#pond #gratitude #home
Found the other half of last nights ‘found’ fruit. No fork with this one…but it comes with a cigarette butt!
The whole town looked for him. Late into the night and beginning at sunrise. People walked in long lines through the fields and woods. They carried sticks and plastic bags. Some stapled his picture and a hotline number amd website address to telephone poles. Others baked food and brought it to the house so his Mother did not need to cook for her other children. The ones that did come home. The ones the man had not taken. Her missing boy had been the eldest at 9 years old. His siblings could only tell the Police how frightened their brother looked, and how he had kicked and screamed until the man in the red shirt had hit him and put his then quiet body into the brown car. They had all helped bring his bike home, certain he would want it when the man brought him back. But the man did not do that. Their brother was still gone. There was too much food in the house and people who visited did not have real smiles. Miles away, the boy’s spirit looked down on himself. He saw the searchers getting closer. He saw too that the way his body had become was like the crayon layer drawings he would do in art class. So many vibrant colors, all then covered in black. Thick.wax in layers. He hovered above and saw how, just like the drawings, just bits of the vibrancy beneath was visible where something sharp had scraped away at him. #nightwalk
Elliot found the stack of magazines exactly where the other boys said he would. Under the biggest tree behind the school, and marked with a large rock. The boys said there were new magazines and old ones. You could look at them there or take one home, as long as you brought them back. No tearing out of pages was allowed. Sometimes there was a working flashlight next to the rock, sometimes there wasn’t. Elliot had never seen women like this before. Glossy and undressed. Smiling in a way he did not see his mother or teachers smile. He wondered if being naked made them happy in a way that being dressed did not. Maybe these were only naked expressions. Elliot certainly felt things he did not feel around women when they wore clothes. Not to this degree. Elliot did not know if the tree was magical or if the tree just kept these women safe. The boys who had told him where to look were older than Elliot and some of them could drive cars. Some of them smoked cigarettes and had long hair. Elliot wondered if all women looked like this when their clothes came off. He wondered this all the way home and why this would be kept a secret, and if this was why there were doors on rooms and curtains on windows. Elliot wondered if he would ever see a woman smile at him that way, and if there was something he could start doing now, at age 9, to make sure of it. #nightwalk
Karen sat on the edge of her bed and shook from deep within herself. Her toes quaked just above the shag carpeting in her bedroom. She should not have napped. She regretted the dream and she hated waking in the dark, disoriented and hot. Fire engines could be heard squealing as they moved in the city around her apartment. Perhaps it was the sirens she had heard while sleeping. Muffled by her oscillating fan and the distance between the streets and her 6th floor open window. Something had made the dream seem real. The image remained with Karen and she reached for the lamp switch and turned the warm bulb on. She was covered in sweat. She tried to count how many people there were in her dream. So many. All ages. All of them screaming like the siren of some emergency vehicle as they reached for her. Tiny sharp arms and red, raw faces: all of them desperate. All of them sharp but begging to be held. Whatever kept them from Karen was both the substance in which they were emmersed, as well as her own fear that any kind of closeness was like a thousand hot needles. Karen wanted to love, but she could not. Anything beyond the thought of closeness would bring her to the hospital again. Karen did not like the hospital. She decided she would not tell her doctor about the dream, and set to work making a new one up. One about laughing and shopping and a normal life. Someday soon the weather would cool and so would Karen’s demons. Until then she would make do. For now, the sirens were not for her, and no one sharp was in her room. #nightwalk
Eddie stood in the glow of the porchlight, bouquet in hand. His tuxedo was a hand-me-down number that his cousin no longer fit into since his drinking had gotten bad. So it was bloating that gave Eddie a tux, and the sweating man seated on the porch in front of him, gave him a girl he could take to the dance. Dena Laird. Dena’s father, Mr. Laird, was shirtless and barefoot. A beer was stuck in between his thighs and the cold beverage made his dark shorts look bloody in the crotch. A large dog sat beside Mr. Laird, panting loudly in the heat. The sun had been down for hours, but coolness had not come. The dog stared at Eddie and his open mouth dripped spit onto the porch planks. ‘Dena be down in a minute’. Mr. Laird shouted. His words were loud and sudden. Even the dog stopped panting for a few seconds. Eddie adjusted the bouquet in his hand and the dog went back to his breathing. Eddie just wanted to dance with Dena. Maybe feel her breasts through whatever dress she wore tonight. He sure liked her, that Dena. He liked her enough to wear this tux and stand on the porch with the dog and her father both staring at him as if he were a bug. His brow and balls and toes were slick with sweat. The dog and Dena’s dad just studied him as he stood there. There was no offer of cool water or a seat. In defiance and adolescent stride, Eddie thought about Dena in the backseat of his car, her dress off and her hair loose. He pictured his car windows wet as she was. He imagined the moonlight fighting to get in through the fogged glass. Eddie tried not to make the same sounds the dog made, but it was real tough. In some ways, all of them were panting and waiting for Dena. #nightwalk
Manny found a tooth in the garden. An animal tooth, he supposed. He had been so careful with the human teeth he had to deal with. Each of them extracted and smashed and then mixed with compost and top soil and spread amongst the wildflowers. So many meals and smiles and words in pieces below the blossoms. This tooth was a surprise to him. Perhaps lost by a raccoon late at night when Manny left to look at women. The roots of the tooth reminded Manny of thick female thighs. Stiff and a bit swollen, maybe a day dead. That was a special time, that stiffening. A good time to take photographs and begin the disassembly. He had done it enough times to have a system now. This tooth was a little reminder of what he had learned over the years. Between his wife and the ladies after her, he had matured in his work. Manny knew he had some wire and leather strips in the shed. In a small drawer below the tools. Today he would make a necklace with this tooth. Two thick,.stiff thighs, and a sharply amputated upper half… a totem that could rest on his chest, just to the side of his heart. It would be nice to have a tiny woman there. #nightwalk