In Which Someone Very Close To Me Had A Cast On Her Leg

Torture

by DAN CARVILLE

Here are the things we wanted to take with us:

– old drawings of cars if they were people

– photocopies of our hands on top of our hands

– the pluperfect, the pluperfect

– the same rock, close up, magnified, and then from the farthest distance

– triumvirate alliterations, like daddy daughter day or ravishing rick rude

– contact lenses that are no longer our prescription

– the tonality of light, daytime leaves like a bow…

– baseball cards, all the players had our same birthday. June babies, March misfits. I knew their poses.

– when he became Venom, how did it feel?

Here is what was better left in the old house, stacked next to the stairs like a rose bush too close to another.

– casseroles of double meaning

– unused stationary, the wrong address. Mailings and return to sender in those familiar printed letters.

– the less interested of the two porcelain jugs, filled with all manner of detritus

– helmets of the Spanish conquistadors

– assembling at dawn

– retrofitting porcelain tiles that did not resemble the brochure

– remember that time in Monterrey? She thought they were smoking menthol cigarettes.

A sodden man, flipped on his side. Stands and puts his palm against the light. What would we do without these little bits of fire between the eyes, rotating our insolence? Left for carrion, a man is only so many things at once.

– There is no point, no point at all in candles where we are headed.

– Before the exit there’s a turn-off where you can see the whole town, Don’t stop there.

– I signed over the rights to this story, but I am not sure what we get in return, except a bib.

– The functions of things.

– Carnival signs, the watchword is caution.

I sanded down two thin sticks of wood and placed them in my pencil case. It is a lot easier to get inside of a building if you have your lockpicks all squared away before then. They resemble cheap, finite creatures who barter for status. There is none of that here, in the world beyond the world.

From one vantage, the past radiates through each of us, humming like an air conditioner and bringing a more favorable complexion to view. I hate to mix metaphors, but someone very close to me had a cast on her leg, and she likened it to that. I sure don’t want to forget what happened – bad first dates, God in an oxygen tank. Writing her all those frantic letters that didn’t show enough of what they meant to display, which was this: my affection.

I glanced through what she had sent me. Corny bullshit mostly: playlists and cheap polaroids, postcards from Manila and Bangladesh. Her opinion of all the painters who had ever lived. Everyone else is sentimental. I used to wish I was like that, and my wish came true.

Dan Carville is the senior contributor to This Recording.

Images by Los Carpinteros.

 

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