HYPERSPACE

A Day in the Asylum:

A Day on Planet Earth

Quickly rising, striding out of the kitchen still chewing apple, turning left, walking to the front door, he is hurriedly pulling it open stepping outside feeling instant warmth, whipping around, pulling the door shut with a slam, reaching into his right pocket retrieving a key, inserting it, twisting it rightwards locking the door.  Turning towards the outside a golden-blue crystalline ether is drenching  his vision as he is being enveloped by warmth while moving forward feeling himself part of what is meeting him.  Viewing the park a few blocks away, brown and green shielding its interior, he is visually following the wide black street gutter until brilliant purple and beyond it purest radiant white are kissing his vision.  Walking down the elongated stairway–each step a cement block deeply grooved top and bottom distinguishing it from adjacent steps allowing a shallow decline from one to the other, green hedges topped with yellow flowers on either side–Jason is traversing the grass-flanked walkway in seconds until standing on the sidewalk running parallel with the gutter stretching across town.  Yearning to be close to the park is strong within him so, crossing to the other side of the street . . .  <could lie down . . . sleep . . . no traffic/people . . . workday . . . no kids . . . dead0    Looking down a huge unpaved span of earth directly opposite his house, its width expanding as far as the park, its length seeming to end with barely discernable trees and, somewhat beyond, wooden structures, perhaps homes–>distant strange openness . . .  Jason is feeling himself strongly drawn in that direction, necessitating him to force himself leftwards in order to walk towards the park.  <unknown mystery–goodness there maybe–long for beach0 –>deep ocean blue–sand people waves–salty warm breeze–blue golden bright sky . . . appearing before him to his right are tall trees thick and brown, he looking up gauging their height, viewing dark green leaves waving in a breeze, hearing the swishing, seeing bright blue sky spots ceaselessly appearing and disappearing from point to point with movement of branches and leaves.  Deep bright purple appearing peripherally in his rightward view as he is continuing towards the park’s entrance is motivating him to turn his head rightwards so that, amidst deep green stems arising, bright purple blooms–white styles extending from their interiors outward–are dazzling his vision.  Continuing walking he is seeing adjacent to the purples large flowers the whiteness of which in shining sunlight is seeming blinding with no burning blindness to be felt when staring;  the large smooth snowy petals surrounding stigmata of yellow brightness like a suns’ shining radiance engulfing her planets in the clarity of light.  Small yellow flower-puffs a little farther on are dancing in a light breeze while, after that, red daisy-like flowers–dark red centers popping up, light pink leaves stretching out forming sabers–are appearing.  Then a large opening . . .  <park entrance . . . last night0    Turning his head to the right and looking . . .  “Oh . . .”  <. . . different0   . . .  he is viewing a flat stone flower-flanked pathway with large grapefruit sized blossoms dangling out from their green enclosures.  Uneven edges give the pathway-stones the appearance of having been set in place subsequent to quarrying, their exposed surfaces smoothed and polished afterwards.  At the end of the pathway a statue looking like a boy reminiscent to Jason of something Greek is entering his vision.  <if i go in looking will i find beach0    In the  midst of his ruminations he is startled suddenly seeing the boy-statue at the end of the path moving.  <old man0    Feeling a sense of relief he is observing the man walking, wooden cane for support, dressed in white T-shirt and tan slacks, a sailor’s cap white with black brim atop his head, shaded areas of the cane’s wood from hooked handle to tip catching his eye like scattered islands in a brown wooden sea.  The man is beginning walking past him . . .  <old man’s pretty fast . . . younger than looks–but not young . . .0    “. . . sir?”

“Yeah?”

He is watching the old man turning towards him.  <high crackling voice0    “Sir?”

“Yeah kid,” focusing his attention on Jason while speaking.

“How do I get to the beach from here?”

“The beach?”

“Yeah.”

“No problem kid.  Just walk straight down the street yer on and you’ll hit the beach in no time flat.  Just make sure the beach don’t hitchya back!”

<being funny?0    Looking closely at the man’s unshaven face and squinty eyes . . .”  Thanks sir.” 

