Monday, July 20, 2009

Daily Story 96: Small Comforts

I tell Trinka about the eyes in the walls and she doesn't call me crazy. That's why I love her. She comes over the next day, in through the window because she knows the door is swelled shut, and she asks where the eyes are. They're everywhere. There's still a lot of trash in the house, I say I'll clean it out but I never do. Some of it is worth something, some of it is machine parts and bicycle chains and glass jars of black stuff that was maybe food or oil or something. The eyes are there, between those jars and under those parts. They're in the walls, watching me, because the walls are all hollow and full of holes.

Trinka smiles at me, and she's got such a pretty smile. She has all her teeth I think, and all her hair still. She's beautiful. One of her arms is a little scaly, it's cracked and shiny in the sun like the old plastic seats we pulled from the cars, but that doesn't make her any less pretty. It just makes you notice how perfect the rest of her is. She's on her hands and knees, and I'm embarassed at the floor with the old strips of wallpaper and the mud from when it rains through the ceiling. She doesn't mind though. The eyes are moving away from her but one has gone into a corner right where she wants it, away from the junk and the holes. Trapped.

I almost forget to breathe I'm so excited, and then she reaches out with her good arm and grabs, and she's holding a fat hairless rat by the tail. There's an eye on it, a big human eye right there on its side. It's squeaking a little but it doesn't look like it wants to bite her, just to get away, and Trinka puts it down after a second. The rat with the eye growing off it runs under an old crate that I found in the city and hides there, panting. It's a good crate, probably worth a lot. Trinka reaches up to me and I pull her to her feet, and her skin is so soft on mine. She sees me staring at her and pulls her hand free but I know she doesn't take it personal because she knows me too well, knows I would never touch her.

She says the eyes aren't anything to worry over, that she heard of some guy down by Malton who saw some with ears like big satellite dishes on their backs. Trinka asks if I'm okay now, if I'm scared still, and I tell her it's alright. She climbs out the window and heads back to the village and I watch her go, the rats and I all watch her. I fall asleep still watching the way she went, the path to where she lives. I don't go down that path to where everyone else lives much because the children throw rocks at me most of the time. It doesn't hurt but I don't like it.

I sleep there at the window, and I dream about the rats with human eyes and ears and noses and mouths, all coming together in my walls to make a face that sings to me, sings a song like one I remember from when we had music on radios. Trinka is in my dream; I hope she's having it too so we can talk about it in the morning. She takes the face off of the rats and they’re regular fur underneath, and she puts the face on me, covers up all the black hardened skin like asphalt, wallpapers every inch of me until I'm normal old skin again and the rats run off into the valley below us.