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As I Linger In the Chambers of the Sea

“I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” Those words strike my soul, echoing across the sky from the pen and ink of T.S. Eliot. Did he write in the words of Prufrock, or my own? I hate this world we all live in with all of its “efficiency” that can only be achieved through modernization from blending and flowing, struggling day and night just to keep inching forward into this possibly inevitable fate that is our own destruction from our insufferable pride. I lack the ambition, the motivation, and the mental vigor that is producing consistent, acceptable work all after a long day weighted down with the burdens of becoming an adult. I have visions of the perfect work ethics performed by my brother; undoubtedly the perfect man. He lives in that perfect place, free of ambiguity and unwanted stress. I have to learn from him. I have to learn from my family. I graduate soon, so does that mean it’s too late? Dear God, help me.

It starts out simple enough, the slight curiosity and yearning of what might happen if I share my issues publicly to my parents. Even greater still is the response: the emotional high which comes sharply when one knows someone might empathize/sympathize with them. It is done for a reaction; it is done for a response; it is done for a reply: It is meaningless. Do I confront them for a reaction, a longing, hoping they may teach me how to be better, commenting on a positive attribute just to lift my weakened and pained soul? No, no, no. It’s a simulation. It’s a copy of feelings, trying to make me think I have that ounce of hope and intellect in me. No one cares. It is that they feel they must that drives their response. Oh, Mother, what am I even discussing? Rants, it’s always fun. My room is a disaster; this house is a disaster. Everything is out of my closet, bordering around my bed like a medieval wall, and the rest of the house is no different: cluttered, falling apart, a mere mockery of what it once was. I remember the hospital. It was so much cleaner, a decent place for us to spend our family’s Christmas. Why go home? I can’t remember the last time it was clean or the last time anyone was over.

“Can I come in?”

“No sorry. It’s just that we’ve been remodeling and everything, (we haven’t remodeled in years) and the place is a mess.”

“Oh, well, what do you want to do then?”

“Can we go to your place?”

“Yeah, but we’ve been there pretty much this entire week.”

Words, words, and more words. Will I regret writing such things in the morning? Very likely. I will slowly remember them – blurry images, barren fields with only the outlines of the decaying buildings – and then be appalled by my own brutal honesty. Am I mad?

“Every do has its day.” She was always sick, and I don’t understand how she kept on. Always sick, over and over. Once again, once more, another go around. Another day, another one bites the dust. I can’t stand it; I hate it. Every time she comes out, they say she’s fine; that she’s fixed. Soon, something else will go wrong, and those incompetent doctors see mistakes they made the previous times which they now cannot fix. Pretty soon, you will have your own personal room at the hospital if they keep messing you up again and again. Granted, this room is nicer than the ones in the past, and it couldn’t feel more like Christmas. I can see the flowers on the table; oh yes, this room is much nicer than the others.

The carpet is rough, old I know. It must have been here for many years. The cleaning generally neglected, it was probably done in the quickest time possible. It’s actually two rooms; a walnut door opens to a similar room with a couch and a few small tables. A large window looks out at the buildings in Ft. Worth, my breath manifesting on the glass with my face pressed against it. How terribly cold it was; it’s the kind of cold that creeps into the very bones of my body. I can’t focus or stay calm; look how pathetic I am. I examine the large towering rocks jutting forth from the ground as I turn to observe my Christmas room, and find that the wallpaper is very pleasant, as is the walnut door; dark stripes filled with an assortment of colored flowers manipulate my sense of home comfort. The walls laugh at me for my distressed mind; the hospital laughs as it acts as my home this Christmas Eve. Even the buildings, marvelous structures of wonder and might, laugh at me all because they know how weak I am.

The Room is nice, but I can still smell it: That smell, that smell of a hospital that lingers in the air, that smell that rivals the potency of death. I can’t stand it; I could never stand it. I’m suffocating; I’m suffocating. My dad takes me and guides me into the first room, though it looks exactly the same as the other. Instead, in place of the couch there is a cold metal bed and machines beeping and beeping away slowly ticking like mad clocks all attached to my mother. That smell is stronger here; I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

“Bring the tree in, Dad, bring the tree in.” It’s small, a little over a foot wide. It would have been unimpressive to even Charlie Brown; it was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen. “Boys, go wish Mom Merry Christmas.” She’s in pain, I could tell. What a horrible pain; my dad smiles at it, explaining without any true words of the courage that my mother has. My dad seems almost happy, or content rather, of the situation, or perhaps he’s good at lying to his children. Cold leaked through the window and my and my mother struggles as she wishes us a happy one back. Pulling our Burger King burgers out of the sack, we sit down and eat our Christmas dinner, mine a kid’s meal, my brother’s a double cheeseburger, my dad’s a Whopper, and my mother’s some food on a tray.

I wish we didn’t have to be here. The room is nice, but it’s not home. And the smell, it’s horrible, lingering, creeping, always seeking me out. “Time to go to bed, boys.” We go into the other room, and it’s the same except for the couch, which we fold into a bed. My brother and I lie on it, drifting away slowly into a sleep dreaming of the presents we might get to open in the morning; I dreamt of Mom coming home.

Pointless, pointless, pointless, that’s what this is. Haven’t I exceeded some kind of word limit? I imagine so. Why am I writing? Is it for a reaction? I imagine so. It’s a cry, a breakdown captured politely in words, a confused and lost hand extending into the dark, reaching for something to grab on to. That’s it, you win, whoever you are. Everything that is apart of my hope or reality, it’s all ambiguous and/or meaningless. I’m now lost lingering in the chambers of the sea, swimming with the mermaids Eliot spoke of singing each to each. Maybe this Christmas, my mother will be coming home. I haven’t found where the doctors moved her again, and I’ve never been so alone. Dear God, help me.





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