Give Me A Meaning…
Gonzo is copyright of the The Muppets Studio, LLC…Gonzo centric
He sat along the side of the rusted balcony, with his thinning legs dangling out of the small fading blue metal railings softly watching the dimming light of the sun as it went down. Painting its ever bright orange, pink, red and purple light in the ever far away sky…he liked to watch the colors as they bathed him in their glory. Thinking of nothing more than what they were, what they meant…their meaning… Gonzo sighed silently to himself as the last glow faded forth from his view, and the stars came out…it was time to face the music. Their meaning had to wait until tomorrow he guessed it was time for him to 'have that talk again'. It always ended the same way with every home he had been too, they either had the heart to tell him or not…that they didn't need him…they didn't want him. They never loved him as their own child…it was the eight homes he had been to over the five years since they had 'found him', since they had 'found' this 'thing'… He was going back to the orphanage he just knew it…with the inn keeper Ms. Olthens, they were going to take him though…they always did in the end.
His foster parents would hide from him…or take him too his favorite place…the farm…he loved to watch the chickens…but never tell him straight to his face. 'We're sorry Gonzo but we just can't keep you anymore…' his heart had stopped being broken…but it still hurt. To never be wanted…never be loved…never have a home. He walked down the cold metal of the stairway, his bare feet feeling the slight chill of the floor. As they called for him, his mind reeled…they had probably heard about how he had gotten into another fight with the children from school…and as usual he lost. Being called that 'ugly, little blue disgusting thing', ringing in his ears…, 'that crooked, hooked nosed turkey', it hurt more the abuse he took not from the names. He would take the beatings of the children over those of the Walkers…any day…anytime. Their ridicule, scorn, abuse was…lighter…the Walkers though were crueler.
'Gonzo, there you are…would you like to go to the farm…young…man?"
"No…thanks, Evelyn…I know why you're taking me. I know why you want to talk", he looked down his long nose at the carpeted floor of the living room. It took him everything he had not to let the break in his voice sound…what would it matter, did he even matter? "Why don't you two stop lying to me, just tell me…Evelyn".
"Don't call our mother Evelyn young man…and what do you mean…you know?" Harold sounded calm…too calm, almost quiet to the point that he was whispering.
"She's not 'my' mother…and I am not a man. Please don't lie to me…I know your only taking me to the farm…no your taking me back to that orphanage, where they keep the lost ones", too late his voice was creaking, and he felt his eyes tear up, "She said that she would 'get me', 'cleanse the world of me', I cannot go back…there".
"Yes we are, but not because we don't love you…" the stare he got from Gonzo shut Harold right up. They weren't his real parents, they were abusive at best and at worse…the love was just an act. It was a lie…a simple lie that Harold told people…he had the bruises and the blood on his bedroom floor to prove it.
"Love…LOVE…I would rather go back than have 'your' kind of 'love", there he had said it but now as Harold grabbed his arm he regretted ever speaking. Before they took him back…he was given that 'kind of love' to his chest and backside, he could sit or breathe hardly. They didn't even have to drag him to their car, his 'stuff' packed in a make-shift suitcase containing the few items that 'were' his own. He placed it upon his lap and sat rubbing his small three-fingered hands upon his forehead; he could feel a lump rising slowly, and the reddened skin below. "Love…" he said to no one but himself…, 'is not…what you give me". It fell on deaf ears, as the car started, his heart broke apart…he was going back…
As he walked up to the large brick and stone building he noticed how dreary it appeared as usual…with its dark black oaken doors and its creaking, cracked stairway to its upper balcony. The windows were boarded up so no one could look out, or saw in…it was done in brown bricks and the stone was chipped and wet with water. As winter approached the few leaves that were left on the browning lawn and the cold air blowing against his bluish-purple fur still left its chill bite. Gonzo headed in through its vast doors, there stood Ms. Olthens with her 'smile' still plastered to her toady face.
"You again huh, well…I see that they 'love' you dearly. You know where you sleep, put your junk there and go to sleep", she even looked like an old warty toad…a sick old toad. Her voice grated on his nerves, it was like a harsh screech of a crow. High yet low, a cry to those whom entered to flee, he sighed as he walked to the basement next to the boiler. He could see she had made up 'his room'; a small dirty blanket lay upon the floor next to a broken box filled with a small thing of toilet paper. He took his suitcase and pulled the zipper open to reveal his 'things', his foster parents used to think that he had stolen them and most of the few clothes he did own were much too big. He was just a little, scrawny runt of the litter with no home, no one who cared about him…he was a lost…thing.
