I’ve always been a little bit different. Slender, pale, quiet, some may say shy. I was passed over in High School. Just a name on a register. No one knew anything about me, but I knew everything about them. I know everything about everyone.
My Grandmother says it something between psychometry and clairsentience although she doesn’t understand it herself. Not completely anyway.
I started when I was very young. My Grandmother didn’t have a lot of money and from time to time she would buy me clothes from a thrift shop. I’d examine it and ask who the little girl was wearing it. She never answered but woud look at me with a look akin to curiosity.
As I grew, so did my reach. At age twelve I could look at any object and tell my Grandmother where it had been, or who had owned it. She seemed fascinated by me.
At age seventeen I could look at my teachers and see what they had been up to the night before. It was hard to learn English from a teacher who masturbated to last year’s year book every night.
To be honest, I couldn’t look at any of the boys in school without seeing their nightly activities which almost always included tissues and a computer.
At 23 I could see the sordid things my boss was up to at the weekends. His wife and kids never featured in my visions but I saw a lot of cocaine and prostitutes. Shocking for a man who ran an organisation aimed at getting kids off the streets.
Dating has certainly become impossible. I don’t mean to look but I can’t always control it, especially if I’m nervous. Of the few dates I’ve been on, Jeremy spent most of his evenings on gay chat websites, Tom had been on two dates already today and Charlie had spent the evening injecting heroin into his arms. Not the catches I was hoping for.
Even the good ones had some sordid desires or shameful secrets, both boys and girls. My Gran loved to hear about them all. Like her own private t.v. show. She sometimes made notes or she’d ask what I could see when I looked at certain objects or people. It was during this time, I noticed I couldn’t see anything when I looked at her.
I asked her once. I’d stare at her for hours and couldn’t see anything. She just shook her head and said she didn’t know. I never really believed her.
It was 3pm on Thursday afternoon when I got the call. Grandmother dead. Car accident. Could I come and identify the body?
I left work, ignoring the image of the security guard pouring hot wax onto his wife’s breasts 3 days ago. My emotions are running sky high, I need to cry but I’m in shock. the walk to my car is excruciating. Everything…people, objects, vehicles, they’re all flashing their histories in front of me. I try to push them out but I catch snippets from all of them.
I can’t drive. I hop in a cab and close my eyes tight. I say an address and put my hand to my head, covering my face. I breathe heavily and my head begins to calm down. It doesn’t take long to get to the hospital.
I hate hospitals. I can see death everywhere. Even the walls have stories here. I walk slowly. I stare at my own hands. A nurse directs me to the right wing, but not before showing me the elderly gentleman vomiting on her this morning.
When I get to the floor, the images are starting to flood in again. I clutch my temple until I hear my Grandmothers voice in my head.
“Don’t look at the body!”