Brian Barbeito

Posted on December 5, 2011

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Jacob Dreaming the World

She was already grasping his hand, and in an instant held it tighter- that was when he knew more than before (although he knew before very much), that he loved her. And that kind of love was immeasurable. It was probably because it was snowing, and cold- and that it was also icy- getting dark- that she did it- an instinctive reaction to the elements. That was a story for a grander scale also- how the elements tricked people into loving one another. But this was that and something much more. She clutched at his hand in a way that was innocent and true- and he felt that he loved her beyond anything or anyone else that he ever had loved- or ever would love. Out there- where they were, in those times, the dark seemed to come quickly- like a flash going off. How desolate it was that it became dark at 5:15- or started to, and was almost pitch black at 5:30. Wind and guttural sounds from faraway cats fighting. Where were they? The cats? Always somewhere slightly else. Always just off course- but there- making their noises heard.

Jacob had been a good looking kid. Better than good looking. He knew this from watching a tape of himself that someone took briefly of a wedding- when he was nestled in the early eighties- and for some reason- or so he thought- the wedding was at the science centre. But he didn’t know for sure. Someone had seen that the tape was good- and that it should have music- and they put music to it- that nostalgic music that you secretly like and publicly ridicule or worse. He had been walking around- in a small blue suit. That is the way it was- a suit that was dark navy on the outside, and had a navy clip on tie. And the shirt was light blue. His hair was a mop top type of thing- and it stuck up on top at a point- just a bit- because he had a double crown. He was happy too. Happy then at least- dancing around some. And his mother came, and took him to the washroom- walked him to the washroom. There was a part outside, where you walked along a corridor- and it was an Indian summer autumn- and there they were walking towards the bathrooms. Later on- many moons later on as it were- he said- “Hey mom, thanks for walking me to the washroom when I was eight.” She laughed.

There were ancient problems then- things that were unseen and they stemmed from things unknown. Or maybe not so unknown. Jacob had come from a different place- from somewhere else. Nobody knew from where he had come exactly. They had just brought him home in a taxi cab one day from a hospital. On that day the clouds let loose lots of rain. Pour and pour they did. Bursting. There was a bat too- that danced around the dusk in the later hours of that day. That was a house where he had climbed up a latter to the roof- when he could barely walk- and they found him up there- and he almost fell- then regained his balance- then fell but was caught. That was the place where he fell in the pool- and almost drowned. There were other things too- eating laundry detergent by the handful- and falling through glass. But he was charmed- and lived through it all- and lived through the neighborhood bullies afterwards, and through other things. Once a psychic lady that was not that psychic- more just on the crazed side- but well intentioned enough- told him with a great sigh, ‘Oh- you are not even from here-‘and she looked far and far away…It was something about him- people said it often, that was very different. But he knew a few things. He knew he loved her when she held his hand, even though he already knew it. And he knew he was good looking back then- many times and hours ago…and there is the danger of falling in the pond as it were- but it was true- he was good looking- if very shy and a clown to boot.

Chips. They were always eating chips- and paying bills- and doing things on calculators- there was a great and large television screen that played the show- What Will They Think of Next. It was something- and the calmness of the way the people talked- and the moving pictures- it put him in a space untold. And there were other things like that also- and he thought strange thoughts- that there were fires lit in the wooded areas in the deep night- and they juxtaposed the forest- and he thought that the earth would be gone by day- would be destroyed- but existence was magnanimous! – And when he woke up- he saw that if there were fires burning- they were out- and the day was fine. Something told him the world would always be like this. It had some great reserve of luck, or else someone taking care of it. Maybe both.

Aches. There were aches in his brain- and limbs. He fell to the ground. They picked him up and brought him home. And then to the hospital. Delirium. Aching teeth. Spacers. A strange disease afflicted him and he did not know what to do. “It’s just a virus that has settled in the joints.” said the doctor- “We don’t know what it is specifically, and hope that it goes away soon. There should be no long term affects.” Phew. It did go away for Jacob. But it came back- and down he went again- like a quickly broken airplane or doomed bird- hitting the ground- and there was a vulnerability there- and maybe that is why and how he learned to be vulnerable- and the pain was too great to say anything- too great to scream. So he took it- and he realized that part of him was connected to a great pain- the way some people are connected to a great joy- or a great reserve of serendipity. He was connected to loss- and yes- he had known it perhaps- but now it was manifesting. But they patched him up again and on he went.

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Brian Barbeito writes essays, memoirs, poetry, criticisms, short stories, speculative and flash fiction. He has written at and for various venues. His favoured format is brief impressionistic, painting like writing, which allows for quick and subjective observations on the part of the creator and then the reader. His main influences include but are not limited to, twentieth century American Lit, French Existentialism, the Surrealist and Dadaist Movements. He has worked at many things such as factory work and elevator construction work, to managing a crystal shop, and in human services. He resides in Ontario Canada. His work can be found at Mudjob, Six Sentences, Story and Story, Fictionaut, Glossolalia, American Chronicle, Useless-Knowledge Magazine, Our Echo, Ezine Articles, Lit Fire, and Exclusive Conclave of Delights Magazine, Lunatics Folly.

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