It’s all going to burn.
It came out more like a bashful yelp from a lone coyote than the rallying battle cry I had envisioned so many times in my head. I remember trying to peel my father’s eyes off the television set, but they wouldn’t move. They were reaching into the television, unable to look away like a car crash. The constant flashing graphics on the cluttered screen even seemed to resemble a car crash in a lot of ways; it was as if it was being served to us on an expensive platter, and there was nothing we could do about it but watch.
Where do we go from here? What do we do now?
But his eyes just remained glued on the television set. I remember running out the backdoor to look for my mother. A loose thread from my sweatshirt got caught on the handle of the screen door that led to my backyard. I spun around, removing the sweatshirt from my shoulders and headed for the garden to find my mother. As I walked down the stone path that led to my mothers garden, as I’ve done a million times before, the stones seemed foreign this time, as if they were swaying like they were placed in a pool of water. Something about the familiar ritual seemed foreign. That same feeling was to become overwhelming seconds later when I realized my mother wasn’t tending to her garden as anticipated.
I had no idea where my mother could have been. Frantically I called for her while wandering the perimeter, that’s when I tripped on the tomato stake and fell into the garden. Then the rain came. I tried picking myself up, but the rain was making the earth damp and slick. I stopped trying to fight it after a short time, and instead allowed the rhythm of the rain against my skin calm my anxious nerves. The flooding thoughts of where to go and what to do didn’t seem so important while the rain was falling.
As it started getting worse, I noticed the dirt was cleaned from my skin and I was beginning to get cold. I needed to get out of the garden.
I remember running back through the house to try and get my father. It was obvious I couldn’t stay anymore. We had to go, I had to leave.
We need to leave! Why are you just sitting there?
But his eyes remained glued at the flashing images and talking heads. Before I left, I watched them for a moment with him; thinking maybe they held the answer that my father couldn’t articulate. But it was in vain, as expected. And I went.