Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta injuries. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta injuries. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016

Simmer

   Just the sight of the stretch marks in his arms, close to his armpits, was enough to make him swim abruptly and very fast, further into the ocean. He could see the people and the beach getting away, he couldn’t feel the bottom anymore and, when he stopped, he noticed he had passed the border marked by the buoys. He swam towards one of them and rested there for a while. He was very agitated because of the effort, his chest going up and down. It seemed he was having problem breathing. Shortly after, a lifeguard boat appeared and offered him help. But he was able to say that he didn’t want any and then swam towards the beach.

 It took him a little more time getting there, making a few stops along the way. The salty water of the ocean mixed with the salty water from his tears, but no one knew that or noticed that in the beach. No one really had seen him going that far, everyone was minding their own business, not caring if a guy just swam like a mad man. When he got to the beach, he stood on the edge for a while, cleaning his face and letting the water drip from his body. Then he walked up to one of the showers by the walkway and showered thoroughly there, he had sand all over the place. When he finished he walked up to the parking lot and changed by his car. No one was there to watch.

 After that, he drove home and there he ate one of those salads, the kind you buy in the supermarket and are already done for you. He was hungrier than a salad but he didn’t want to go out again and eat something else. He instinctively gazed at his arm but he had a shirt on now and didn’t bother to yank up the sleeve or anything. He just finished his salad and then sat in front of the TV and put some silly documentary about aliens. They were always on, always with some crazy theory. They were the best shows for him to sleep to because he didn’t really care what they were all about. He only knew he was really tired.

 When he woke up, the room was in darkness. He looked at his watch and just sat down, covered his face and then stood up. It was time to go to the gym. Once he got there, he realized he was too tired. He tried several machines in a very short time but he just couldn’t do much on any of them. He didn’t know if he was tired from his earlier workout or if he was just not in the mood to do any exercise. Even though he clearly wanted to leave, he made himself stay at least an hour. He didn’t wanted to waste time, even if he preferred to be home reading or watching TV or doing whatever else felt more attractive than being in a gym, not being able to do much. Again, in that place no one really looked at him and he luckily wore a sleeve shirt too. Somehow he had never been a sleeveless shirt type of guy. He just wasn’t many things…

 When he finally came out of the gym, he intended to go and eat another salad in his home but he chose, instead, to go and walk around for a while. He was very close to home but he didn’t wanted to go there just yet. He wanted to think for a while or maybe not think at all. He just wanted to keep moving because when he stayed still he began torturing himself and he didn’t wanted that at all. He walked looking at the people going up and down the street, some were alone and others were in couples or even in groups. Some seemed happy and others not so much. Some were in a hurry and others just sat in the benches and just were there, not doing much more than looking at the cars and at the people, like him.

 He stopped to check out many store windows, some of them selling toys, others videogames or home appliances or even art. The street on which the gym was located, the same that passed near his house, was very commercial and active. And as the night progressed, more and more people popped all over the place, entering bar and restaurants, greeting people with hugs or only a cold handshake. It was Saturday night after all and everyone was out and about, no one wanted to be alone at home and he was certainly one of those. Normally he wouldn’t really care but this time was different. He felt he needed to stay outside for the remainder of the night because if he went back home he would do the same thing he did every time his thoughts cornered him.

  People never really watched, never really cared. They always excused themselves on a false sense of modesty or on a fake respect that no one ever asked of anyone. When he exercised in the gym the first few months he had a trainer. She was very strong and beautiful. He knew she saw the marks on his forearms, on his forehead. They were difficult not to look at if one really thought about it but she never mentioned anything and they saw each other everyday for at least three months. How could she not say anything? Did she really not mind or was she appealing to that false sense of respect that no one ever asked for? It’s not that he wanted to be asked but at the same time he did, he needed to be recognized.

 But no one had ever asked, no one had ever been interested. Besides he was very good at curing himself, he knew how to do it in order for anyone to miss the obvious marks. But nevertheless, they were obvious and anyone could have seen the problems, what was bubbling below his surface, that emotionless face and the stretch marked arms and the tired body. Everyone knew but no one cared. He was aware with that everywhere he went, even in that street, walking among people that seemed to be having an ice time with each other, that looked like they couldn’t care less about what happened beyond that place.

