The Forgotten Dress.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
I never met anyone in my entire life who wasn't in some way or another important to the universe.

Submitted: May 29, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 29, 2013




I am not a people person; nor am I one to ever voluntarily work with the public. But, some of the things I have seen and learned in my time, would break even the most hardened of men. Though, life does need its comedic bits now and then; I believe those are the moments which make life bearable.

before we get to the good parts lets catch up to where I am now and how I got where I am. I was born Joshua Gabriel Grasso, but now I go by Horsey this is due to the silly Americans legal process. I was born in Palermo, Sicily on November 6th 1989. My father was an american soldier who had met my mother while on tour. My mother was at that time working as a nurse and daycare assistant.

I have three brothers: Robert who was 20 years older than myself, Gary who is 10 years my senior, and Evan 5 years my junior. My childhood was a tad different than most others. Due to my mixed parentage of American and Sicilian heritage I was often harassed by the other people in our village.

It would be one thing if I was just a half american, half sicilian child, but due to my father being African American it made their prejudice even stronger. Needless to say growing up wasn’t very fun for me. The other parents wouldn’t let the other children play with me and in time the children inherited their parents hate. Often after school while I was walking home I would have stones thrown at me by the other children.

This is how I obtained the scar on the bridge of my nose. At home wasn’t much better either. My father was abusive toward me due to the fact of I greatly resembled my uncles both in my looks and talent in art. This mixed with the villagers disgusted looks toward my father caused resentment from him to me.

Hardly a day went by that I wasn’t hit with one object in the house or another. Then came the climax of my childhood: The drowning. Me and my cousin went to the local creek that all the villagers went to in the summer. I never took to swimming very well and when I say not very well I mean like a brick.

My cousin was on the bank of the creek playing with some of the other children, while I headed to the water. I knew the other children wouldn’t play with me and I didn’t want to ruin my cousin’s fun. So instead of wallowing in self pity I decided I would have fun on my own. Everything was fine at first I kept myself in the shallow end of the creek where I knew I was safe.

I pretended I was a superhero fighting off the super villain which was the water in the creek. As I went to kick the water the ground below me gave away and I was forced into the deep part of the creek. I screamed for help, but no one came. I saw the adults looking; they smiled. My cousin was too busy playing he didn’t hear or see me. I was thrashing my arms, screaming, crying, and swallowing water each time I went to scream. But, no one came; no one cared.

Eventually my arms and legs got tired and I slowly began to fall to the bottom. The pain, the pain was not something I could ever describe. Attempting to hold your breath as the pressure makes it feel as if your lungs and skin are about to rip apart. The worst is the fear; fear of knowing you are alone and that you are going to die. No matter what age you are, you know when death comes to greet you.

I couldn’t take it anymore and my body instinctively took in water as air. Even if it was only an instant the moment the water fills your chest and brain it feels like a stream of metal is being forced into you and melting on everyone of your nerves. To me that instant felt like 20 years.

I remember the exact moment I died. as the water filled my lungs and the blackness came after the pain. I felt my heart slowly stop beating, my thoughts getting slower with each slowing beat. Then I felt it, my heart had stopped altogether. There was no flash before my eyes or any hell or heaven. I didn’t see my life go by me. All I saw was nothingness.

I was there, but wasn’t. It was like I was being drifted in the blackness. I knew I was dead, but I didn’t feel dead. I didn’t feel anything. After what felt like fifty four lifetimes I heard something. It was a voice; I knew, but never heard before. This voice whispered to me: ‘’No’’. The moment the voice stopped I felt pain.

This pain was different than before. It felt like I was being forced to swallow lighting. I felt every part of my body pulse as my heart started again;I felt the pain of life. Let me just say: the time it takes to die is a hell of alot longer then the time it takes to come back to life.

