this true story was a lot of trouble to post due to censorship.
The offending word or phrase... the name of a common game of cards.
In case you're wondering, yes i lost everything to the game,
and no, i dont like to go anywhere any more,
especially to friends, family, and anywhere public or private.
Well, setting melancholy to the side, because it is not something that needs a reason to exist, it is only a sadness of itself.
two years ago
Lets revisit the bar where a dark haired woman is nursing a drink. She is a stranger to me. Remember this as the story unfolds
She is sitting at the bar where the drinks are mixed. I'm sitting at the farthest available dark corner of the establishment, not so far from where she is perched, close enough to clearly hear spoken words.
Her name is intriguing.
The waitress is a friend who became as family (implying love but not like, its all good but its not all good). She is informing the young woman of something very significant, and her finger points at me... meanwhile i'm thinking how useless the money was for me and planning to give my Sis a 50 for the drink and keep the change.
She approaches my table to inform me that my presence is required on the next night, because another relative will be visiting and its time for us to meet.
It doesnt feel right, but i accept the invitation anyway, wondering why she is acting so happy to see me and have me show up the next night again.
The next day i show up as promised. My sister/friend is not looking well compared to the night before. She is unkempt and visibly saddened. There are fresh pizzas at the crowded table, they are barely touched so i refuse the offer not knowing what game is afoot. Sis looks at me with sad eyes, 'he gave us free Pizza, but you were right, it wasn't worth it'.
I dont know what she means. I have an idea, but all i really know is that her boss is someone i'd just as soon (edited).
I start noticing people i've met before, somewhere, from a deeply buried past not worth looking back at. I say to myself, 'fine, bring it, i dont care any more, i'm going to have a good time and so what if they try to Kill me again'.
I notice a young lady attracting attention, dancing, singing kareoke and having a good time. Sis leans over and asks, 'did you see my other sister and say hi yet?'
No, i reply. She points to her sister, the young lady i noticed dancing and singing. 'You should go say hello'.
In my own time i leave the table to cross the open floor, chance having it that we meet, and so i introduce myself. Soon we are fully engaged in conversation and the rest of the room seems to disappear...
except for a dark haired woman that was sitting at the bar the night before... her presence cuts though the excitement of our meeting, standing near but just out of reach, i notice the dark bitterness in her eyes glaring at me. The feeling of contempt is unmistakeable, and i think to myself the truth of this is in me somewhere, yet she is a stranger to me... how dare she look at me this way... if she indeed does know me... how dares she?... and then the dark haired woman leaves the bar.
Puzzling, to say the least, i'd rather that there were nothing to say at all, however trust once breached, like the feeling of safety, does it ever really come back again? Absolutely, but not like its shiny and new to grow and flourish undamaged.
So the evening progresses onward and at the end we all decide to congregate at Sis's house for a game of cards.
Really really really not my style. But my newly met Sister of my Sis is having a great time and so why spoil it.
There are two men sitting across from me, younger than i, but not youthful. Their eyes are grey and dull, like something in them died, the life is gone out of them, yet they are fully aware of everything.
There is a lull and distraction in the game, and it is near the end of it, perhaps a few more rounds to play out.
nobody sees it, nobody hears it.
Everyone else is looking away, distracted in whatever drunken conversation wafted towards them.
The two men across from me catch my attention purposefully by looking intently into my eyes, at the same time.
to say, yes, we're looking at you, you paying attention, now listen...
One of them makes a drawing motion, and i dont mean art, although it technically is... an art... a dark art...
Knowing i recognize the motion for what it is, he looks me straight in the eye and says,
"We're the ones that were sent to kill you. Sorry. its what we do."
i said nothing. My eyes told them everything they needed to know in that moment. They know how furious i am that i lived through it.
The game resumed and i didn't ruin anyone's party, which soon ended anyway of its own accord.
But the thing that got me most that night are the words my Sis's sister said to me openly, in front of everyone just before i was leaving.
"Please", she said, "come back home"... spoken clearly, she meant to where she travelled from, her own home.
Strangers, always the words of strangers. Nothing i can say or do, words like boulders in an avalanche crushing my soul into unwanted ignorance. What they want and look for is gone from me, no longer exists, debriefed, removed... and im a stranger to my own self without knowing it. Did they ever even meet the real me to begin with? And it has been clearly stated also, that none of them are the slightest bit interested in the real me.
A matriarchal slip of the tongue, suggestions, and i've been summoned to another gathering of family...
But i'm a stranger...
and i dont want to say no just because my yes's are broken.
So what's a stranger to do?