Big Fucking Castles

What am I thinking?

I am just laying here. My dog wants to play but realizes I don’t, so he lays his head across my shins.

I’ve media-filled myself into a stupor. Lethargy. Catatonic from the heart. There’s all these movies and songs that espouse the beauty of everything. Outside, though, it is only cold and windy and fucked.

These musicians create melody from aether. They do it well. These films are blooming things that always reach some cathartic conclusion. Redeeming, self-served, balanced in ninety minutes or so. I keep pausing them so that they take longer. Two hours. Three hours. I chain smoke on the icy front porch in between. Retreating back to my blankets in the bedroom after. Retreating back into an echoing concrete palace somewhere buried deep between my little dog’s breathing and the doubled-up socks pulled up to just beneath his head on my legs. Does he wonder what I’m thinking about? Does he know I haven’t formulated it, yet? He sighs, leaning his head around to lick his nuts. “That’s attractive.” I tell him. He groans and flops his head back over, nuzzling the fold in my jogging pants.

What am I thinking?

In the other rooms, Mom is watching a movie with lean-bodied men who fight in a caged arena. Russ cooks up something spectacular smelling in the kitchen. Wade plays video games with his elementary-school friend Steven. My brother Troy lays in his bedroom with his boyfriend Danny. I’ve never liked any of his boyfriends. I like Danny, though. He’s charming; Troy cares for him. They have something that builds between them.

All I can think of are the fragile things I once built and dared to call castles. Their walls have shattered away from a few well-aimed stones, revealing yet more stone beneath them. The air is cold inside and out. My insides writhe around uncomfortably while memories I’ve long since given up enjoying go parading around in a ghostly mist. Fog forms feelings of what might now be considered only vague recollections. Shadows.

Distantly, somewhere down one of many, innumerable corridors, the faintest echoes of memory’s banging, clanking revelry comes quietly to my ears. Warm between my blankets, a fortress of rock’s been built up deeply–unreachable. The walls and floors and high, vaulted ceilings are empty of anything but the last, fading sounds, the fog. The frigid, drafty air of this Winter that’s lasted for over a decade.
For a moment, I can almost remember the sunny brightness of days that once filled my fortress with radiant light. I can recall smiles on faces and the attachment to names that now have both wrenched themselves away into someplace timeless and ethereal and lost.

My little dog’s breathing changes, growing deeper and drawn-out, as he enters into whatever world dogs enter when they dream.

just wook at him

just wook at him

(copyright 2014, Joshua Floyd, all rights reserved)

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