“Don’t mention it.  Before yuh go, tell me yer address so I can bill yuh fer ten dollars fer my services!”  Watching the lines at the corners of the man’s eyes crinkle in contraction while he is beginning heavy sounding laughter, smacking his good leg with the corresponding hand, Jason is hearing:  “Don’t be so serious kid!  I’m just jokin’, darn it!” 

“Thanks mister.  ’Preciate it.”  Walking down the street becoming more aware of the enveloping heat, the man’s firm but crackling voice is dogging him: “WATCH OUT FER SHARKS KID!  WATCH OUT FER ’EM!  THEY LOVE STEAKS WITH CATSUP!”  A loud high-pitched  yelp is striking his ears.  Turning, he is viewing the man smacking his leg in a paroxysm of laughter.  <godalmighty–it’s not that funny0  Whispering and walking: “He’s kinda friendly.  Why don’t I feel friendly?”  Breathing . . .  “Why?”  <i don’t laugh0    “Not even at something good.”  <why0    “The old guy could be a friend.”  Startling him–in contrast to the verdurous scenes he has just viewed–is desolation in the form of a huge lot reaching out towards him making him aware that his lostness in thought is causing him to lose sight of his surroundings.  Turning, looking towards the recently skirted park, a large, fenced, white-laned square area is appearing in his vision, the lanes consisting of sand, one of them a central divider, itself being horizontally bisected by another.  Now being viewed, the central divider is seen winding into a wide circular lane and then another wide circular lane farther on, the one closest to him containing concentric circles of grass, a shrub planted  in its center.   On either side of this circular lane is a lawn, the center of each containing flat, circular low-cut shrubs, while surrounding these are complex designs of shrubs extending to the lawns’ very edges approaching the road on which is walking the observer.  In the farther circular lane his vision is encompassing a pool constantly replenished in its center with six sunlit sparkling jets of water encircling the pool’s  midpoint so narrowly as to cause the upward shooting streams to appear from a distance as one.  Turning his head forward, continuing walking, viewing while passing the huge lot with its ugly desolation, his gaze is following the bare landscape rising to a heaping mound of dumped strewn-about junk.  Hearing noises and scanning the mound . . .  <kids0    Watching them  throwing things about, hearing the crashing of the thrown items landing, as well as the yelling, the noise being subdued somewhat by distance; continuing walking viewing the scene, he is espying one of them, wearing a black baseball cap backwards on his head, suddenly stopping, raising his arm, pointing in his direction.  <me or just this direction? . . . lotsa  people on beach . . .0    Beginning jogging he is looking up . . .  <two blocks–ocean0    Glancing behind   him he is seeing them running onto the sidewalk, the backward baseball cap in the lead pointing at him, continuing running towards him.  <jerks can’t touch me . . . pour it on0    He is beginning running full speed, the gap between him and the belligerents quickly expanding.  “I’m a track athlete, jerks,” verbalizing a thought under his breath.  “It equals power!” he is remarking while staring into black, star speckled night, remembering the sense of superiority he had had over those who would have harmed him, born of the knowledge that try as they would they could not touch him.  <proficiency in running is like proficiency in any sport, any art, any science0  Continuing staring into the fluorescently starry New York night, he is seeing himself standing in the sand, dozens of people spread along the immediate beach area, some sitting, some lying on blankets, others walking about and, farther down, others swimming or bobbing in the glistening water . . .  <safe0    Breathing a sigh of relief, looking back, seeing the belligerents standing on the street bordering the sand . . .  <idiots0    Continuing walking towards the water he is looking back once more, watching the pack turn, watching them walking back in the opposite direction . . .  Hissingly:  “Jerks!” Feeling temptation to yell at them indicating his triumph he is continuing walking until reaching the water.  <not too crowded . . . but enough . . . colorful . . .0  Glimpsing the people strewn across the sandy expanse, fleshy islands separated by golden-white sun-drenched lakes, some lying on their backs or on their bellies totally exposed to the sun; others sprawling flat on their elongated beach chairs; others seated upright reading books, newspapers, magazines, or just relaxing or snoozing; yet others seeking comfort under wide umbrellas of various bright colors stuck in the sand, Jason, continuing walking towards the water, is now viewing the bright aqua as a marvelous photographic panorama.  Striding onward, blue, white, green and yellow triangles descending from umbrella apices are crossing his vision; a golden colored fancy one–the circular material’s expanse being divided by downwardly curving white lines–entering his sight as he is approaching sand lapped moist by the ocean’s constant caress.  Though he has not come prepared to swim he wants as much as possible to feel the sea flowing about him.  Ceasing  walking, stooping down, untying a sneaker, removing it and his sock, stuffing the latter into the former, on dry sand laying the unit down, he is repeating the sequence  with the other foot.  Tying the laces of each sneaker together in such a way as to allow him to sling them across his left shoulder; doing so, he is continuing walking where lapping ocean meets land, enjoying the sensation of cool and tingly wetness flowing around his feet, through his toes, sinking them slightly into sand converting to soft scratchy sludge, the sneakers with his motion swinging narrowly across his shoulder.  A breadth of aquatic risings and fallings in gentle almost even-cadenced swells stretching out to open horizon; a blinding veil of yellow-white blazing outward from an orb of congealed seemingly endless hydrogen explosions inflaming an almost cloudless light blue sky spreading over beach and ocean is striking Jason as an inexplicable vista to the wondering eye.  Breathing in deeply the sea’s intoxicating aroma as splashing sounds of waves striking land are filling his hearing, squawking sounds are now impinging and, looking up, a view of flying gulls across the oceanic expanse and over the beach is entering his vision.  <what goodness0   Whisperingly:  “Why isn’t it always like this?”  