I jerked to my side and my eyes bursted open as I spewed water from my body. I continued to lay at my side shocked. I heard my cousin and some men around me; they saved me. Later that day my parents picked me up from the hospital and the doctors told them how shocked they were because I was dead for 3 minutes and 54 seconds.

My parents decided after that it would be better if we moved to America. It was fine at first nothing seemed much different. The only things which were difficult was getting rid of my ascent, and more fighting. Not at home but with other children. The one thing I have to say is that Americans love to fight even the females.

The years passed. I transferred schools often; ten in all. Mostly due to fighting and racial problems. During my time in one of these schools: Baldi Middle School I believe it was. I ‘’accidently’’ stabbed another student. The reason was he took my five dollar lolipop ( Which I saved up weeks for). I got out of that by saying he touched my ‘’special place’’. Needless to say he was removed from the school and I got off scott free.

But! there was a requirement in order for me to escape jail time or be put into the funny house. I was forced to take mental stabilizers and let me tell you that was a whole another level of hell I was yet again pushed into. Imagine being inside your body, but it is not you talking, it is not you moving, it is not you eating,and the only escape you have is when you sleep.

Imagine being in a shell of yourself where you can no longer scream, cry, be happy, or anything for that matter; you just exist. I equated it to Metallica’s One music video. This plus multiple visits to every kind of mental and neuro professional which my insurance would pay for; I had the best kind available so that meant everyone.

There were days where I didn’t know if I was awake or sleep; everything seemed like a haze I floated through, just waiting for a new scene to play. So I developed the talent of lying and lying very well. From tone of voice to eye and body movement. I would study the doctors and copied their exact mannerisms; it worked. (unknown to them at the time, I had stopped taking my medications).

I decided I was no longer going to be trapped within myself. I would move the pills within the lining of my gums and pretended to swallow them. I was no longer going to allow another to have control over me; even if it meant I would burn or fade away. After the check of seeing if I took my medicine I would walk away and spit them into the sink of the bathroom.

Eventually they caught on to me, but they also gave me a new medication to replace my old ones. This was their biggest mistake because they were joint capsules. When no one was around I would pull them apart and dump the contents of all 90 pills in the container and push them back together. When I went to take them all I was taking were capsules of air.

Then after that came the changing point in my life: I found Metal. It was like a magic doorway which had all my answers. I was accepted and I finally found a home. Now, I am not going to bore you long stories of how high school was for me. But, lets just say there was alot of alcohol, fighting, fire, and drugs. (okay it’s just not to save you all a boring read I just don’t want to get into trouble with the law hahaha).

Eventually I found a job with Holister ( a ‘’High end’’ Clothing line). The job was shit,and the pay was shit. The only reason I went to work was to be surrounded by my all female coworkers ( and no I didn’t sleep with any of them). But, since we are on the topic I really haven’t had too much experience with woman; No I am not a virgin. More like I never quite ended up with the girl I actually liked. I always attracted the strange and gothic girls. When in truth all I wanted was a nice short jewish girl ( hey everyone has their thing this is mine).

My friends Jake and AJ say it is because I am a kind person and you can see it in my face, which girls like to take advantage of. I think it’s because I just have shit luck hahaha. All in all I just take people as they are and ask for nothing more than that. along the way I have had various other jobs such as: Construction, Funereal assistant, Hacker, Wawa ( A food store), Cook, and other jobs I cannot at this current time remember.

After highschool I spent most of my time traveling and doing the band thing. I can not even tell you all the bands I have been in at some point or another. I have seen people pissing from roofs, coke being sniffed off tits, over a thousand people chanting a single word, and my personal favorite: after parties. Sometime during my youth I picked up the electric bass and it just stuck to me.

I always went with the color red for my basses, because I hated the color and in some sense it forced me to confront everything I hated about myself ( I know it makes no sense). I played with All that remains, Torn from the roots, Beenie Segeal, MF Doom, The Casulties, Deadsy, and Placebo. I did tour for a bit as a fill in bassist, but it got too much for me and I knew I needed to leave before I lost myself in that lifestyle.

