Dana at Dusk

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A love that grew out of Stockholm Syndrome, but not everything is what it seems.

Submitted: February 11, 2008

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Submitted: February 11, 2008

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Dana At Dusk
 
 
 
 
I listened very closely to the soft breaths she made, as she laid asleep next to me. It was hypnotic really, peaceful yet unnatural. It was hard to picture being anywhere else. The room was filled with fading smoke blending in with the black curtains and bedspread. The floor was reckless and violent but the smell stayed down there. In a few hours the sun would be coming up and God only knows what she had planned. I wasn’t growing weary, just bored, and being bored ends up making me tired. I lit a cigarette and flicked the ash in an empty beer bottle on the nightstand. Yes, the sun was definitely coming up because I could catch the lines of light on her face coming through the slits in the blinds. I’m sharing in her suspense of the new day as I touch her hair. Her hair is softer than the kindest words and only second to her skin. Most of the time she hates it when I talk like that. It’s those times when I remind her she kidnapped me and I have my rights. She only laughs and turns her head leaving me imagining the huge grin on the other side of her head.
 
When I was younger I used to find all kinds of insects in my backyard, crickets, grasshoppers, roly-polies, ladybugs and lightning bugs. Every now and then I’d come across a Daddy Longlegs. There’s that myth that the Daddy Longlegs is the deadliest spider to man but because of their incredibly small jaws and incredibly long legs they can never actually harm giants like us. My mother used to call me Daddy Longlegs because I had long legs, no joke. It used to irritate me to no end and I always thought that one-day myth could become reality. I’ve since grown up quite a bit. Before Dana I was working at a company, whose name I forget presently, doing some mindless task in the middle of four beige dividers. It was a typical 8 to 5 job and I took lunch as late as possible so as to make the afternoon go much faster. I used to not take lunch at all and leave at four until my boss approached me one day and casually rectified the situation. It’s what bosses do; they rectify situations. It turns out that while it seemed like a good idea there were labor laws that prohibited working eight hours straight without a break. I suppose normal people need breaks. But I’m not normal. Breaks just make me think, and thinking never got me anywhere. I’m wandering again. It’s a problem of mine that brings me no end of grief. I’m always daydreaming. I used to think that meant I would end up doing something creative except that I ended up working a wholly unsatisfying, monotonous and mind-numbing job. 
 
I guess I couldn’t complain about the pay, it was more than I would ever make working a cashier or waiting tables. I guess, in a way that was my only real motivation having to go to work everyday and get paid to be a part of society. Perhaps the worst part of my job had to be getting up before the sun came up. Back in school I loved being nocturnal. There was night and day but I preferred having my days during night. I know Dana could understand that because she only goes to sleep at sunrise. Dana stirs in her sleep. It usually takes her a couple of hours to fall asleep except when she’s drunk. Although she doesn’t drink very often, it seems she does so more than other girls. I like this about Dana. When she’s drunk she likes to tease me. With a beer bottle in my hand she’ll tickle me and look me in the eyes with a smile that says she knows what I’m thinking. A part of me wants to bring her close to me and hold her but I know she doesn’t like that. Especially in public when there are people around. Deep down I know she loves me and I’m pretty sure deep down she knows I love her. It’s a strange relationship. I’d like to think the fact we have an unspeakable bond makes us unique. Sometimes I get crazy thoughts in my head, that maybe there isn’t this connection between us. I mean how do you prove something like that? My only consolation is that it really shouldn’t be necessary to prove something like love. I’ve always thought it was about an emotional nirvana, something you know but don’t need to explain it with logic. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking. I’m starting to get sleepy. My eyes have gone from that fluttering consciousness to that trance state where you’re still awake but know you’re slipping from reality.
 
