If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



SC



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Saturday, June 30, 2012

On the Sting of Heat


Tragedy struck the broad side of my head yesterday afternoon, wasp-shaped and highly agitated. I make note of it here, only because it was the most memorable of several insults heaped upon the injurious temperature that climbed earlier that morning to 105 degrees and hovered there until well after sunset, when it dropped a blissful two degrees. And, because it’s possibly the most excitement I’ve experienced in a nearly a month.

          Everything being more susceptible to malfunction in heat of this extreme, I wasn’t all too surprised when the dust collection system servicing the shop I’ve been working at on the side, a miserable place no third-world sweat-shopper would set foot in, much less abide, went on the fritz.

          As I’m the only one concerned enough about the health of his lungs to make sure the dust collector is operable and switched on, I took it upon myself to go out to the little detached metal shed housing the unit and attempt to right whatever the heat had wronged.

          The shed is about five by ten, small enough I suppose I should be grateful that the entire brood didn’t swarm my gourd the moment I opened the door. I saw it, a child's paper fist hanging by a thread of spittle in the eaves just above the plate, near a hole in the wall opposite from where I stood. The wasps were of a brown and smallish variety I generally don’t worry about. They seemed complacent enough. So I ventured in.

          The wasps (waspers as the Southerners say) showed me little concern as I fooled with wires, breakers and reset buttons. Little concern, that is, until finally when the machine grudgingly kicked on.

          Again, I suppose I should be grateful only one lone gun was sent out to reprimand me. And I suppose too, I should be grateful that my eyeglasses thwarted the little bastard’s preferred attack on the soft and hairless tissue immediately surrounding the beast’s eyeball, forcing a strike upon my right temple instead.

          I have no idea why the sound of the dust collector that these silly insects reside with daily kicking on would piss them off. But it did. And no, I’m not grateful in the least that only one wasp stung me. One is too many. It hurt like hell. My eyeball is swollen and itchy, despite the deflected sting. And damn is it ever hot.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mag 119





Anna had always imagined her father planting the marble table and quartered bench seats atop the hilltop like a flag.

          “I claim this summit in the name of Tumbledore!” he would warn the surrounding coppice in her vision, scotch and water held over his heart.

          Tucking her flaxen hair behind her ears, a habit Anna had picked up abroad, which absolutely appalled her mother, she sat on the tended lawn besded the table drawing her skirt (worn this visit for her mother’s sake), modestly into the arch of her bare summer legs.

          Martins swooped and tittered in the fading June light, boomerang silhouettes that seemed spit from the darkening woods, piled like black thunderheads beyond her parent’s home. It was her parent’s home. Her's for a while, maybe, but had she had the option, Anna would have chosen something less sensible, less austere. Something built of wood, rather than cold, cut limestone. Something with fish scale shingles, tiny windows that peeked in to mysteriously wasteful spaces, and a single chimney, rather than the six atop her parent’s leveled roof, dormant now as winter trees.

          She would have looked up one day, too, trudging back through knee-deep snow, perhaps from a barn where she had just carried buckets of warm water to fussing livestock. Looked up and seen above the snow-clad eaves and glistening shingles, a curl of smoke rising languid from that sole flue. She would have stopped. Tears would have filled her eyes. For in that glance, she would have felt her mother’s every warm embrace, heard the husky voice of her father reading her safely to sleep, cherished that single gift, handcrafted for her birthday; a thousand such things that make, as they say, a house a home. Had she the option.