This is a revision/edited version of the previous blog, trimmed in some areas but with a brand new introduction/ending. Enjoy!
In Glass Eyes
I awake from my nightmare in a room of a thousand dolls. Two thousand lifeless little lenses seem focused on me with contempt. They are my jury, having pronounced me guilty before I utter a sound. Where the Hell am I? I wonder silently
"Hey Little Dude, you allright in there?" A scratchy voice reminiscent of a bullfrog calls to me. The man with the bullfrog in his throat flicks on the light. I must still be dreaming.
Standing before me is a man who bears a striking resemblance to Frank Zappa. More so a combination between Charles Manson and Frank Zappa and he is as disturbing in appearance as that combination implies. His long frizzy black hair seems a web around his skull. His immense salt and pepper beard appears to have eaten his face, as there is no trace of it beneath. I can tell he is stoned, he smells like my brother. His eyes seem like rubies glimmering within puddles of darkness. His breath wafts over my head and I detect strong notes of eggs, mustard and rotten meat. I try to stop myself from gagging under the immense fumigation, but I cannot. I spy a silver trashcan to my left and I lunge for it, expelling all possible remains of dinner.
Frank Zappa Manson kneels down beside me and places one of his leathery paws on my shoulder. Despite the fact I have no idea who this man is I somehow feel comforted. Beneath his wild features there is an aura of calm and peace, probably from all the pot he has been smoking. He smiles at me and I can see that his teeth share a similar color palate to the newly decorated bottom of the trashcan.
"It's gonna be okay man" He whispers as he pats me with his sweaty leather mitts.
"Where Am I?" I ask him, wiping the gross remains from my chin
"Your next door to your parents house" Charlie Zappa says to me
"Your...my neighbor?" I ask, but it occurs to me that I haven't ever really interacted with our neighbors in my life. I am however fairly certain I would have remembered if my next-door neighbor bore a striking resemblance to a dead rock star and an infamous psychopath.
"Yeah, I'm Bear" The man says to me. I ponder for a moment and then a thought occurs to me
"You're Mrs. Bears son, aren't you?"
"So your Name is Bear...Bear?"
"Yeah...The Sixties man...fucked up!"
Not able to help myself I start to laugh uncontrollably, painfully and blissfully. Bear begins to laugh along with me, obviously aware how strange his name is to other people. As we are laughing I try to remember why I am in the House of Bear and not my own, but I can't seem to recall.
"Bear...why Am I here?" I ask
"Kevin, right?" Bear questions me
"Yeah, that's me. I guess you have probably known my name for a while"
"Just since the EMT told me your name"
"Wait...What?" I am frantic now, trying to recall what has brought me here. I can remember pieces, flashes before my eyes. They must be flashes from my nightmare, because I cannot live if they are true. Nothing clear is forming and I am becoming desperate. I stand up and begin to cross towards a window but Bear grabs me
"I don't think that's a good idea dude" He beckons me, but I do not respond. I break free from Bear's claws and rush towards the window...I stand in silence...And I remember...
Doughnuts. I thought to myself, I wanted to learn how to make Doughnuts. And why not? This delicious pastry couldn’t be that difficult if Bess Eaton, Dunkin Donuts and Honey Dew could all master it. I wobbled towards the kitchen in search of a cookbook to give me insight into my glazed gluttony.
"What are you looking for Sweetie?" My mother whispered in her magical voice.
"Just poking through some cookbooks Ma,” I said
"Ok, well let me know if you want my help with anything" She sang back to me, smiling. I love my mother, because she knew I was looking to make something sweet and it didn’t bother her. I am currently on the verge of being obese, my chubby fingers gripping the pages of Betty Crocker, and it didn’t bother her. I was getting slightly out of breath digging through cookbooks, not finding a real solid doughnut recipe. All I could find was a recipe for doughnut balls, munchkins really.
"You find anything munchkin?" Mother asks.
"Yeah...Ma, do you mind If I make cook some doughnut holes?" I beg
"Honey, if you promise not to eat them all yourself. You've got to share some with me" Once again...I love my mother. I really do, I feel as if I am one of the luckier children on earth. I have two parents who have been married for 25 years and still tell each other they love one another every chance they get. I have a mother who dotes on me, and father who is brilliant and always working hard to insure I have a better life than him. I also have an older brother who is so much a rebel that everything he does makes me look all the more angelic. I am the very definition of a spoiled middle class brat...and I love it.