Soon after I’m dreaming. Most of my dreams involve Dana. Some magical moment from a movie reenacted in my head. The camera spins around us as we gaze into each other’s eyes and then kiss. Sometimes this scene is repeated over and over again. I don’t know why but I think a part of me wants us to be normal. It’s about three in the afternoon when I wake up dying of thirst. Dana is passed out cold next to me breathing deeply. I grab a somewhat clean glass from the sink and rinse it out. The sun is pouring through the window near the kitchen and the light beckons me to step out on the balcony. The sun feels good, almost comfortable, like when Dana tries to stranglehold me from behind. There’s a slight breeze but I’m still able to light a cigarette. My hands are shaking but not because I’m hung over, instead my blood sugar levels are low because I haven’t eaten since last evening. Sometimes I only get to eat one meal a day but it’s not because I’m worried about my weight. Most of the time I’m not that hungry and with Dana it’s hard not to be drunk by midnight. On the balcony I start thinking about the things you’re never supposed to think about. I used to think that finding the right girl was about already knowing who she was, what she needed, and where she was going. Dana taught me there was so much I didn’t know that I shouldn’t think about these things. I guess it’s the way I am. I have to know what I like about a girl. I have to know what keeps me there. 
 
Just try and reason with your heart. There’s that overwhelming feeling that possesses you but it’s hard to make promises when it could all be gone when you start to stop ignoring the differences between you two. I dated a girl once years ago who I believed was right for me simply because she talked with her eyes. We didn’t have much in common and most of the time there were no words between us. But she had a way of looking at you that made it seem those words didn’t matter. Later I realized it wasn’t enough. I needed to be able to fall and be picked up. It wasn’t only the conversations though; I needed someone who knew how I felt without me saying it, rather than a willing admiration. It’s hard to explain but eventually I figured out it was wrong for me. I like going over in my head the things that make me love Dana. It’s mostly a lot of little things. The way she doesn’t laugh but lets out these short deep, “Heah’s”. The way she points out curious situations in movies that subtly compare to our situation. The way I know she knows what I’m thinking and I don’t even have to say it. And most of all, I love that she can make me feel like somebody. Yes, it’s safe to say I’m madly in love with her. It’s a dangerous thing to be in love. You have to be able to trust another human being. I wonder if Dana trusts me. 
 
It’s been two weeks since I left work. I shouldn’t say left…technically I was taken against my will…but then again I didn’t really resist. Sometimes you close your eyes and give up. I had to put faith in Dana. She changed everything. In a few more hours she’ll be awake, so I go into the kitchen and begin to cook her breakfast. Eggs, over easy with a little bit of shredded cheese, bacon, toast, and orange juice. I don’t know why I bother. She’ll only eat a mouthful and say she can’t eat. I think I do it to let her know I care. I feel like I have to know I’m thinking about her at all times. Anyway, she always has her gun pointed at me. She’s extremely deadly with a gun.  She can paint my face red. She’s done it before with lipstick. But it feels good to know she’s mine. And it feels good when I hear her stirring just before the sun dies. 
 
She awakes naked and beautiful, fists clenched and stretched in sexy contortions. Her eyes are half closed and I know she’s hurting, but she sees me, and smiles. I smile back at her as she stumbles towards me and puts her arms around me. In ten seconds the world doesn’t exist and we’re standing on air. Minutes after eternity she’s in the shower and I’m out on the balcony again with another smoke. People pass below like little movies. Occasionally a couple walks by, hand in hand. You wonder how they met. You wonder if they’re really in love. You wonder if it will last. But then you’re disgusted. Something makes you think you’re not unique. You could have been any one of those souls walking below. But why think like that. It doesn’t matter to me know…I’ve found my peace. It’s really as simple as that. I complicate things by thinking Dana and I are something special; not a typical couple. But this is what I do, over and over again, and right in the middle I’ll stop and smile and shake my head. 
 
Kidnapping is a serious offense but perhaps not as serious as the emotional strain the hostage is put under. It is scary. One moment everything is rationalized, the next you lose all control. Philosophically one would argue you have no control over anything, but on the other hand you lose something when you’re taken out of familiarity. When Dana kidnapped me the first thing she said was, “Life is a game and now you’re going to learn to take a chance even though deep down you know you’ll lose everything.” At the time I had no idea what that meant. I was scared. She proceeded to blindfold me, put handcuffs on me, and shove me in the back of a van. I woke up in a strange city in a small apartment. Dana doesn’t allow me to leave the apartment, but it doesn’t matter since I’ve had every chance to leave. I had no desire to do such a sensible thing. She said she trusted me because I think with my heart and not with my head. She did her research. It would seem most people would feel trapped eventually and snap. Not me. I’ve never felt more free or alive. Inside I find the remote to the TV and shut my brain off for a while until she steps out naked under a towel wrapped around her skinny body and another around her head. She walks past the couch but stops right behind me to lean over and kiss me. My eyes follow her back to the room and after she disappears my brain is turned off again. TV is nothing but images. Anything of real substance is always compromised by commercials, infomercials, and crap, “The artistic integrity of this visual medium is brought to you by, made by, run by, green lighted for money.” Now I’m ranting. It’s another pointless venture because everything you think and everything you believe can be refuted. Somewhere and somehow I’m wrong. It doesn’t matter anyhow; I’m being called to the other room. 
 
