Friday, June 29, 2012
Black Box Confessional
The preface to Thomas' book Black Box Confessional.
My hands tightened around the steering wheel, ready to jump from the starting position at the first sound of the gun. My legs ached from the tenseness I was forcing them to adhere to, but I didn’t notice. By now it had become second nature to be bent and twisted in the uncomfortable position. My body shuttered in anticipation, realizing more than a few fleeting moments had passed while I waited to go.
I knew there would be no sound of a starting pistol, no flag dropping, and no buzzers. Here, there would be nothing at all. This was not a race, it was a meeting. A meeting that could bring me answers to the questions that had been haunting me; or one that could send me farther on the quest to find a truth.
Light suddenly filled the dark blackened yard causing reflections to bounce off every wet surface. Just as abruptly as it illuminated the surroundings it disappeared before returning once more, repeating the pattern over and over again. The process continued, until without warning it rested in the on position.
I was being summoned from inside, by someone I could not yet see.
I needed to get out. Still, I could not will myself out of the car and force my way to the door; through the falling drizzle that hit the car without a sound.
The weathered yellow door, with its matching exposed yellow light looked nonthreatening. Yet, there was something eating at my soul. I was too uncomfortable and conflicted to escape the safety the car now offered. My right hand uncoiled from the steering wheel and reached to the gearshift; I had to leave.
The distant murmur of someone calling my name into the darkness over the roar of the car seemed to echo deep inside my head. My hand continued following the directions my brain and subconscious commanded. The voice called out again instantly stopping the advance of my limb. It was different than the first call; now it was harsh, demanding and formal all at the same time.
Questions began filling my head, Could the call actually be for me? Was that even my name? The most important question seemed to echo the loudest. What was I doing here?
The voice continued to call; becoming more demanding each time it repeated my name, finally causing me to sharpen my stare through the falling rain.
A woman appeared, filling the space of the open door. The rain blocking her details from my face, but I could make out her form. I knew her the moment I saw her outline. She was not what I had come to expect an informant to look like. She was squat and plump, but not nearly round. She looked more like someone had mashed her from head to toe making her body take on the shape of an ellipse.
Curiosity to my inquiry and the information the short woman in the doorway held took total control of my body, overriding my brain and subconscious in the process. I moved my clinched fist from the steering wheel and rested it on the door handle. I had to get answers; I had to know what actually happened, what really took place ten years ago. I had to know if the truth I’d known had really been a lie to cover up a truth the community was not ready for, a truth that I was not ready to accept.
Pushing the door open I exposed myself to the wet that surrounded me. I jumped from the car before I had a chance to put it in drive and barrel down the road away from her. Running through the muddy drive and bounding up the steps I stopped under the protective covering of the small collapsing porch.