Featuring Vanessa Rodriguez
Vanessa Rodriguez was born in Los Angeles but raised for most of her life in San Diego. Raised to be an avid reader, she began writing poetry in middle school and has since delved into writing short stories and completing novels.
She is currently attending San Diego State University as an English student, presently completing her final semester before moving on to graduate school. She plans on becoming a professor or a professional writer – perhaps both!
Vanessa’s work can be found at:
There was a brush of wind as he tore up the fabric of an old sweater while periodically taking breaks in between to chew on salted cashews, surrounded by the silence of his outsider’s apartment. He was making up new rags to polish his car, a bit beat up and well-worn, flecked with mud from the night rain.
He had just finished this when he remembers the sounds of the Jamba Juice he works in, flailing about as flurries of voices came in and out of stock, coming up to his ears in a linoleum wave. The sound of the blender had always bothered him, too sharp for his ears, too much of an assault in comparison to the light tear of frayed fabric popping under his strength.
He remembers going home to his crowded house, littered with children’s toys thanks to the daycare his mother ran during the week. She greeted him offhandedly, children screaming over her as their voices burst from the backyard. She was feeding two children in the dining room when he came through and stepped on a nondescript sound toy, the squealing shrill of the machine’s voice coming through too harsh as he struggled to run through the crowded space, hide in his bathroom and take in a few breaths. He tried to remember the calming noises of the library, the old apartment his buddy lived in, the one nestled in the back, so far from the street that not even the wail of sirens came through. He couldn’t lose himself in it thanks to the intruding sounds that played outside the door, his sister sweeping, sticking the hairs of the broom right up against the walls so that he could hear her scrape across the floor.
He drowned out the noise by turning on the tub’s faucet, plugging the tub. He wasn’t one for baths, but he liked the sound of the tub filling up with water, liked when the water became a mute bubble as it drowned out all the other noises. He imagined he was far away, far away as he plunged his hands into the water, moving his arms and waving it around so that he could hear it gently splash against the walls. He tried to remember a day where he was in his car, not the one he owned but a smaller one, one that made the air compress and music sound closer than it actually was. He imagined it as a Rabbit, one from the 70s maybe. He always liked those. His hands touched the bottom of the tub, he closed his eyes and imagined that the crickets were the only things he could hear, not the sweep of his sister’s broom or the caustic shout of his mother’s voice.
He was still young, he could get out of this. He could buy a cabin in the woods somewhere, maybe buy his Rabbit, make a few friends and listen to music in the night like most people his age would. Maybe chew on some cashews, maybe clean his car, maybe listen to his own thoughts for once, drown out the hectic noise that made his head hurt. Maybe he could do that, maybe someday he would.