 He stopped at a small park and realized he had passed his home several blocks ago. He turned around but as he did, a voluptuous figure appeared in front of him. He didn’t really want to have that interaction, not then. It is common that the only people that see those in the shadows are people in the shadows themselves and these people really were. The police, the city officials and the neighbors all knew about it but no one really did anything to prevent it. Prostitutes had taken over and had taken the park as their place to work and get work. The lamps were not as bright as they could have been and some places were just very dark at night. Not only prostitutes hid in the shadows and he knew that well.

 Before she could offer him anything, he told her he wasn’t interested. She walked closer, in order to get in his way. She was very tall and had very strong legs and a wide chest and back. But she had the most luxurious head of hair he had ever seen on a prostitute. He repeated himself, told her he wasn’t interested. She then explained what she could do for him, what she liked to do and what he might like to do. She got neared but he took a step back. She smiled and he didn’t and she put a hand on his shoulder. It was a heavy hand and he felt as if he had sunken a couple of centimeters because of that hand. She assured they would have the best time ever and that she wouldn’t charge him too much. But the think her arm, pulled her hand off him and told her he wasn’t interested.

 This time he walked away and heard the prostitute insulting him and saying a bunch of derogatory terms, one after the other. She was like a machine of insults and, it had to be said, she was very creative about it. He tried not to hear any more that meant that he had a small penis and just walked home as fast as he could. It was late and the weather outside got very cold without him noticing. When he got home he took off his gym clothes and put on a pajama. Again, he turned on the TV and tried to watch some documentary about sharks, then a movie about some teenagers lost in an island and finally some cartoons. But the thought was already there and he couldn’t get the image out of his head. He had to do it, he had no option.


 Hours later, he was in his bed, head on the pillow looking up but with his eyes wide open. He was shaking and his arms were slightly opened, as if he was playing to be an angel of sorts in his own bed. But it wasn’t an angel one would have thought of when looking at the large blood stains in the blankets. They were rapidly expanding, forming the wings of the possible angel. But no real angel could have been found there. He closed his eyes to sleep and, this time, he cried again. He understood this was the day in which it finally got to him, in which he lost his grip on everything. He was finally lost and there was no one that could save him. Then again, there was no one at all.

lunes, 20 de abril de 2015

Birthday party

   Preparing a birthday party is always difficult and it get even more difficult when the person you are organizing it for is the least of your concerns. Friends and family. They are the real targets, the ones to please. Jim knew that Ari would like anything for his birthday but as it was the first one they celebrated together, he wanted to make it special. That why he had decided to invite every single meaningful person in Ari’s life and, of course, that meant inviting the parents and childhood friends.

 Now, they all knew about him being gay but some were surprised to know their friend was living already with a man. The phone conversations had been long and difficult but now everyone was invited and Jim just had to wait for them. They had to arrive just before Ari got from work in order to surprise him. Jim was a bit unsure about this, since it was likely that his boyfriend would not like the surprise. He was the kind of person that doesn’t like to mix business with personal, family with friends and so on. But being the special occasion it was, Jim thought that it was a good idea to have everyone be there for him, in one room, at least once.

  Jim, being as organized as he had always been, decided to organize every detail from early morning. Just after kissing Ari goodbye in the morning, he jumped into the shower and then called to a Spanish restaurant, where he had asked to have paella for at least twenty people. They confirmed his order and then he decided to go and pick up the cake and accompanying cupcakes to a pastry shop Ari had loved when he was a boy. There, a very nice lady gave some extra cupcakes to Jim and even gave him a cookie an some milk, to eat right there. He did exactly that, in order to please the lady and left fast after that.

 He then went to a wine store and bought six bottles of the same one but also some champagne, the same one they had taken at a recent new year’s party. He paid for that and returned home because it did not felt right to drive around with a load of bottles in the back seat, with the cake and at least fifty cupcakes. Jim organized everything in the dining table and was about to go out for some party supplies when the phone rang.

