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Vandegrift Voice

A Different Kind of Short

Chloe Strader and Hallie Locke

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I’m driving down a narrow road, I can smell salt in the air yet I can’t see the ocean. The sky looks like a clump of grey piled up as if ready to be shipped off in front of somebody else’s sun. The rain is beginning to enjoy pelting my window and scratching it to an almost opaque view to the eye. The pitter patter of the raindrops humm incessantly in my ear, screaming at me. All of these things, these details, these familiarities somehow find themselves in my mind, as if they are a physical memory. A sense of home. A sense of recurrence. The only thing missing is the sound of my husband, Harvey, attempting to sing to the music that continuously booms through the speakers of the radio. Of course only to make me feel complete with his lack of a bearable voice, and my lack of a bearable tolerance. Without him in this dream, this haze, or maybe even this reality, I feel hollow.

 

He makes me feel whole and, well… complete. I need him. He’s like a drug. Once he leaves so does the high. Then I’m just left with the painful craving for more. When I’m not with him I feel stuck. I feel glued together with my own thoughts; like there is no escape from myself, there is only acceptance. It’s like being trapped inside a mind. A mind that wants nothing but a change in the continuous repetition. A single solitary moment of avoidance. My skin burns with desire when I imagine being anywhere other than where I am. Some, being ‘therapists’, see it as depression. Others being ‘the more optimistic therapists’, see it as a longing for an out of body experience. I see it as a gloriously miserable predicament.

On days like this, which is most days, I tend to steer clear of people. I have an overwhelming sensation that I’m in constant pursuit of danger. Crazy. I know. That’s what most people think. But most people deny that fact that they are in danger, they deny the fact  that you can’t trust anyone, sometimes not even yourself. These people that would rather deny their own guilt then resolve it. There is something about the people in this world, these people that are so gruesome and honest that it disgusts me and excites me at the same time.

 

     That lovely couple down that quaint little street, you know the one. They have it all, the white picket fence, the golden retriever, the three beautiful kids. One of those kids isn’t theirs, in fact one of those kids isn’t anybody’s anymore, one of those kids is the product of a family whose child has been missing for the past thirteen years. Oh and let’s not forget that special country club couple, the one with the gorgeous daughter and the much too attractive son, that you always see at the library studying. After school that gorgeous daughter goes into the woods and gets herself into a different kind of trouble. 

 

All of these people, these regular people that are much more gruesome in their actions yet the most honest with them. We all think about doing some of these things but it takes a special kind of person to act on these dark desires.

 

But never mind, that’s enough of an unveiling. I must get back to driving.

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A Different Kind of Short