TRACES SPRING 2016 - Page 70

People walk around in this world oblivious to the world they are walking around in. If I could guess at least half of the people they walk pass are suffering. Thinking forty-five. But all of those people just keep walking. I know I’m probably being hypocritical because I was once an ignorant child thinking the world was perfect and nothing could happen to me simply because I was well… me. But once you’ve experienced Liars, Death, Killers, and Pain like I have, you’ve seen the faces of Liars, Death, Killers, and Pain. A shadow looms over them. Like eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. It makes me kinda wonder if maybe it would be easier to just plunk them out of existence. If you’re not willing to live, why exist? Maybe if we were all erased from existence, the world would be much happier place. If there wasn’t any miserable people in the world, I wouldn’t think people were made to be miserable. I can hear each of them calling for something that’s just not there.

This morning I was walking to work and I saw a little girl sitting on the stoop of a tiny run down townhouse. Hundreds of people were walking and hundreds more driving by that insignificant Chicago street. The little girl was drowning, but not a single person stopped. She was dirty and sinking slowly inside herself. She was sobbing and screaming out silently for help. She was neglected and trying to catch her breath. She was Pain. I strolled towards and sat next to her on the stoop.

“Are you lonely?” I asked her. She nodded without looking up at me. I could hear her parents screaming at each other from within the walls of the dark townhome. “I experienced this too many times myself growing up. You know what I did?” She finally acknowledged I was there and looked up at me. “I would go to my bedroom and grab this blanket my grandmother made me when I was born, grab my favorite record, cuddle on my bed, and for about three or four minutes forget the real world and… live in that music.” She just stared at me blantly, probably still confused as to why I was even talking to her. “Do you have a favorite song?” She nodded once more. “What is it?”

“Really? Hey Jude, don't make it bad, Take a sad song and make it better, Remember to let her into your heart, Then you can start to make it better. That song is very special to my brother.”

“My mommy used to sing it to me when I had a bad dream.”

This brought me once more to Dean.

“Do you have a record player or CD player?”

“Yes, a CD player.”

“Do you have the CD with Hey Jude on it?” She drowned herself in that moment and there must have been too much water in her lungs because she just shook her head no. I pulled out my wallet and handed her a twenty dollar bill, “Why don’t you go get it.”

I am drowning in a puddle of mud. You know what the worst part about drowning is?

You know what the worst part of drowning is? Watching everyone else breathe.

A Novel Excerpt by Cassie Surmacz