  At first no one talked and Jim was to busy thinking so he hung up immediately but the phone rang again and he answered it. This time someone talked: it was Ari’s father. Jim went white and cold in a matter of seconds and wasn’t able to say anything. There was silence for a while until Ari’s father spoke again and told Jim he wasn’t going to be able to go to the party. He said he was busy that day, helping some friends with some handiwork. According to him, he had committed to it days earlier so it was going to be impossible to assist. Then, not even waiting for Jim to say anything, he hung up.

 The sounds of the phone’s tone made Jim comeback to reality. He had always been afraid of Ari’s father and that’s why he hadn’t been able to say anything. Besides, it was obvious he was making up excuses, because he seemed to be coming up with things as he was speaking. Towards the end of the call, he wanted to say something, to demand for him to be there for his son, but he knew couldn’t just do that. He had tried to contact Ari’s father before but Ari himself had asked him not to do that. Ari’s parents were divorced and he had been estranged from his father since then.

 Ari’s mother was much more fun to be around. She had had several boyfriends after leaving Ari’s father and that seemed to have given her a new way to look at life. She was now very open and often asked them about advice, even in very intimate areas. Jim always laughed at it but complied and advised her the best he could. Lena, that was her name, had told him once that she only felt like a housewife when living with her former husband. She never complained because she loved taken care of her son and her husband but she did want more from life. According to her, that was the real reason she left him. That and the affair she had discovered he was having with, as he put it, the “neighborhood’s whore”.

 Jim was already in a store choosing plastic cups and plates when is cellphone rang. It was Ari. He was having lunch with his work buddies and had decided to call him in order to organize his birthday surprise. For a second, Jim thought Ari knew everything about the party but then he realized Ari was talking about their special time together that they always had in special occasions. Ari started telling Jim everything he was going to do with Jim on the phone. He only smiled and said nothing because in every aisle there was some other buyer and it would have been strange to start having “phone sex” right there.

 After hanging up, Jim realized he still lacked napkins and the candle for the cake. He was looking at some funny candles when someone pushed him against the display area. Some candles fell to the floor and Jim rapidly turned to the man that had pushed him and told him to fuck off. The man turned around and Jim realized he had seen him before but couldn’t quite remember whom he was or where he had seen him.

 The man got near and Jim was already clenching his fists. It was the man that hit first, right on Jim’s nose. Hurt and disoriented, Jim threw a punch and was lucky enough to hit the man’s stomach. He dropped his basked and started punching the guy and the guy punched him until some store clerks came in and stopped them. But of them had bloody noses and marks all over their faces. Jim had even ripped the guy’s shirt on the sleeve. Both men had no breath in them when they were stopped and separated. The police came and each one of them explained their version to the policeman who decided to let them go with a warning. Jim got to pay for his stuff and left right for home. He had no idea if he had anything else to do but he wasn’t in the mood.

 Driving back home, he remembered why he knew that guy in the store. He had been Ari’s former boyfriend, the one before himself. Jim had met Ari first when he was still with him but nothing happened between them then. It was only when they met again in a party, when Ari had already ended the relationship that their relationship started.

 He remembered the guy from that time so long ago and now they had gone into a fistfight in a party shop. The man had pushed him hard and Jim knew it was because he had recognized him. Apparently the guy knew about him and Ari and was jealous that someone was with his former boyfriend. Besides, it was obvious he had anger issues because who does that to another person in a public place? Jim knew he had thrown punches too but he felt nothing would have happened if the guy hadn’t turned around.

 Putting all the party stuff on the table, he reminded himself of the crazy look in the guy’s face. At one point, he even thought he wanted to kill him and Jim thought he was ready to do exactly the same for him. It had been a very animal like fight. After putting everything on place, he looked at himself on a mirror and realized he had a black eye and his lips had cuts. Besides, his nose was bleeding a bit. He found some glasses in order to divert attention from his eye and put some toilet paper in his nose. On the lips, only lip balm to make them look less crooked.

