Some friends had convinced me to go to the bars with them and against my better judgment I had agreed. though once inside I immediately regretted my decision for the bar was festering with vampirous yuppies. feeling nervous and uneasy I told my friends that I was leaving to which they simply bid me farewell. So alone in the ghetto I went along my way. I had only gotten a few blocks when shit struck. a car pulled up behind me slowly. when it got along side me i could see it was some black kids looking for trouble. they started hurling insults. I did my best to ignore them and keep walking. I quickened up my pace. it was a dark street but the safety of the street lights were just a few blocks ahead. the car stopped and I heard the doors open. "hey where you going? come here you little bitch" I heard one say. one through a glass bottle in my direction. I decided I'd played it cool long enough. I charged for the street lights. long leaping strides. watching my breath. i heard the doors close and the engine rev. I cut into an alley that broke onto main street. but they weren't concerned with the public eye. they kept coming. I had no choice but to keep running. I cut through peoples yards. dogs running along side me barking and snarling at me through the fence between us. I came across an empty lot and quickly ran through it to the other side. as I ran I saw them driving along side me on the first neighboring street. they were laughing and carrying on like cowboys fencing in a mule. I climbed a tall chain link fence and hurled my legs over the top. my right pant leg got caught on the wire and made me lose my balance. as I fell over the other side it ripped my pant leg from my foot to my crotch. along with tearing into my skin on my inner right thigh. I quickly jumped back to my feet and hustled through the neighborhood jumping fences and running. eventually I was close to safety. my mothers house was only a few more blocks away. I was totally out of breath. but the adrenaline kept me moving. around the corner. through the lot. over another fence and finally I was free.

I pounded on the door. my mother answered and let me in. i heard them drive off laughing as I went inside. I told her what happened and still half asleep she through down some blankets and pillows. "there, now let me go back to sleep. I have to work in the morning." her husband came in complaining. I was half drunk and in no mood to hear it. but in he started. without thinking I exploded. my mother tried to play referee. our fingers in each others faces over her shoulders. screaming insults and staring each other down. "your own mother didn't even love you that's why you were adopted!" I screamed which was the final straw. he reached over my mothers shoulder and through me to the ground by my hair. a few hard poundings into the side of my skull and I was made impotent. he marched out of the kitchen feeling victorious leaving me laying there on the cold wooden floor feeling demoralized. My pants ripped, my leg bleeding, and now with lumps on my head. they went back to their bed room. I lied there laughing for a moment before I began to crawl to the pile of blankets my mother had spread out on the floor.

the next day I ended up back at my fathers. not by choice but by necessity. he was a very unhappy man and hard to be near. he'd just been layed off, and his dearest friend had been killed by cancer.

that night I was lying in bed trying to block out the world. My father stumbling around up stairs. I could here his foot steps through the ceiling sounding like an angry giant. when I heard the upstairs door open. "hey, come up here for a second. I want to talk to you". I could tell by his tone that he was being weird. a slight slur in his speech telling me he felt confident in his weirdness too. I had dreamed earlier that he was standing over me in my bed with a gun aimed at my head. I'd woken up before he had a chance to pull the trigger. I'd been having lots of strange dreams at that time. boredom does that. So when I reached the top of the stairs I could see that the living room was a mess. papers thrown everywhere. the couch seat cushions having fallen off of the couch. the glass in the coffee table had been shattered. I came in and sat down where I always sat. and there it lied. a glock my dad had bought from a retired cop. it sat there between us like a pieces to a board game.

"do you want to die?" my father asked. his eyes were open wide. confusion riddling through him like the gears in a clock.
"no." I calmly replied.
"cuz I'll kill us both right here and now."
"I don't want to die dad." i rested my head on my fist and stared straight ahead.
"you just say the word and I'll do it."
"i don't want to die and neither do you." I said some what agitated.

apparently he didn't like my tone. he began to pace the room. he wasn't saying anything. just pacing back and forth like a pendulum with the gun as his center of gravity. he looked at me with stark eyes where I could see miles of pain. a torture that I didn't understand nor could I understand chewing away at his insides. after staring me down for what seemed like hours he made his way down the hall to the bathroom and began to take a piss. I saw my window and quickly made good use of it. I grabbed my keys and ran outside. turned on my car and sped away before he could even get the front door open. I fully expected bullets to come flying through my back window. I pulled into the nearest parking lot, stopped the car and began staring at the moon. I pounded on the steering wheel and let out a scream from my lungs and my stomach. screaming at god. screaming at the moon. screaming into hell.

I slept in my car that night. it was 10 below. the next morning I woke up feeling confused. I got out of my car and walked to my fathers house. from the top of the hill I saw that his truck was gone. I quickly made my way down through the snowy hill and into the house. as fast as I could I grabbed some clothes, some drugs, and my turtle. I made my way back up the white and glistening hill that stood between me and my car. once inside the car i piled the clothes in the passenger seat and wrapped my turtle up in them tightly. started my car and drove towards the city. no where to go really. though anywhere would've been better then where I was it seemed.

Once I got downtown I shut off my engine. not much gas and no money to fill up the tank. I looked around. Christmas decorations everywhere. and all the stores were closed. usually this part of town would be filled with people. but not today. today it was as empty as an open field. as if no one had ever stepped foot there. so empty and quiet that it seemed I had the whole world to myself. I tilted back my seat and tucked my turtle into my armpit. In the wild he'd have done buried himself 6 feet under and would have been enjoying a very nice long nap. he dug his claws into me and got comfortable as did I. I took a few deep relaxing breaths. watching each breath come out like big puffy clouds of smoke. I pulled my coat tight around me and tried to go back to sleep.