Check it out: “Renette’s monologue from Brandon Nobles “The Chameleon Mirror” Act 1: A Beginner’s Guide to Mourning, Scene V:
1. A beginner’s guide to mourning
5. The thief of thursday.
I couldn’t breathe. His hot breath in my face. Coffee and cigarette butts. Paralyzed, he crawled on top, such force, such weight. Those awkward, oily hands found their way to my pulled off my clothes each little bit till all was gone; I remembered a story, struggling to move:
Sleep paralysis, you wake up and are conscious but you can’t move. And it’s happened before, I’d read about it; someone is half-asleep and half-awake, their mind asleep and their body walking into traffic, or the opposite end of the twilight zone: awareness without function, your tingling fingertips can’t be moved. Hypnagogic psychedelia, bats and monsters most grotesque but this was that ivory-mask, that thief; I knew the thief, how much could be taken? much more than most imagine.
You think you’re dead and think of demons, old witches on your chest pressing you until you splinter like wicker basket. And if I’d die, they’d find me like this: eyes crusted over, vitreous humour, streaks of blood in finger-prints along my stomach, inner-thighs. And the undertaker will undress me, tell my mom in the last scene, and those tears, poor dear; lay me flat out on the table, that cold metal slab and pull and pull until they pulled my face and kept on pulling. And that’s what this man—this man, this Griffin-beast, this beak, raging bull and putrid dick, pulling on my lips with jagged teeth. Undressed me like an undertaker, cold slab was a sweaty bead, whole body cold – and I’ll feel it all, unable to scream as they slide me into the oven, feet first, and then my legs, then he’s on top, he’s rolled me over. Vague pain now just lots of pressure, he’s on top, fingernails with blood underneath them clawing long and yellow pinched at my thighs I felt them turning pink. Yellow teeth, that crooked nose, bloodshot eyes, burst capillaries like electric snakes.
I woke more by each push against my stomach. I realized, with each minute I could move more, first my thighs, a muscle spasm, a twinge all down my leg. The blood ran down my legs, my inner legs … and it had dried, and no more, then much more and more still this time cold at first and fresh it smeared and sticky. I felt the sickness coming, the taste of vomit in my mouth. I felt the control come back into my hands. I could’ve moved. I could have screamed but wondered what might happen if I did; But unlike the hag, I saw this one, at least that mask; Pinocchio that nose kept poking me and I thought there it is, I’ll check; if I make it to the morning.
I decided to wait, let him have as much as he could take. I did each moment, dying still, each moment more aware of how much pain there really was. I just laid there and took it. Tears rolled down my cheeks and grunting sweating on my forehead, just kept punishing me. Just let him finish, keep the tears back, there they go. I thrilled at the thought of my phone ringing; if it did as this disease this fat piece of shit, spit dripping down my face into my nostril mixing with my tears and overdose bubbles in my nose. I gambled – with my life or pregnancy. He must’ve been 300lbs. I groaned, pretending to be stirring, startled and he ran from the room.
I sat up in bed and kicked my feet and shook my hands slamming my fists. I screamed and screaming more and more, thirty minutes until it all went high-pitched and I heard that ringing noise, sound of ear-cells dying—their swan song, never to hear that frequency again. I walked from my bed to the bathtub, legs bowed and sore and sat down. The cuts and pain got better as the hot water came. I must have lost much more, to sit there picking at my skin until I had blood caked underneath my nails, just as that thief had my skinflakes with him.
The shower head was good to numb, and burning, broiling hot it felt so cold. I peeled my skin layer after layer each ink those sticky fingers touched until my thigh was blotchy red, bright pink in places raw and swollen just like all else, my throat, my god, each piece of skin and blood circled the drain. Something, so much had been taken, something I hadn’t known I had, something I knew I’d never find again. The thief of Thursday takes so much.
I stayed in the water until I turned all wrinkled, all like a prune. I crawled out of the bath hours later.
Couldn’t find a towel. I dried off with toilet paper, square by square, inch by inch. Every time I closed my eyes I saw those fucking teeth, bloodshot, yellowed an ape a bit the worse for drink. Disoriented, I wasn’t sure: was it breaking dawn or dusk and getting darker? It seemed to a new day, electric candle what a fraudulent dawn. A hopeful illusion, a little one.
My phone came on in shaking hnds: 2:55; it was mourning, a Thursday gone. Five minutes shy of witching hour. The colors between the curtains, between the blinds, the distinct blue of a summer’s dawn, the first hint on long days. Then I noticed it was just a trick, night still far away, the dawn a deliberate silhouette or other was by Lain.
He set it up the day we got back, I was at my desk, and he was across the room. Some new-type of writing (just confusing), and the sun kept pouring in, right across his eyes. I couldn’t close the blinds, having raised them to let the air conditioner take effect. This was in the summer. So he took of his shirt, a ratty green one checkered black, pushed it between the blinds to blot out the slivers of impolite sunshine. He went back to his seat only to return again. This time he had found in my bureau a black, long-sleeved shirt. He squeezed it between the curtain rods just right and smiled as he watched the light bow out and fall away.
And now with only the light in the room a digital candle, unique present blinking green in the low-light, I liked it, the impersonation of the coming dawn, how such opposites mixed enough in the dim light for me to fall for a false rising sun, I’d woke with that same false feeling before, happily falling, falling, falling happily for that same trick, to think of day-time sooner, to think of Lain. And my mother, had she called? On my chest perhaps, if not this Peacock then some other, her red feathers left prints on the sheets, and that normally happens alone.
And you’ll tell yourself it’ll be okay.
It’s happened to a lot of people.
You’ll never be okay, okay?
That’s fine with me. Everybody bleeds.