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run, jump, scream

published: 2011-03-30

A few teenage girls screamed next door. They continued to do so as they burst out onto the streets. One was still putting on her gym-shoe, the other was biking off. And there were more inside. It sounded like an argument, but you can never quite tell. They were in their own world, oblivious to ours.
I used to scream and shout and slam doors too. Fuck yous and bitches were common place in my world. A wine bottle hurled at a boyfriend who stuck his tongue in someone else’s mouth – smash. Or a slightly too hard pull on my elbow after which I’d land against a door. Best friends. Parents. Boyfriends. Sisters. Teachers. Sometimes, I’d ram the anger out into some made-up piano piece. Summer, windows open. Run, jump, scream. I hate you. And yet, today I love you, more than ever.
Then I grew up, and there came a time that I couldn’t speak. It lasted a few months. Over a year. My voice seemed stuck in my throat somewhere. My sister came to stay with me. One day, while driving, my sister said,
Let’s go somewhere where we can drive really fast and scream really hard.
Where? Where can we, may we?
It doesn’t matter.
The fast driving helped. We left clouds of dust behind us. Then my sister opened her window and hung outside the car screaming to the air.
Do it, she said. Do it.
I hesitated.
I slammed the brake. She pulled me out of the car. Scream goddammit it, shout as hard as you can!
I couldn’t.

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