Dana pushes me to the bed and drops her towel, the one around her skinny body. Rhythm is an interesting phenomenon. It’s everywhere in everything. I’d like to believe there is science in rhythm. God is rhythm. Smoking continues the rhythm and the fire dances to breaths. I’m excited now. Dana says I can leave to pick up some things at the store. She does so without any look insisting good behavior. She does so as if nothing will change. I’m truly excited. It’s almost ten at night and walking is difficult. The whole time I’m wishing I never left. I’m becoming obsessive or maybe I always was. I find a new suspense in hurrying so I can get back. At the store the clerk gives me a strange look. He seems disapproving and annoyed. I don’t blame him. I’m purchasing quite a bit of alcohol, cigarettes, and condoms. Much more than he’s probably used to selling. But he’s getting his money right? It’s his best sale tonight I bet. I don’t let his disagreeable nature get to me. He doesn’t know what I have. He’s probably jealous. Who knows what his life is like? I don’t really care. It doesn’t affect me anymore especially now. Outside it’s raining. This annoys me somewhat. I like the rain, but this is a nuisance and I don’t like getting wet. I finally reach the apartment and step into the stairway hall and shake off the rain. Climbing the stairs is a nuisance too. I’m almost there. But when I get there the door is already open. The window next to the door is open too but not conventionally.  A sudden fear nearly stops my heart. But it doesn’t stop it gets faster and louder. I drop the bags I’m holding and rush inside. Dana is bloody and crying. Next to her a man with a bag sees me and rushes at me, knocking me down as he gets by me. I chase after him catching up with him at the bottom of the stairs. I’ve never done this before. This is just like a movie. Well not quite because he’s able to kick my ass rather easily. But before I’m totally out I’m able to grab him, somewhat easily, as the police enter and shout and point. It’s funny how you try to explain things. Everything happens so fast that you’re not sure what to say other than, “This is the guy.” Oddly enough the man said the same thing. I gave him a completely absurd look, and tried to let the police see the same absurdity. Unfortunately, but perhaps for the best, they handcuffed both of us. I wasn’t nervous just irritated. I was more worried that this would somehow affect the kidnapping, but thankfully the police did not recognize me. 
 
In a few minutes I’m relieved as Dana descends the stairs with another officer. I begin to become hopeful that in no time we’ll be back in the apartment getting drunk and laughing about the whole experience. I can’t wait to tell her how I dove on the guy. I can’t seem to hear her but I smile as she points at me for the officer. Then something happened that didn’t make any sense. The police took the handcuffs of the man who robbed the apartment. He walked over to Dana and put his arms around her as she did the same. I wouldn’t say the look on my face was one of horror or disbelief. It was more frozen, unsure if the muscles beneath the surface really existed at all. Something tells me I must have looked guilty because one policeman began reading my rights. As they took me away I saw Dana for a split second. She was grinning coolly. This grin was much different than the countless ones I’ve enjoyed before. This grin was one of victory, one of coldness, one of hatred. She had gotten her ransom. I don’t blame her for being happy. I would later learn that my fingerprints were all over the apartment and the bag contained several pieces of Dana’s belongings, evidently of value. None of that was worth what she ended up stealing from me. That is life itself, the very inalienable possession that we choose to use as we see fit. The sun slowly rises as I’m taken to my new home. I was surprised that I saw it in all its glory, a blazing, beating ball of flame blinding the echoes of men’s souls. But I was wrong. It wasn’t the sun I saw. I don’t believe in waking up before dusk anymore.
 


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