Saturday, December 26, 2009

Eye For A Tooth

            My mouth wells with saliva and I promise you there's no taste to it that's out of the ordinary but my tongue tells me it has an acidic quality. My stomach is worried. My knees are the least of my worries but if the only thing keeping my bone from touching the cement that I am kneeling on is denim and skin there's a level of discomfort there adding to this barrage of sensory intake.
            Jason hits me on the temple with his fist. The cement really isn't that cold. It's warm. Something is obstructing my vision now on my left eyeball. It came when I fell over because my hands were too bound to catch myself. I sniffle and remember what it is on the floor and where it came from. And now it's in my eye.
            I laugh. Vantires. I used to call vampires "vantires". My mom told me this, years after I learned how to pronounce the noun properly. And Jason kicks me in the part on the back where Charlotte has a tattoo. He yells at me to Shut Up and I have to cough anyway. When I cough the blood from my nose ripples and a few flecks jump in the puddle.
            I pretend the blood that my face is in is my mom's chili. It's a comfort food of sorts. Nobody makes it like her, I promise you. Chili isn't my comfort food. Mom's chili is my comfort food. I know, that's weird- imagining you're laying in chili. No, I did not steal a taste, but I think imagining helped. Because when Jason reminds me that it's an Eye For An Eye, I smile. He can't see it and that's good, because he would have done a lot more than kick me in the back again.
            I put tattoos in place of everywhere that Jason kicks me. Charlotte’s tattoo rests on the small of my back. Tribal that nobody understands sprawls across my shoulders. Out of all my friend’s tattoos that I can remember I have enough to fill the kicks until they start overlapping and start coming too frequently. He yells at me and then he kicks me. Eye For An Eye! he reminds me. I didn’t take his eye. I took his car.
            Jason asks me if I would like to explain myself yet and I don’t say anything because I already explained myself. And there’s nothing more to say. He was very kind to me. Very benevolent. The weather changed that while I was behind the wheel. It’s not my fault the Upper Midwest likes to get snowed on. Friendships ice over. He turned out to be one of those “fair weather” friends, if you get my snowdrift. I promised him I would figure something out for him. Of course that promise was not fulfilled.
            I don’t think about all of this in too much detail because my body reminds me of what happens when my stomach is worried and my tongue thinks my saliva tastes acidic. I vomit. Jason tells me to not get it on his shoes. Eye For An Eye, yeah? Eye For A Tooth. I am not getting repaid in the same way. Everyone has to one up on their revenge. I think that this is a little ridiculous, me on the floor of his garage bleeding and vomiting everywhere. Jason iterates: not on his shoes. If Jason wanted to go all mad on the Eye For An Eye idea then he would experience misfortune that would affect me directly in a largely negative fashion. But you can’t plan that, you know? So why should you plan revenge?
            Of course the only plan was to inflict physical pain. The actual act of revenge itself was very hectic and disorganized. I don’t know what he wishes to gain by nearly breaking a rib with his shoes. It’s bruised.
            I tell Jason that I wouldn’t vomit on his shoes. I say that’s not what a friend would do. This is all very difficult to say. Physically. Nothing to do with pride. He thinks I’m messing around with him. Trying to be a hero, or something, except I’m the only one in the room that can be reasoned with and we both know this. Oh, We Used To Be Friends, Jason assures me from somewhere else in the garage. I think about that song. I hear him rummage. He must have grabbed something hard because this is where I black out.