Continuing walking in the pleasant wetness looking straight ahead, espying rocky rises in the distance, he is turning his head leftwards viewing the awesome sea, noticing only two bobbing heads swimming in opposite directions, one closer to land, one farther out; then, turning his head rightwards, entering his vision are fleshy islands of people spreading out more sporadically than previously viewed, with fewer gaudy colored umbrellas dotting the landscape.  <further from town0    Looking forward, the rocky rises which have previously seemed distant, are appearing now very close, Jason discerning their jagged scraggly shapes in greater detail.  <must see them0    Whispering:  “I’ll climb if I have to.  I’m good at that!”  Continuing walking along the eternally undefined line of water lapping land he is soon espying the beach winding around the rocky rises, themselves declining in height with their approach to the sea.  <no climbing–yet0    Soon he is at the foot of the rocky rise he has been viewing for the last several minutes noting its being almost ground level where he is standing and realizing that its elongated compilation of rocks and shells is not terminating on the beach but is continuing its length well out into the watery depths while waves are seeming not to be breaking on its sharp and jagged insertion into the sea.  Turning the bend, he is stepping onto a narrow wedge of beach acting as a cliff-encircling path strewn with  rocks, pebbles, shells, both whole and in sharp shattered bits, surface-loose or compressed into sand and beach-mud.  Walking with care so as not to cut his feet or stub his toes, Jason is viewing a cliff beyond the pathway rising to a plateau as he is entering a wide semi-circular area. <canyon0  Loose rocks and pebbles covering the area, large boulders embedded in the ground, and, like the backs of large turtles, similar boulders in the dark blue bay, their tops visible above the surface, are entering his vision.  Squawking sounds striking his ears . . . turning his head skywards . . .  <gulls . . . flying into sun . . .0    Turning his head away, colors dark and bright blinding his sight, he rubbing his eyes and again opening them, looking out over sea, flat clouds appearing to him, the colored visual aberration is continuing slightly blinding his sight.  <storm coming?0  “Hope not!”  Looking across the semi-circular bay towards the cliff directly before him, with its light tan shade and deep crevices gouged out of rock at various intervals, his eyes are following it up to the plateau.  Towards the center of the formation he is viewing a deep indent which is appearing to offer the possibility of a small canyon of its own, while the top stratum of the cliff is seeming to him darker than the rest.  Wanting to get close, beginning walking across the semi-circle staying near the water, seeing no hindering rocks, he is stepping into the shoal head facing down so as to watch that he not trip or slip on something below.  Something touching is startling him, he almost tripping.  Looking up, entering his vision, a girl about his age is standing directly before him.  Seeing her in a one piece swimsuit cut away around the waist, a golden tinge in her brown hair visible, for a second he is looking into her brown eyes and then downward seeing her holding a large ball.  “Do you want to play?” she is asking him in her soft voice, smiling at him.  “No!”  Beginning walking towards the cliff . . .  <why did you say no0  “She offered friendship and you said no!”  Drawing near the cliffside he is stopping and looking back seeing the girl standing by herself holding the beach ball, looking towards him.  A sharp stabbing pain deep within traveling out until it is consuming him is being experienced.  “She wanted to play with someone and now she’s alone,” he is whispering, the thought of her loneliness, of his saying no when she offered him friendship adding to her lonely suffering,  causing within him a crying, a painfully consuming unquenchable fire.  <couldn’t help it0    “Turn around now and go back to her and play.”  <can’t0    Reaching the foot of the cliff, turning right, directing himself away from the water, fire is engulfing him as the image of the girl alone on the beach looking for the friend who never came is searing him with its inner vision, while rolling through him like earth-vibrating thunder are his feelings as he is experiencing a visceral vice-like constriction.  <go back to her0   Feeling no joy when seeing a traversable path winding up the cliff, he is dropping his sneakers to the ground, bending, separating them with an untying of the knot joining the respective laces, taking a sock out of one of the sneakers, leaning against the cliff, raising his left leg and pulling a sock back over his toes and foot, lowering his leg, slipping his foot partly into the sneaker, bending, inserting his fingers along the inner edges, pulling the sneaker up and on.  Repeating this sequence with the right foot he is then kneeling tying the laces.  Rising, beginning walking up the path . . .    <why . . . why didn’t you play with her0    “I don’t know.  I just couldn’t.”  <but you wanted to . . . you would have had a friend0    Reaching the top after a six minute traverse, he is looking up, scanning the surroundings, viewing a barren landscape in his immediate proximity but noticing trees not too far distant.  While exploring his puzzlement over his lack of an answer to his question of Why, he is walking in the trees’ direction until standing before foliage extending into the near distance, a small spread of yellow flowers brushing against him, purple blossoms at his feet with sprinklings of red; pink and  orange blooms a little farther onBeyond these are tall trees, thick and thin, luxuriously spreading green-covered branches shifting in a breeze.  Stepping to the side of the flowers he is entering the thick foliage continuing wading forward until reaching one of the thicker trees. Walking past the tree an open field of low-cut grass is entering his vision.  Stepping onto the field he is soon in the center of green . . .  <like a ballpark0    . . . while entering his rightward vision is a disruption.  Turning directly towards it he is seeing a large square formed by sandy white lanes with a similar lane running right down the square’s center itself bisected by another such lane.  