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Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

lightening house

Forty years.
Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, deep-season blanket.
Forty years.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence resulted from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied them. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines pointing & sun bound, they’d  listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-wow-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none was to share any thought; the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky; could’ve convinced the ethers to rain. They would. They wanted.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music was goddamn living.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Life.
And then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.

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Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between them and this.
These are the same people who seldom see downy pillows, subject to innocent giggle-moment feather loss where that one puffs out. Where your head lays down, and then out it comes, or put on a fresh pillow case, and out it comes. Hardly a thing to notice; yet a subtle representation of rest and comfort. And it falter-sways to the floor. Maybe it’ll attract the curiosity of the nearest dog, causing a little head cock, that feather.
Perhaps these people saw and knew those pillow and feather moments once- but that was a long time ago and many trades have been made. Far, ever farther from places with such bed luck.
The people of no tea. On land where whistles represent alerts other and bigger than hot water exclaiming its readiness. More of a can-cup, heat sourced from over shabby fire scraped together with treated lumber that busies itself turning concerning hues. The tea peace idea replaced with something like beans that are from some say, Jimmy Dean’s factory in Milwaukee, where disgruntled employees full of creaks and sore muscles (who also likely remain in the dark on peppermint tea)slowly mill. Replacing tea-soft-moments in nuzzling chairs with pink cheeks, down the line to dusty dungarees around the fire and hardened cheek bones. And scrapes and scratches and scars. And hobo songs. And plastic bottles and hooch. And whiskey-wet ground in respect to those gone before.

Hobo hobo hobo song. A life unknown and not very long. Plenty adventure, enough wrong. Find a quick home, then move along..

Where hopes of red headed waitresses taking orders in diners in light blue dresses for 3 lucky dimes worth bring steaming cups of black coffee and 4 packs of sugar in the next town- and they can dream about her on the way to the next one after that. Though no rush, though not slow enough for that dern peppermint tea.

Tea has to be held just right. Tea is open wide and higher maintenance than one might realize, without being given the right platform. It’s booze that comes in a bottle neck. And it’s booze that warms longer. It’s swishless. It’s tip resistant. You can’t hold tea in an open train car. The racket movement that stays rumbling in kidneys even with two feet on solid earth. Tea wouldn’t know how to act. The stars governing the sky with exposed souls beneath it, roofless, riding rails, bargaining, whittling, asking for mercy, sharpening shank, or staring contest styling into night abyss. Tea wouldn’t know this life. Too soft and soothing. Never told in conjunction to characters like Nebraska Pete or Bozo Rider.
Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between this and them.


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