There's a point in time where everything stops. The gears in your mind slow to a vegetative state, your heart remains still, your blood freezes cold, and your bones lock like a rusted door hinge making it impossible to open and close. Everything mechanical about movements and thought processing becomes short-circuited within the time it takes to blink an eye. It's all wires and calculations instead of life, heart, and emotion. None of those things matter. To take in a breath is a reaction of cells and tissues retracting in a biological manner even science cannot explain. Thinking is a mathematical equation in which there is no answer. Any physical movement is like trying to teach kinesiology to a paraplegic. A challenging concept to grasp ahold of and even more beyond the realms of possibility to attempt. And yet, I still manage to hold onto the groceries.
I stand with my lips slightly parted and arms hanging loosely at my sides with diminishing tension around the paper handles of grocery bags. They finally collapse to the floor in a frantic clang of jars and crinkling wrappers in absolute slow motion. It takes nearly ten seconds from leaving my hands to hitting the worn linoleum beneath my feet before the sound registers in my brain. I flip the mental switch, but it seems to be broken. Is there a wire missing? Have I lost connection to the power source?
I stare blankly at the gruesome scene in front of me, but have no desire or urge to react. How does one react to something of such malice? Crying seems like a waste of time and so does hyperventilating. So I keep my eyes locked below as if the flooring consists of nice tiles with intricate red designs that move and spread with the light. The designs must have been polished. That's why they appear to be wet, I tell myself in encouragement. I remove my eyes from the ribbons of crimson that swirl into a sickening labyrinth long enough to see the untouched cupcake on the countertop. It means nothing anymore. I can’t stop staring at the moving picture beneath me.
I then realize what I'm looking at. Shock fizzles out and "what happened" sets in. On the tiny kitchen floor, sprawled in a contorted spread eagle, my mama lies on her back with a twisted neck and bottle of pills clutched in her fingertips. I take a step forward in my bare feet, avoiding shattered bits of glass and sliding in the shallow puddles of blood, to get closer to the frail woman. I immediately take notice of details that derail my intrigue in her wounds. Blood starts at the edge of the countertop and drips down to her deep auburn hair, shielding her pale scalp with red syrup.
Her eyes are black from the impact, I'm sure. Only four pills are left in the bottle of Xanax, only prescribed a month ago to last her for the next three months. A wine bottle is broken into sharp points and bits that stick into her body and scatter around it. A particularly large scrap from the neck punctures the meaty flesh of her side. The...