The Screams Won’t Haunt You Anymore

I am what they call two minutes awake after a 90 minute nap except that doesn’t make much sense to me.

Can’t figure out if it is because I fell asleep at around 9:30 and just woke up or if it’s something else.

The veil between sleep and awake is barely pierced and I am straddling the lands between nod and wide awake.

“Dad, she said she thought she heard a howling noise, like a werewolf killing bunnies. I told her not to worry because when I need to be I am still the baddest motherfucker in the valley and can protect her. But only if I am unchained.”

For a minute that stretches into eternity I wait for his answer and swear I feel him and grandpa put their hands on my shoulders.

I am not 49, I am 10, 18 and 25.

My hands are wrapped around the chains and in a moment I am going to take three running steps and see if I can pull them out from where they are secured.

You’re A Savage

As I am roused from slumber my consciousness of that which lives under the veil is slowly being blinded by the light of full cognizance.

Dad’s not here and neither is grandpa. I am definitely the boy and the man, that blend of 10, 18, 25 and 49 but it is different.

I have seen fire and I have seen rain. I have heard the echoes of the future and danced in the fire.

The voices of those who called me a savage and a barbarian float through the air and the promises of the future in which I heard others tell me no one could do better at caring for me and me for them.

I find my hand reflexively opening and closing, palms searching for the chains that keep me connected to the wall behind me.

It is just a matter of time before I pull the right from the wall and can focus upon freeing my left.


I tell dad about how nothing feels quite right but know that if I put my head down and gut it out I’ll get to the other side.

“Sometimes it is one hour at a time, sometimes it is one day at a time.”

I know this is one of those memories floating from the depths. It is just me and him in the car and he is feeling depressed because the only health issues he is fighting are those that haven’t been invented.

“Abba, unless you tell me that you want to stop treatment I am going to be hard on you. Suck it up and fight harder. I will not relent. I will not go easy on you because you wouldn’t let me be beat by a bad day either.”

Dad glares at me and I smile.

“Joshua, you are a pain-in-my-ass.”

“You’re irritated, Good, use that. You’ll have lots of time to rest, float on wings strumming a harp or doing whatever the hell it is that happens later.”

He nods his head and that is enough for both of us.

Four or five months later we’ll be past this point and I’ll wonder what the truth of the matter is.

After he died I took his hand and held it briefly and squeezed it the way I once had when I was a young boy and he was napping.

It always got some kind of response. He might not have opened his eyes or spoken, but my dad always moved his hand in some way and I knew he was there.

His hand didn’t move and for the briefest of moments I considered squeezing hard enough to guarantee a response.

The little boy whose hand was swallowed by his father is long gone and now I have hands that can apply significant pressure, but I don’t use the strength in them.

“It is going to be a strange Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I would ask you and grandpa if you want to go to Yizkor with me but I guess it doesn’t matter.”

The Screams Won’t Haunt You Anymore

Before the the last shreds of the veil fade away I hear my own voice make multiple promises.

“The screams won’t haunt you anymore. I can promise that.”

Later on I’ll think about what I said and know I can open the closet that holds the information I need but I won’t go sifting through it.

Won’t stir those ashes up tonight because some embers burn and the faintest wind can make them into flames and well, sometimes those fires are best when they are spontaenous.

There is an urge to walk the house and check on the kids so that I can wonder yet again how much of that is me and how much of it is my having been trained.

The music plays and I wonder again if I can learn to be a composer who creates scores to be played as soundtracks and backgrounds.

Will my ability to make words dance translate there or will I find this to be a gift I have never been given.

I want to tell dad that the doc says he is pretty certain I can fix some of these things and ask if he was ever told the same.

It doesn’t matter because the barn door is open and that particular horse is off and running but there is a part of me that wants to try and track it down.

“I can tame that particular beastie. Aye, I can make it submit.”

Don’t know why it sounds Scottish in my head and mutter s0mething about sounding more like Mr. Scott than a real kilt wearing man.

It makes me snicker.


It is officially Yom Kippur and technically I shouldn’t be on the computer.

The holiday started off in a very awkward and uncomfortable way for me. It is more than a little disturbing and part of it is because I don’t feel particularly upset.

It makes me wonder if this is temporary or something else. Makes me wonder if I am making something into nothing or if I am exactly right.

There aren’t many times where I question my parenting.

This time I know the voice inside my head sharing the advice dad would give isn’t his but mine. I don’t have to ask for his advice, I know what he would say.

I have got this, I know I do but dammit sometimes I have to ask why I have to find the hard way to do some things.

Got to find and build a new community and start new traditions.

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