 Just then, people started pouring in and, luckily enough, no one noticed anything strange. He started hanging out wine glasses and just then the paella people arrived. The pan that they had brought was huge and it smelled delicious. They just had to put lemon on it and it would be ready. Most guests arrived early but Jim realized almost all of them were their friends or close relatives who they knew very well. All others, Ari’s college buddies and cousins were not there. The last person to arrive before Ari was his mother who had brought her best friend, a cute short blonde woman.

 Then, after 7 PM, the doorbell rang. Jim turned off the lights and people hid behind the furniture or just crouched to the ground. Then, the door was opened and Ari was smiling like a small child, happy to see so many friendly faces in his home. The last person to greet him was Jim, who gave him a big kiss and a hug. Ari noticed is bruises but told him he wasn’t going to ask anything that night. They kissed again and the party formally started. From then on, everyone ate paella and rank wine and chatted their ears off for several hours until it was time for the birthday cake, which was shaped like a big planet Earth because of Ari’s passion for astronomy.

 They were handing out pieces of cake when the doorbell rang again and it was one of the doormen. Jim gave him a piece of cake and the man thanked him but said he had come to give them a package a man had left earlier. He had being adamant about giving it later in the evening, so the doorman had complied. Jim received the package, a box and thanked the doorman. He went back to the table and gave the package to Ari. Everyone looked in silence as he took off the rapping paper. The box was a toolbox and inside was a toy, a Batman figurine. Ari’s eyes were watery but he laughed and kept opening presents.

 That night, when everyone left, Ari confessed to Jim that that gift had been from his father. He knew it because he had given him that Batman when he was a boy, in order to protect him when coming from work. Jim kissed him to comfort him and Ari did the same, just by the black eye which hurt and made them both laugh in their bed.

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2014

No dreams, as usual

This time, it had been too much for him. It wasn't the first time a client got rough, many of them liked it that way and he had no other way than accepting it, as it generally meant a better pay.

But this time, it had been too much. Even just after he left, he already felt sick to his stomach, not being able to eat or drink anything. Despite having another appointment, Micky went straight to his house and lay in his bed. He fell asleep fast and had a horrible nightmare, filled with shadowy creatures and an endless labyrinth.

When he woke up, he thought had wet the bed as he felt the covers very wet. He felt ashamed and sat down to see the damage and then almost screamed but he contained it: it wasn't pee but blood. He was bleeding profusely and the blankets were all covered.

He decided to put the blankets on a plastic bag. He would decide to throw them or to clean them later. After that he decided to shower and clean the blood off his body. He felt awful. Micky's job was difficult and had always had that hard part on one side. He try to stay clear off that, being a nice person, trying to please every costumer and make them do as he wanted and not as they wanted.

But that obviously did not work always. Many wanted to take control, to feel they had the upper hand of the situation. And Micky complied because he didn't want more trouble.

In the shower, the water was tainted by blood for a long while. He finally decided, against every fiber in his body, to go to the hospital. He had always sought to avoid any help or going to places where they would ask too many questions.

But this time it appeared to be different. The blood stopped for a while and then came back. He put on two pieces of underwear and an tore apart an old scarf to put in there, as a diaper. He grabbed his bus card and went out.

He was there in under an hour. He didn't live to close from things, having to save all the money he had. He calculated every single expense and gain, even keeping his accounting in a book. It had to be done, with this kind of life.

In the hospital, he told the nurse in a very low register, what was happening. She told him to go over Emergencies and wait there to be greeted by a doctor. Luckily, not many people were waiting there although most appeared to have wounds related to street fights or domestic violence. After all, it was only 4 AM.

A young female doctor said his name out loud and Micky followed her to one of the many stretchers in a big room. It looked more crowded in there, some patients still there, sleeping or waiting for their meds to work.

The lady doctor was young. Micky thought she may have been younger than him. She greeted him with a smile and asked for his problem. He told her of the hemorrhage he had and she asked him to strip down. He complied and lied down on his stomach, as she threw away the piece of old scarf and took a look at the injuries.

 - What happened? - she asked. She sounded a bit alarmed.

