Wednesday, 14 December 2011

97) Playground

    “Who’s beast are you?” The girl on the playground asked me. I told her I was my own beast and she ran to her mommy, afraid. She almost fell and then looked back at me. 
    My mother called me a beast when she bailed me out of jail, must have been the fifth or sixth time that summer. It wasn’t that bad, I’d only bitten off part of the other kid’s ear that time.
    I asked my lover who her beast was, she pointed a claw at me. Good mouth on that one, what a waste she didn’t last as long as the others.
    In prison I make sure I’m in solitary. Here’s where I find peace, pale yellow concrete walls. Here’s where I wait until I can hunt again, hibernating.
    Today men in suits came to ask me questions. They showed me pictures but wouldn’t let me keep them.
    I know one day the men in suits will come again and take me away. They will have a special job for me, a job only I can do. And I’ll do my best and be the beast again.

    I ran away from him on the playground. And in that second of fear he entered my mind like a sharp thorn. I was still running and suddenly taller and stumbled a step. I turned back to look and he was still there, I was still there. I couldn’t tell him I was him, too many adults were around.
    Her memories come back like to me like a picture book. There was mommy and doggy and daddy and bampa and nanna and the big house and we all lived there.
    I did well in school. Everyone paid attention to me and let me do what I wanted. People didn’t run away or beat me. My thing’s different too. Gone, cut out like I always wanted. And the new one feels even better.
    There’s so much you can learn when people leave you alone. Everyone’s afraid of me, but in a different way than before. I can take what I want and it’s expected of me to conquer. Men pave my path to greatness. I go for the money, I go for the power, enough power to finally search for myself, the original beast.
    I’m forty years old when I get confirmation of his location. Grey hairs on my head. I think I might like to go completely white like that Australian starlet. Like with children you have to be a chameleon in this playground. Look like one thing, act like another. Cognitive dissonance can give you that hair’s breath of advantage.
    Many people do what I tell them. I feel them like fingers and toes. When I finally see myself again behind the mirrored glass I will certainly smile.

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