Call Me by Your Name

“You’ll kill me if you stop.” -André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name

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a Childhood glance

Remember…

Do you remember a time when a tan sun speckled mound– barely high to you and I but a pyramid to them– stuck to the heat griddle sidewalk of mid-August and caught your eye? And when you kneeled to the ground without a care for your scarred kneecaps hitting the radiating heat, a line or maybe just a few black garden ants carried on with their duties, oblivious to you and your wondering eyes. Perhaps you let them be, or maybe you covered the hole that led to their queen, and later wondered, and then cried about how you could do such a thing to these creatures whom had no care as to whether you watched their duties or not.

You rode bikes, perhaps with a friend known from birth or older brothers, down the bumbling grass-filled hills and rolling fertile soil of the local park at deep summer when the sun simmered to a disk in twilight. And joyously running past you feeling the wet grass underneath their potato paw pads were dogs of all kinds: an aging beagle with a tunnel bark, prancing golden retriever pups, the neighborhood american bulldog with a single patch around its eye, and a lost but newly found terrier mix. You may have made up a story in your head about journeying in perilous Mayan jungles with guardian lion canines galloping alongside to freedom. The sounds of the penetrating caty-bugs zip-zip-zipping guided you home. The caty-bugs stuck their thrumming bodies to the screen door to let you in.

The same friend known from birth swore her stuffed animals came to life when she left the room. You believed her naturally, so you set Snowy the snow leopard on the kitchen counter top next to a bowl of water. You left for a few hours to play dolls and cars with the friend. Later on in the lazy heated afternoon when tossing back and forth Nips the beanie baby, you realized the stuffed animal was still alone. Both of you raced through the hallway and stopped abruptly before the kitchen. You peered around the corner to catch the first glimpse of real magic. Snowy’s face was dunked in the cool water. The rest of her long body rested still on the counter top.

You accidentally threw your dog’s favorite tennis ball over the white brick wall that seemed taller than the Great Wall of China. It landed, to your dismay, in the elusive neighbor’s backyard. The ball landed in that particular backyard because the universe has a knack to stir random acts into sorrowful, happy ends. Your dog must have penetrated you with the same adoring eyes from day one of her rescue, questioning where her most absolutely adored ball went. It is behind your back. Surely it is! She pleaded with her eyes. No. It was not behind your back, nor was it slyly resting in one of your palms. You considered jumping the wall, which was standard protocol back in the rough-n-tumble days. It seemed different then. As you grew up, the world appeared more daunting and regulated, thus influencing your decisions. So you told your dog you’d be right back, and sprinted out the front door. You slowed to a walking pace to not appear… odd… You approached the front porch step of the elusive neighbor, telling yourself it was worth it in the name of your dog’s most favorite tennis ball. He answered in his robe and hair pulled back in a pony tail. “Yes?” I said, “Hello, I accidentally threw my dog’s tennis ball in your backyard. Would you please get it for me?” He said, “Yeah, yeah.” and slammed the door. Your dog never got her most favorite tennis ball back.

Frank

Frank curled up beside the dismal tawny pellet dish so callously thrown in from star-days ago. The gangly worker’s tiny pimpled mouth morphed into something maniacal and creepy– a friendly grin, she surely thought– only when she convinced the sluggish bifocal donning fool who dragged his feet across shiny corporate laid tiles to buy on credit one more plastic toy mouse for his elder tabby Tim who sun bathed for a living (he hadn’t batted at a fake mouse in ages).

Otherwise, observed Frank, her floppy and dreary soul stunk more than his week old bedding. Had it been more than a week? He could not remember the individual star-days. She added gray layers to his detest for the Shadows.

Perhaps Layla left me for good. Frank fumed inside. Typical. 

