The Aloe Symphony.
I have big dreams. I weigh more than three hundred pounds, grow Acapulco Gold in my closet, and flip through Orvis catalogs, thinking about fried brown trout. I once rescued a dog that had been run over by a milk truck. I called him Guernsey, and he’s alive to this day.
My wife left me four, maybe five years ago. The night she walked out I began to compose a symphony dedicated to my aloe plants. My wife took our daughter Ruth with her. I used to call my daughter “Babe” and told her she’d hit about a million homeruns.
Though war appalls me I’m an avid supporter of women’s lib, kettle drums and State’s Rights. Every year I read Homer’s Iliad cover to cover.
Long time ago I owned a ‘48 International. I rolled that truck into a pond when I didn’t quite make the curve around Kerley’s Corners. I still think about my truck when I take Guernsey for long walks past the pond. Maybe one day I’ll throw in a line and pluck a few bass up off those sunken running boards.
I have a girlfriend named Linda. She’s got a good job with the phone company. We met when I spent all my money on a new Casio recorder and she turned off my service. She drops by the trailer, and we drink virgin pina coladas and play Chinese checkers. I don’t mind the company but I wonder sometimes, does Linda know the real me?
When I finish my symphony, I’m going to save my disability checks and have my truck dredged from the pond. Then I’ll drive north and find Ruth, who’s somewhere in Vermont the last I heard. I’ll lean on a chain-link fence, smoke weed, and watch my daughter hit one homerun after another. I picture it being twilight while she’s hitting her homeruns. And there’s a mountain in the background. I have these big dreams.
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