trust in words

"Seventeen" by LAZY GENiUS

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June 2nd 2000

 

“I sit alone in my four-cornered room staring at candles

Oh that shit is on?

Let me drop some shit like this here, real smooth

At night I can't sleep, I toss and turn

Candlesticks in the dark, visions of bodies being burned

Four walls just staring at a nigga

I'm paranoid, sleeping with my finger on the trigger

My mother's always stressin' I ain't living right

But I ain't goin' out without a fight

See, every time my eyes close

I start sweating and blood starts coming out my nose…”

 

(wipes blood from nose) 

One day I will get past that part. 

It’s been 17 years. No, no, that number is too small. It’s been 6thousand, 2hundred, 5 days. No! It’s 148thousand, 9hundred, 20 hours since, wait, wait, you still wouldn’t grasp the amount of time with that small of a number…

It’s been 536 million, 112 thousand seconds since sister sleep has danced through the cold, silent nights. She has avoided this temple like the deadly plague, or more like, this temple has avoided her as if she possessed the deadliest virus known to man. The routine never differs, not even a hint of deviation. Watch the sunrise, watch it set. In the same spot every day, his spot. If only it were still his to claim. Every bill collector has my numbers on speed dial, and my property considered the eyesore of the ever-luxurious gated community. That has always tickled me, due to the fact these people will never understand the true pain of sore eyes. The four-bedroom Victorian that use to be all the comfort I needed, hasn’t seen touched comfort in serval seasons. My parents drop in, ahhh whom to fool, they haven’t even sent a postcard in over a decade. Visits went from every day, to once a month, to once a year. My wife left with my best friend, and the boys are both away in college. Karen, my beautiful Karen. She’ll be fine! She has the looks, as well as the drive to get whatever she wants out of life, but my boys, my boys… life has really dealt up a mean mix for them, I pray for their strength all the time. The Lone Ranger in the flesh, that’s me. Clayton Moore wouldn’t be able to see me on his best day. 

Yesterday a package arrived on my doorstep. Of all places, it was from this care group Karen helped fund a few years back. One of her many attempts to help ease my pain, so to say. Pain, a word that sounds just as foreign as the feeling does. My numbness has skyrocketed pass frost bite levels, as if I were the only crash survivor in the movie ‘Alive’. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in a place where one has access to almost everything, can take a fraction of whatever this is away. There was a name on the return address that I remember hearing, but I know nothing of the person. Kara Jones, Kara Jones. Inside were news clippings, clippings that dated back to childhood. The more exploring of the package, the more things became uneasy. The years on the news clippings are the same year that life claimed me as it’s sleepless toy. The same year my other me died, and left me lonely. The year sleep scared me to death, literally.      

Ahh, the tape is playing again, I need to sit down…

“See, every time my eyes close

I start sweating and blood starts coming out my nose…”

 

Boston Globe

Friday, 2nd of February 1983

 

A family of five was involved in a major accident Monday morning, after a father fell asleep behind the wheel of the vehicle. 

The father, along with the mother of the family, 16-year-old twin daughter, and 9-year-old son were pronounced dead at the scene. The other twin daughter is in critical condition.

At approximately 6:48 a.m., a yellow VW Camper occupied by its driver, Gerry Grace, his wife, Silvia Grace, and their three children – two twin girls, age 16, and a 9-year-old boy – was northbound on I-95, Boston State Highway Patrol Sgt. Tedd Royal said.

The family was traveling through Essex County, when the driver apparently fell asleep, Highway Patrol officials said.

As the camper began drifting off the Interstate to the left and into the median, the driver awoke and overcorrected, Royal said, crossing back over the Interstate to the right into oncoming traffic. As the vehicle swerved, a freight truck struck the camper, causing the camper to roll at least four times.

Silvia Grace and her 9-year-old son were ejected as it rolled, Royal said. The camper then came to rest on its wheels, facing westbound on the Interstate.

The 16-year-old girl, suffered internal bleeding, was then transported by Life Flight medical helicopter to University Medical Center in Connecticut.

Highway Patrol officials said they believe Silva Grace and the 9-year-old boy were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and that the other three occupants appeared to have been seat belted.

This article shook me to the core. 1983, the same year my twin brother passed away in his sleep. We’d just turned 17. Tre had received a full ride to Stanford on the swim team. He could move like a shark in the water. It was the morning of graduation, Tre normally was the first person up out of everyone in the house. It was 7:30am, and he hadn’t bust in my room yet. I’d figured he was still tired from the swim meet a few days ago. When I opened his room door, a chill ran through my body. I called his name a few times, no answer. The minute I made a move for his covers, I could tell something wasn’t right. I blacked out after touching his face. The cops led an investigation that went on for 6 months. After they ruled me out as a suspect, things begin to change. The fear of not knowing what caused my brother’s death, is what has held me captive in this sleepless torment. I’ve tried everything from writing, to knitting, to spiritual cleansing's in search to get things in order. There is still something that isn’t being released, something that’s still sinking its claws deep down within me.

