At dusk, the end glows like ancient amber lodged in a fossilized tree. It’s color dimming and brightening with each inhale or gust of wind.
He stood, stage right, peeking out of the curtain, watching them. Some opened the programs, others sipped drinks and in the balcony, a few focused their binoculars. They were nearly ready.
She would have rather lived 3-5 short years with a convict, running from the law, staying in cheap hotels with single digits in their names than to sit in luxuries lap, just waiting for something to move.
Like those bottles and cans waiting to be tossed, I too shiver at the thought of needing more. A deep valley, is my body, slowly filling with the trickle of some Joshua tree property hose.
I grew up in the land where 14-year-olds built houses in foreign countries. Where 15-year-olds drove Mercedes-Benz and 16-year-olds started thinking about their parent’s colleges.
A cube of marble with arms, a chest, stomach, legs and feet with none of the ripples and bumps of a completed piece. He was a block.
I flagged down the waiter for another Sangria and sat, trying to figure it out. All this raw emotion and rush of feelings but I was alone. In younger days it was easier to identify my feelings. This is happiness. This is regret. This is anger. As I grew older, the feelings tied themselves to memories and experiences, making it harder to untangle one emotion from another.
She drove, her hands ten and two, no radio, stopping at every light, keeping two car lengths between the vehicles in front. Textbook safe driving. We pulled up to a bakery and she said, “get out.”
We had talked about shutting off the world many times and he was a few days and a couple details away from freedom. Tracking time in cigarettes and answering only to his bodily functions.
He looked up at the faces of the other guests. Nodding, smiling, winking, head-tilting, lip-biting, red cup sipping, arm touching, eye fluttering, eye fucking, and jealousy. Bob noticed it all in those faces. He took a deep breath and downed the rest of his drink. What was he doing there?
Something like thirty cubicles span the space between me and this RJ character, so why is he unloading his life on me? His badge! I can glance at the name on his employee badge. I look down at the usual badge holding locations. Shirt pocket. Damn. Belt loop. Shit.
I walked in the front entrance of the institution where crazy lived. Outside crazy was called normal. Inside it smelled like rubbing alcohol. In the waiting room, everyone’s hair was shiny and thick. The bags under their red eyes reminded me of how I felt every morning.
He kept potatoes just so he could watch them grow eyes. They looked like they were trying to escape themselves too.