My Eyes Open
At once, I am aware. My breath is slow but easy, I taste sweetness, mint, familiarity. Peace. I think of home. Of a kind face. I feel the world rock under me, like waves, like being in the wave pool at Adventure River, like being in a boat. Like floating. But I'm cold. The side of my face is cold. The right side. I can barely feel my ear. And my neck hurts. Rhythmic, muffled thumps, like something heavy falling, picking itself up and falling again. A low pitched whine, keeping the beat, vibrating my seat. My butt hurts. I shift in the seat, feel something pull against my chest. I am sitting up. I just realized that. I'm sitting up. Whispers. Mutterings. Two people talking too low to make out. Was that a laugh? I open my eyes for just a second. A headrest. I'm in the back seat. “You awake back there?” The passenger asks, a woman. “What?” I say. I have a mouth. Teeth, a tongue. My voice sounds small. “Sounds like a yes to me,” the driver says, a man. I should know them. I clench and unclench my fingers, two hands, four fingers, two thumbs, all working. Only two hands, two arms. I bend my feet up and down, flexing the muscles, two feet, harder to count toes, but it feels right. Two legs. I turn my head and feel hair caught behind my back, turn up my lips in frustration. Who am I? “Where are we?” I ask. “Still about two hours from the cabin” says the driver. “We'll have to get a good night's sleep,” says the passenger, “so we can get out on the creek in the morning.” Creek. Swimming? No. Fishing. It's fishing. I'm their daughter. I don't know my name. They are my parents. I don't know how I know that. I don't know how I got here. This is a dream. I try to open my eyes but they are already open. I try to reach below and wake myself up, but I am not there. I am only here. I just became. I created this place. But I exist only inside of it. I push against the car door and fall through it, like smoke, like ash. That's what I smelled earlier, cigarette smoke. I'm floating as the car slams on the brakes and fishtails. My parents leap out, “Oh my God!” They say. “Are you okay?” They say. With a thought, I bring them closer to me. With a swirling gesture, I call in clouds and gentle rain. With a push, I create a trough in the road, molten rock. Cooled by the rain, forming a small waterway. I smile and float over to it. I ask the water to rise and it does. The water stands and bows and speaks to me in a language only I understand. We dance, in the rain. My parents do not speak. They no longer exist here. Not until I see them or hear them again. I smile as we spin, as we laugh. There is music. I cannot understand the lyrics, but we move in time, in synch. As if I know every flourish. And then, My eyes open.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons,543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.