I pictured the boys there, bodies heaped, sweat and dirt and flecks of bright young blood on their clothes. I could hear Blackbird and Robin gasping, crying. Above them Wren and the others breathing hard, the great silence of the north reaches, the unpopulated houses and the broken City streets.
The whole pathetic arc of it stirred me, I laid a hand on Blackbird's arm. He smiled. Kiki finished the drink, the sun finished its fall. The evening wrapped us up. Which one of us stood first I'm still not sure. We were all together before long, looking away from the sunset, now toward the darker places. Past those pools of orange, down the hill and across the low roofs and lawns here to stare at the ruined Broad Way.
"All right. Let's get in there."
when the gems of midmorning would wound us and we'd swoon with the pure bitter bite of the drinks, the dazzle of the golden liquor.
What we were doing was toasting ourselves at the edge of the faultlines, toasting our sweet ironies and haute exclamations. But we didn't enter. We hovered at the periphery, again at the periphery, while the City smoldered slowly then burnt right through.
"I want to tell you—" Blackbird began.
Kiki interrupting bored, hostile: "This isn't going to be another Spider story, is it?"
Blackbird answering, all simmer and patience: "I want to tell you what I remember from the places I lived, the northern reaches of the City."
"Uphill of the Market, yes. Some nights I remember every rowhouse, every turn and every terrace. Because they were all the same, you see. Brown upon light brown. White. Red roofs. Or green? This is not one of those nights--"
--snorts of laughter from us.
"--this is more a night of remembering how we moved in the City, when the sun was up. And then how we moved in the moonlight. The further north, the more moon you could see. The houses were lighter and lighter, until nearest the wall of the City it was a great canyonmaze of bone heaps laid before the cobbles. Dotted with concrete scoria ejected into the earth from dead projects, forgotten pilings. Weren't these the newest constructions? I wondered. But it was the dirtiest, and worst kept.
"There we moved more boldly. Caution always marked the start of any of our walks, but we accelerated toward the wall, pulled to its shadows. It was me and the rest of the boys, and we liked to slink among the broken buildings, playing at secret struggles."
Kiki snickered. Thin smile. Sip. Deep breath.
Blackbird went on, "Robin was a climber and he reached the high tip of a pylon crested with rebar, thrust his chest, cried, 'We are kings!' I trembled always, watching him. And this time he fell. None of us breathed while he hung there for what felt like hours. In a moment we realized that he did hang there: his shirt had hooked one of the spikes of rebar, and he dangled by it, legs kicking!"
"Right! We gathered around the base, a perverse kind of maypole dance, hollering up at him while he struggled. We realized too that he was starting to choke, strangled by the collar. My boy Wren (such pretty eyes he had) searched crazily among the trash for some kind of stick, something to lift him off there. We tried to leap up and grab Robin's legs, they hung just above our hands, kicking. Wren found a length of aluminum, and we held it above our heads, tried to jab into the shirt. To lift Robin I suppose? We didn't exactly know, but we scraped his back and he cried out. We jabbed it into the shirt and finally the strain began to tear the fabric. It gave way and Robin fell directly on me. We collapsed to the dirt, sobbing."
We need a tiller. I'd prefer not to be forced to rent one. Help me LJ-wan, you're my only hope!
Anybody got a tiller or access to a tiller? We really need one.
Comment or email jonsolsen at gmail dot com
I intend to remember
and not try to turn it off
I have the lingering ghosts of the moment
in the palms of my hands
impressed quite firmly upon them,
directly under my nose
and there they'll live, stilled
though able to haunt
I'll not exorcise them
I don't have a good bible for that
nor any of the old rituals
that they used
to dust out the mansions
evict their many spirits
or fling open the windows
to set sun upon the empty dance floor
and loose cool spring breath
among the motes
instead I close my eyes
and for once
stand so still
Just finished Death Proof, which I need to watch with my full attention some time. Not sure if Leann would like that movie. Might. Will really hate some parts of the first half). Now I'm going to watch Vanishing Point. Any suggestions for my afternoon if I get thru VP?
MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY!
netflix instant. hells yes.
We've had some tough financial times lately. They reduced everyone's salaries at work (mine fell into the group "only" reduced by 5%) and stopped matching 401K contributions. I understand this, because I'd prefer the company stay in business and if we survive, they'll eventually restore these changes. They had to freeze raises quite a while ago, though, so I've been holding at the same salary for over 30 months (well, LESS than now with the reductions) after several years of steady increases at this and previous jobs. Well I can't really afford that. I just can't. So I had to make some changes to give myself a "raise." More like a little plundering of Peter, but Paul is being such a bitch right now (and by "Paul" I mean "very few frivolous expenses, seriously" I mean stuff like Health, Dental and Vision!). I reduced (didn't eliminate) my 401K contributions significantly, along with changing my exemptions. I realized I hadn't increased our tax exemptions since Henry was born. The net result is that my take home pay today is about $100 more than it was a month ago. It's not much, and I know the 401K thing could bite me later, but having two hundred extra bucks per month right now could mean the difference between making it to retirement and fucking falling into destitution.
These are the choices you make.
I'd rather have to retire many years later (or never) than have my beloved children get a chronic illness without health insurance, or be able to clothe them when they outgrow things, or be able to eat healthily (kind of important right now as I'm living the way I am). Or you know, pay for hotel at CONvergence (done). Or every once in a while get a babysitter. IT's been a while for that last one, however!