Still feeling vulnerable today. One way to counteract that is to be gentle with myself. And the only way I know how to feel better is to write. Write without thinking too much about it. So here goes, a children’s story, absurd and non-sensical. Because my brain needs a rest. Because life is absurd, and my life lacks sense at the moment. So here it is, just for fun…
The man stands 6 storeys tall on his knees. His hands are the size of small motorboats. His nose is large and noisy. He is breathing heavily. And with each breath in, trees topple over, benches break loose and skid toward us. When he exhales, the clouds disperse and the tide pulls away.
The man is my father. His legs are made of iron, his feet of steel. His arms have a golden sheen. “White gold,” he says. And he picks me up like I’m a toothpick and perches me on his shoulder. I am nothing like him.
With every step through the town, the earth rumbles. People stare at us, their eyes wide with fear. “Good morning, Arthur,” a crackly voice calls. It’s Bob, the butcher, who always has a kind word for everyone. He waves at my father, at me with a shaking hand and scampers inside his store before my father can reply.
My father’s mouth is a gaping hole of rotting teeth. He never brushes his teeth because, he says, he can’t find a toothbrush large enough. His halitosis clears the streets and we wander on, through the town and towards the Rocky Mountains in the distance.
“Good morning,” his voice bellows to the townspeople, drowning out the church gong. It’s 9 am.
Nobody follows us, nobody dares.
We wander towards the mountain range, and my father carefully lowers me down to the ground, right next to a pond blue like ice cream. I run towards it, clamber down onto my belly and lap up the freshwater like a dog. My father stands in the distance, wiping the sweat from his brow.
“Aren’t you thirsty?” I ask. He shakes his head, and sweat rains down on the forest, the pond, me. The water is salty now. I stop drinking.
“Ugh, dad. Look what you’ve done!”
But he’s not looking at me anymore. Up in the sky, the sun is burning hot. He reaches up and picks it out of the sky like fruit from a tree. He squeezes it and liquid sunshine streams into his mouth, drips down his chin.
The planet is dark now. Black like the night.
“Dad! Put it back!”
He swallows down the light and opens his hand to reveal the sun, squeezed dry and dimly lit. He smoothes it out with his other hand and puffs it up like a pillow. Then he throws it up into the sky again, where it lands on a cloud. It’s still not as bright as it used to be.
On the other hand, my father now beams like a torchlight. The light streaming out of his pores, his eyes is so blinding I can barely stand to look at him.
He reaches down to gather me up again, but his skin burns into mine and I yell out in pain, “Ow! Stop!”. My father pauses and twists his head sideways the way a dog does when it’s curious.
I tell him we should rest and he chuckles so loud, the leaves tumble down from all the trees around us.
“You’re tired already?” he teases. His grin is large and scary and bright.
The dim sun on high cries out that he is tired, even if we’re not. And slowly the sun lowers himself in the distance until he’s out of sight. In his place the moon floats up and glimmers coldly down at us. It looks like a fingernail clipping in the sky.
My father loves the moon. He rides it like a skateboard through the darkness. He heaves himself up into the sky and steps gingerly onto the sliver of moon. It teeters this way and that, creaking under my father’s weight.
“Don’t break it dad,” I cry. But my father’s not listening. He is absorbed in balancing his large frame on the moon. They skid towards the milky way. My father says it is slippery like coconut oil. I watch him slip and slide along it like a child, screaming: “Weeee!” It sounds like thunder.
I am jealous because my father never takes me up with him when he plays. He says it’s too dangerous, that I need to wait until I’m big like him. But I don’t think I’ll ever be. My size resembles my mother’s. She is no bigger than a Christmas tree.