Monday, August 9, 2010

The Hard Lines

I stand outside in the snow, imagining that I can tell the future. Outside the house, I watch the small white flakes fall around…on the black wool of my long coat…it looks like space, starry space. I am standing ankle deep in the drifts beside the white vinyl covered (it is made to look like clap board) house, hairs curling up for under my sock cap…I am smoking a cigarette and pretending to be a mystic…a seer. As the pale yellow sun sheds its egg yolk almost dead light all over me and everything else out here…all lined. Inside I can hear my brother moving about in the house, cleaning, adjusting, assisting. I am no help. The sounds of dementia and frustration waft out. The ropinirole has stopped my hands from trembling but not the sick cold shaking inside…so, I drink from this big convenience store plastic cup filled with Mountain Dew and a few shots of the cheapest Vodka available at eight in the morning. I take sip after sip…no numbness…just tired. The smoke burns my eyes. I lean against the side of the house. It leaves a long off white streak down my coat. I try to brush it off. On the left side of me a crumbling, dry rotted, sun bleached carport barely stands up, covering a blue tarp mound. Under the mound is a very old lump of metal and clear shiny glass…my grandfather’s old Chevelle. 1966 blue SS 427 Chevelle; it sits here buried…and has ever since he, my grandfather, was buried. I can almost see a corner of it poking out…I can almost see a bit of the bright blue fender getting all covered over my this thick blowing snow. I look though the window, curtains cracked, the window of the house next door and watch everyone inside run back and forth doing their morning things. I do not try to pry…to spy…just bored.
My brother coming out the back door, still talking to our grandmother over his shoulder as he closes the door behind him and makes his way down the back steps…they are crumbling concrete (once long ago they were painted a bright ridiculous red…now with fading and breaking, they look all mottled). He looks at me once he makes it to the bottom and makes a disgusted face at me.
“How was she today?”
“Not good, man. She is never good anymore.”
We get into his car. Close the door. I wait for him to talk to me. I just sit in the passenger seat looking over every now and again.
“So, am I just taking you home now?”
“I don’t know. I mean, I don’t have anything else to do.” I stare down at my pants, wide eyed, and feeling uncomfortable.
“Okay…” He rubs his forehead with his hand.
“Well I guess you can hang out with me for awhile. How much have you drank already?”
“Ummm, I I…what?”
‘I asked how much have you drank already fucker. I know you have been, so how much?”
“Just a little…just a little.” I brush some of the snow off my legs.
I feel like I am the very next step in human evolution. Few people share that belief. I think my thoughts as the car rolls down the icy road. We weave our way through the open streets of residential areas. Big tall white boxes, blue boxes, grey boxes, surrounded by trees and children’s toys littered about…tall trees swaying in the snowy breeze. I think my thoughts. I imagine myself a new kind of man, strong, smart, beautiful, oddly in touch with the emotional life around me. I imagine myself better than everyone at everything.
“Maybe if I could get Grandpa’s car out.”
“Fuckin’ leave that car alone.”
“I just wanted to get it out and drive it around…maybe make fuckin’ Willis jealous.”
“No, never gonna happen man. Fuckin’ leave the car alone.”
Willis is my next-door neighbor. I hate him. He is an idiot. He is a thoroughbred fool ambling around this world taking up space from others…more worthy people. I have known him my entire life.
“Yeah, really get his goat, man.”
“Willis, doesn’t even notice you man, okay. You are not going to make him jealous. He has a job, Robby, okay. He has his own car…his car…that is allowed to drive. Hell man, he even has a girlfriend. Just leave that dude alone. It is embarrassing.”

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