Ever feel the comfortable loss inside the covers of time?
when everything is blurred and corners have turned..
into a favorite rhyme?
I hate to read a rhyme, but it does seem to capture
the eyes cannot turn away
the toes do a dance with a bit of sway
and lost now is the mind away in the manger
of a rhyme...
... the train sound near my apartment is comfortable with its regular hum, and churn of groaning sounds. Familiar with repetition, no harm in its passage, its just a train, choo chooing down the track..
.. the air today mixed with the train :; i liked the feel. Why did I like the feel?....youth came to me.. a time of no worry and only play. The fresh dirt on my hands as the sun made me sweat, but I cared not. Mystery of adventure waited just for me to jump into the puddle. My bike, although hard to ride, carried me over dirt hills and across what I knew was a snake. I laughed at my bravery, for I did pedal very fast over that stick.
The vines on the trees gave Tarzan life as I would swing across a huge cavernous ditch. A shallow one, but in my mind it was huge. And I had to save the lady on the other side that was tied to the train tracks by the indians. My pretend stick gun at ready I landed perfectly near her. The tree vine swinging away from me and for a moment I watched it, wanting to jump back onto it, so that i could swing back to the safe side of the ravine. But this lady needed me to cut the ropes that held her to the sure death of a train running her over.
Free she was and away I went. I left her there to fend for herself for my vine was swinging back toward me and it was getting dark. And she didn’t exist anyway. So I jumped with muscles of imagination and flew across to safety. I looked back and imagined her waving at me with a smile. I flexed a little to show off my muscles, that did not exist, and ran through the woods to the safety of my home. My mom was cooking dinner and I was hungry. Through the back door to the bathroom to wash off my adventures I smiled to myself. I saved her and made it back safely myself.
My mom called me to eat dinner but I had to change out of my adventure clothes. My dad was home from work and all six of us kids sat at the very long kitchen table. We were not allowed to talk to my dad. “Leave your father alone he has had a long day.” So I ate as much as I could, which wasn’t much. But you had to finish everything on your plate, there were kids starving somewhere. I always willing wanted to give what I couldn’t eat to them, but nobody listened.
It is very difficult to swallow mashed potatoes when you are full. But I did it. I ran to my room when released from the meal duty. My toy cars and army men lined up on my desk were waiting for me to bring them to life. But I was tired and had school to go to in the morning. I did not like school. It kept me from playing.
The phone rang and pulled me from my kid moment. Time to head out, another death and being the assistant coroner I am the one they call. I pulled on my jeans and wished to be heading to the woods, where the fresh dirt waited to get on my hands and clothes and the lady waited for me to save her from the train. My car was dark and cold. I waited a moment to start it. I had to get my mind ready for what I was about to see. Five children stabbed and slashed bleeding and dead.
The morning woke me with its light. I had left the blinds open and I was still in my jeans and sweater. At least I took off my boots. The mirror showed me a worried old looking man. “Well I am old, I am 48 after all.” My voice was weak and had a sadness to it. Flashes of death, bodies, blood and that damned blank stare the dead people have in their eyes.
I ran so hard down the hill that I fell, tumbling and laughing as the grass tickled my face. Finally stopped at the bottom near the creek that ran through the back of our yard. The sound of a creek is like the best thing in the world to hear. And the smells, fresh and alive with a washed clean feeling. The weeds and dirt just aren’t dirty by a creek. I lay there for a long time. The clouds were shaped like elephants and I had a special rock in my hand. I heard my mom call me to dinner. All the moms in the neighborhood used different ways to call the kids in to eat. My mom yelled as loud as she could “woo woop!” Well I didn’t want to leave my spot yet. But when time passed and I didn’t show up I would hear my dads loud whistle. Then I was in trouble. I stumbled up the hill and accidentally dropped my cool rock. I watched it roll down to the creek and fall into the water. I was sad, but part of me was very happy for that rock. I kept running and made it home to get a good whipping on my butt for not coming when my mom called.
A man jumped from the top of a parking garage at a local hospital. He had just left the psych unit, but because he was a regular they ignored his pleas for help. It is fascinating in a way, how the body can lay weirdly twisted with a leg where the arm should be and visa versa. Its hot today, but the sun didn’t make me happy. The air was nice, but nothing washed me anymore. She was pretty, the lady reporter that approached me with her smile. But her smile was just to get a story, she was not smiling at me. I walked away with my note pad and my info intact. The body followed me. It always does that somehow. Packaged by someone and put in a van to head to the place of find out what else could have happened to this now dead person.