The women, the drugs, the parties, the alcohol, and the money where amazing. But, it just wasn’t for me. I was 22 when I returned home; jobless and broke. I managed to get a gig back with the old construction company I worked for though. I decided to go back to school, but I couldn’t do both so I decided to leave the construction job and look for something more part time.

Again, I was broke and forced to move back home due to my inabilities to find steady work. Let me tell you something just sitting in a room not being able to do anything or go anywhere because you have no money and the little money you do have goes straight to food or ciggs is straight torture. I would be lying if I didn’t say I had a moment of insanity or two or 87 hahaha.

It didn’t help that I don’t have a license either. Okay, I am going to set the record straight as to why I never got it. The reason is I was always moving around either on tour or working so much I just never had time; not because I am lazy. If anything I work too much. I like money more than I like people I will fully admit this. Thankfully though, I was able to find employment with some retail outlet called Gap.

The job itself is not too bad, but I feel like I come off as a twit sometimes. I am the type of person who will always try his best at anything he does, but when I fail at something or feel like I look like a fool it holds a great impact on me. I believe the new term is called ‘’Perfectionist’’ Personally I call it fear of being fired and poor.

One day while I was working the standard five hour shift something happened; something I do not think I will ever be able to forget. I was working the childrens section that day and I saw a woman and her two children came in. As with store policy I greeted them, but she ignored me. I didn’t think much of it and went back to work.

The woman was chinese which I could tell by her skin tone and the language she used when speaking to her daughters. I figured english just wasn’t her strong suit. After about fifteen minutes she came to the register ready with her purchase. I asked her what form of payment she would be doing. She said credit in broken english. I told her okay I would need to see her ID.

She said the card wasn’t hers, but that of her husbands and she pulled out his ID. Both cards did match, but I told her I could not accept the card since it was not hers. I asked her if she had anything in her name. She said no, so I called for my manager and she screamed at me I HAVE CASH, I HAVE CASH!. I saw the fear in her eyes. I knew that fear; It wasn’t that of a thief, but of someone afraid for their life.

When my manager came by I told him never mind and nothing was wrong and I made a mistake. He asked if I was sure being truly concerned. I said yeah I got it and he went back to his area. I looked back at the woman who was shaking and said okay we can do cash. She went into her purse and as she did I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. She had lash marks in her shoulder which most likely continued down her back.

And as she pulled out the money in her purse it was a wad of cash and I mean a WAD; easily 4 inches thick. She went through it then rolled it back up and placed it back into her purse and pulled out a even bigger wad. This time it was all hundreds and fifties. She then took what she needed from it and handed the money to me. As she handed me the money her sleeve pulled up from her sweater and I saw self defense marks along her wrist.

The was a owned woman. I then had flashbacks of my childhood come rushing back into my mind. I looked at the woman and told her I would give her a discount on the items she brought to the register. I knew she was only allowed to spend a limited amount because she told me take back two shirts for the girls because they cost too much. She said thank you, but she still wouldn’t take the shirts.

I gave her, her change and bagged her items and told her to have a good day. She smiled to me and said the most genuine thank you I have ever heard and rushed out of the store. After she left I went to put back the shirts she left at the register and notice something on the floor. It was a dress she bought for one of her daughters. She was in such a rush she had forgotten it and left it on the floor.

I picked it up and held it in my hands and looked at it. I lost myself in it. I remember what I had went through and I could only imagine what the woman and her daughters go through now. I then tightened my grip around the dress and brought it to my chest and did something I have never done before.

I cried, not visibly but internally for the woman and her daughters. Because when I thought of them I could only see myself. And then I did something else for the first time in my entire life: I prayed. Even as man who never believed in any kind of god. I still prayed; I prayed for them. I prayed to the forgotten dress.


© Copyright 2018 Gabriel Woodworth. All rights reserved.

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