Moments of pain are so intricate with probability. It’s only when you sit in a 4WD hitting sixty — that you begin to connect the dots.
I got soaked in hot water when I was ten. Quite a prolific moment. If I hadn’t slept in my long PJs the night before, I wouldn’t have tripped. I wouldn’t have let go of the heated pot. All I could do was watch the steam rise, and the water fall.
Onto my skin.
It was a hundred degrees of fucked up; kerosene on the Sun shouldn’t burn this slow. I couldn’t see past the light, the vapour of flesh and pain was blinding. Between crying for help and regaining balance, I couldn’t breathe.
Worse, I was lying right in the center; too dismantled to leap for salvation, too hot to stay.
My mind is blank here, how I got up is for Holmes to solve.
I do, however, remember knocking on mother’s door; she didn’t answer. Mother was pressed in sleep, and I, in boiling melanin. All I could do was blow on my skin, and keep moving.
“Keep moving, sonnie. Gets hella hot if you don’t.”
Blowing spurts of air on myself was like running a garden hose from a kitchen sink — in the hopes of putting out 9-11.
My mind draws another blank, next thing I’m seated in dad’s 4WD, hitting sixty on a highway. He asked if I had ‘cooled off’, which was a bad joke. I nodded. What I meant to say was,
“i’m friggin’ drowning,
We stepped into Pari Hospital some minutes past eight. It smelled like detergents and government service, with an attitude. Papers got filed. I slept in on a hospital bed; the first time since 98′.
The next morning was a mess. Puss ran from my blisters, and my skin had crept into the bandages. The nurses tossed me into a tub, like a dead somebody. Two locked my legs, one gripped both arms, and the other tore the bandages off. That son offa’ never counted to three.
It was not a poetic scene; the red and black of tissue in dying skin is as fantabulous as it gets; no kitty glitter anywhere. I buried a kick in someone’s neck, all in the name of pain.
I was scrubbed in salt water, which is something of a pinch in the groin, the kind were the pincher doesn’t let go.
I sat on the bed hours later, with a fresh kit of bandages, ready to bat into dreamscapes.
I stretched a smile,
“i’m glad THAT’S over,”
A nurse turned on the lights. He left a glass of water and said I was real brave today.
He also said I best get a good night’s sleep for another bath tomorrow.
I didn’t say a word.