Friday, June 20, 2014

Bruised Skies and Lost Lies by Samuel

Bruised Skies and Lost Lies
By Samuel
A Cast-Off Kid Grows Up to Share the Trauma of His Childhood
It was cold and the sky was black and blue with winter’s punch. A 16-year-old child drifted anonymously, heading west across PA Interstate 80, looking over his shoulder continuously, although he had a strong sense of his own solitude. He was not frightened, nor aware that he should be, for this was his life and his reality. His relationship with his mysterious father, whom he barely knew, had somehow begun to unfold. He had never laid his eyes on him.
A momentary thought passed through, as he reflected: “How dare you challenge me for living like that?”
Daylight was slowly fading and Christmas Day was approaching. Rides would be scarce, if at all. He barely weighed eighty-five pounds that year and carried all his material possessions in a small duffel bag. “Save the sleeping bag.” Thank God he had enough common sense to steal an army-issue down-filled bag. With no fond memories to keep him warm, the sleeping bag was his safe place as he searched for the next bridge to sleep under. The bridges provided dry shelter and kept a great deal of the wind chill to a minimum. As they provided a flat surface to sleep on at the very top of the incline that supported their weight, he realized too, nobody would ever notice him resting up there. He was alone. He was safe. He was at peace. Serenity had been bestowed upon him—again, by the simple art of locomotion.
Damn it! Tears streamed down his face and froze on his cheeks. How could the commonwealth of Pennsylvania allow this to happen? He knew people and their loved ones were settling down to meals, warm homes, family, friends, gifts, Church, and the seemingly endless celebration of love, music, and tidings of great joy. Merry Christmas? He swore he saw his black and blue marks reflected in the wintry sky for the last time. The only way to not see those bruised colors in the sky again was to leave this place forever.
Life was so much like he had been told Hell would be, at the age of 8, that he didn't consider suicide because Hell only seemed like more of the same. Now that's one unusual motivation to keep on living, he thought. “My God, is this how it’s going to work for me as long as I agree to keep on living?” The concept of suffering had not yet been bestowed upon him. However, he did wonder, “Where have I gone so wrong so soon?” “God doesn't put anything on your plate you can't handle,” he heard in response.
The professionals would have most certainly labeled his black and blue marks as “SAD.” This truly was his personal seasonal affective disorder this year for Christmas. He knew he wouldn't allow his affection to manifest itself into an infection. He already knew how to forgive and love the person appropriately. Parenting was no easy task for himself. Didn't folks say it in itself was a full time job?
He knew “Chaucer and Beowulf have nothing on me.” School had already taught him that. Thank goodness the public education system was providing him with the knowledge he needed to survive. “You have got to be kidding me. What is so wrong with these people and this system?” Too frightened to speak, because when he does, “some adults become angry and treat me poorly because I have challenged them.” “OK, it's all my fault. I can deal with the responsibility because you won't.”
There would be no welcome food-source tomorrow, Christmas Day, and tomorrow was nearly an eternity away. Plan ahead for food? The concept of planning ahead for anything except cigarettes was something people who sensed they had a future would have thought of.
Time didn't seem to exist yet it seemed to keep happening. This was all he seemed to know, so he never considered contemplating to any great length, “Why me?” Surviving much like a parasite would, seemingly lower on the food chain than a barnacle, he had found nothing to cling onto that lasted.
He shook as the coldness of reality migrated throughout the bag. The cement was hard, much like life itself, so it was comfortable, because it seemed familiar. So was crying.
Then his mind drifted to the thought for the day: Would anyone consider him immature for crying? He didn't think God would. At least he had one good friend to talk to. He was having difficulty however hearing Him speak. But he didn't give up on his chosen approach. And that was that.
“Life seems okay.” Already he thought, “nearly complete.” His communication skills were being honed, though he had no clue. Sleep was at two to three hour intervals at the most, and neither the weather nor hunger pangs had a thing to do with his inability to rest.
Note: The author was the 16-year-old in the story. He was living in an orphanage at the time when the State of PA revoked their charter and closed it down. His option from the system was to return to foster care and he wasn't willing to do that so he spent two years being homeless until he was emancipated at the age of 17. This is part of a larger story. Samuel's diagnosis is PTSD and in essence there is no end to the story.

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