The lane running down the square’s center is seen winding into two large circles each consisting of the same white sand, the one closest to him having in its center a sparkling pool with a fountain of six razor-thin jets of water forming a circumference so narrow as to make it seem from a distance that they are one watery jet replenishing the pool constantly; the circular lane farthest from him containing concentric circles of grass with a shrub planted in its center.  On either side of this circular lane is a lawn, the center of each containing flat, circular, low-cut shrubs, while surrounding these are complex designs of shrubs extending to the very border dividing lawn from street-road beyond the greenery.  “I’ve been here before . . .”  <. . . been here before . . . but . . .0    “. . . sometimes you feel you’ve been in a place but can’t quite remember . . .”  <no0    “I remember!”  <the park0    “Near the park!”  Relief! In the midst of a strange place this is close to something familiar.  <park like friend . . . girl . . . looking for friend0  “Why didn’t you play with her?”  Unable to enter the area with the sandy white lanes, it being enclosed with a fence of crisscrossed hexagonal wires, he is walking towards the bushes and trees.  “Has to be the park!”  <almost home0    Soon amidst dense dark green bushes he is pushing forward until entering a large circular grassy area being interspersed several times with spirals of brick and stone, across from which, a short distance farther on, are appearing perfectly cut rectangular hedges, the dividing spaces of their sectioned widths flanked by cone shaped trees with immaculately shaved leaves.  <similar?0    Walking across the grass towards the center, stepping onto a narrow brick lane, following it straight until it is curving him from his intended direction, stepping from the lane and continuing walking straight across the grass, he is occasionally traversing another path of brick or stone appearing along his way.  Finally reaching the perfectly cut hedges flanked by their cone shaped trees with immaculately shaved leaves, a short gravel path is separating two of the cone shapes appearing before him, extending to a grassy path being spanned by a thickly leafed arch under which Jason is passing, the grassy path continuing, bordering the rectangular hedges and their flanking cone shapes.   Seeing on his right a dead end of trees and brambles, he is turning left, walking a short distance, two more adjacent immaculately shaved cones appearing, a path extending between them.  Continuing, he is suddenly finding himself gazing to his left at a wide lane of low-cut grass with corridor walls consisting of purple flowers and about twelve foot high thick green verdure while farther to the left slightly behind him thick dark green fronds are climbing a small stone wall somewhat beyond a hedge.  Turning his head rightwards his gaze is following the grassy lane walled by purple flowers and twelve foot high thick green verdure which he is observing extending to smooth-boled flanking trees with the largest green leaves he has ever seen floating like breeze-blown pendula.  Gazing groundward he is viewing bushes and variously shaded purple flowers seeming to him like tiny folk rushing out to the open from their forested enclosures.  Walking rightward on the grassy lane amidst the purple flowers and green verdure towards the smooth-boled trees Jason is inhaling deeply the summer air with the soft breeze spreading its warmth around him.  <different world0    “This is like that other planet I imagined about six months ago when I met my Star Friend . . .”  Whisperingly: “Star Friend.”  <like being on Star Friend0  “For sure!”  <how can I get to him0  “I remember!  We were in this spot last night!  This was the park last night!”  Feeling relief from the familiar setting which a second before appeared to be a beautiful but strange place . . .  <this place is like my friend . . . like my Star Friend . . .0   “. . . like the girl . . . alone . . . looking for a friend.  I should have played with her.”  “HEY!  LOOK AT THAT!”  A loud booming voice is breaking into the midst of Jason’s brooding.  Jason, trying to discern from which direction it is coming . . .   “IT’S THE BLOND PUSSY!  NOW WE CAN GET HIM!”  Turning rightwards Jason is seeing coming out of the trees and bushes several boys of about his age and a little older.  Instantly he is recognizing the one in the turned backward black baseball cap.  Beneath the cap he is viewing a chubby, mean, angry looking face and with him are two of his friends.  “Yeah,” another one of them is saying in a deeper matter-of-fact voice.  “It’s the pussy blond jerkoff alright!” He is taller than the black-capped one and is thin, his mouth a twisted snarl, Jason is observing.  “Hey jerkoff,” another is yelling, Jason turning his head, seeing that the new voice is coming from another kid, also thin but shorter than the previous speaker.  “Let’s see you run blondy!”  Ready to take off Jason is looking down the lane in the direction of the park’s entrance but is seeing a fifth kid blocking his way.  This one is the same height as the last and muscular with a nasty look on his darkly tanned face, his slick black hair combed straight back.  “Come on blond pussy prick!” the tan muscular one is snarling.  “Let’s see you run!”  The speaker crouches opening his arms as if to catch prey while Jason is looking about realizing that they have fanned around him leaving no unblocked route.  “C’mon,” the chubby one in the backward baseball cap is saying.  “Let’s punch the fuck outa him!”  Instantly they are rushing Jason, the tan muscular one being the first to reach him and, grabbing him by the shirt, jerking him towards him with one hand, punching him in the left eye with the other clenched tightly into a fist. Seeing before him the one with the black baseball cap turned backward he is suddenly watching a rising leg, his stomach taking a powerful kick, he falling down in pain and breathlessness, the force of the kick and his dropping causing the tan muscular one to lose his grip.  Jason is no longer seeing, it seeming as if all of them together are jumping him, beating him with their clenched fists on the head, all the while uninhibitedly without pause spewing at him chains of expletives.  A hand grabbing his hair is pulling up his head and banging it down on the grassy lane, his head cracking with pain, he wondering if he is bleeding.  Once more he is feeling his head being raised by the pulling of hair.   “Listen,” he is hearing one of them saying while his head is being held by pulled hair.  “Let’s drag this asshole out of here where there’s cement.  Then we can watch him bleed while we’re smashing his head!”