Micky decided not to lie. That would only make her ask more questions that he didn't want to answer right now. He told her about his job and how that happened.

 - Well, you have to get stitches and... - she stopped. Apparently not being able to go on.
 - What?

The woman doubted for a moment but finally asked:

 - Was it consensual?

Micky did not answer right away but he finally said "Yes". She then said that was ok, but that the hospital rules obligated her to test him and see if he had any infections, diseases and internal injuries, for it to be deemed rape or not.

 - No, it wasn't that.
 - I have to. Sorry, it's procedure.

He was too exhausted. She gave him a shoot in order to get him to sleep while she did the stitches but then he felt something weird and heard a scream but far, as if it had happened far away. His sight was blurry. He closed his eyes but didn't open them for hours.

When he woke up, he was in proper hospital bedroom. He shared it with two more patients but it was an improvement on that stretcher. He heard things close and far, his head was spinning and finally the pain kicked it, hard.

All his genital region, everything between waist and thighs felt as if it was on fire and burning fast. The pain was unbearable and he started to scream. One of the other patients woke up and a nurse came running in, injecting something into a bag that was connected to him. He suddenly calm down, the pain going away. And he fell asleep again.

He woke up again and it was already dark outside. He could hear his neighbor snoring and the other bed was already empty. His doctor, the young woman, came in and stood there by him.

 - How do you feel?
 - Like shit.

 She laughed. Micky smiled, it was the best he could do.

 - You started bleeding when I injected you the first time. It was way worse that I initially thought so  we had to get you to the operation room. It was an hour or so. You were damaged, a lot. The rape kit  wasn't necessary.

When Micky heard that, he instantly sat on the bed but that proved to be a stupid idea. The pain kicked in again and he went back to his lying position.

 - What do you mean?
 - We found internal injuries, big ones. We had to give you some morphine, that's why you are now  drowsy, I presume.

He nodded. He did feel strange, as if floating or something.

 - It wasn't consensual, was it?

He looked at her eyes but had no urge to answer the question.

 - When can I leave?
 - Not yet. We have some exams we need.
 - I have no money.
 - Let's cross that bridge when we have to. Just rest.

And he did. He fell asleep fast and his sleep was dreamless, which suited him fine.

He was in the hospital for three more days until they finally decided he was good to go. But before he could leave, he had to meet the lady doctor again, for a small check up.

It was weird to have a woman looking at his ass but he didn't care now, after al of this. She asked him to pull up his pants and sit down. She said the results of the exams were good: they had not found infections or diseases. No AIDS, no gonorrhea. Nothing.

She then started speaking about paying the bill. Of course, Micky had no money to do that but then she told him she had being able to put him on a program payed by the city, which sought to help sex workers when being attacked. The city would pay the bill but she needed an arm and a leg.

 - I need you to sign a paper saying it was a rape. And you have to denounce this person to the police.  Otherwise, I cannot help you with the bill.

Micky shed a tear, and then two and so on. He did not know what to do. He just grabbed his bill and ran out of the doctor's office. He had some money saved, to buy a small apartment. He had been working for years and he had been careful with his finances. But this hospital thing was going to take his dreams, the few he had, away from him.

He did pay, however. He had to. He never heard from the lady doctor again and, when he was in good health, he started working again.

When getting home from the first job after his stay at the hospital, Micky remembered the conversation he had with the doctor. He felt her eyes on him again. He could hear all the questions as if she was there but this time his answer was "No".

He hugged his pillow and cried in silence until he fell asleep. Again, no dreams, as was usual.

jueves, 27 de noviembre de 2014

One thing

It was dark and rainy outside. It had been raining for almost two days, non-stop. It seemed like it never end.

Inside the hospital, only some patients were aware of the weather. One of them was Alfred, Alfie if you went by what his mom called him. She had been there some hours ago to tell him how the family was going. He had been absent from home for almost a week and things, as expected, had continued without him present.

He was sitting on the leather sofa the room had by the window. He couldn't see much from the outside but he felt better feeling the raindrops and the cold through the glass rather than being laying on the bed. He had no need for more sleep and would have loved to have a book, his computer or something to distract himself from the hospital.

