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Frozen Days - Episode 1
I remember always hating those extended family gatherings, especially when I was
young. You would go to this meeting place with your family where you're supposed
to interact with people you don't know and who mean nothing to you. A small
percentage of the people you find here you may see once or twice a year, at
most, but most of the people you see here you might have seen once or twice in
My Uncle John and Aunt Linda owned a fairly large piece of land--
I can see a reflection of my eye in my glasses due to the perfect angle and the
perfect amount of light shining toward my glasses. I've never felt so close to
myself. I can see the moisture on my skin and the moisture between my eye and my
eyelid. The small reflection of light in the corner of my eye. The dying forest
of eyelashes that only looks like a line of dying trees when looking at your eye
under a microscope.
Part of it was on the beach of a lake, part of it was a field, part of it was a
home, and part of it was a forest. I was in the middle of it all. I was stuck
right there. Between every other person there. I was standing between the people
I knew and the people I didn't know.
"What are you doing here Scott?"
"My brother dropped me off."
"Oh, that's great."
Scott wasn't part of my family. Why was he here? Pete was there too, he wasn't
part of the family either. He didn't really say or do anything then though. He
was just there for show. Scott's brother must have brought Pete here too.
There was plenty of food and drinks at this get-together. Plenty of things to
do. I could have gone swimming if I wanted. I had been sipping on a beer served
in longneck glass fashion. It hasn't really done much yet.
"Did you want a drink?"
"No thanks man, check out what I've got," Scott reaches into his pocket and
pulls out a big bag of mushrooms, displaying it with pride. "and there's a lot
more where this came from. If you want, I can show you where I found these. It
isn't far from here, maybe fifteen minutes."
"I've got to get some of these man. I can't go now though, sometime before I
leave. We can make a killing."
My father was here, somewhere. I don't think my mother or brother are here
anywhere. I think my father had a little to drink, but it wasn't an excess
amount at all, very mild in fact.
Aren't day dreams amazing? Maybe recalling something which may be only half
real, and half fictitious? Maybe entirely real or entirely fictitious? You may
love that thought. It may take you back to better, happier times, or even
fictitious times. Of course eventually you realize you aren't really at that
time and place anymore, but in the dull and empty present. It's like wonderful
dreams where when you wake up and realize that dream was just that, you feel
In my aunts camp, which was actually more like a vacation home than a camp,
based on the size and beauty of the inside and outside. The inside was quite
large, wielding two floors with everything you could imagine. I came inside to
use the bathroom at one point.
My aunt you see, had always had this perfect recipe. She had her secret
ingredient which she told not a soul and probably never will. Looking back, I
think it was some kind of pie, probably blueberry. It may have been some kind of
casserole though, but it was definitely either a pie or a casserole.
At this time of the year my birthday was approaching, and Aunt Linda usually
just gave me money or gift certificates the past few years, but apparently not
this year. Not unless she felt using a large brown box to put a small thin piece
of paper in.
Not phasing me at all, I walked through this crowd of people in the house, with
the bathroom in mind. I knew where it was, even though I'm not sure if I've even
been in this building before. I knew where everything was; the kitchen,
bathroom, everything I saw I knew. Everything I didn't see, didn't matter,
I'm not sure what exactly my aunt said when I went into the bathroom, or if she
ever said anything at all, but it was something along the lines that my birthday
present was in the bathroom and I had to get out of there for a minute so she
could put it somewhere else. What she said was actually more of a feeling, it
was more of a connection between the two of us, between thought, emotion, and
expression. It was an expression that couldn't really be conveyed in words
alone. Hell, it couldn't even be conveyed with pictures. Nothing can accurately
convey the messages I was receiving from these people. It's really more of a
feeling than anything.
I was in the living room. I sat down next to my cousin Missy.
I've always felt that feeling and emotion could never be transferred to word as
easily as it could be to a pure visual form like film or painting or drawing.
No, actually I was wrong in thinking that. Feeling and emotion can never be
accurately transferred to any form.
"You know," said Missy, "it's your fault Mom couldn't get the recipe perfect."
"Yes, now I want you to try and taste the difference." She hands me two pieces,
one without the secret ingredient, and one with.
"You're right, I can definitely taste the difference. I'm sorry, but I don't
understand why it was my fault."
Back outside, I look for Scott and Pete. I search for ten minutes, or a half
hour. I don't know how long, it's all the same. Somebody told me Scott's father
came and brought him home. Pete obviously went with him.
I absolutely hate the smell of vomit. I can't stand it. It has this awful
lower-right quality to it, which is definitely not a good position for a smell
to have. You see, smells can actually be described as a direction. It sounds
strange, but it's very true. Take any smell, and let it flow through you.
Through practice, you'll be able to pinpoint which direction any particular
smell actually is. vomit is one of those smells which is very dense, filled with
so much. The smell has this very thick quality to it. In the last decade and a
half of my life I've vomited very few times, if I had to give a rough estimate I
would say if you gave me your hand and let me cut off a finger for each time
I've vomited in the last ten and a half years, you would have a very odd looking
It was my fault. I don't understand why, but it was my fault.
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