“Great idea!” opines another.  Feeling hands tightly gripping his ankles and himself being dragged along the ground, Jason is opening his eyes watching two of them dragging him while wondering where the other three are.  Passing by him speedily in his vision are grass, trees, bushes, flowers as he is being dragged forward across the ground.  Raising his head slightly he is viewing a wall of bushes up front and then suddenly colored stars and circles in the midst of blackness as he is feeling a forceful bang on his head.  “Hey, piece of shit!  Don’t raise that girly blond head again, little prick, goddamn little jerkoff, or I’ll kick it off!” the muscular tan one is saying while walking behind him with one of the others.  Feeling his body being dragged over a hard surface, flat stones–visibly distinguished by dividing cracks from cementing–are whizzing past his eyes, while a statue of a young boy is passing to his left, he recognizing the park’s entrance that he had seen from the street.  “Ok!” the chubby one in the black baseball cap turned backwards is yelling while dropping Jason’s left foot.  The tall thin one is dropping his right foot following the other’s lead.  “Now I’m going to put this little cocksucking prick out of his misery!”  He is walking to a point adjacent to Jason’s head resting on a stone.  Bending down he is grabbing Jason by the hair yanking his head up with sharp jerking motion.  “Wait!  I want to make the asshole suffer a little more,” the tan muscular one is saying, “before you crack that beautiful blond  head open.”  Drawing back his right leg and kicking it forward with all of the force he can muster he is kicking Jason in the right side.  Repeating this action several times as if in an extreme uncontrollable fit of temper the chubby one is suddenly beginning speaking, still holding Jason’s head by his hair while jerking it slightly higher.  “Ok . . .”   “HEY!  GET AWAY FROM THAT BOY!”  A deep booming voice is vibrating in Jason’s ears.  Instantly the chubby one is loosening his grip allowing Jason’s head to drop, it striking  the stone.  “GET AWAY FROM THAT BOY!” the roaring voice is commanding.  Feeling pain in his head and in his side as he is barely glimpsing his tormentors fleeing, wondering again if he is bleeding, Jason is suddenly feeling a cool hand brushing over his forehead.  Opening his eyes a large black face with full black beard sprinkled with gray hovering over him–tufts of gray-sprinkled black hair popping out from under his cap, deep black eyes staring into him with corner skin crinkles, a larger than usual neck-worn wooden cross dangling on a thick brown leather chord from his upper chest, the top three buttons of his shirt being open–is entering Jason’s vision along with an awe inspiring feeling of power and goodness permeating his being that he could not quite define.  Seeming to be studying Jason, the latter is hearing the man speaking.  “Here son,” the deep resonating voice that has rescued him is saying.  “Let me help you up.”  Wanting to thank him Jason cannot find his voice; wanting to cry he cannot or else his enemies will have won a victory over him.  Jason is watching the large man bending above him supporting himself on one knee; is feeling a hand under his head slowly raising it; is watching the man’s other hand going towards his head while the first hand is withdrawing.  “You’re bleeding a little, son.  Here, let me help you up and take you home.  Do you live far from here?”  Soft and soothing are the deep sounds of the man’s kind voice.  Struggling, Jason is squeezing back the urge to cry.  “No sir,” he is forcing out the words.  Feeling the man’s hands under his arms slowly raising him, not letting him go even when standing, it is seeming to him that they are remaining in that position for a long time.  “I want to be sure you can stand without my holding you up,” the kind deep voice vibrating in his ears is saying.  The hands slipping from under his arms Jason is feeling slightly wobbly.  “Take one step,” his friend  behind him is kindly suggesting, he then taking a step and feeling his knees shaking.  “You can do it,” the sounds are resonating in his ears, the voice’s power giving him strength.  “I’m telling you,  you can!”  the voice is commanding, the kindliness always present, always being felt; its goodness penetrating him to his deepest self.  Taking another step . . .  <i can do it0  “If I walk home on my own it will be a victory over my enemies!”  

