Tuesday, March 18, 2014



Will's new neighborhood entranced him.  He woke up with new light streaming unexpected, pooled to his left.  The furniture placement unfamiliar.  As he rose, he bumped the end table, spun, hit play on the CD player and backed into the bathroom - doing a moonwalk as Frank Black and the Pixies filled the room.  Where is my mind, indeed.

He stood for a moment and remembered.  The prairie wilds of Adventist fundamentalism.  The haystacks - (lentils on fritos with cheese) and homemade applesauce and grape jelly and every thirteen weeks grape juice in little plastic cups with thick wheat-y wafters.  There was a mystery alright, but it was tied up in vague ideas of right and wrong and desire and lost pictures.

Will could navigate in the woods without a compass, use a j-stroke to guide a canoe through rippling water.  He could parse Old Testament narratives.  Explain how Daniel foretold the end of the world, the ages of iron and clay - our modern age barely pressed together.  But here he stood, alone in a shower in a Brooklyn.  Warm water flowing.  Images from last night still flowing around him.  His co-workers, Brian and Weixuan and drinks and dancing in that little bar on University Place once nominally full of writers and poets and painters but now only occupied by NYU undergrads with fake ids and tights as pants.


He was never sure if his first memory - of late afternoon sun streaming through a window, a Reds game crackling on a small portable radio - was real, or just something he'd always used when asked what his first memory was.  He could certainly remember telling the story as a boy, at birthday parties and whenever the subject came up.  He liked to think it was real.  Something neatly encased and carried intact from year 3 to the present.

He'd remained a Reds fan, and a fan of sunshine and late lazy summer afternoons.  These thoughts swirled as he twisted the knob on his stereo looking for the Mets game.  A stack of dirty dishes stood sentry in the kitchen.  A half-finished novel on the arm of his reading chair.  He was perched between them, suspended.  Twirling.  Honing in on the signal.  The game was just starting.  He turned it up and went in the kitchen to tackle the dishes.  Work before pleasure.  Or something like that.