- Posted February 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
A weight on her stomach. A little 4-year-old girl and her weight. As she grows older also the weight grows, proportionally to the knowledge and the consciousness that grow with her.
Jackie felt as in danger when she woke up that morning in December. What the heck of a day it was? She did not remember. She left lazily that night behind her shoulders. One of her endless insomnia nights, passed through nightmares, through baths in blood from other women, who she was not able to save. She felt tired, worn out, as if she had lived those dreams, or better, those nightmares, in the real part (non-dreaming) of her life.
She sluggishly dragged her legs to the restroom, where she peed resting her head on the heater. She was worn out, destroyed. Dead. She longed for serenity. She suffered from painful pangs in her lower belly, and the docs said “you need to accept it, darling”. And she did it. She accepted it. She compulsively hugged her pains and her belly. No pills, please. No drugs. They hurt me. Yeah, they hurt her. And meanwhile she suffered every day like a psycho.
When she ate her stomach swelled, it hurt a lot. And there again another hot infusion: it helped her guts to deflate. Under a rush of madness she thought she preferred to cut her belly, from side to side, and cut out her own guts. Bring every single piece of that awful intestine and rolling it out. She would have suffered less, and once for all. If she thought about it, it was exactly like in her nightmares.
All those poor women, slaughtered and eviscerated. Left to bleed to death. Every one held her belly, as if to protect herself. No one helped them, they helped by their own. Alone. And they all died. She did not die, but she hugged her aching belly in any case. And in that she included all her pain. That day was hot, she was wearing a small white top, a pair of shorts. She remembered it as if it had happened the day before. It actually had happened 24 years and 6 months earlier. She was at her grandparents’. She loved to play, during summers, with her grandpa. Usually there were also her little cousins. She always had a blast. If she closed her eyes, Jackie was projected backwards, in an incredible space-time journey. And everything was serene. The summer heat, in which she was born, little cancer girl. Her grandpa was her favorite adult. He told her stories, he showed her how to build a house on a tree, she showed her the vineyard. What Jackie loved was when grandpa took her hand, a small hand in the big, lumpy and rough hand of her grandpa. And once hand in hand she thought she could fly. He led her into the back garden, where the grass among the grapevines was under water. He led her among the leaves of those obsequious, perfumed trees. And tight in that hand hug, they walked silently, with her small feet and his big feet under water.
A unique sensation all under her feet. Jackie looked up to her grandpa who, with his raven-black hair, his dark glasses, was an inexhaustible source of knowledge, of respect and of fascinating stories. Grandpa, why do they grapevines have drops? Because they suffer Jackie. They cry like you do. Don’t you see? And she looked and she observed those cut branches, as if they were bleeding fingers. And why do they suffer, grandpa? Because in life, Jackie, there is a lot of pain and all living things suffer. You will feel pain too, Jackie. Exactly like these grapevines. But I will be there for you, to help you.
Deep in these idyllic thoughts from her childhood, Jackie forgot that her infusion was cold. And with it also the sensation of serenity that her grandfather and the memory had given her was gone. Frozen. With an angry gesture she emptied the mug on the basin. Meanwhile her sense of inappropriateness, of anguish, of need of eviscerating herself and let out the rotten part of her came back. As acute as ever. Omnipresent. During the day under the form of pains. During the night accompanying her with unutterable nightmares. She could see them still, she could feel their blood dropping among her fingers. Viscous load of sufferance. Purple soul martyrdom.
From what? She knew it but in the deep she did not want to remember it.
What she recalled best was sounds, colors and perfumes (or odors). She remembered every single thing, actually. Every detail. With sharpness and clarity. But of those days there were more vivid memories and others that were surrounded by an obscure and malodorous fog. The good memories were all with her grandpa or with her cousins. The moments where granny told them to go inside and take a nap after lunch were good ones. Even though no one wanted to obey her and the nap was only a boring waste of time that robbed them of the time to play and to listen to the rhythmic and melodious sound of cicadas and of the time spent under the sun, it was still a good time. Serene. Childish.
But among the marvelous stars on heaven and of the universe there are also diabolic black holes. Everyone knows their name, but nobody knows how they look like or what they are in reality. And most important of all, nobody knows what they hide. And, differently from a black hole, Jackie’s one was also foggy, scary, and horrible and it smelled of vicious, unhealthy. It putrefied.
Also for her it had a clear name. A trusted person.
During one of those afternoons of girlish quietness, of that owed, obligatory, sacrosanct childish serenity, meanness winded. And one day it captured her. It captured her for a while, for many days. It waited for her, it talked to her, it told her unspeakable words. Words that are never to be said to a child.
And this curse was on Jackie. And she was not yet aware of it. She was scared, frightened.
Her small heart beat and she wanted to cry. But everything stopped. Everything froze. Also the cicadas and the sun disappeared. The black hole had menacing and sleazy hands that got too close to the little girl. Only her grandfather was aware of the black hole, he could feel its vague presence, but could not imagine the facts. That summer was a kind of hell of Jackie.
It was only the beginning of an interior inferno that Jackie would drag inside of her forever. Embroiled in that shitty black hole of violence on kids.
She would wake up crying, agitated, nervous. She would not be able to fall asleep. She would have nightmares. Her mother and father were worried and asked her what was wrong. For a long time Jackie was not able to vomit that clot of sufferance. And when she did it, her parents hugged her and she cried.
Once adult, her father asked her once again the details of what happened. And he cried. There were times in which her old life slept. It dozed off. But those nightmares kept coming back. That sensation of dirt, of vomit when thinking of the black hole was strong. When she listened to its name her eyes reduced to diabolic fissures. A deep hate arose from her guts, it made her blood boil and all goodness valve was shut. She did not want to see it, the black hole, the bastard lived serene. It was her problem, her pains, her thoughts, her curse, her infinite hugs of herself, the baths in her own sweat and nightmares during the night that continued when she was awaken. Her past came back. It was only her problem. The rage she felt was palpable. But the kid that once existed was safe inside of her. No one could hurt her again. She was sure that the small girl was rotting inside her body and she must let her go. But she did not want to leave her. It was her that Jackie hugged during the sufferance; it was the girl that suffered. It was the little Jackie who was trapped in the sticky black slime. And she lived in that way. But she had to die slowly. The kid must go away. Jackie knew it. The path was long, difficult and not free of obstacles, but she was strong. She was. And she would succeed.
The infusion was boiling on the fire.
Don’t touch the kids. Don’t touch the women.
The names are invented. The story is not.