The children were smaller, on a carousel facing inward, but not moving. It’s just where they liked to stand if they hadn’t “fallen off” and begun taunting each other, posing at each other, fists outstretched, legs bent down like superheroes, their crew-cuts, mother given, ugly as your knowledge of their predicaments locked inside their tiny white heads. I had gone to sit on a bench close to the street. You could see the cars going by and it was a relief, but then it hit me, I was a prisoner there. I would leave when they said so and no sooner. Even though I was 41, I was in no better situation than those children. We were all being kept.
It started when we were about to leave. Me and Christopher, but Christopher was fiddling with his camera. I saw the frightened faces of the Mexican workers and looked around and saw the man with the crossbow. I didn’t know it was a crossbow, but thought it was a rifle with a scope on it. He was about a hundred yards away and he was definitely beginning the task of pointing it at me, or my general area, as I crouched behind the car, behind the tire. I felt like the eyepiece was following me. Christopher seemed unaware of everything.
I sat in a white room with others. I don’t remember why I was there. Christopher would attack me at times. Run up behind me and grab me and hold on with all his strength. I tried to get through to him. One time I yelled into his deranged eyes “Christopher! Christopher!” and as they dragged him away I knew I had gotten through. A man looked closely at me and told me that I had fought back or something to that extent and I didn’t know if he was upset or pleased.
I was then called in for therapy. I am a large man, close to 270, but soon found myself being balanced on the legs of an average sized black woman who was probably about the age of 30. Somehow she could hold me using the weight of her body, her arms and her legs. I fell into it and enjoyed it. Then she let me fall forward and then would catch me. I was asked to relax and fall naturally, but I was almost too much for her. I noticed there were paintings on the wall, pastoral works and I saw prices written under the wooden frames. I don’t remember the paintings well, but they were of summer light in sad places, English hills, barns, non-descript browns and blues.
There was talking too, I remember now, but as she questioned me (it seemed as though the questions came when I was put into positions by the woman)…I can’t remember too well the questions, but the answers seemed to be about my life and my novel. I remember thinking about my mother, but do not remember the context. This seemed and still seems important. Progress was made, but no final answers given. The woman dropped away and then all I remember is being dismissed from the session by a different worker, this time a man and when he walked away I could see that I had just been another therapy session. That was the sadness. To feel as though you were being healed, but it was all a ruse in that you were just another therapy session. That’s when I walked away to the bench and saw the children on the carousel and knew the extent of the problem.
One other thing I remember is the therapists themselves, or rather, what appeared to be interns or something. They were young and they wore white coats and they walked in the glass door from the street on their way to work. I felt like they were giving me intelligent people to talk to finally. One of them had eyes that were very piercing, but I knew that it was in the service of knowledge and not me specifically which made me think of him a little bit like a robot. They all wanted to be therapists and were just learning. But their intelligence seemed like what I needed if I were to finally understand what had put me into this place where I could not leave even if I wanted to, but I didn’t know that. For now, I was just another kid on the carousel.

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment