A cool metal ring thumps you in the forehead, right between the eyes. Three times.
“tap tap tap”.
You rouse your mind from sleep; confused by your dreams and this thing – about as big around as your thumb: a metal ring.
Now harder: “THUMP THUMP THUMP”. You can hear its ring echoing in your bones; right between the eyes. And it hurts this time; not much – just slightly painful. Like a cutting thing.
You open your eyes. You are staring down the long dark length of rounded metal. It’s a shotgun, and a twelve gauge at that. It is pressed HARD against your forehead; right between your eyes.
And from the other end is staring your brother. His face is a mask of contorted rage and hatred. You can see the hammer’s been pulled back; his finger, a white bone, is wrapped around the trigger – twitching perhaps, in its anticipation of blowing your own head off.
He screams (as loud as he can, and very much like the man going after those children in the “People Under the Stairs“. Exactly like that one. It sent shivers down my spine – still does (not the movie; just the voice) – every time I watch it.)
“I’M GONNA KILL YOU!!”
You blink. You look up from the shotgun to his screaming hate filled eyes. You know your not supposed to move. With that much pressure on the trigger of this thing, a single false movement can set off the gun. Even if he doesn’t want to. But he’s in RAGE (more than just a feeling; and way beyond emotion). He doesn’t know this thing: how close he’s coming to killing his own brother.
And you reply (calmly and coolly), feeling a sense of relief. At least when the gun goes off there’ll be an end to this thing. All of it. And you are wishing it was so … sort of. The animal need for life still driving you, you say:
“Go ahead. You’ll have to deal with mom when your done.”
And that’s enough. You see the rage cooling from his face – his face clearing; the contorted hate filled features smooth out; he becomes his ‘normal’ mean ass self again. The gun drops; he hesistates. The thumb come up and uncocks the trigger. The gun drops (he’s still holding it, but it’s pointed at the ground – in this case the over-carpeted floor.)
He walks away.
You turn your head and close your eyes and go on back to sleep.
This was life as ‘normal’. This was the way we are.
Always and forever.
And it happened so many times like that that I lost my fear of guns (caution, yes! Fear: no.) Plus I was into dying all the time; not that I wanted to die (this was long before suicidal rages) – but dying inside every day, bit by bit – and friggin’ lonely.
There was no one I could tell. Telling momma would have brought out the gun sooner or later – and then he’d certainly shot me. Telling dad? That would have led to more beatings, sooner or later.
Telling no one?
Safest thing to do.
And this was part of the reason I hung that windchime in front of my door – opening it just a few inches (4) – and its tinkling Thailand charms would wake me up from whatever I was doing.
It often kept my mom and dad from abusing me (they had their “own special way” of waking me up sometimes) – and it let me know when HE was coming in.
Sometimes with a gun.
And that’s why I sleep so lightly – so very lightly – that even the simple ‘swish’ of the door’s blade against the carpet is enough to wake me to high being.
That, I suppose, is one of the reasons I’m so hypervigilant. Not that that is a bad thing: I notice things and see things that everyone else is missing.
And in a good way.
(Matthew’s Journal entry: now. From all of us in here.)