He sat upon the little miserable blanket and looked at his one most favorite item, his tiny stuffed chick named Camilla, he had found her in the trash one day as he was…well…without a home then. Gonzo was only about thirteen years old…every 'family' he had got rid of him…he was nothing but a freak in their eyes. All the fights he got into…the ones he was forced to get into, how come being different always made other people mad, or afraid or even just…uncomfortable. The Walkers before were abusive, and before them the Clarks…were if anything far worse…but Ms. Olthens took the cake and the plates and ran with them. "That fat old toad…I wish I had…something better." He was with an elder family before that for about four weeks, till the church had come and took him away saying things like 'devil', 'demon', the truth though they only wanted him gone. Like everyone else did…it was all the same. Just a misfit, an outcast…a…a…weirdo…a…freak.
The basement was freezing, he almost felt naked underneath that blanket bundled in his thinning, ripped jeans, his old baggy shirt that belonged more to the dumpster than a person…and he still wore no shoes. Gonzo hugged Camilla tightly hearing the children upstairs crying, shouting and yelling but through all the noise he slept but just barely. Just at midnight he heard a sound…a single smell of…fire? He could hear cracking above him and smelled smoke, there was not a fireplace in here it was heated by the broken boiler. "Oh…no…" he grabbed his belongings and quickly stuffed them in his suitcase and ran up the stairs. "Fire…" he called just as Ms. Olthens stood above him holding a match that was burnt and a bottle of rum.
"What are you doing", he said but that fat toad barely heard his rasping voice.
"I'm sick of you little demons…especially you…just when I think I've gotten rid of you, you come back", she smiled that smile again, her face growing in pleasure, "Time to give you what you truly deserve in this world".
"What…but…" his words were left hanging in mid-air as she took hold of his arm and pulled him toward the burning smell, pouring the rum all over his fine blue fur.
"This is how we cleanse the world of freaks, things with no place or belonging…you have no home here." her smile widened, her mouth almost wide enough to catch the fly around her forehead. He was soaked to the brim…then she threw him forwards right into the fire's hungry mouth. He could hear her laughing in his head…he had no home…cleanse the world from him? He was just a little thing what could he do to her…she lit another match and faded from his view. He could feel the fire against him, he was too afraid to even move away…but he had too…it seemed to grow all the flames beginning to merge forward as one. Then it spread hungrily to his flailing arms…and it bit him…the pain only continued and he slowly drifted in and out of blackness. Then he remembered Camilla…
He rolled along his side the side of him not being eating away at…toward his suitcase, he had to try and reach…if only for her. He made it to the zipper with his arm inside when the smoke got to him…and he collapsed as sirens filled the silent night outside.
"Camilla, don't worry, I'll keep you safe".
"Why are you leaving me…please…don't go…I hate…I can't be alone…so alone…please…give me one…one meaning…", Gonzo didn't remember when he had started to have those dreams, the nightmares of being left alone somewhere. He cracked one of his large round eyes open…he was in a white room in a soft white metal bed with handles on the sides. A white tube was set into him at his arm…his arm, it was blistered…scars running beneath his burnt fur, and the skin… He looked down further so was his chest and his left leg…all covered in white bandages…he looked underneath the blue blankets and found to his surprise that he lay fully naked. All he knew was that he had almost gotten Camilla and what about his stuff…his clothes…he had never been in a fire before.
"I'm surprised he's even alive…they found him in what was left of the orphanage holding a burnt stuffed toy chicken. Where are his parents…does anyone know he's here", the sound of the doctor's voice brought him back to reality. Surprised that I'm still alive? Was I supposed to die…? His thoughts raced as the female doctor came into his room, holding the remains of a little what used to be yellow stuffed chick.
"Camilla", Gonzo nearly jumped out of the blankets then…but he remembered he was in his birthday suit or hatch day or…whatever, "Please Camilla…be okay…" She was in worse shape than he was, her feathers all burnt to a crisp like his left arm. He wished silently that it had been him…who wasn't okay…not her. She was the only 'friend' he had…
"I'm sorry but they found you and her laying in the old building…you barely even survived…we had to graft some of your skin back and your fur…". His fur…graft his skin back…barely survived! Did they even find Ms. Olthens and what about the others? "Where are your parents", she asked him, in a serious tone…one he had heard before, when people had something bad to tell you.
"I…I…" his voice caught in his throat causing it to croak even harsher than normal…damn puberty, "They'll be here soon". He just hoped she believed his lie…he couldn't go back to foster care…not again.
"Alright…they found several matches and the use of alcohol within that building that you were found in. You were found lying beside them, with a bottle of rum behind you…" here it came…he would be blamed, he always was, "Are you aware that you…are being charged with using matches and being under age, for trying to burn down a building with children in it…and for drinking and the use of alcohol and being a minor…", she told him that the police were going to arrest him after he healed from his injuries, take him to court.
"JAIL", he nearly felt that lump again in his throat.
"Well you'll need a few more days in the hospital…then we'll need to talk to your parents…"
"Okay…" in a few days he better be gone…he couldn't go to…jail.