Dry Eyes

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I awoke to the sound of my mother’s voice. Four words slipped out of her mouth--Nana died last night. She stood there looking at me through blurry eyes to see if I had gotten the message; she left at the stirring of the sheets and a mumbled okay to hide her bloodshot eyes and dried tears and bare face and baggy eyelids and cracked lips. I only got a quick glance of her shuffling away and wiping tears from her eyes.


I sat in bed waiting. I was waiting for reality to strike me against the head, I was waiting for my grandmother to walk in and give me a hug, and I was waiting for tears to stream down my face while the cold body of my grandmother still lay in her bed waiting for the mortician to cart her away to my grandfather. Waiting. The mortician came. Tears did not come. For fourteen minutes and one eternity, my bedsheets held me to my bed like medical restraints hold epileptics down during convulsions. I was lost in my mind while searching for every already fleeting memory of a grandmother I had loved so dearly. I found the regret of not going to visit her last night. I found the images of music notes from the failed attempts at piano lessons. I found the wig she wore to give her a bright red flame about her; however, that flame had slowly withered out, and I found the embers within her last few breaths. As eternity ended only through the slow encroach of daylight from the window, I grasp at my shackles and threw them off only for them to hit the floor and pull at my ankles.


With sorrow hanging at my feet I stumbled into the bathroom and turned the water to a simmer. I stepped through the threshold of the shower. Heavy rain slammed against my barren skin. Wishing for the pain manifest itself. What boy didn’t cry at the death of his grandmother? The water stung at my flesh and rolled down my face like an imposter. But my eyes remained a desert tundra. I grabbed the shampoo and measured out a dose of the liquid slightly greater than necessary. My hands ran through my hair and the mixture of bed dust and dead hair flowed down. I hesitated for a moment and opened my eyes as the concoction flew in my eyes. I cried.


After many months of separation from this event, I finally looked down. I identified my restraints, emotion. The problem that lead me to such implosive behavior was both chemical and physiological. The logical section of my brain craves to simplify that sadness to a lack of serotonin and the cruel remnants of underdeveloped ancestral animalistic impulses. I want to believe I can break free from this physical prison and soar into my own mindscape beyond simple emotions. The truth of the situation is that we exist with limited control. We are like pilots guiding machines far beyond the scope of our control panels. We are trapped in a prison that cannot be destroyed in fear of it collapsing in on ourselves.






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