“Yes son.  But it will be even more.  It will be an overcoming within yourself.”

Walking shakily towards the park’s entrance, feeling the power of his rescuer behind him, the entrance is appearing close in his sight.  <home soon safe0    “I can do this alone.”  Walking up to him, stopping by his side, placing a hand gently on his shoulder, Jason is turning his head      towards him and, looking up, is viewing his face with full gray sprinkled beard, shiny black eyes staring down at him smiling at him with their corner wrinkles; is feeling his concern, his love, his strength.  “You have decided to take the journey home yourself”–the deep sounds soothing and supporting him– “and I respect your decision and view it with awe because I think you sense what I have learned from a long life, that each man must carry his own cross.  Yet, when we see someone in need we must help.”  Continuing staring into his face Jason, watching his free hand rising and descending, is feeling it smoothing his hair around his injury.  “Go home son, and your folks will care for you.”  Walking on, passing through the park’s opening onto the street, turning left on the way towards his house, Jason is feeling the deep concern for him of the Man, tears welling in his eyes, moistening his face.  Closing his eyes as hard as he can, pushing back the tears, refusing to cry . . .  <my victory0    Seeing a somewhat familiar figure a short distance away . . .  <who? . . . don’t know . . .0    “Hey kid!”  a rough crackly voice is saying.  “What in blazes happened t’ yer?”  <old man . . .  way to beach . . .0    Approaching him, stopping,  bending down, head with black brimmed sailor’s cap tilting leftwards; placing his right hand on Jason’s head turning it slightly to Jason’s right while holding on to his cane with his other hand, he is guiding Jason’s head back, thumb on chin, fingers along cheek.  Gently pressing down his head, viewing his back-of-head wound . . .  “What scum did this t’ yer, kid?” speaking threateningly. 