Layla hadn’t been to work for a few passing tearful moons. He counted with the few straggling pellets left each time the flaming stars passed through the blackened sky: three. His trust in a Shadow (he deemed her as Layla, not Shadow) had always stood unsteady like a small boat forever stuck at the tempestuous sea. All he cognitively knew of was this place: lying in a tiny jailed enclosure, passing delirious fools picked and plucked for pleasure and commerce, being gawked at like a creature at a circus side show (LOOK ya’ll! A Textile from a textile mill a he-a he-a he), and counting too many passing burned out stars since the time of pup-hood.

And Layla.

He loved Layla. Still.

 

 

RS

 

At this time of day – the time of sunrise – a stirring and rustling, a slew of bright sounds and chatter, popped from the hay-filled floor.

“Hay – pellets – hay – pellets – hay – pellets,” peeped one little voice, waking the others.

Another voice, this one groggy and irritated, implored, “keep it down, will you?”

A third piped in, “I don’t hear the shadow yet.”

“Augh! Will you keep it down already? Tying to sleep here,” said the grumpy voice, quite noticeably laced with the loss of sweet slumber.

Just as the first inhaled, ready to exclaim its sheer hunger to the world and those who would listen willingly and unwillingly, vibrating and rumbling sounds boomed from the outside of the barn. To the inhabitants, they felt as though their bodies rocked and floated with the barn, as if cushioned on clouds during a thunderstorm. They remained in blissful ignorance of whatever foreign object hummed so intently through their bodies.

Their stomachs rumbled together in unison, coinciding with the ruckus. All the inhabitants of the barn were now surely awake.

“I dream of pellets and hay,” said the first voice, who was imagining at that moment the overt sweet taste of Timothy hay hitting its taste buds. A series of chutting sounds emerged like a simmering pot of water. The inhabitants, who were chatting all at once, were unable to contain their anticipation.

The vibrating and rumbling quit.

“Food!” Said a rather excited fourth voice. The inhabitants agreed by wheeking. The wheeking roused the still quiet air into a party of high-pitched ecstatic shrieking, sudden and powerful like a dormant volcano surprising nature with an eruption.

 

Preview for an Upcoming Book

What is here? This life. This God. Creation beauty inhabiting every living and non-living soul of this planet. Dirt, ducks, beings, water. I breathe deeply the oxygen and exhale   carbon dioxide. I take steps beyond my land, beyond my world. Cautioned by those I know. Though my curiosity strikes against their warnings. I peer beyond the birch trees down the dirt path that turns into concrete.

Into a land it ventured of unspoken tragedies lip-locked horrors the life-barer warned of. Nymph of the Yonic forest, it wandered abound one morning five minutes past the jumping sun and rapturous pink-tangerine clouds.

Peace. It knew only of curious babes crawling through damp soil followed by dewy moss. It knew only of free walks of barer-hood, gliding deer not fearful of our presence. It knew only of the faces of those in the forest- not categorized. In fact, it had no name and accepted its biological features to reproduce young.

It acted upon any desire without repercussions and judgment, a temptress of nature.

It prayed to the grass, the ants, the flying birds, the running mammals. Suckling teat, provider of existence.

To those outside the Yonic forest, a mythological dream of un-realness could only describe. To it, this wandering nymph, the world outside the forest was the Underworld where Hades resided. It learned of a prescribed status outside the forest: Female. Woman. Girl. She. Her.

And with this new information, she looked upon the land stretching across mountains and seaside, soaking in buildings upon one another, individuals and moving objects amerced into one as a whole. A religion of consumerism. Religion of objects fascination with more.

I witnessed a fascination with sex, yet stigma attached to the act and body parts. I knew only of her sex as wholesome, and now I feel flushed. Embarrassed, ashamed even? Objectified.

Ruddy red cheeks perspiring palms and feet. Pursed lips and she walked toward the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil, the Tree of Life.

And there he was. I call him he because of his genitals. He called himself Adam. I expressed I had no name. He called me Eve. At that moment, a rushed desire to flee back to the Yonic forest ruptured throughout my body in tingles. I kept walking anyway.