Forgotten Minds

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Chapter 18: Where Am I

Blue turn the light now in the east. The announcement of another day, a day where I will drive my last few kilometers in my baby rusted Toyota truck. My fingers rub through the little fur on my lap, between the ears of Pipes while I watch the rising sun. The colors that it paints and the trees that shine in the first light of the sun.

Beer bottles litter the sand around me, bottles that carry witness of my night with Pipes. They carry the lost voices of my promise, a promise that will change my day, my life and hopefully those of others with broken minds. The time has come to leave, to wake Pipes and walk the road to the vehicle in the bush. The vehicle that will carry me into my dreams, into the future of my promise.

With the clarity of my mind, I look now down to my little friend. I look for his little ears and tongue. His happy eyes when he sees my face, but Pipes is not there. In my lap is the fur of a hare that I have killed, the fur is red with blood. I look around to find my Pipes but he is nowhere to be found.

My imaginary friend has left, left me with the promise that I have made. He left me with the drive with the fight that I now will fight alone. On the ground, I see the half cut liver, the cooked meat that I have cut for Pipes, my little friend. My mind jumps back to where we met to the pipes under the road at the dump, to the road where he has followed me, to the pipes where he has kept me sane.

For a moment the diesel engine makes it real the movement onto the road, the light in the blue sky. The shadows that the thorn tree now cast over the small two track road, before the doubt of reality hit me again.

The white neon-lit ceiling swallows my thoughts, the white dressed man that hovering like a ghost over my bed. He speaks words that I do not understand, ask questions that swallow my mind. Driving me to the twenty questions, to the torture of electric current to the urine that runs like rivers down my legs. The image fade as I close my eyes to the welcoming bark of Pipes, to his tail that wag from the fur of a Slaughtered hare. Fur that I no longer have, that I have lost on my way to my torture room.

I feel how the Toyota jerk how the pedal under my foot become flat, the real hopeless feeling of no more diesel, no more drive.

The sun is burning over the sand over the sun beetles that scream. Sun beetles who replaced the diesel engine noise. My eyes now float over the bushy field. While a tsetse fly feast on my arm, my eyes now sees the women with a dragon bird on her shoulder. The dark shadow crowds that follow her now pass the vehicle and me; they are now walking in the day.

I know that my mind is playing games that the dragon lady can only be the picture in my head; I pick Pipes up from the seat open the door to start our walk.

My feet now stuck in blood, in the sticky remains of human faces, the wetness that seeps into my boots rips my mind.

I know the place the river and the trees. I know that I am home, that the last few kilometers will be my walk with the giants once again. The giants of the bush, in two more days I will see the camp the home that we call Charlie three. Pipes is now running up and down drinking water from the river.

I now hear the trumpet of Temba the little elephant, the welcome call of my herd.

I smell the smell of the elephant droppings, the familiar smell. A smell that reminds me of home. The bushes move to make a place for the body with a trunk. Once again I am the elephant child.

For a moment my mind dwells back to the gunshots, the sounds in my mind. I feel how my friends become just a fraction of my imagination. How the noise in my head overcome the moments of joy. The skin of the Hare in my hands become alive and barks at Themba, my friend. I see his little tail wagging at my joy. But then the screaming voice in my head, the voice that drill into my bones.

“Who the fuck are you,” it echoes in my head.

My dry lips crack under the words, sweat runs like cold ice over my mind.

The cracking trees in the way of Themba jolt me back to a reality of the sun. I see the green pastures on the river bed. I hear the welcoming screams of sun beetles in the trees. The sun now reflects on his back as he pushes through the trees.

The gunshot the fuckin gunshot I hear. My mind is running. I feel how the wind blows through my hair. I smell the dust rising from the dry ground. The heat rising from the grass fields tickle over the dryness of the African bush. I smell the rotten smell of death on his breath. For a moment my mind stops.

“It is Themba,” I scream.

My baby elephant running with his herd. I see his ears flapping in the morning Breeze.

“Look pipes,” I scream

“It is Themba.”

With a wagging tail, he jumps from my arms. The fur in my arms now has legs, running legs, and a tail. It barks at the water and my old friend. His little body wiggles through the grass, jumping like a hare.

Your screaming voice hit into my ears.

“Who the fuck are you.”

I want to see Themba and Pipes meeting on the savanna. But my mind is now stuck.

I see the walls of my nightmare room, now draped in white and blue curtains.

I now look down and see the fur of the Hare. The fur that jumped from my arms with legs and a tail. But now it lies lifeless without breath on the ground. I look for Themba but I cannot see him.

“The river… where the fuck is the river,” I scream.

“The clouds… where did the clouds come from?”

Perhaps they are right it is all in my mind.

I open my eyes. The sky is blue. The bushes are green, you know that sunny light green. I hear the trumpet from the flapping ears.

“Themba,” I scream.

But then the gunshot the fuckin gunshot I hear. It is like thunder without a flash. I see the hat in my hand. The five Rand coin shiny and red.

“Seven eight,” I scream, “seven fuckin eight.”

My testicles cramp as the current rips through my body.

“Seven fuckin eight,” I scream, “seven fuckin eight.

“Where the fuck am I,” I now ask.

The hand on my shoulder or is it a trunk?

It is Themba I am home I think.

In a distance I see the Matriarch she lifts her trunk to welcome me home I think.

The river, I see the river.

My hand is rubbing the trunk of Themba, I feel how his love flow over me, his caring eyes with long black lashes staring at me.

“I am home,” I scream.

My arms fold around Themba, around his hard skin trunk. I feel the compassion I feel his love. My eyes dwell over the herd the compassion of the family. The herd that I walked and talked to before. They know me and I know them. They have no hidden agendas.

“I made it, I now scream with all that is left in me.

But my voice echoes back from the walls of my torture room.

“My mind where is my fuckin mind,” I think.

“My little dog where is my little dog,” I shout, While I stare at the bloody Hare fur on the ground. I feel how a flashback sucks me back again.

Flashing lights on the dirty ceiling drive the pain through my testicles, through the muscles in my abdominal. The currents that never stop. I see the face of the large man in the room and smell the smell of urine that seep from my naked body to the floor. I hear the questions on his lips. I feel the answers in my chest. But my mouth maintains the silence of my bones. The silence that dims the one bulb light into a contraction straight from hell.

“Your mind will heal with time”, fill the voice in the blue curtain room. I see the lips that move, the innocent eyes of a military psychologist. I feel his lies. I sense his fear, through the thorn bushes on my side, between the giant tracks that will lead me home.

With dancing fingers over keyboard letters the story of my life rolls out. The story that will not break the horrors that I promised to keep within. A story to remind my soul that time will heal. This is the lie that I have to keep.

Letters and words of healing jump onto a screen, into pages of the past, pages that will never heal me. But the promise that I have made might heal my broken soul.

My mission in this life, my call to heal those with broken minds. My promise I will never break. The glue that keeps me going, keep me from the stiff eyed corpses embedded in my mind.

The fire spirit of a dragon women, walk with the promises that I have made

The light bulb dims on the dirty ceiling of the room, as the power search through my broken mind.

I hear the numbers on my lips

Seven eight seven four three eight eight……

Before the words fade into the room, before the black pit swallow me.

Into the darkness of my mind.

I feel how my body free-fall through the dimensions of my mind, how the darkness of uncertainty folds around my eyes. I feel the pain shooting through my testicles. I feel the little tongue of pipes that lick the wounds on my knees. I hear the gunshot ripping through the air.

I listen to screaming questions and think of the answers I do not have.

The darkness the silence is all that I now have.

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