I am tired and alone yet full of thoughts and people and eyes. Those damned vacant eyes with that plastic dry stare. She was only eighteen. She didn’t look dead, she was the only dead I had ever seen that didn’t look dead. She was astonishingly beautiful and very dead. A car wreck, a text, a dead kid. My jeans had some blood on them. “what in the hell?” I took my gloved hand and opened some peroxide bottles that were near the dead girl at the hospital. I doused my jeans and away the blood went. But it would never leave my mind.
My shoes looked cool today,clean and shiny and black. The ems lady was pretty. She smiled at me. But she didn’t want anything from me, so what should I do? Should I smile back. Lowering my head I walked away, “she is just a kid.”
I was dressed in the coolest black blazer and white shirt. My black slacks and black shoes made me look very dapper. That’s what my mom said anyway. I had a prom date and I was a happy camper. My car ready and clean, keys in hand and wallet full of money and that single condom. Oh yea, I was ready. Even though I laughed at myself when I put the condom in my wallet. What was I thinking? I would never on a first date and I was a puppy still. It just wouldn’t work. So a dance and laughter was what would happen. My mom hugged me and told me to drive safely.
Her father opened the door and looked at me like I was shit that had gotten onto his shoes. He asked me in. I was shaking inside. He was a tall dude and he kept looking at me like I was something of horrible. She came down to rescue me from this moment of her fathers glare. I saw her mom behind her. She had a sadness to her and looked away when I glanced at her. What did these people think I was going to do with their daughter. The condom in my wallet flashed in my wee mind. “Oh.” I blurted out before my mouth could shut. “Oh?” she smiled at me and took my hand. We walked to my car.
I walked out into the light knowing the beautiful dead girl would be following me in the bag of choice for bodies. The EMS girl was also following me. I walked faster through the ambulance bay doors and out into the sun. My coroners van was close, the door closed and she walked to her ambulance. I waved,she smiled. My mind did that swirl thing and I saw my wife. She was one of always happy and the most organized woman I had ever known. Everything in its place and a place for everything. I still see her on the sofa. Her blonde hair mixed with her blood. It seemed to be very bright red blood. Her hands neatly at her side one held a gun. The intruder won the battle and shot her with her own gun, then he raped her. Her flower dress was a little out of order, so I pulled it down.
The EMS lady sat in her ambulance, I sat in my van. I liked the silence. I acted like I was writing on my little note pad, but I just sat there. My eyes blinked hard to fight the tears that ran down my face. My hands looked old and the silence was starting to bother me. She startled me by knocking on my window. She, startled... me.
I rolled the window down and attempted to smile, but she had just caught me in the moment of tears. “Are you ok?” Her eyes showed true concern but she was an EMS person they sometimes care. My notepad fell out of my hands and landed between my legs. I saw the still wet peroxide spot where I had washed off the dead girls blood. My mind swept quickly through appropriate responses and I blurted out, “yes” I paused then added, “just a hard day.” She talked small talk of seeing me around at a lot of her EMS runs. She spoke words and her mouth moved and she smiled but I heard nothing. My head was shut down. This happens to me when I remember... when I remember. She finally left and I smiled a forced smile as she walked toward her van. It was quiet once more. I reached to lift my note pad that had found the floor of the van. I saw my hand reach for the pad but saw my hand touch my wife’s dead hand.
I turned on the radio and grabbed the keys to push into the ignition and waited for the visual to leave. Her voice filtered into the van telling me all will be ok. “What?” my voice seemed deeper than normal and echoed in the van. I looked around but of course she wasn’t there. I drove home. The sun was warm, it was quiet, my thoughts went to a place of nothing with music mixed in.
The dirt was really hard to push my shovel through it. I was digging near the creek to bury my treasure. My treasure of a few pennies and a toy wrapped in a plastic bag shoved into a metal toy safe. I had already created the treasure map that would lead me to this place sometime later in my life. The perfect treasure map was a crumpled piece of paper with the edges burned. I was careful with the matches, my mom was very clear on how not to play with fire. I shoved the newly created map into the pocket of my dirt covered Levi jeans. The box fell into the dirt and I covered it quickly. The dirt crashed onto the safe. The sound was a different sound...
I waited until they all left the cemetery. I watched the machine pick up dirt to be dropped onto the casket. I slipped my hands into my black dress slacks and felt the crumpled piece of paper from the funeral service.