But then again, his books were at home and his father had forbid his mother and siblings from taking anything from the house for him. And his laptop had been destroyed in the "accident", or at least that was what the policemen that had visited him said.

So, he only had the rain to spend time with and, after the first minutes it was already a bore. And the memories of the "accident" settled in every five seconds... Accident! How dare they say it had been an accident. Since when is a brutal attack considered an accident? The laptop was smashed to the ground, that is after they had used it against Alfie. His head was still hurting after that. They had kicked him several times, punched him, hit him with his laptop and they even spitted on him.

He went to the bathroom and looked at his scars, again. It was something of an obsession looking at the scratches on his face, the bruised skin all over his body and his now funny finger. He had no idea how or why but that one finger was always cold, as if it was dead.

A little bit embarrassed with himself, a stupid notion, he opened his robe and saw more bruises and scars from both the attack and the operations. They had told him he had being hit on the pelvis severely so that's why his that part hurt more than any other. Not that he was interested in having children or anything like that but he did plan to use his penis again. The doctor said he wasn't sure of the state of his reproductive organs and that further tests were needed to know if would all work again as usual.

Alfie walked back to his bed and sat there, grabbing his feet. Doctor Mason told him that same morning that he had been in a very frail state and they even feared for his life but, thankfully, the procedures and medications had call worked perfectly. Although he wasn't the fittest guy around, his body had healed almost completely very fast. His immune system was incredible, according to one of the nurses.

But that didn't fixed it all for him. What if those two men had hit him with a baseball bat or cut him with a knife. The police said they normally didn't use guns but who they might be exceptions to the rule.

He wasn't scared anymore. He had no real reason to be. He was more worried about the consequences of it all. His father now had even more reasons to be against him and no so-calle frienda had cone to visit. He felt really alone. His mother didn't count because he knew she too was worried about her husbands attitude and she had no intention to contradict him.

Alfie decided to think about something else, other than his father, but that was to no good. He had just realized of the amount of info that had been lost for the foundation. He had been trusted with a very important report and now all that work was gone. They had destroyed it all: cellphone, hard drives, usb devices and, of course, his laptop.

As he laid down on the bed, he thought that only a few coincidence were necessary to be lost forever. He never stayed that late or liked to be entrusted with so many responsibilities but that week it was all different because he had decided to go on and live by himself. He knew the costs were barely affordable but he didn't mind at all. He jus wanted to be a bit more free, more in charge of his life.

He stepped out of the Rainbow Foundation at ten o'clock at night and walked to the nearest bus stop. He had sensed someone close or watching but he ignored it until a tall, bald guy stopped him a block away from the bus stop, asking for the time. Well, he wasn't really interested in that.

The rest was all a blur. He remembered parts and pieces but not the whole puzzle. Then he woke up and they told him he had been on the hospital for three days.

His father had always been against him working for such an organization and now he had all the reasons to hate all about it even more. He disapproved of Alfie and that hurt him every day. But there wasn't much to do about that. Alfie had moved on from trying to impress his dad, to not caring what he thought of his son. It just didn't mattered any more.

Two days passed until he was allowed to leave the hospital. When got home he told his parents about moving out. He wasn't asking for anything, just letting them know.

He did move out a month after after the attack. The foundation had not blamed him for the lost data and congratulated him for his work and effort. It was no.mystery all of it was a good thing for them as fundraisers began to invest money in them in the light of such a vicious attack on "the foundation".

He didn't really care about all of that. They gave him a big bonus on christmas, gave him a raise and a better position. He was happy for all of it until the police came back, in order to interrogate him. They had captured a group of skinheads that had been blamed for various hate crimes in the city and they wanted him to see them, in order for them to be sure they were the ones.
Well, at least one of them was. Alfie confessed he only saw one of the guys, so he could only be sure of that.

After that he went home, his new home and thought of the face of the attacker and all the good that one bad action had in his life. The guy had no idea but he had made him better, stronger to face life's many challenges.