My Father Within by Candace
Candace completed her B.A. in English and Women’s Studies at Columbia University. She is 25, married, and currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. A kiss from an enchanted mistress transports her deeper into reality, for a childhood talk with the memory of her loving father.
There exists a castle ensconced by a forest where the walls are plastered in pithy poetry and trippy metaphor. A step beyond – where my imagination becomes reality. Smoking weed takes me there to relax and feel insightful. I can be a poet, a goddess, a butterfly or even a little girl again. First, I check my screen in “Wanji” (my favorite wooden pipe) to make sure it’s clean – in order to welcome the full unfiltered high. Then, I grind the weed into a fine powder because increased surface area brings more pleasure. Pack my bowl and smoke it. The gates disengage and I enter the next realm. I momentarily feel slightly out of focus to others but the details around me are highlighted. In the land of my high – my inner muse controls the reins.
Curiosity storms from my fingertips – like a kitten – climbing, reaching, smelling and stretching – my scent permeating. Huxley, my eldest kitten, saunters in. Her nimble physique barely glides across my living room floor. She jumps up on the couch and announces herself. I watch the beauty of her white belly fur and my body relaxes. The lava lamp has liquefied and small yellow bubbles are rising to the top. Coco-mango incense burns into the air, while Pink Floyd infiltrates the room, and a softer hallucination begins.
The drum solo beats inside my chest – swallowing me whole. My pupils dilate and I lose focus but my sense of touch heightens. Energy flows effortlessly around me. I’m relaxed, unrestricted and most importantly, stoned. I luxuriate in textures. My silver painted nails act as guides and I am all over the room. My hands tingle with sensory overload. Suddenly my knees shake but I’m not afraid. The smoke swirls and I am weightless and euphoric. I exhale and then re-inhale through my nose. My nostrils tickle and my lungs buzz – another bowl is kicked.
The clouds above shift chaotically. Leaves from the trees come storming down upon the ground. The dampness in the air evaporates and shapes shift, take form, and then re-form seamlessly. I am breathing deeply and slowly. I can feel her almond shaped eyes on me. I lay down and close my eyes. My palms are up and my socks are off. She circles then hovers over me. She places her hand on my chest and I open my mouth. Her tongue touches my lips and a warm wave of blood courses through my arms and legs. We kiss and soar beyond.
The ocean to the west contributes the music. The forest to the north provides the sustenance. The breeze from the south keeps the air pleasant, and the sun in the east fills the sky with dazzling colors. Her castle is nestled in peace and time mindlessly dances by. My frustrations hush and my body vibrates. Protective suspicions aside, I feel as if I’m being tuned? This is where my happiest dreams live. I coast in a whir and squint past the haze to the screen.
The silent images are rumbling. I want to return to a quiet time with my daddy – like one of our special talks. When I was the center of my daddy’s universe. Daddy said he could relate to me and saw himself in me. That was why he shared his youth with me. I always felt special when he said stuff like that. Imagining how a little person like me was a fundamental element to a genius’ happiness. My tears flow as my eyes burn with impotency. I open them again and he is next to me.
“I cannot resist your tears, Candi. Your face is so sweet and then you twist it all up when you cry. Don’t do that baby. Be beautiful for daddy.”
My father is sitting on a maroon concrete turtle in the younger playground of Heathcote Elementary School. He is wearing his Sunday jeans with suspenders and a green flannel shirt. His head is covered in a mustard yellow hat (he called it a candle) with green and white trim. Daddy is fuzzy with gray whiskers because he hasn’t shaved since Friday. He is rubbing my hand and telling me a story.
“I used to get in trouble all the time. Back in grade school the teachers thought I was a monster. I was just shy and non-communicative. When students were bad they were given a colored index card to carry around for a week. All the teachers knew who had the colored index cards. If you got in trouble again, you got a new color and an additional week of carrying a card. I spent my entire time in school carrying a colored index card around.”
“No one would ever believe that you were a trouble maker, daddy.” “It’s not that I was a trouble maker. I just didn’t know how to talk to people.”
“I can express my feelings better than you can.”
“Yes you can – too much some times.”
“I love you, daddy.”
“I love you too.”
We laugh and hug. He takes off his glasses and we look so much alike face to face. I can smell his daddy smell. The memories are fresh and ageless. My daddy and I are together again. He gives me advice and strength and he lives on through me. I am no longer bereft of him in the physical world. When you really know a person and love them they are part of who are you, what you do, and how you think. My daddy is within me. He always wanted me close – and now I am. I close my eyes and relax while he holds my hand.
My Mistress channels my way back to him. Her castle is our medium of communication. The time spent with my daddy is precious and explored in earnest. I return, and Floyd has been replaced by random with the Indigo Girls. The sweet enchantresses welcome me back. Huxley is on my lap sleeping. My knees have fallen asleep and I am a little thirsty (cotton mouth you know.) I lift Huxley up and place her on a pillow, grab a bottle of water, and light a smoke.