Glow Trudged

August 7, 2010
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1
Glow trudged. Glow trudges a lot these days. A husk of a man that once was a young and jubilant adolescent. He walked along a road that only he could see, traveling to a destination that got nothing but farther away. He is ragged, starved, tall, and weather beaten. His slight limp and the taut lines on his face are a reflection of a hard past, a past full of sorrow, anger, resentment, and injustice; injustice that took away his youth, his life, and his future; injustice that dulled his once bright eyes; His once glowing eyes. His eyes were special. Those eyes could capture your soul like a well-oiled bear trap. He would hold you in a trance, a special lullaby that seems to radiate deeply from within your soul.
You can still see him now, if you want to; dancing his lonely dance, using steps greatly practiced by those who had lost the will to live, yet continue to live anyway. His solemn yellow eyes look out of place amongst his worn features, features that are the diminishing shadow of a happy young man’s face. No, not happy, never happy. Smiling? Yes. Friendly? Yes. But happy? Never.
His story is a vivid tale, full of pain and sadness, brutality and unfairness, redemption and eyes; His yellow eyes, His glowing eyes. He once had a personality, a face a name.
“Nathan”
Nathan is now a memory
“Glow”
Glow trudged.
2
Nathan sprinted. He was late for school. He knew very well that if he was late to school that would be his fifth tardy. Five times tardy earned a phone call home. I did not know then what home meant to him.
Both of Nathan’s parents had been killed in a car crash when he was a baby. His foster father was an abusive alcoholic, beating and hurting him for what he did wrong. It meant starving as he was deprived of food (I often packed two lunches, one for me and one for him). It meant sleepless nights crying for his real parents while his foster dad snored downstairs. Home meant love and comfort for me, it meant pain and crying for him; crying with eyes that glowed.
Nathan caught up with me. I could see the hunger in his eyes, but did not process it. In my adolescent naiveté, I mistook his pain for sleepiness.
“Where have you been, Nate?” I asked him.
“Home,” He drawled in his slow, careful way of speaking.
“Cool” I said, nonchalant and clueless.
I looked into Nate’s glowing eyes, and felt my spirits lift. In them I saw an eight-year-old Glow, still pretending, still smiling, still playing, but still full of pain.
Nate and I have been friends ever since I can remember. Trough thick and thin, better or worse, high and low, we have been there for each other. And it’s unfair that any friendship should have so much low.
Nate and I fooled around on the playground for a while until the school bell rung. We drug our young bodies into the halls of the school, while leaving our spirits on the freedom of the play yard.
As Nathan ran into the school with me, I again looked into his eyes; into those strange, glowing eyes. Nate’s body was normal; a small, pathetic body, with pudgy hands, stringy muscles, and other things that we have all left behind in childhood. He had such a weak body, too weak to hold off his foster father when he was attacked
But his eyes, they still had power, power enough to make your soul fly.
Nathan and I walked into our classroom. Glow trudged in with us.
Glow trudged.
3
Nathan stumbled.
It’s probably hard not to stumble as the police drag you along, handcuffs clinking behind. I was riding over to his house when I heard the sirens. I sat on my bike as the police broke into his house. I heard not a sound in the house as the police went in and grabbed Nate. I saw them lay him out the lawn, saw them search for a weapon, heard them question him about his dad, and, if possible, I heard him not answer. The handcuffs clinked on his hands. Nathan M. Blake was in the custody of the law enforcement officers of the state. He had the right to remain silent. If he chose not to use this right, anything he said could be used against…
Nathan was fourteen at the time.
His dad had been incredibly angry. It did not help that he was still drunk from New Year’s Eve. Nathan had just broken a vase. Not on purpose, he had accidentally backed into it. The broken pieces lay all over the floor. His father smacked him to the ground. He landed hard, his head smashing into the wall. His right hand lay near a broken vase piece. He his fingers curled around it.
His father came and picked him back up by the neck. His fingers slid neatly around Nate’s throat. Nathan was choking, dieing, his arms flailing. In a desperate move his hand lashed out, like a snake striking its prey, sinking the vase piece firmly in his father neck. Blood gushed over Nathan’s arm, the life of his tormenter flowing into his hands, onto his face, into his eyes.
This was when Nathan truly became Glow. He was free. He could go anywhere he felt like. He shed his flimsy Nathan skin and became a true person. There is a true person in each of us. It is up to us to decide whether to let it surface or not. In Nathan’s case, his real person had been oppressed. Imprisoned in his glowing eyes. But for the short while that he was free, he was the true Glow; A pure sweet Glow; A justified murderer.
He has become something else entirely.
The sirens blared in my ears. The kids ran alongside as the white and green cars returned to the station with their young prisoner. I just hope that Nate will be able to stay out of Juvenile Hall.
Nate was marched into the cell he was to be held in. Glow trudged in with him.
Glow trudged.
