Monday, March 1, 2010

Carbine Peaks

The marksmanship team, the “Sawed-off Rifles”
are working their way up to the county
championships. The only thing worth cheering
for here, where the round movie theater bulbs
flash around titles from three months ago.
The best form of entertainment is a
long, often solitary, walk. At least
it is to me. When we moved here I was
old enough to feel the difference between
what was home and what is here. Still young enough
that there was nothing I could do to mitigate
all this strange newness. First day: new school, some
behemoth of red blocks and white lines. Discovering
the honeysuckle and coupling the
sweetness with catching my first friend;
we were fused by the sticky nectars of
September. Near the school, an empty lot
where kids played catch 'til sundown. (Until Mr.
Gregor Somephin would come there to rest, his
pockets always clinking with the sound of
glass, partially drained. Everything about
him seemed somehow siphoned off, sunken, slipping
-slurping away.) The lot opened into
a grove of trees in the back. Some say that
there was a beautiful patch of tree-free
grass just past the point visible from the
outside. We’d never find out, but had no
trouble imagining what could've been
that unseen place. It was always mid-spring
there, wildflowers always bloomed, there was
a baseball diamond. It wasn’t just a patch
anymore, it grew out and out, becoming
a meadow in their young minds; fostering
imagination that is hard to find
in the starkness of Carbine Peaks.

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