“I don’t know them.  I’m new here.”  <proud . . . speak calm . . . no crying . . .0   

“Goddamn scum!”  Growling: “If I’da saw ’em do it I’da cracked their goddamned heads open!”  Continuing holding Jason: “When yer older, look up Captain Danny.  Sail with him for a year or two, that’s all.  Just a year or two and no one will ever touch ya’!”  Gently releasing Jason’s head his gritty voice is once more sounding.  “Go home kid.  Ya’ need tending.  I’ll watch ya’ walkin’.”   Beginning walking, thinking about the old man and Captain Danny . . .  <sail with captain danny . . .0  “. . .  how would that help?”  Wondering if the old man had    sailed with Captain Danny, thinking that the captain must be a fierce character, visualizing a huge man at a ship’s wheel with a full black-bearded face grimacing, he is hearing him in his mind loudly barking commands.    “Neither Captain Danny or the old man would ever cry!” he is remarking when realizing that the captain’s voice is sounding like the old man’s.  <girl on beach would cry0  “She would feel hurt at my being beat up the way I felt hurt at her being alone.”  Dwelling on this while walking, his house is appearing suddenly in his gaze.  <ma and pa home?0    Like an electric bolt the thought is shooting through his body.  <lunch break maybe . . . not two yet . . . closer to one . . . around midday0    Green hedges–flower-sprinkled  yellow–are visually moving behind him as he is walking up the stone stairway approaching the door, two sets of vertical white frames decorating the wood present in his sight.  Grasping the knob, turning it slowly . . .  <open0    Feeling in his stomach the force of a powerful punch he is slowly pushing the door in, slowly closing it behind him, standing in the livingroom where, to his right, several feet distant, his parents are seated on the sofa in the midst of a heated argument.  Walking past them, quietly approaching his bedroom door . . .  “WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?”  Opening his bedroom door while not responding to his father, he is walking quickly in closing the door behind him.  Running to his bed, jumping onto it face down, laying there, he is feeling surprise that he has no urge to cry.  Hearing his door opening and slamming closed, his father’s harsh voice is sounding loud in his ears.  “WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT!  DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME TALKING TO YOU?  ANSWER ME!”  An urge to answer is filling Jason but there are no words within him.  “YOU’RE PLAYING GAMES WITH ME?”  Feeling his shirt being clutched from his back and being pulled, causing it to tighten against his chest and belly, he is suddenly being lifted into the air, his father beginning shaking him, then, opening the door, carrying him in this manner to the livingroom.