4
Dear John,
I’m dizzy. I can’t think straight. Ever since I have been convicted of the murder of “Jacob Pinson McDare,” my foster father, I have had trouble thinking. And there is a lot of time to think around here. So as you can imagine, I have little to do.
It wasn’t my fault you know, killing him. He had attacked me for breaking the vase. The jury didn’t care. Their was no evidence against my “Dad”, or at least not enough to prove he was beating I showed them bruises but they dismissed them as boyish injuries caused by bike rides or some other crazy things like that. My lawyer was horrible.
It’s crazy. This whole place is crazy. They’re currently holding me in the Colville Boys Correctional Facility. The kids here call it the “pothole”, because most of them are here for smoking marijuana and selling it and such. I’m the only one that is here because of murder. To tell you the truth the kids here think it is something real special. They call me “Glow”, that’s my name now.
I guess it’s because of eyes. The kids think that my eyes are the coolest things on the earth. Glow is a king around here. This is the stupidest thing ever! I hate this place.
I didn’t mean to kill him. One year later, and I still didn’t mean to.
Visiting hours are on Monday, 12-6. Come see me. I have to go now.
Come visit me I’ll trudge through.
Hope all is well, it aint in here,
Glow
P.S. Tell Claire I said hi.
5
Glow struts. He actually struts through the halls of his cage. He is some kind of god where he is. “I’m the only one that is here because of murder.” He is the one with all the power.
It is grotesque.
A cannibalistic deity.
I can’t stand to even be near him. He swaggers around like some great, conquering hero, as if he did something worthy of recognition by the world. The Nate I knew, the Nate that was my friend, I don’t see him anymore. It’s only Glow, with his eyes and his stupid murder. He acts as if he meant to kill his foster father. He really did murder.
We didn’t talk much that visit. “Nate,” I said, staring at him through thin wire bars. “Nate what’s happened to you?” I was afraid of the answer.
“Nate aint here” He growled “Just me, Glow”
I went home early. I don’t think I’ll visit him much anymore.
There is only one time that I see the old Nate on my short, weekly visits, when they return him to his cell. When he remembers that he is still a prisoner. When he remembers that he is not in here by choice, but unfairly imprisoned in a stupid cage. That is when his legs get heavy.
That is when Glow again becomes soft, weak Nate.
That is when Glow Trudged.
6
Glow Limped.
He won’t tell me what happened, but I know. Some new kids came to the pothole. Some big kids who did some pretty bad stuff to get locked up. They don’t like to have anyone rule over them. They must have beat Glow down to show him whose boss. Now those kids are the kings, and he is the court jester.
He is pretty well messed up. His right eye is swollen shut; his teeth kept grinding in pain, as if his head had been smashed and he needs to rub it, but his hands are held back by his shackles. He has trouble walking and his arm is in a sling. His face is shamed. His eyes dulled. Dulled!
I can see it in his face, in his eyes. He is beaten. He has nowhere else to turn. The kids are slowly milking him away, grinding into him and mocking him in his weakness. He has nothing else to do now. Just trudge through God knows how many more long years in this prison.
Just trudge.
7
Glow is wasting away. He has been paroled and will leave the prison in a year and will not continue his imprisonment in a federal jail. My weekly visit this time was supposed to be for joy and celebration.
It scared me.
Prison has hit him hard. His painful past and bleak future have come together to form a milky substance of death. His cloudy thoughts dulling his amazing eyes.
Glow has consumed Nate. He shuffles around lost in a sea of his own feelings. I can’t imagine how four years of sitting and thinking back to when he killed his foster dad must have ruined his mind. I don’t know how he trudged through the last years when he was the pothole fool. But he did. He trudged through.
Glow trudged.
8
Glow trudged. Glow trudges a lot these days. A husk of a man that once was a young and jubilant adolescent. He walked along a road that only he could see, traveling to a destination that got nothing but farther away. He is ragged, starved, tall, and weather beaten. His slight limp and the taut lines on his face are a reflection of a hard past, a past full of sorrow, anger, resentment, and injustice; injustice that took away his youth, his life, and his future; injustice that dulled his once bright eyes; His once glowing eyes. His eyes were special. Those eyes could capture your soul like a well-oiled bear trap. He would hold you in a trance, a special lullaby that seems to radiate deeply from within your soul.
You can still see him now, if you want to; dancing his lonely dance, using steps greatly practiced by those who had lost the will to live, yet continue to live anyway. His solemn yellow eyes look out of place amongst his worn features, features that are the diminishing shadow of a happy young man’s face. No, not happy, never happy. Smiling? Yes. Friendly? Yes. But happy? Never.
His story is a vivid tale, full of pain and sadness, brutality and unfairness, redemption and eyes, His yellow eyes, His glowing eyes. He once had a personality, a face a name.
“Nathan”
Nathan is now a memory
“Glow”
Glow trudged.





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