Believe makes you Strong

  • 23 Jul - 29 Jul, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

I washed my face. I hit the button. By the time she got into the room, the water already seeped through the sink and down the side of the floor, a few drops liquefying on the wood panelled floor.

A bug crawled across my leg. I didn’t have the reach to flick it off, and it tickled. After some time, I forgot it was there, the TV resonating something oh so worldly. After a few moments, I remembered again and hit the button. By the time she came I forgot what my problem was.

I did not feel comfortable waiting until lunch as I woke up a bit earlier than usual and my breakfast was extra skimpy. I hit the button.

“No” was all she said…and she showed me her hand.

It was a polite “No,” a high quality “No,” but a “No” none the less.

The days got longer, the chess games fuller, the evening shorter and the people older.

I was a slow timely man.

After all these rambunctious years in rock bands, and all those years playing football, and all those years…

music was my passion. Was it my passion? One of my passions, the main passion.

At least I had a passion.

I was a good football player.

There were a few things I never got around to doing.

I never went skiing, but I always thought that would have been a lot of fun.

I never stayed around long enough to witness the big election and the unfolding drama. They turned the TV off past 10. I saw it during the day, but it just wasn’t the same.

I never got to get the old band back together. I bet I still could if it wasn’t for this damned bed and gated windows…

I never remarried. I never had another kid I liked.

I never, I never…

But I did get plenty of TV watched, and honed my chess skills to those of the elite. I wish I could play the elite. I wish I could play the best.

I was the best football player too. Time alters memory, or so they say.

Oh time, what a silly little item. I had a grandfather clock in my old home. It was an antique. I believe I sold it.

I wish I was a grandfather.

There were plenty of things I wish I could do, but time kept ticking. Time kept ticking and I kept forgetting the time.

January? February? The 4th, the 5th? What’s it matter?

At least I had some music, but only something that Rico wanted to listen to as well.

And of course Ross, Rita, Warren, and Carl. They wanted to listen to old music.

I was more contemporary.

We always listened to what Rico wanted to because he was the oldest. And the whole terminal cancer thing, we thought it was only for another month.

Or two. Or three. Rico was a fighter.

But that’s okay. Any music was good music, and after some more time, I would be the oldest and I would get to choose.

But only if I was a fighter.

Visitors? A few. Ones that I wanted to see… Nope.

I wanted to see her.

I think she’s dead.

But if I couldn’t get her, than Amanda Beckerton from the morning news on CNN, on the dot every ten minutes until five…she could visit anytime.

What a pleasant smile. Almost like nurse. Almost as pleasant, at least I could smell her.

They should hire unattractive nurses. At least it would get us out of here sooner, save the family some money. I lose the woman, I lose the motivation. And we have found the major flaw in people. No OTHER people, no motivation. And now we’re working solely with instinctual survival and it just isn’t the same.

Money was plentiful, as if I could spend it here. The only thing I could spend it on was better responsiveness on the button.

It got darker outside, and evening lunch rapped up. We were escorted into out beds by smiling nurse after a few rounds in the fun room.

Fun enough.

There was a slight whimsical feeling in the air. The window was open. The wind whistled between my ears, wind rustled the blinds, wind lit the imagination.

The city view. So pretty.

Perhaps I can see something worth seeing.

A pretty boy and a cute girl. How pretty. He should hold

her hand.

I closed my eyes and looked at the inside of my eyelids.

How black. Are they always

so dark?

Nothing yet. I opened them. Still in the same place.

I closed them.

I also wanted to go surfing. Between bouts of football and jam sessions in the garage, it was surfing I kept returning to in my head, though I never actually did it, for Kansas beaches were the worst…it always seemed fun. More fun than the fun room with its toys and bouts of chess.

Maybe it was all the Beach Boys tracks growing up?

With my eyes closed, the wind tickled my face, supplementing my imagination. Oh how the wind wistfully pulled my long compelling hair back, brown and thick, the girls eying me cautiously from the shore, laughing at each other in a nervous stutter. Oh wait until I come up to talk to them, nice and close…hear them breathe…

The sun released itself on my back, a nice coating of shine and comfort sprawled on my spine. The growl from the ocean startled me and I quickly glanced back. What a mighty wave, oh what a mighty wave.

I pressed my body against the board. I had to collect my thoughts. Could I do this wave? Could I handle its immense immortal power?

I had no time to think. It was immediate. As if unconscious, as if it was my last day of life and no threat could stall me now. I lifted myself above the board and stood. The wave crunched and cracked up over my height and screamed towards shore, my body standing coolly and steadily- yet forceful- oh so forceful in the direction of the girls, in the direction of my best friends clapping aghast along the shore’s shallow side- the cars driving above stopped and rear ended each other while giving my performance and unabashed deserving stare.

If only she could see me now. The wave wavered, as it continued closing to the shore it began dying, the life seeping out of its pores and into the flesh blue of the whole ocean. As it sank into itself I could feel my body releasing the tension, followed by the diminishing fading presence of the girls, the friends, the cars, and the attention.

She wasn’t there, but she didn’t need to be. The wave was there, and the rest of the circle was there witnessing my stunt and applauding. My eyes glazed the shore as I stood there, still, board in hand. All those people clapping, smiling, the sunny sun beating on them with relent.

They slowly faded and died.

The light faded into a dull luminosity.

I opened my eyes, the plainness of the room as steady as any afternoon. I sighed.

By God, the imagination.

If only I discovered it before…