people say he doesn’t care how they thinks he looks because she is his whole world. He’s been hurt, physically and emotionally before how is he so strong? It’s her. As long as she stands with him, this man can take on the world. They have a seat with their coffee and begin to sip when the power goes out.
When the lights come back on I am not in that man's body anymore. I am in a restaurant with some fellow men that are white like this man.
“Are you alright David?” asks a man.
“Yes I’m fine, it is ridiculous that this place would lose power I’ve been coming here for years.” said David.
“Mr. Duke” the waitress says “here is your check.
“No no no no I am in the body of the KKK leader David Duke this can't be happening” I think. I want to scream. I want to escape. Yet I am curious. What does this man think? I wait patiently until a conversation about white supremacy comes up. That’s insane; he doesn't realize that he is wrong. No. He doesn’t he is wrong in fact he believes in himself and his ideas as much as I hate him and his ideas. He gets into his limo with his companions.
“Mr. Duke it will be a hour till we get to the city.” the chauffeur says.
“Great I can catch up on some sleep.” David Duke says. He rests his head against the door and goes to sleep.
I wake up in a hospital. This is my body, I can tell because of scars on my neck and chest. I remember when I got these. My dad. I hate thinking about him. He always quieted me told me not to speak unless spoken to and one day I had enough I wanted to talk to him, laugh with him, but he was already seven beers in. I opened my mouth and he hurled a glass bottle at me. I haven’t seen him since. I’m relieved. I don’t have to be scared of him, I will never see him again.
“Honey thank goodness you’re alive” my mom says as she runs into the room and hugs me. “I’m so glad you along with everyone else survived that train wreck.” You are my sunshine Shilo. I think as I embrace my mother, I can take on the world with the love of this woman. Even if people who don’t know their wrong get upset, I don’t care. I will stand.