You’re Telling Me Pro Wrestling Isn’t Real (Part XI)

eyeballsby Mathew Serback

“So how can I turn my back,
when he has a higher purpose?”
– Mick Foley

You wanted to pull your eyeballs out from all the mourning we were doing. Death had become a flower we tended to and grew in the backyard—together. Right there, between the purple eyelashes of the coneflower that buttered your soul and the tiny skin flakes of the forget-me-nots are where we buried the dead.

Why don’t you think about that for a while?

“Cheshire cat?” I asked as the paper unfurled before my eyes. 100 garish teeth tinseled in judgement looked up from the sheet of acid.

“The way you described that smile, it made me want to see it again,” you said. The faces were the size of a stamp, the colors of the faces varying, painting a technicolor grin from one end of the paper to the bottom.

“I’ve never seen acid before,” I said. You had much more experience. You floated around space every other weekend—until the death flocked to the yard. You started watching from the kitchen window and commenting to me about how it wouldn’t stop raining. You started gluing umbrellas to the ceiling of the house, in hopes of keeping the water out.

“Is it what you imagined?” You asked as you pulled the acid paper back toward your body.

“Flatter than I imagined,” I said. I was talking about our life and our earth.

Because when I think about the loss of physical and mental functions in my life – it hurts.

“What do you see, when you do it?” I asked.

“Hallucinate. See things,” you said.

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

“What’s so scary about that?”

“I’ve always heard that if you have—I don’t know—like something disturbing, or some dark thoughts in your head, that you should be careful about doing hallucinogens,” I said. “You never know what’s going to come out.” 

You peeled a stamp, turned it over between your index finger and thumb, the smile a whirling dervish falling away from me. You put the stamp to your tongue and the eyes started to melt away. You would have admired the view if we had any ability to see through each other’s—eyes. You were packaging yourself—sending yourself away from the backyard and mourning and umbrellas.

“That’s part of the fun,” you said. “Part of the journey is fighting to make it out the other side.”

He never really gave me the revenge I truly deserved.

Your sublime insides were all gummed up with splintered speculations about daydreams you wish you had. I used to tell you that the problem with the world was that everyone saw themselves as a hero—we were justified and vindicated by the very nature of acting. What hero purposefully did wrong? You—like me and like our father and like his father—wanted to be heroes, but we could never live in that balance. You vilified yourself, and in return, debased me as your supporter.

The acid, the drugs, they were always supposed to clean your insides out. That’s how you justified it to yourself. You’d mix them up, cocktails shaking and stirring your body. You knew you could trust me with that information. I preferred doors to windows. I just wanted to let people out.

I watched you for a little while after you took the first hit. I carved away at stone tablets in the living room, numbering our rules for how to live. You would take another from the sheet. You wouldn’t move. You started swaying, your hands acting as shudders for your eyes.

“Do you want silence?” I asked from the living room.

“You can make noise— all the noise, in fact.” 

“I just need to make a little noise,” I said.

“No one is listening to you, anyways. That’s what you need to learn. To give up!”

The ECW fans get off on pain, but they don’t understand it. But one man did. One man answered the call.

When I ascended the stairs to sleep in the heavens of the house, you were pulling cans of paint from the storage closet.

“A moment of inspiration?” I asked.

“I’m starting to see,” you replied as you can continue to stack cans. Every few cans, you’d hold it before your eye and check the paint dabbed on the lid. You’d inspect, sometimes with a smile, sometimes you’d tighten your eyes around the color and choke away the name. Some of the cans were shoved back into the closet—something you wanted to leave behind.

“Put some plastic down,” I said before taking the stairs.

“Protection,” you repeated.

He understands my pain.

Only the remnants of you remained in the morning. From one wall of the kitchen to the other, you had painted eyeballs. There were dark and jagged lines, where it was obvious you had lifted the brush, reapplied some paint, and tried to finish what you started. Smaller eyeballs were drawn within larger eyeballs; dilated pupils and elongated eyelashes on some. Eyeballs absorbing every inch of the walls—except the window. The window was the hole in the soul of the eyeballs.

You had taped a piece of paper to the window. I tried to read it, the sunlight making your words transparent, but it was backwards to me. I plucked the paper and held it up, seeing out into the yard, the plants, and the death.

Get out.molotovcocktaillogo

Mathew Serback’s debut book will be available in October of 2017 through ELJ Publications. He has short fiction everywhere in 2016. He’s the managing editor of scissors&spackle, as well as an assistant editor with Bartleby Snopes.
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