Authors: Eric Dimbleby
PLEASE DON’T GO
BY ERIC DIMBLEBY
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to any actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Please Don’t Go. Copyright © by Eric Dimbleby, 2011. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information e-mail address: [email protected]
Cover art by Joshua Hoffman
Cover design by Alva J. Roberts
Published by Pill Hill Press
First Printing: August 2011
Visit us online at www.pillhillpress.com
Also by Eric Dimbleby:
A Beast in Spring (coming late summer 2011, in E-Formats)
I would like to dedicate this book to my wife Erin, my son Nolan, and our unborn twins Amity and Isaac. I would like to NOT dedicate this book to my German Sheppard and Beagle, as they don’t deserve it. I would also like to thank those that supported me in coming this far in such a short time. There are many stories still to tell, and I will tell them as long as somebody is listening.
My mother is dead.
And I’m packed into this rotting house like greasy sardines, pickled in my own missteps. Not so different from that Mouse Trap game, where the little basket falls on your head at the very end, right after the diver hits the pool.
My mother is dead. And she is never coming back to me.
She is falling into nothing, bit by bit, in a permanent stiffness, like some piece of discarded pork chop in a temperature-controlled funeral home on the other side of the world, away from me and away from my hand that I would love to graze across her waxy dead face one last time. Just one more morsel of me... one more for the road. Play it again Sam, like she used to say.... I am the only person who ever gave two double damns about her well-being, even with all that corny Rapture talk. Yeah, she was a difficult egg to unscramble, but she was my
, all the same. An undertaker with neon teeth is pumping some sort of plutonium ooze into her dysfunctional veins, maybe even in to the same hole that I once emerged from, with my purple face and embryonic fluid soaking my virgin lungs. That cold-hearted S.O.B. is stitching and gluing her orifices to ready her for eternity, and I’m not there. I sit by on the side lines like an ambivalent sop, waiting for a legitimate enough reason to take action, as though her death is only the first of several preliminary requirements that will require me to move into my proper position beside her former fleshy vessel.
To weep. To hold her hand. To say what I have not had the fortune to say these past years.
My mother is dead and she will never return to me. To Earth. To the store. To her library. To her bridge club. To the graveyard (well, not in the traditional
sense). To the farmer’s market she drops in on every Sunday morning. To her friend Maggie’s house for lemon tea and digestive biscuits. To pray to her beloved Jesus, on her knees at the church, whispering little incantations to her Savior, hoping to be spared for her past indiscretions, and to avoid the paths of future ones. Maybe he never answered her, or maybe—just maybe—they had grown too strong a familiarity, and he came down from his clouds in the sky, snatching her away from me. Dining with Him, instead of with me. Am I so deplorable?
My mother hasn’t visited in four years, nor have I visited her. This pain is unbearable. It was not my fault. I am trapped, Mother. Can you hear me? Wherever you are, can you hear me, Mother? I’m trapped and I wish to only see you one more time. Don’t forget about me, dammit. DO NOT forget about me, and I won’t forget about you.
I never meant to abandon you. I had no choice in the matter.
Still, I pace this bloody deathtrap with the four percent interest-rated mortgage and a terrible insurance policy, fondling with the possibility that I will never again see the first face I had ever looked upon. She is dead, and I am here. It’s unacceptable.
Let me go
, you rotten whore
,” the man said aloud, into the rafters of his living space, clenching his fist by his pelvis and trembling in what the unseen trollop had created all around him; his invisible and final womb. If only he could pound the walls into rubble, and run for the road like a loosed rat. If he was fast enough, he could elude his fate. He tried to convince himself of this, but wallowed in the utter untruth of it all.
He trudged across the time-stained shag orange carpet of his den, past the buzzing television, complete with stray maladjusted rabbit ears and a broken knob. A gust of rigid wind pummeled his chest, but he swiveled on his heels and probed through the violent atmosphere of his home, readying himself to bludgeon anything that stood in his way with fists of fiery brick. His dizzying vision was focused on the painted white front door of his rat trap, reaching for it with every ounce of his remaining emblazoned soul, jitterbugging with anticipation at the invisible roadblocks at every step. He imagined himself lost at sea, undulating in the waves on a bit of boat wreckage, treading in steep bullish waves, moving inch by inch towards a shore that may be impossible to ever reach. Every light and sound that came from the craggy outcroppings of his mental shipwreck injected hope into his sagging heart. With his hand reaching out before him, he could feel the grooved brass knob slipping away. Or was it just
moving further away from
? It did not matter, as all progress was measured in numerical representation.
If I can get halfway to the door, I am good. If I can get halfway to the door after that, I am better. If I can get halfway there a third time, I have gone most of the way. But by this logic, always moving forward by halves, I will never reach my escape. The Whore will not allow it. It is a philosophical breach in logic.