(Knock at Front Door)

“Hi I’m Kara, Kara Jones. I sent the package to you earlier this week. I reached out to you because I remember hearing your wife speak of what happened years ago. No way am I trying to pry, or force my way into your life or personal business. I just want to know; aren’t you sleepy?”

I stood in complete silence. It’s been 17 years since I’ve heard that question. She continued.

“The news clippings in the package, are of my family. My birth name is Kara Grace. I switched to Jones when my Aunt adopted me after the whole ordeal, to avoid reliving what happened over and over. Listen Trevor, it took me 8 years to finally close my eyes, take a deep breath and sleep. I want to share with you what helped me get a hold of things once again, my catharsis so to say.” 

 

June 2nd, 2017

 

She went on to tell me about the feelings she felt after losing her twin, how she felt as though half of her was missing. I haven’t had a conversation with an actual person in a long time until Kara came along. We started to meet up three times a week, just to catch each other up on life, and its wonders. 

Well, I get to watch both of my sons graduate tomorrow morning, and also ask Kara the big question. She has been my magic. Wish me luck!!

Good night.

It’s been 17 years, since I’ve made peace with sleep.

Empathy: Before we Go by LAZY GENiUS

  

   I met her when I was 32 and she was 19 but we still got involved. I walked around the campus with a bottle of wine in my coat pocket looking for her dorms with a slightly sinister grin. I climbed the stairs until I reached the fourth floor, sent her a text, "open your door".

  "Did you hear that?". "Hear what baby?". "It sounded like gun shots". I knew something didn't feel right on this campus. How did I get myself in this position. I mean, she's a great girl but she's so young, look at her. I wonder what flies through her mind as she walks around in this world. "You had to hear this time!". "Yes!, what do we do?". "We stay here, open this wine, and hope no one comes in here, the crazies can have it out there". "What about the people being hurt out there?".

  "What about them?, what can we do from here? Do you have a armory in your bathroom I don't know about?". "What does that mean?, what if you were out there and not in here? There are people dying. I'm scared in here, I couldn't imagine how I would feel being outside with no where to hide with a crazy man shooting away at will". I sat up more to the edge of the bed not fully looking in her direction. "That's the beauty of it, you don't have to imagine what you would feel like if you were in danger because you're not in danger, I don't understand that sort of thinking! Why put yourself through the pain and stress of what ifs, just to feel something you're not actually involved in. Don't get me wrong, I mean ya, what's going on outside might be horrible but, I don't want to feel the pain of those outside, it would wreck me. I would instead rather focus on enjoying my night". By this time I was standing and walking towards a book case where my belongings were and she replied, "where are your feelings?". "In the heart of my mind", I responded.

*radio plays
Andrew Waltz left this letter with his best friend Michael Penn. Michael has just handed this letter to us and our own Marsha Will read it, Marsha take it away...

Marsha reads:

"Dear all,

  To you all I deliver a gift that has been irking the very fibers of this great world and the life we live. For years I watched my father go off to work and tirelessly work to try and build relations in the community only to be shot down again and again. He worked with the filth everyday and everyday I watched parts of his soul dwindle away. I watched his fire, and spark disappear as he tried to understand and relate to the suffering of everyone, and for what? To be killed by the his comrades, the boys in blue. The only way I could repay my dad is to make your family feel what I felt everyday watching my father come home dead inside. For him I shall eliminate every officer I see the night after my fathers funeral".

  The room fell silent as I stood at the bookcase. "Now what do you have to say... Officer!?", she said "The same as before, I'm not on duty.", "those could be your friends out there!, you don't feel anything?", "I feel like, like..., like I need to smoke." By now I'm wonder if my brother was out there. This was his first month out of the academy, "look I know this kids father, I know how he died and when he died.", "Did you kill him?!", "I didn't say that, I just know him, I know Andrew, I just hope Phil isn't out there." I grab my phone and text, "Stay away from the college, Waltz' kid is shooting down cops".

  March 5, 1999
Bullets rain from the sky and start falling on unknowing targets. Those who have heard or seen a shot reached for their phones and began to alert the police. Officer Riley Brown of the State Wide University campus police is the most recent victim shot down. The gunman unloads a rattling shot to those in hiding and the sound pierces through the sky. Silence covered the campus for the longest fifteen seconds, sirens plummet closer towards the scene. A single shot rings out and peels through a cop car killing officer Phillip Longwell instantly. Screams from students drown out the next shot from the gunman. Fear covered the campus.