The couch housed a being. A body had slumped into the cushion and begun to slump further in.
Daryl couldn’t stand life. Nothing was wrong. The work he did was grand. His social relationships were healthy. However, he failed to see the light in life anymore. At times, it felt as if there was something resting on his shoulder. Something heavy. Something pulling him down. Something watching. Like the monkey resting on ones back.
A shift was made in the couch–Daryl moved to lay down. His feet rested gently on the base of the arm rest, while his head lay on a cushion. His couch was quite large. Closing his eyes, he began to question his quite sudden depression. In the attempt to find the culprit and eradicate it. As Daryl relaxed, he began to feel a tingling on the toes of his left foot. He looked, but nothing was there. Pushing it from his mind, he began searching for answers once more. Once again the tingling occurred. And, once again, nothing. Daryl shifted his foot that held the annoyance away from the edge of the couch. He imagined that someone was tickling his foot in an odd way, but he knew nobody else was home. In fact, he was the only resident. Within the search of answers to his sudden depression, some thoughts came to him. That maybe something he experienced from his past is coming back to birth itself anew into his emotions. To attach itself to his psyche and multiply until something is felt. He remembered his cat, Barley. Barley had died very young and it tore through Daryl. He never got over the death, always blaming himself for it, and it came up every so often. But Daryl didn’t think that was the cause of such severe depression. Memories of Barley flooded his thoughts. The memories that made you smile and tear up. Good remembrances. How Barley would always greet Daryl when he came home. Or, feeding him little bits of sweet desserts when Daryl was in the kitchen. Or, how Barley always slept against Daryl at night–either directly next to him or close by on a neighboring pillow. A smile spread across Daryl’s face. However, as if it was on cue, and as if the good memories led up to this point in a sadistic way, the death of Barley ended the pleasant memories. Like drop of black dye in a clear glass of water. Continue reading Knock Knock pt. 3
The week was hard. The day itself was harder. Daryl was not able to reach the shower much and smelled like an unkempt horse’s stall. Still in sweat, clothes peeled from his skin just as he walked in through the front door, worry about the upholstery in his car wouldn’t leave his mind. The act of roughly sliding his body out of the clothes, and feeling the birth of a cool air glide across his skin, reminded him of a blistering sun burn. When days later, for amusement, he would peel the skin away from the burn, sometimes pulling it too far and having to yank it off in a strategic fashion, allowing a sensitive pink skin to birth into existence. The water heater in his house wasn’t the fastest. Upon starting the shower, Daryl was to wait for the water to build to the desired temperature. It usually took more than ten minutes. This day, he couldn’t wait. He squinted and drew away from the icy pain only once, then jumped in without a second thought. His arms wrapped around his front, hoping to deter the pain, as if it would leave his presence upon seeing his cowardice. Daryl had forgotten, in his hurried motion, that he turned the knob until it couldn’t go any further for hot water. Impatient to wait and hoping that if it were to be on full heat, the water heater would work full force and he would achieve the perfect temperature faster. Against his hypersensitive skin, the new temperature hurt more than before. From an overheated core his body produced, to icy cold water, back to hot. Water shielded Daryl’s sight, leaving him blindly searching for the temperature knob. Luckily, his hand knocked into the knob and turned it slightly, allowing it to cool. Daryl stood, savoring the now comfortable water. It rained down in streams atop Daryl’s head, flooding his face and flowing down his neck, finding its way down his back and off his chin, slapping the tub with consecutive thuds.
Daryl grabbed the soap to help with the layer of grime. The dirt was caked on, like a shield that protected him from harm, but the thick dirt did the opposite and he knew it.
With soap in hand, top popped ready to be used, the shampoo on the recessed shelf dropped. Daryl hadn’t noticed it, and when it crashed to the tub bottom, it surprised him. When it hit, he jumped several inches in the air, not landing level with the ground. Instead, one foot landed at an angle, making him slip on the tub surface and sent him flipping backward. In doing so, one shin scraped upward against the tub faucet, the back of his head cracked against the back rim of the tub, and his tail bone landed on the bottle of shampoo, which lay on its side. The corner of the bottle dug its way north of his buttocks. Daryl screamed out.
Continue reading Knock Knock pt.2
Daryl had lived the last decade of his life as spiritually as possible. Beginning his spiritual endeavors at the age of 43, he felt that it was as good a time as any. He did not want to associate himself with a specific religion, but instead tap into his spiritual being. To be closer to the heavens of his inner mind than ever before. To be in touch with the spiritual realm.
A year into his spiritual pilgrimage, Daryl experienced something unexplainable.
The process of his meditation was slow and relaxing. Relaxing enough to put him to sleep most of the time. But mostly, he lay half conscious. He began every meditation as the same. Breathing and reciting cooling dialogue. As he lay, beginning to fall asleep, a creaking came from across the room. Daryl blinked himself awake, allowing the soft glow from his table lamp to contract his pupils; the pain helped with the wake. Daryl looked toward the sound. The creaking came from a stool at the foot of a rocking chair. The stool moved back and forth on its pivotal axis, what it was made to do, but on its own without a body or force to push it along. It looked as if someone were sitting on the stool itself, rocking themselves to sleep. The only thing was that there was no one there.
Continue reading Knock Knock pt. 1