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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

A Dream in Daylight Coy

A Dream in Daylight Coy was small and mean. His head was too big for his body. Kinky black hair lay like a mat of steel wool. Arrogance swelled his narrow chest. People pissed him off. Not that he’d had a good life. Scars on his thighs and back told a secret history. Not that he ever said anything. His eyes, green as old money, took everything in but gave nothing back. He danced from group to group. No one really liked him. Even the people with whom he spent all his school time didn’t hang with him in the evenings or weekends. Under the hallway lights at school, he was pale as a dream in daylight. Coy sold pills and powders out of his locker and car between classes, in the morning, at lunch. Dope made him powerful. Watery-eyed stoners followed him around. They piled cash in Coy’s pocket. Coy set the stoners after us. He paid them to jump Miss Tris in the hall. To them, it was just a gag, but when Miss Tris lay on the hallway floor, bleeding and hurt, Tad went a little nuts. He chased people through the halls. Folks screamed. Some of them laughed. They pointed and cheered him on. Tad cornered one boy in the gym and wailed the hell out of him with a broomstick. The boy ended up in the ER with broken ribs, bruises, and stitches; the cops came for Tad. They gave him forty hours of community service. “Totally worth it,” Tad said. “I just wish it was Coy.”

Room A creek ran on the edge of town. Brown water whirled around fallen trees and stones. It swirled around the legs of a small bridge on a small road. Ferns and moss turned the banks green. Oak and chestnut arced over everything. I was cold and wet and the wind coming from the mountains cut the bones in my neck and arms. I stood on the bridge and I stared at the water, and in my head I saw it flowing slowly to the river and the river flowed to the ocean. The ocean washed the world and the world turned. I thought, maybe, if I were to jump in here, I would wash up on a distant shore, away from the eyes and words constantly pushing against me. If I were to jump now, I would be part of the real world. I would live forever. Home, Tayla grabbed me. “Where have you been?” she asked, her voice both shivering and sharp. “I went for a walk,” I said. “Jesus,” she said. “I know how to take of myself,” I said. “I was scared.” I went to our room. I kicked the bed. I dreamed of disappearing. I dreamed of being a memory. I dreamed of no one bothering me. Right now, there were too many people, too many demands. Right now, there was no room left for me.