Essay: "Isolation and Solitude"
by Cristobal Garcia
When I was a young boy my stepmother would slap, punch, kick, slam, and torture my little brother and baby sister. She never hit me. She never laid a hand on me. When it was my turn for punishment she would send me to the closet. Here I would wait for my father to come home from work to deal with me. When he did have to deal with me, I got beat. With his belt and fists. There were times though that he didnâ€™t. Either my stepmother purposely didnâ€™t tell him or she forgot all about me. With her, I could never tell.
Sitting in the darkness of the closet, I sat sweating form the suffocating heat or shivering from the cold. I waited in fear; trying not to make any kind of noise. The closet scared me. I was young enough to still believe in monsters under the bed. Santa Claus was real to me. I would cry because I believed there was something in the darkest corners of the closet. My stepmother would stomp her feet (to sound like my father) and then quickly open the door, making me cry out. And she would just laugh at me, then slam the door shut. Other times, sheâ€™d wiggle on the door knob and whisper, â€œwhen your father gets home, I am going to make him mad,â€ thus provoking him to come at me in a rage, which I paid for.
This cell of isolation, this cramped space where my breath is recycled, is eerily like the very closet of my childhood. The first year inside this dungeon I lost a lot of weight. I am six-foot two and I arrived weighing 241 lbs. I was on the weight lifting team and I practiced martial arts. My body was toned like a body builder. After twelve months I was down to 174 lbs.
Nightmares plagued me. In the day light hours I suffered flashbacks and got lost in confusing thoughts. I experienced illusions. The apparitions of Jesus and Lucifer materialized at their own conveniences. The dead seems to happen to stop by. My grandfathers, friends, Cliff Burton, Kurt Cobain, Selena and Aaliyah. Then...