Story by Pamela Garcia
Artwork by Benedicto Santana
He felt it; the rage within was overpowering. He sat there on that smelly old couch that had forever been in his rusty old house as he listened to her for the third time this week. She stood in front of him, with her hands on her waist, on the stained lumpy carpet that he wouldn’t consider spending money on changing. Dust covered the room, for he could no longer afford to have someone clean and was too tired after work to do it himself; and of course there was no way that she could do it either working two jobs. There wasn’t much decor in the house other than a few pictures hanging on the wall from the honeymoon part of their relationship that now seemed like distant memories of other people’s lives.
The vintage lamp on the table next to the couch was the only thing providing descent light into the room, since she had decided to turn off his TV show as she began the new afternoon routine of yelling. She came in and went directly into the kitchen, completely ignoring him at first. He heard her pour herself a glass of wine, unsure if it was an appropriate drink for the middle of the week. She must of seen the dirty dishes still laying in the sink, because she came back to where he was sitting and it all went down to hell from there. He dismissed her until she shut off his distraction and all he could hear was the same nagging he had heard last night. It had been a never ending cycle ever since she had had to get that second and indecent job so they could afford groceries. He was working hard too, but this is not what she had in mind when they decided to move in together two years into the relationship. Well, neither did he, yet he tried to manage and did not appreciate coming home to feel emasculated or to rage his problems on her. Although, that might of avoided all of this frustration caged inside and that was now peeking out of its private dungeon.
Today all was different, yet it was all the same as every day and every week that he had given up on having something more and keeping her happy and keeping himself happy. He had been drowning for months now and today something seemed to wiggle itself out. It was small, but every insult his way, somehow opened the door a little more of its prison and managed to find more room to wiggle itself through. “You lazy piece of sh!t! You can’t get off the couch for something other than a beer!”, she claimed on. She wouldn’t stop yelling.
It was bubbling now; the rage. Red and black, the view from the eyes of a wild beast. Blink. Still there. He tries again, holding his eyes shut, he tries to ignore the voice that’s pounding on him. It’s blinding when he opens his eyes and the red heightens. He can’t seem to shake it. But the voices of fear… that fear that used to flutter when these darkest of thoughts ruled his mind weren’t even whispering. Where was that fear that pushed him down on that couch? These colors in his view conflicted him with the consequences of his actions. Nothing else at the moment drowned him, but the loud pitching sound coming from her throat and it set off his darkness. He felt blind and deaf with red. He couldn’t feel anything but the increasing rage. This time everything felt different. This time he couldn’t take it anymore. This time he wouldn’t and couldn’t hide in the fears that his humanity forced him to feel. This time, he let the beast free letting the bars of its cage disappear as if they were mere sand, blown by the wind. He didn’t try to push it back and he embraced the beast within, letting it take form as himself.
Wild, free, powerful. These waves of feelings finally crashing on the sand that was his cage. The ecstasy of losing control rose in his body as the warmth splattered from her body and hugged his skin like an old friend reunited. The room was now dark as the lamp had fallen to the floor, crashing with his rage. In the darkness he could only feel strength striding up and down his arms, denying her claims on past words exposed. He didn’t know how much he had needed this moment and how exhilarating it would feel when it finally presented itself dripping from his hands. So swift are his movements that he cannot feel the weight of his accomplice. His ears enjoy the music now coming from her mouth, a song he didn’t expect to appreciate and absorb as if trying to enclose it in his mind for future days to come. The ecstasy trip races down as her screams have transformed into soft releases of pleas and finally a heavy breath is exposed as we reach the end of his torment.
A beautiful gift of silence. Eternal silence. Nothing more would come from those lips that had taunted his ears and mind, time and time again. Her words had finally been erased as pleasure and the most profound happiness emerged on his mouth.
He sat, for hours and hours in the cold floor enjoying and admiring her face, reflecting on what he hadn’t since the moment he set his eyes on hers; incredible beauty. He glared until his eyes found themselves in the freedom of rest. The eyes that had missed laying in dreams of clouds, sank in beautiful memories and of his future days to come. Days of rain on the roof of the cabin he inherited by the river, where he could bathe his monsters. Where he would sit to enjoy their company on the chair by the fire that blazed under the pictures of the women in his life; his collection of red.
Pamela Garcia is a freshman here at Monroe College.