Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lost Postcard #11

Dear Patricia Plainsong,
            As the day rolls to a fold, and mother’s hanging the wash on the line, some foreboding leads me to ask, “Are you very sad these days after what the fire’s done?”
            This is not a question of arguing balls and strikes. It is luck’s handout. (Yes, you’d say, hand it to the scratchers of lottery tickets; they’ve got a mold to keep, and they keep it.) And this while folks like us sit here staring at Rorschach blurs in the trees, doing less than something, shuffling thoughts and stifling motivation for, well, escape. White socks and a forgiving temperament, we strain (yes, my dear, this includes me at last) to youthier flights of contemplation.  
            Famish the flies and we shall dive less deep into the wealth of our circumstances.
            Amplitudes deceive me, less than charmed on an engaging frequency, so I take truck with muskrat suppers, gorge on vole nuggets, elephant shrew stew, and rhinoceros steak. There are those eager for material gain who would have you believe I have taken an ill disposition, and that I am feckless in the defense of my daily strife. But what fires be put out but those started by the selfsame fools in the first? Though, well, I needn’t persuade you of any disquiet that may still smolder hot-coal bright in your heavy heart. For, as of late, the green grass of home is for all of us still a misstepped lunge clung to self-pity and withering endurance. Remember not to be always shaped by what shadows you. If mother taught us anything in the doomed cusp of her wilting willpower, it was this.
            Now the hours spread out instead of reeling in, and I pause happily at the interlude of calm’s shuttering, stumped and loping in place: a rare breed of insolence.
            Mother rolls her sleeves. The sunset dust settles. Somewhere somebody is frying eggs. But not for me. Consider my fingers crossed.  
            When was it that we knew how to hide our voices? Oh, but adults don’t speak to each other like this, and we go on acting like little children. As complainers we stay sturdy and corrupt, yes? Bashful as being stricken with laryngitis would make us, it isn’t ordinary to be singularly fascinated by worn, unlit neon bulbs. And yes, we are merely what our choices make us at times, and the chew and call of missing things erodes a somewhat already fabricated existence, yet we continue imagining our lives lived in other ways. In the past tense we were washed out without a worry to our name. Dreary bastards of chance, we ran past the king without any clothes. The crows didn’t want us then (not shiny enough), until early rising left us glowing towards what we should’ve guessed. Remember? It was song that went, “Make my bed only to wreck my dreams.” Something differs to the iffy lurk of lost loves still, perhaps? Would it were so.
            Beer in the afternoon. Scotch in the evening. Bourbon highballs all through the night. I am under-eating, as always, for the nights come upon me too quickly. Laminate the sky with me; I am jerry-rigged with defeat.
            The cathedral bells are tolling Luck Be A Lady. A careful gust of courage escapes me. Mother is uneven in her approach to roaches, and they seem to roam free for the most part. Somehow the breezes here do not soothe me anymore. I am too departed from the gentleness of kisses on the ear to be of any use to anyone. I do my praying on the toilet.    
            In the boxy sense of saying what’s on loop in my head until my number comes up, in that citadel of anxious decambering, shrieking in nightshirts, apprehended with a matronly sensitivity at last, I try on all the red dresses around and tiptoe past the fireplace. Do not regret the timeliness of my ways. Do not shave the recently deceased. Behave, if it is necessary. Mother is not curling her hair. The ante is forever upped. All is sapropel of memory, and we do whatever it is we must to chin-up our way to the finish line, and then past it, or over it, and then farther, and then farther still.
            Hank Mayberry Livingston III