Slow Adventures in Slothville

August 11, 2005

Dangerously Introspective Sloth

Filed under: Slothyness — shhville @ 9:26 am

Last night I dreamt that I was walking home at night in a swirling snowstorm, the snowbanks as high as my chest. As I crossed an intersection, a group of police cruisers came to a skidding halt all around me. The policemen all scrambled out of their cars, guns drawn, not even noticing me, and when the first cop’s head exploded I ducked behind the cruiser next to his. There was a sniper somewhere in the storm.

He killed them one by one, their faces and chests collapsing, blood spraying on the cars, on the ground, the glaring contrast of red on white. There was a metal taste in my mouth. I crawled behind the cars, hands and knees wet with blood and snow, and then ran in a tight crouch behind a snowbank as far as the road had been cleared, which wasn’t far.

I had nowhere to go. Before me was an open expanse of snow-filled street. Behind me was carnage. If I stood and ran I knew I would die, so I scooched into a tiny corner of the snowbank and tried to make myself as small as possible. My heart was clamoring to get out of my chest. I willed my body to be tiny. To be invisible. To be unlit by the whirling blue lights. Other than the wind, everything was completely silent, and then I heard the crunch of the sniper’s boot in the snow next to my head.

I stayed curled up, tight as a fiddlehead, waiting. After a moment the sniper knelt down next to me, took my chin in his hand, and forced me to look up at his face. He was white, thin, in his thirties, wearing combat gear and carrying a rifle. He looked at me with utter impassivity which I returned with an angry glare. It was the glare that pleased him. He turned my head a little, examining my face and said, “Hardly anyone is fierce enough. You are fierce enough. You get to live.” And he walked away.

****

I am fierce. It was Daz who first pointed it out. I have had to be strong and sometimes vicious just to survive my life so far. Last night I went to bed sad and confused. My dream reminded me that sad-and-confused is a waste of energy. I haven’t made it this far by being sad-and-confused. My life and my independence rely on a certain level of ferocity. I have to be fierce enough to live.

Most people in this world (in my opinion) enjoy feeling needed. This is why they have plants and pets and children. I have none of the above because I do not ever want to feel needed. Wanted, maybe. Needed, never. I don’t have room for need. The only fool-proof way to drive me out of your life is to desperately need me to be in it.

I have myself to look out for. No baggage and no strings allowed. Cling too hard to me, and I’m sorry, but I’ll have to leave you bleeding in the snow.

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