Runnin’ (Part 5) – Going Crazy, Getting Caught

30Jan13

Creeping Menance

“Every hear of Syd Barrett?  Original singer of Pink Floyd.  Now, he’s a genius.” Pat says. He flips through his records gracefully, an odd and gentle gesture I’ve never seen before.  He slips the vinyl out of the paper, holds the record by the edges like it’s a red-hot wire, a lit bomb about to blow. He places it on a 60s record player, and the tone arm slowly, awkwardly lowers. The warm, crackling sound of the needle grazing the grooved record reminds me of being little, when my older brothers wore flared pants and polyester shirts and danced in the living room listening to 45s.  They were teens.  I was three.  Back then, chaos didn’t register on my consciousness – only the sound of scratching records and wild music and white buckle shoes I couldn’t wait to tear off.

  “Syd, he went totally mad one day.  Took pieces of glass and carved a poem into his body.  Said he wanted the words to breathe….” Pat says. The last few words come out breathy and light, his eyes locking on mine as if I might know what it is like to go mad, to want to give words air.  But I am always in search of air, of my own words.  I can’t worry about anyone else’s.

Syd’s voice fills the room with a carnival tune, a playful song about a baby elephant wanting to ride a bike, and I see a mad man with blood and glass playing hopscotch at the zoo and nothing makes sense.  I don’t know if it ever did.  It’s hard to sit on a bed, my legs feel awkward, not knowing how to cross or lie. It’s been months since I was on a mattress and it feels hard and uncomfortable.  I sit on the floor.

We never had time for sex on the road, never found a private place to even make-out like normal teenagers do.  He stands over me, starts to unzip his pants while an accordion wheezes in the background.  He pulls me onto the mattress and fumbles with my clothes.  We have sex, the metal buttons jabbing me in the back, on my ass, little round red marks imprinted into my flesh.  He stops mid-way to flip over the record, more songs about animals and spaceships and suffocated words.

Downstairs, a door is shut.  The alarm clock blinks red, 4:00.  A man’s voice calls up the stairs, “Pat, is that you?” He must have seen my footsteps or the incriminating wrappers all over the kitchen floor.

“Yeah.  It’s me.  I’m back!” Pat yells.  He sounds more like a mental patient than a long, lost son.

I can hear the sound of his father hanging up his coat, removing his shoes like Mr. Rogers, perhaps switching sweaters or vests.  They must be yellow.  He has a light, unobtrusive step, like a thief creeping up the stairs.  “Where have you been, son?” I have never heard anyone called son before, except in Leave it to Beaver re-runs. His words chill me, they don’t have any air.  “You should have called,” he says as he creeps closer and closer, his voice becoming louder and firmer, his footsteps creaking against the floor.

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11 Responses to “Runnin’ (Part 5) – Going Crazy, Getting Caught”

  1. 1 pinklightsabre

    Creepy. No good can come from Syd Barrett recordings. Uncanny choice for a seduction.

  2. This is really good! I read all five parts and am looking forward to more. Great descriptions of the scene.

    • Thanks Miriam. I’m glad you enjoyed them. There are more parts ahead. I’m trying to post smaller bits than a whole chapter at once, so I hope the format is working. Hope you come back!

  3. Shiiitttt I am getting the whole vibe

  4. 7 BehindMyBooks

    Ugh, I’m cringing for you here. Terrible choice of music–which makes me judge the whole character of Pat, completely valid reasoning. I feel like I’m watching a horror movie and screaming for the heroine to run away!

    Great piece!

  5. “We never had time for sex on the road, never found a private place to even make-out like normal teenagers do. He stands over me, starts to unzip his pants while an accordion wheezes in the background. He pulls me onto the mattress and fumbles with my clothes. We have sex, the metal buttons jabbing me in the back, on my ass, little round red marks imprinted into my flesh. He stops mid-way to flip over the record, more songs about animals and spaceships and suffocated words.”

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.


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