Pieces of Me
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I hear a scream.
I am lying on my back staring at the well-lit ceiling. It seems to be painted in shades of blue. I could be wrong. My vision is blurred. It is as if I am looking through a glass of water. I assume I am dreaming. I can’t lift my arms. Can’t sit up. Can’t move at all. Just blinking.
My boss, a man in his late forties, approaches and sits beside me. He ignores me while he takes a napkin and drapes it over his lap. He’s talking. Not to me, but about me, to no one.
“Yeah, I gave him the Peterson account.”
I blink. He pauses, picks up a fork and continues, “What? Sure it’s a lot of work but if he can’t handle it, I’ll find someone who can. ” He laughs loudly and the sound trails off. His mouth is still open. His face is still smiling but no noise is reaching me. Not from him. Only the scream now. It is like a buzzing in the ear.
I blink. I feel something pull at my thigh. There is no pain just a light tug. I look at my boss. He is lifting his fork from my leg. A piece of pink and red meat is stuck to the utensil’s prongs. His mouth is talking silently. He stops and bites the flesh from the fork. He is chewing and talking.
I look at the ceiling. I will myself to wake up, to sit up. I feel another tug at my thigh. I hear the scream. I blink.
I smell something. My wife. I look to my left. She’s walking towards me but doesn’t look at me. She’s talking to someone, to no one. My boss ignores her and she returns the favor. She sits across from him and places a napkin across her lap. They are staring at each other. Both are talking, but it is her voice that rises above the distant buzz.
“Do you know that son-of-a-bitch wanted to take a vacation.” She pauses to listen to someone’s response and then continues, “Mm-hmm, To do what? To stay at home with me and ruin my day. I have things to do. I can’t be babysitting him.” She holds her right hand up and spreads her fingers. “I have to get my nails done. It’s hard work to look this good. Not that he’d notice.”
Again, she stops to listen. I blink. I feel another tug at my leg. The scream returns, but my wife’s voice quickly chases it away, “Mmm-hmm. You know it. So I got his ass a job. He can take a vacation, but goddamn it, he ain’t sitting around all week. We got bills to pay.”
Her voice trails off and yet her mouth is still moving. She picks up a fork and jabs it at my stomach. I feel a mild pinch. I try to wake up. I watch her push the flesh into her mouth. I see her teeth grinding my meat into smaller portions.
I stare at the ceiling. The shades of blue seem to shift. I blink. I listen to the scream. I hear my mother’s voice. She enters the room with my father at her side. She holds onto his arm. Both are supporting each other.
“Too goddamned busy to give me a call. That’s what he says. I wasn’t too busy to suffer through nine hours of labor. But does he care?”
My father responds, “I guess not.”
They have nothing else to say. Nothing more I need to hear. The screaming returns and I watch them slide across the floor. They sit behind me. Near my head. I hear forks scrape knives. Metal utensils cut down to my skull.
I blink. I swallow. I try to ignore the little pulls on my body. I listen to the scream. I blink and wish they would chew with their mouths closed.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.