Monday…December 14th…I dreamed she was….Streaking for a living since 1972……still don’t get smoke signals…

“Face Lift” 2009

“When a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce . . . in the same individual, we have the best possible condition for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries.” – William James

“it was going to be short” the little guy behind the fire cracker counter said…”I like to add a little excitement to your lives”…..so he cut all of the fuses in half…he wasn’t kidding….now instead of 3 inch fuses they were an inch and one half….the directions said have a minimum of a “3 inch fuse” for safety….”Wear eye protection and have an adult present”…..I wondered did that mean the adult with eye protection could be drinking…at the same time….it didn’t matter…fireworks were like rattlesnakes…when you’ve been bitten once….hardly want to feel the cylindrical shape in your hand….nor those two fangs finding someplace a little deeper than a scratch….but once the venom flows…it’s sort like a firecraker….right in the eye..a gray shadow for weeks…don’t tell mom and dad…..just keep your head down…that’s what he told me to do…”keep your head down”….it got a little lighter…then the rockets red glare…for a few months…and everything was just fine….we’d talk on th phone a few times a week…make that sort short words…conversation…”Yep”…”naw”….”I’m sure”….”really”…it made no sense to reveal it all before the magic even appeared….what if there was no magic…and the rabbit didn’t come out of the hat or worse…the wand….didn’t work…then what…..we’d stand there hoping an explosion would happen…or maybe a fire alarm might go off…somewhere close enough to make us all scurry towards the yard….wearing those stupid blue uniforms with the patches…only God himself understood…crosses…swords….drops of blood….wreaths…what was this…whole thing a code…decipher it and it got you in to heaven a hell of a lot quicker than the guys in the back by the dumpster….huffing gold spray paint from th plastic bottles…weren’t they lambs too…or were they the meat for the wolves….never would know…at least not until the sun went down…and there was that quiet…that time where a hiss sounds like a scream….further though down the road from where we were standing…..

I guess…I didn’t understand the answer….it seemed far to volatile to be just a short burst of a few words that solved it all….maybe more of how all of the parts of the motor worked…made more sense than a plain old “Yep”….and that got him the garland…the hoist on the shoulders of those summer boys…with there peachy skin…and black comb hair….seemed like they knew what each other was looking for…sort of a club but not really a group that understood the rules…they never made up….so it seemed like garbage floating on a lake….no particular place to go…until the deep feelers grab you….slowly tie itself around your pearl white ankle…..a little tug…and the nightmare begins….closer than your bed allowed before…I mean now…it feels like you’re right there…pulling the rope through the sand…emptying buckets of nothing on the fire that rages…close enough to singe your hair….peel the paint from the house Gramps built by hand there by the orchard…..and then like light…a puff…and the candle wick glows …. tangerine…smokes…the room for an eternity….and the night noises…..stop….safe for another…day….at least you hope so….

the wire was red hot….hot enough to melt through just about anything…even my skin……the pile smoked for a few days….and there was something about the smell that was appealing as well as nausiating…..maybe it was a meteorite…..or some sacrificial pyre…that burnt down before we got there….we’d have to wait…for a few days….before the bee stings would stop itching….and the red clay dried on our shoes……it added a few pounds…but every crack…was filled like a perfect fit….like those days in summer when they pour the black tar on the road…to fill the cracks…and they form their perfect little tar lake pools…..where the moths get stuck….and flutter until their wings work no more…and they give it all away…that’s where I worried….sweated those nights…trying to learn to keep the blanket over my head…..when I’d scream silently…..hoping the mute sounds hit those deaf ears…..but like ice….making …what’s it take to freeze…..just a few hours…..there in the gutter in front of the house….I’d break the twigs from the ice…..hold the ice to the sun and look through it……while the gray….water ran down my hand to my elbow…..like an electrical shock….I heard those older boys….he wore a checkered red western shirt….his hair slicked back……”I was sitting in the back seat with this fat chick…we was having fun…minding our business….just getting to know each other y’know”…..what was her name….I thought maybe Wanda….or Verna…or something along those lines….when his talk stopped…..and her daddy…..hit him in the back of the head with a shovel…..he sort of…floated for a second….and fell face first into the welded pipe that held the tray table and the speaker to order from….and all his friend could say was “Damn”……

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