Chapter Five – Dreams of Mothers
It was a couple of miles between the VA and the hut. He was unconscious again, but breathing. He had a small opening cut in the red cloth. Small loose threads along the cut’s edge would rise and fall with each minute moan he made. I was still supporting him weight and air would funnel from the cut onto my neck. My blood knocked hard against my sternum.
Finally we arrived. I had to drop him on the couch. I was lucky to even be able to get him back to the hut. I headed for some water in our kitchen and collapsed after a few steps. He had been so heavy so solid. He was solid in a way I had never known. Those octogenarians were about as solid as a sack of dirty laundry. Not one of them could weighed more than a buck.
I got back to my feet and gathered water and what not to dress his wounds. I turned him over on the couch so he was face up, and he began to come around again. He opened his eyes, but still he would not look at me. He just lay there though letting me attend to him. His eyes now were looking vacant at ceiling. Those eyes had that quality of a well gone dry.
As I unbuttoned his shirt and cleaned the sweat and blood off his bruised ribs, I couldn’t get a thought out of my head, the memory of Mother chasing me around the hut so that I won’t be eyein’ her man. Something was spinning in me between the ears and in the stomach. Anxiety? I was have to hold back to not giggle not twitter.
Mother – Careful Girlie. Remember that Donkeyface once were young too.
Man – I’m lost
Daughter – I know
Man – You look lost too
Daughter – I was just…daydreaming
Man – What did you dream?
Daughter – I dream often of my mother
Man – I dream of a mother, my mother? Yes
Daughter – Where is she?
Man – I don’t know. I think my mother is nowhere
Daughter – Nowhere?
Man – Maybe she is in heaven
Daughter – With my mother
Man – You lost your mother too?
Daughter – Yes
Man – How was she killed?
Daughter – She wasn’t killed. She just died.
Man – She is dead, but she was not killed
Daughter – Yeah. She died of natural causes
Man – I don’t understand
Daughter – She just ran out of time. Like the glass runs out of sand
Man – I didn’t know people could do that
Daughter – What?
Man – That people could just die without being
He motioned to his guns still holstered to his waist
Daughter – You’ve never had someone just die on you?
Man – I’ve seen death by bullet, by knife, by explosives, by dozens of means. But dying without being killed? Just suddenly stopping…I don’t recall having ever seen or heard of that.
I thought I saw another injury just beneath his long red bandana. I tried to tend to it, but he wouldn’t allow me.
Man – No
Daughter – You’re hurt
Man – No, no not that
He got up suddenly stronger then he had originally appeared and moved toward the door.
Daughter – Wait
Daughter – What’s wrong
Man – Leave it be.
Daughter – I don’t want you to go
I moved toward him. He seemed a bit dizzy, getting to his feet so quickly had caught up with him.
Daughter – I want to help
Man – Alright
I went to help him back to the couch. I put my arm around him. Then, his arm was on my waist, and a finger fell onto a half inch of skin along my spine just above my beltline. The small of my back turned to quicksand and wanted all of hand to slide on in. I got scared, but I didn’t pull away. Now my hand was on his chest. I looked into his eyes, they still were homeless eyes lost. But, his breath gave him away.
Man – Yes
Daughter – I want you to kiss me
Man – No, not yet
Daughter – Please
Man – Shhhhh…not yet, not yet
Daughter – Why
Man – I’m scared
Daughter – Me too, I know
Man – I’m so afraid
Daughter – Why?
Man – I don’t…I’m afraid I’ll hurt you
Daughter – No
Man – I don’t want to devour you
Daughter – (small laughter) I want you. It’s ok. I want you to use your mouth
Man – I’ll try. Close your eyes