Little Nonsense was far too anxious to become a man. He tried eating lots of beans
and you know what happened. He tried stirring mushroom soup counterclockwise during
a full moon. He tried sitting in the creek with his big hat on while the water washed away
his childhood, but it was taking way too long. He ate some of that terrible tasting yeast
every day and wore his papa’s pajamas to bed. Nothing helped.
Some days aging is like a ship on the other side of the ocean and some days it
floats right on top of you with its cargo hold packed with regrets.
Soon enough, Little Nonsense met a woman with a peculiarly diaphanous
understanding of her own motives and the same day he met a street preacher while
touring the Alamo who was ranting against homosexuals in the church, and across the
street, he met a gay shop-owner hawking pillboxes and cowboy hats, a hovering presence
with yet another pitch for the American dream. Tiny little sighs slipped out of the chinks
as each of them spoke. Too much information.
So Little Nonsense stepped back from his limited and confusing experience and the
tiny lie of perspective gave him peace, but peace was not enough and soon he wanted
more experience. He thought perhaps he should not dictate the nature of his experience or
limit his goals to people only and so he witnessed the energetic particles of a dog and
tried to follow. That didn’t work any better.
Without understanding what was happening to him, Little Nonsense began
drooping seductively like wisteria. He shrugged it off and continued down the uncertain
path, unaware that he had begun warbling when he walked. It was something he did with
his legs, without trying to.
Somehow a twig of pain had cluttered his recent remembrances. Ductile, he
flushed, and out swam the hidden annoyances. He offered them further transportation.
He offered them new lives in undeveloped relatives.
By the time Little Nonsense had uncluttered the vista, yet another dusk had arrived,
but he was operating with larger receptacles and the rump-thwacked goaty odor of the
evening’s tenuous offering did not dissuade him.
Nor was he held back by the risky stubs of the new raw truth he was about to receive.
He simply imagined a dimpled fragrance, a weasely bright-eyed waif of a pretention.
Tempting indeed, but Little Nonsense needed more. Like that night you thought you
heard somebody moan from the rooftop after you left the apartment of your future lover.
The first time you don’t know what comes next.
It’s always the first time.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.