These walls are thin. I could hear Frankenstein’s creation peel back its skin, or a rat chew the carpet, or a flea sneeze times two. No such thing. I hear my sister lose her patience with the children. She screams often, but it is when her voice does not come through, that her hand meets little arms. The girls have bruises they nurse, and they hide.
The air is heavy with the scent of medicine and sour milk. Objects I lovingly collected, did not stand a chance against curious and careless fingers. White walls have grown brown with grime. Bits of marshmallow end up stuck to my gloves. Crayon markings appear everywhere, like primitive cave drawings.
I say I suffer, and that my space has been noisily invaded, but it is my faithful Ruey, my hellhound, that suffers most of all. He is constantly abused by Alyssa. She takes her anger out on his body, pinching and punching, pushing and kicking. I stop this when I see it. I tell her that she will not hurt what I value most. She looks at me with defiance. She knows there is nothing I can do.
I pass the time in meditation. I close myself off to the pandemonium, when I can. The dictator tells me to rest, and I no longer resist him. He is a teacher of some sort. His methods are unorthodox, to be sure, but his firm hand allows for no confusion. This must be done, and nothing more. Go straight, and do not get distracted. So, I do. I am ready to be heavy, like lead. Soft, like a billowy cloud. Open, like the wounds that have held me back.