One time it occurred to me I might be in a horror movie was when I watched my brother's foot get caught in a department store escalator. A tall stranger pulled my brother's foot from his shoe. My brother lost a toenail. The stranger wouldn't be thanked. He left in a hurry. I was screaming. The store manager had to calm me down. He said, "This isn't helping."
My brother did the same for me when I was 18. He found me on the floor having a seizure. He opened the front door and screamed. We have been each other's voices. We have also been each other's tormentors.
My brother has always had leg problems, starting with the time I told him he could fly. I left the room and went downstairs to watch my mother boil spaghetti. My brother jumped off the top bunk and broke his leg. I remember this like I remember the dream I had last night where I was floating. Someone floated up behind me, and I kicked them in the face. Today, I confess. Many of my dreams end in violence.
A dream I have once a year has me battling wild dogs. They jump for my throat, and I pull their jaws apart to kill them. I used to fear dogs. My mother once took me to the library to show me a picture book that was supposed to mollify children who feared dogs. It worked. Josh and I took a walk the other night, and a dog in a yard did the shifting dance of a deer. Ears up. Eyes wet. Alert. I have been told both dogs and bees can smell fear. I try to give them nothing to smell.
But yes, I have felt true dread. A few years ago I heard someone open the kitchen door of my apartment and turn on a power drill. It was my former landlord. I came into the kitchen holding scissors over my head. My former landlord was changing the locks. He hadn't called to warn me. I was prepared to defend myself. Then there was the time a woman yelled from her car about killing us "faggots." I do not believe in possession, but I do believe each person can transform into something terrifying. If there is a Hell, we carry it with us.
I'm letting my mohawk grow into a floppy mane. I've kept it short the last six months for whatever aerodynamic and penile reason. There's more white hair now. That's just great. I want to be older than I am. In the meantime, I'm mastering a few things. Pie, of course. Knitting and crochet. Control of words. Lately, photography. I'm learning all I can, using all the cameras I can hold. Give me a few years, and maybe I'll take a good picture.
There is an EVENT soon where you can come and taste my pies, order my pies, buy my pies. I will have free samples. I will take orders for future pies. I will have a few pies ready for purchase. There will be other vendors, too. One does silver. One does soap. One does mosaics. One does jam and ceramics. Assembled, we are a crafty Voltron.
I'm baking a pie right now. It's going to work with Josh tomorrow. I will not get to taste it. That's all right. I know how this works. It takes a village to eat a pie.