Calling into the choking sphere of air that surrounded his swimming head, he insisted, “Let me pass. This is not a request, but a demand. And you
respect it.” This time, he chose to abstain the word “whore” from his ultimatum, hoping to catch more with honey than vinegar, as the saying went.
A warm breeze passed his neck, sending his fine jet black body hairs into an upright and attentive position, soldiers on alert along his shoulder and forearms. She attempted to whisper in his ear, but there was no auditory evidence of such. He knew that the words were floating about his skull, but that he had no means by which to interpret them, like the code of Navajo wind talkers. Her vibe coursed through his body, sending messages to his subtle synapses, but none to his bumbled mental processing.
My mother is gone!” he pleaded, reaching again for the door, only to be sucked back into the vacuum of his domicile by an insurmountable and intangible force. With every step he took forward, invisible gravities pushed him back into his wretched cubbyhole of existence, the dimensions of which were veritable prison bars. He took two steps forward, four steps back. Five steps forward. A warm caress on his buttocks. Three steps forward. Eight steps back. A breeze on his ear lobe. A nibbling sensation, even. One step forward. One step back. He was being toyed with, as usual. Let out the line some, allow the fish to think it is safe, free from harm. Let it swim, and drop its level of fright. And when it has fallen into the embrace of normalcy, give that earth-shattering tug of human will power to end all hopes of survival.
My mother is dead.
If you make that face, it could get stuck in that position for good, kiddo,” his mother’s distant words echoed in his mind, vivid phantoms of a place and time that was out of reach, but forever marked.
My mother is D-E-A-D. Fridays are spelling tests and I do pretty well, better than most in my class. I wanna be a writer someday. Mondays are math, and I just scrape by when it comes to fractions. The rest of the week—and everything else in between—is raging bullcrap. But I can still spell D-E-A-D. Dead. D-E-A-D. That spells dead, Mrs. Gabriel!
My mother is D-E-A-D.
She had drifted off to bed the previous evening after an action-packed episode of
The Dukes of Hazzard
. That’s what his Dad had declared, in his bravest tone, all the while biting back his loss. She had watched the Duke Boys that evening and had chuckled the whole while, his father had gone on to explain. His mother had once explained to him how “those darn Duke boys” were always out to bamboozle the dirty old trickster named Boss Hog, and that one of those awful country singers always showed up in their Hazzard County speed traps. Though she was disgusted by their music, she appreciated the show on the whole. That final night on God’s green globe, she had complained about her aching back, but that reaction was par for the course, according to his father. She went to sleep, and her husband of forty years had joined her right after his evening tea (it settled his nerves, chamomile most of all). Woke up this morning all alone, so he stated, “I couldn’t even move. I knew I had to get up and face the music. To call the police. The ambulance. I wasn’t even sure who, son. I just sat there, staring at the ceiling. I thought about never moving again, to just rot there by her side. I could smell her, son. I could smell her leaving me, one bit at a time.
I wish that it was me
When he had heard his father’s wavering voice on the phone, he had already known the worst of his news, right from, “Hello, son.” She had fleeted from this life, into her next phase without a word or warning or kiss goodbye. Kidnapped by Jesus. Hijacked by God. She had packed her bags, kissed Dad on the forehead while they slept, and tumbled away into the night with hopes of making it big on the Other Side. Maybe she would sing for them. That was what she had always wanted as a child, or so she had confessed on the only occasion she had ever drank a single sip of red wine- to be a singer. Of the opera variety, to be exact. “I never had the pipes
, she had shared between uncontrollable hiccups, the reaction on her face indicating their alien presence
So I can only guess that Jesus has other plans for me. Maybe next time around. Whaddyasay, Lordie
Lordie never answered her
Not until now.
He had dropped the phone to the floor with a plastic thud, the tangled receiver’s cord spinning the handset into a mad vortex on his gritty unwashed linoleum kitchen floor. The smell of half-cooked sauerkraut filled his nostrils, and at that very moment he had vowed in the cockles of his brain to never eat any form of cabbage again. He lunged towards the stove, turning the knob to stop the heat being applied to his late afternoon lunch. Even with the electric coils cooling, the smell remained and he loathed its taunting odor to his cellular core.
His earliest memories of Mother reverberated in his pounding (he was out of aspirin) head, forcing tears down the cheeks of his worn (for a thirty five year old) face. In the deepest recesses of his mind, she stood by the public swimming pool in the town he was born in; a baby blue towel draped over her forearm the way a ritzy waiter would a serving napkin. Her bathing cap was as bright and white as her teeth, patterned after cartoonish lilacs and clenching to her scalp like he did to his favorite blanket. She whispered encouragement to him as he dove into the deep end for the first time. He would have never done it without her, and they both were glad for that push. It made her feel needed. It made him feel loved.