(Originally posted February 6, 2016)
The pond ripples underneath my fingertips, and my face sputters into a mess of stretching lines and round curves. And it spreads across the entire pond, in however small a way. I take a drop and smear it across my forehead, and it feels cold with the summer heat.
It’s tempting to plunge my entire hand into the froth, and feel the strains against my skin, but I can’t, not here, not now.
I catch the eyes of a few other park patrons, and it seems as good a time as any to walk away. So I do. And I don’t. And some days its seems hard to tell how many ways I can be wrong and right at the same time.
My home is close, and I don’t have a car. It’s a large truck, the kind that threatens to push others off the roads should I find myself angry at them.
The trip is slow and blazingly fast, and I open my brown door, and lock it behind me. It is a bare house I live in, with all the walls painted the same color as my front door: neon pink.
I think that color jumpstarts the brain in the morning, so I keep it that way even if as a writing fireman with a cozy desk job, I don’t really see my home business as much as I’d like.
My dog comes over, and it purrs. So I pick it up and tickle it underneath its scaly tale. She likes it that way, ever since I had him spayed, neutered, and euthanized.
The air conditioning is busted, but I still sit down to work on my magnum opus: the tax forms I’ve been meaning to get to since the merger with the burger stand.
“Ugh, every day with this.”
My wife of five years comes out of the bathroom wearing a bathrobe and a cocktail dress and my favorite pair of lingerie. And I try to ignore him seducing me while making coffee. The work is hard enough, coming up with something creative each day.
Ideas, are like ghosts in that way. Hard to grasp and touch. Surrounding me, and yet always a few places away. But this is my lot in life, until there is a knock on the door.
“Honey, somebody rang the doorbell.”
“I know that…one moment!”
I look at my computer screen and inkwell pen, and wish I could just get one moment of peace to get something done.
But any hope of that leaves when I open the door, and face the man with the longer nose, and a missing eye.
“Oh. It’s you.”
“Yeah it’s me. This is my house after all. We’re all a little pissed with you claiming it. We have just as much right to it.”
I really dislike this guy. He also seems so confused. Pulled into different directions. I bet he sees things that aren’t there. The what could, and never wills. It’s not healthy to think that way.
“Okay, come on. It’s my name on the signature. I have it over here, it’s on the table.”
He walks behind me; dubious–I imagine. I know his face well enough to recognize that look. He keeps his hands in his pockets.
I pick it up off the chair and present it to him. “Look, see?”
“You do know that’s my name too, right?”
“But it’s my signature.”
“We have the same signature. You know what? Looks like this one is where you die.”
He pulls out a gun and stabs me, and I bleed out through my stomach as my brain explodes. My husband screams while she cooks an egg.
So I pull my arm out of the pond, and watch the ripples fade away to nothing again. And I’m glad for the things I have, rather than the what could, and the will never happen soon.
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