The Observer

The Calling of the Fall

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By TAHJ WATKINS
Published: April 24, 2012
Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life

The calling of spring emerges a joyous breeze that flows through my canary scalp ever so gingerly. The calling of fall tumbles the trees into a deep slumber and digs the hole of a six-foot melancholy ditch, forcing the trees to weep. These green tears that fall from the barks of autumn are like wet chills squirming against the stubble on my chin. All of the leaves and flowers come in a plethora of Crayola box colors. Some are big, some are small; some are dangerous enough to slit your wrist. Frogs leap from side to side to mildew stained lily pads in this swamp of dreams that won’t come true. As I step out in my best Burberry trench, I bury my neck into the abyss of an anorexic scarf. Warm days have abruptly faded away, gone too soon like a stillborn child. Against my will, I am held content with the key thrown away, handcuffed to temperatures below forty. In a perfect world, I’d like to believe that I can turn back the hands of time to bring dear old life and summer back to me, for autumn, I am simply not ready for you. My tanks and shorts still have that fresh retail smell. Go away and don’t come back until May perhaps, better yet — June. There should be a law passed by good old Mother Nature to extend summer and shorten autumn. My dear summer is long and I find it hard to cope with what it left me that October day.

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I went to the dentist and found out that I have HIV. Then syphilis through the clinic that following spring, and later hepatitis C that summer. Each season brought me a disease because of my irresponsible promiscuous behavior. The beating of my heart pulsates profusely like a rapid infected burgundy blood stream through my veins. Shock. Betrayal. Pain. I’ve been swallowed into a chamber confined entrapment. The world caves in on my ribs, as I lie on the cold bathroom floor staring blankly at the ceiling. Nothing will ever be the same again. There is no one to blame but me; my risky promiscuous behavior led me here. A non-responsive isolation is the only way I can seem to come to terms with things. I just can’t believe this is happening to me. Tomorrow will be better, for yet another opportunity to strive on awaits, like a photosynthesis to light up my darkest alleys.

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It rings in my ears so vigorously. My every thought is controlled by the word “positive” repeatedly. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I can barely breathe. Pills. All of these pills to take once a day, twice a day, four times a day. Just the mere thought of anything sexual at this point makes my stomach turn. Stick me with that needle, I’m so accustomed to the pain that it no longer hurts. I used to be afraid of needles but now that fees good. Stick that cocaine up my nose so that I can sniff this suffering away. Let’s fuck raw so I can feel all of you without having to worry about catching any diseases since I’ve contracted them all already. Shove that glass in my mouth, so I can drink until my liver gives up on me. Drink until I have become the victor and have tackled the vanquished within me.

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It feels as though all of the people I had unprotected sex with to fill this unknown void are hitting me in the head with a baseball bat. This is the end. I can feel it all around me. I’ve gone ahead and killed myself now. I may as well go jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and let the cold Hudson River have its way with my corpse because now no one will ever want to deal with me. Gunshots are all I hear and with each remaining heartbeat felt, my chest sinks deeper, and deeper, and deeper, as I drown in the sea of my infected burgundy blood.

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The end

 

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