She had been robbed, sort of, on the way back to the parked car by a man who claimed to be John the Baptist. He did not have a gun pointed at her. He simply said he needed all her money, now, and if he didn’t get it, he would hurt her, nonviolently. His limp did not end with his leg. It caused the entire left side of his body to give way, slump, and then recover. She looked into his blue milky eyes. She didn’t believe him. She didn’t give him any of her money. She loaded her groceries into the car and drove away. He was unable to hurt her once she was behind the wheel. He had failed utterly to be a successful nonviolent criminal.
… and I put my mouth back onto my sleeve and say, “I love you, Nadya,” and she looks up toward the sky, then toward the back wall on which is perched a pot of geraniums. I hastily turn and retreat into the house, pack my bags, and take the carriage to the train. In the train I remain silent, saying nothing to anyone, and have remained silent and sent no letters to anyone, until now.
At the bad party, the phone rings and rings and rings, and the woman whose name you thought you knew (you do know a name for her but it’s the wrong name) answers the phone at last, but in answering it, she accidentally pulls over the artificial flowers in the plastic vase. The vase and flowers fall to the floor. No one notices. It’s that kind of party. A terrible party: a morning party, right after breakfast, not really a party at all, no drinking or dancing or flirtations, just shared information about the job site, over day-old pastries.
“Daddy, what’s that doctor thing around your neck?”
An uninsistent yellow. His decoy-duck collection. The thrill of distaste. The brother of the risen Christ, the brother whom God forgot completely, the one who had to go to work, who had to have a job.
A man who has never felt sexually at home with men, or with women, but, instead, with trees. Consequences.
June 6, 2002