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Milk With Two Meanings
“Good Morning Indiana Hawkins” the weather man exclaimed as he normally does every Tuesday.
I don’t know how he even has a job. The weather never changes, at least not here. It’s always cold and nasty outside. As if the summer and winter had a showdown a long time ago, and winter won. Not the fun white snow winter either. It was the type of winter that had the snow everyone had already walked on and driven in. The black snow that wasn’t even powder it was the type of snow that was slushie but never truly melted. So maybe the weather man still has a job just to remind everyone that life is miserable and cold, and if it hasn’t changed yet then it probably won’t anytime soon. I just want the news to come on so I can keep up with how corrupt the world is, but I probably won’t be able to watch it because my brother Nate is going wake up anytime now and he will want to watch his cartoons. My mom is always saying that a thirteen-year-old boy shouldn't be watching the news, but I like it.
Nate always gets his way. Just like one month when my mom and my low life stepdad were low on funds but Nate just had to have the Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots Game. Long story short, he asked, and they delivered. Well, my mom delivered. My “step dad” doesn't have anything to do with any of our purchases. The last thing I remember him paying up is ten quarters for the laundry mat. I bet my mom must have became smart enough to stop asking him for money or else he would hit her more often. Instead, he just hits her if she does anything else wrong or if he's drunk. Nate doesn't really seem to mind the abuse, probably because he is too innocent and blind to notice. The truth doesn't come too cold when you have no sense of feeling.
“Mom, I’m hungry,” Nate cried out as he woke up.
She then said, “Well, honey, there's some cereal in the cabinet, but I don't think we have any milk. If you wait a few minutes, we can go to the store.”
Mom doesn't normally talk loud. Mostly because my step dad Mike, is always sleeping and she doesn't want to wake him. My mom finishes her dishes and rounds up her purse and our jackets. I always go with my mom and Nate whenever they leave because my mom wouldn't dare leave me with Mike. Last time that happened he hit me in the face because I was in the fridge, when God forbid he had to get his own beer. That didn't end so well. My mom did my makeup the for a week so the teachers didn't suspect anything.
We arrived at the supermarket and Nate needed to use the restroom. I escorted him to the public filth that the supermarket calls a bathroom. When Nate was done using the restroom we found mom, and she asked us to get the only thing we came for. The milk. We set off and down the bread aisle we went. As Nate and I walked I asked him,
“How do you do it”?
He replied, “Do what?”
I simply asked, “Stay so innocent and carefree?”
I didn't really expect him to know what I was talking about; I just wanted him to understand what I meant by the question. Could a six-year-old boy really be the key to an escape? Is he the way out of the nasty, wet snow lie of a life we live? If so, is sharing the answers even worth it? Does the world deserve to have such a blissful way out of reality.
“My imagination,” he interrupted as I was thinking.
Of course, I had nothing to say to Nate's reply. I was so astonished that a kid who knew nothing had just given me the answer to everything. It was no secret; just an ability that faded when we are overstressed and grow up. As we approached the milk I asked him how he was using his imagination to escape this old Dillons? And he replied with,
“Do you see that space behind the milk shelf,”
I said, “The freezer”?
He said, “Yes. A freezer to you, but to me it's the land of no return because there are little milk monsters back there that take anyone that goes back there”.
“So anytime mom or me is getting hit by Mike, or something bad is on the news or you just see something you don't like you just turn it into some sort of imagination thing?” I asked.
He said, “When I get scared I just put my thoughts in front of everything and my imagination does everything”.
We grabbed the milk and on the way back to find mom was just silence. I pondered if I would use this gift presented to me by the six year old that had it all figured out? Would I use my Imagination to escape my own reality, or should I stay in the cold and darkness? Would the gift make me blind to the truth? We arrived with the milk and we then continued to go home and I faced the truth. That we live in an abusive relationship with the world. It won't change anytime soon. You can try to escape it all you want but the cold will seep through the walls and it will consume you.