There are cars and trucks parked outside the Dirty Shame when I go past - mostly trucks - and it looks warm and inviting, a glow in the night woods.
- Rick Bass
Teach Me To Pray
I write at a kitchen table. There are days when I'd love to have a writer's desk with an old Tiffany lamp perched just so and fountain pens in an empty soup can and copies of The New Yorker strewn about the edges and...but that would be someone else's story. I write at a kitchen table.
As I wrote yesterday, I could see him. Then he'd disappear. Then I'd see him again. Rising. Falling. Rising again. You see, his backyard has a trampoline, like our backyard does. I watched him turn flip after flip after flip, I bet twenty in a row, his eyes closed. He was poetry. Our trampoline has a black safety web that feeds our abandon. His does not; he jumps without a net.
The lights in his house stay on all night long and the windows are always, always open, every last one, and people are always yelling or screaming or crying or hollering. Sometimes, when I'm writing at the kitchen table in the wee small hours I see the lights and hear the sounds. Sometimes I stop writing and pray. There used to be a daddy in his house, but now he's gone. There were rumors about, well, they were rumors. Now there's a boyfriend in his house and rumors of marriage.
Sometimes I stop writing and wonder about him. It used to bug me that the lights stayed on all night but then I thought what if that's because a daddy loved darkness rather than light? That was the rumor. It doesn't bug me so much now, after that thought. And I used to wonder why he would spend long stretches of time doing flip after flip after flip. But then I thoughtsometimes even a new boyfriend can't put humpty together again and maybe he asks God to make him a bird so he can fly, fly away but God doesn't listen, so the closest he can get to the sky, to being untethered by the things of this world, is to barrel outside and close his eyes and spread his wings and jump without a net.
If I had that writer's desk like I mentioned, it would probably be tucked away in some corner of the house surrounded by books that reached to the ceiling. If I had that desk, I couldn't see Icarus; I wouldn't know how to pray.