"Of course!" I replied gleefully. Starting to mix together the ingredients I noticed it called for a deep fryer, which I don’t have. I read further and saw that you can manage without a deep fryer if you use a lot of Crisco on a skillet over low. It called for about a cup, which seemed a bit excessive to me. I read the directions again and it did indeed call for a cup of the chunky white fat, which I scooped onto the skillet and turn the stovetop on high. I then began to examine the other ingredients; powdered sugar, brown sugar, granulated sugar...hmm, sounded good. I begin to search the cupboards for flour in order to decide whether or not I wanted to make chocolate or just glazed. I couldn’t seem to locate the Dutch chocolate so I decided on...
Oh...that can't be good. I thought
"Ma?" I said
"Yes?" My mother answers, detecting the fear in my voice
"Where is the fire extinguisher?"
"WHAT?" My mother bolted out of her seat in the dining room and ran around the corner into the kitchen to see my disaster. Unbeknownst to me the pan of grease had erupted into a shooting column of flame. I hadn't read the directions carefully or I would have realized that grease is a combustible agent and must be kept at a low simmer. The flames were almost reaching the ceiling, but luckily they were not coming out of the pan. That is until my mother grabbed it and ran for the sink.
Before I could react she turned the water on. In that instant everything seemed to occur in slow motion. I wanted to shout and tell her that grease fires can only be put out by smothering or with fire extinguishers, but the words never come. She reacted instinctively, as any good mother would. I didn't know water could burn until that night. I watched as the flaming fountain poured across the counter, across the floor, across...her. She ran into the hall leading outside and stumbled on a pile of old newspapers kept there to reflect on historic moments of the past.
All those moments were engulfed in a towering inferno as my mother cried out in pain and fear. She ran outside of the house, flames dancing around her. I was alone...surrounded by a sea of fire that was consuming my existence, laughing at me as it crackles. I slowly allowed myself to take it all in, only a matter of seconds. I can do nothing; there isn't a fire extinguisher in sight.
What have I done? I thought to myself, the same thing my mother shouted out to be as she ran out of the house to put out the flames on her arms. Before she could return I had run upstairs to alert my brother of our slight problem.
I was weeping openly as I told him. He smirks at first, believing this some acting prank. He knew after two seconds that this was not a lie; there was truth in my horror. He bolted past me and ran down to the kitchen. His long brown hair streaking across my face, and I could smell liquor on his breath, whiskey.
"Holy Shit!" I heard him downstairs repeating again and again. I slumped in the office chair as smoke began to waft up the stairs. I wanted to sit there and let the flames consume me, as if welcoming an old friend home. It was what I deserved, so I sat there patiently waiting for death. Tom the Cat jumped into my lap and began to snuggle against my arm.
The Pets, I thought to myself, I have to save the pets. I Immediately I grabbed tomcat and ran outside to my parent’s car, which mercifully was unlocked. I tossed the confused Tom in the backseat and ran back inside to collect our dog Sandy and our other two cats.
Sandy was sleeping in the dining room, mere feet away from the now flame consumed Kitchen. Sandy wasn’t much of a watchdog, because at this point in her incredibly long and loved life she was almost completely blind and deaf. Although old, Sandy was just big enough to make it impossible for me to carry her. I tried to wake her only to have her gaze incredulously at me and go back to sleep. The heat of the fire was becoming too much to bear so I began to drag the dogs bed towards the front of the house. Sandy took no notice of me and continued napping. I managed to drag her and her comfy mattress to the front of the house to our front steps. Sandy remained unmoved as I ran back to look for our other two cats. Both cats were sitting on the dining room table staring at the flames, appearing almost transfixed. I grabbed the two of them and put one under each arm and ran out the front steps, forgetting of course I had placed our ancient beagle there. As I tumbled down the steps I was somehow able to gracefully place the cats down without hurting them. I stood back up and grabbed the cat’s, both who clawed at me for having the nerve to drop them.
After I manage to get the cats in the car and somehow convince Sandy to crawl in as well I realize I haven’t seen any members of my family come out of the house. I see headlights coming down the road and I instinctively jump in the street to flag them down, but they sped past and forced me to dive out of the way. As I collapse into the dirt I am able to look up and see my family safely on the side of my house. Soon I began to hear the sounds of fire trucks and police cars, and a sense of calm came over me. Then I watched the side of my house where my family stood explode.
I am overlooking the desolation that I have caused. The black smoldering remains of my home...of my life. The fire trucks have come and gone and I now stand in a stranger’s house while the rest of my family lay in hospital beds. Bear long ago went to bed as a remain motionless at the window. It has begun to rain and the droplets hit the ashen remains of my home, sending up smoke filled memories. I try to hold myself together, but I cannot. I turn around to face the room of dolls again, and as I look into the lifeless eyes I can see tears