“What the hell is going on?” he is hearing his mother’s voice sounding in his ears with surprise and consternation.  “Frank, we have to leave!” 

“NOT UNTIL I TEACH THIS LITTLE SHIT A LESSON!” he is yelling at his wife while shaking Jason vigorously, suddenly letting him go, allowing him to fall on the floor, the muffled thud of his own body striking the hard surface entering his ears while he is landing on his injured right side, sharp pain shooting through his shoulder.  “Now ANSWER  my question,” his father’s growling filling his ears.  “What the goddamn hell happened to you?” 

“I got ganged up on,” hearing his own answer as a listless whisper.

“You mean you got beat up!  And what did you do to the scumbag that beat you up?”

“There was more than one,” he is saying, still lying on his side, fearing that if he sits or stands up his father will hit him.

You didn’t hurt any of themYou just let them beat you up?  Get the hell back into your bedroom and don’t let me see your goddamn face again!”

“Wait,” his mother is saying.  “Let me see your head.”  He can see her approaching him and standing above him.  “Get the hell on your feet so your mother can look at you,” he is hearing his father saying gruffly.  Pushing up with his hands, feeling sharp pain in his right side and shoulder, Jason kneeling is now slowly rising to his feet.  “Make it snappy,” his father is commanding.  “We shoulda been outa here five minutes ago!”  Feeling his mother’s hand descending on his head, traveling to his back, he is hearing her speaking.  “You’ve got a cut.  Go shower and wash off the dirt and the blood and then go to bed.”  Turning around Jason is beginning walking to his room.  “And make supper later!  We won’t be back ’til very late!” her voice’s sound following him.

Lying in bed after showering, feeling pain and soreness in his banged up head, his puffy red left eye, in his side where he has been kicked and in his right shoulder where he has fallen due to his father dropping him, he is staring into the clear bright California sky of sunny blue through the unshaded open window.  <want to cry?0  “It’s good not to cry.  That’s being strong, that’s defeating my enemies, by not giving in to hurt feelings and baby crying.”  <but why . . .  the pain . . .0  “Not enough to make me cry!”  Feeling extremely sleepy, struggling against it, his eyes are closing, he sinking into sleep.  Bent fetal-like, lying sideways, staring into the blackness of his closed eyes . . .  <what day . . tuesday? . . . saturday? . . . where? . . . bedroom? . . . ah . . .0  “Bedroom!  Afternoon nap . . .”  <dreamt . . . what? . . . can’t remember . . . ghouls in white . . . white clothing, white masks0  “Was kidnapped from Ma!”  <i screamed . . . they took me further and further . . .0  “I remember being so frightened . . .”  <no words to describe . . .0  “A horrible nightmare!”  Opening his eyes . . .  <almost dark0    Stretching his legs out and his arms downward he is yawning.  Hearing no sound, he is turning resting on his back, a scintillating dot of seemingly transparent blue appearing in his vision.   “Star Friend!” the words are exhaling softly.  “You found me!  You found me!  You found me!” he is crying out the words.  “I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I want to go to you and be with you forever!  I don’t like it here!  Take me to you my Loving Friend!  Please!  Let me go to you!”  Speaking as the star is gleaming through his window against the backdrop of the darkening evening sky a powerful feeling of goodness and relief is surging through him, soothing him, caressing him, kissing his innermost self so that all of the badness he has been suffering and the powerful goodness he is now experiencing from his Star are blending into one overwhelming sensation.  From deep within a crying is welling up over which he has no control, tears rolling down his face onto his pillow, he crying and crying and crying, seemingly endlessly.  <you will choose the time . . .0   

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