Friday, June 17, 2016

His Trampling Feet: A Short Story

All I could hear was heavy feet running across the hard wooden floors through the shallow walls that separated my room from the hallway. He was running like a track star in the midst of spring doing a 400-meter dash.  I heard his energy but it could not magnetize my corpse-like body trying to awaken itself from its peaceful slumber. My ears however, picked up the sound, opened my eyes and the words, “why you doing so much running,” came blaring out of my horn.

I would not have been able to appreciate the music of his gentle toes chiming through my walls a year ago at this time when moments were spent twisting and turning at the idea of having to punch another time card. I would have already made my routine stroll through town to reel in my day at the factory. Still can’t believe that I had just made the age of being able to put a cup of tonic to my mouth without someone saying you are too young to drink.

After years of plans foiling due to overdrinking, quickly developed friendships with new mixed drinks, blackouts and passing out only to awaken to dream-like situations where I lied with tubes all over my body in hospital gurneys, I arrived at the moment where with sobriety, I sat at my desk eager for a change. I was pleased with the money that could pay for the empty alcohol bottles that made up my trophy case but not for the straight and narrow situation that enabled me to create the living that I had made.



His trampling feet were like a direct line of energy that boosted me out of bed into a different world. His smile was like an open channel leading me to the silky blue sea, splashing her water over my body on the most humid day of summer. He embraced me with all his beautiful youthfulness in the merry hour with more soulful love than Luther Vandross ever was able to sing into his music. And though my body laid there like someone whose back went out and was unable to stand up on his or her own, I became keenly aware that it was time for me to stand up and face the day.

Talk about whipping a tambourine in rhythm. My drum never had a problem waking up before, only to decline my portion of wakefulness while on the bus approaching the woods where I would have to be fighting with piles of paperwork to make my micromanaging boss smile. I hated his philosophical approach. To me, he was like a hair pin keeping my twists together that just kept digging into my scalp and after a while became annoying. My spirit started losing altitude. I was drifting out of the happiness that once preoccupied the constructs of my heart. When people were talking about staying after to get more work done, I was looking forward to sharing my next drink with whoever was willing to collect another drama-filled story about what happened during my slow upward crawl of the day. They stumbled home late with extra money in their pockets and I barely made it home because I was so drunk that my blackouts arrived unannounced and I could not even tell cab drivers where to take me.

His smile reminded me of the peace of a dove. It was so innocent, it pacified me like rain to the soil of the earth. The peace of his voice, drew this comfort in me that even sleep couldn’t provide. It was like heaven above was beaming at me and his gentle touch was just enough to allow me to accept my place.

I was racing through another client’s paperwork, trying to rush through the traffic of emails to beat the deadline of what was said to be the turnaround time for its completion. I was so focused on the situation that I had not seen the lady in front of me, packing her boxes to bid her farewell. Every little detail of my client’s situation held the grasp of my attention. The noise of rummaging through her stuff couldn’t even distract me to look up to see what had been going on around me. And then it happened.  My manager hit the thick pane of the glass of my office so we could engage in an open-flow conversation. The conversation however remains a collector’s item in my memory. 

The continuity of my employment had been declined and I was being layed-off. It was not that I had little to respond with, but this was a moment that I had been preparing for. While the other lady was still packing her four boxes from the life she had spent there, I had already started foreseeing my retirement and took things home day by day. While she was springing wells from her eyes, I felt a sense of relief and smiled. I had a bag full of things and my heart beat rushed me out of there onto my next chapter.

Many would call it a hard luck story after years of maturing from my drunken youthful days, to being under construction and now this vintage and experienced Afro-Latina being. Some may come into this situation, miles away from the thought that they may not be sitting at that same desk they had sat in for years. Forever is on the table for them and job security is in their confidence. They concentrate on the music of what has been, never considering that the drum pattern might ever change. But never underestimate the power of a good song and dance. The best effects of it is in the moments when the sound changes.

All I could hear was heavy feet running across the hard wooden floors through the shallow walls that separated my room from the hallway. He was running like a track star in the midst of spring doing a 400-meter dash.  I heard his energy but it could not be magnetized to my corpse-like body trying to awaken itself from its peaceful slumber. My ears however, picked up the sound, opened my eyes and the words, “why you doing so much running,” came blaring out of my horn. He became my rise and shine alarm after all the calm of REM. I had remmed about doing my own thing from the moment my blossom stemmed. And then it happened like I had daydreamed back then. "Darn that dream," I said and wiped the dew from my eyes that my calm waters had dampened.

And then he opened the door and awakened me to life. Tracking it like the star that he was and telling me that he had been running because he wanted me to play his game with him. All I saw was this different world. All I envisioned behind the new door that had opened was a rung with my name on it that I started climbing behind the door they had closed that left a vacancy of time in my schedule. All I heard was my name being chimed and a vision for the rest of my life. All I remembered was putting the bottle down to consume the natural high of the next chapter that I’d rave and sing about over the airwaves of life in a very sober way. And all I know was that his heavy feet on the hard wooden floors, like music to my ears, gave me a reason to get up and grind. 

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