No Longer in Residence


Choo Choo Davis, who was often angry, willful and disoriented, and as delicately
boxed as Mr. Rogers in drag, went to live in the commune and it was not working out.
While all about him were generous in their demeanor, unselfish, kind and patient (except
for Slinky the Snake Boy, who grew more elusive by the hour) Choo Choo wanted to
Something nonspecific, something flummoxed and geodesic, began brewing, and
aromatic aprons of uncertainty flapped in the itch’s window. Choo Choo was beside
himself. Choo Choo was heated. Choo Choo was skulking. He had been in the
neighborhood of likeness and he did not find himself. There were statues of the best
clouds there that moved and appeared not to be statues. The life came in little expulsions
like coughing, the eyes trying to see themselves. You get there by falling out and you try
to be happy about it. Here a stubborn history of regret, there a consonance of
So Choo Choo chewed the summer dragonflies happily to death and wintered in
the skylight, but he didn’t harvest any blessed children. Local heroes, I’m told, appear
symmetrical, and Choo Choo leaned a couple of different directions at once. Okay,
maybe it’s not much of an accomplishment, but it’s certainly not ordinary.
I warned you in my own nonspecific way. Sometimes a fight’s just the thing for
luke-warm melancholia. Choo Choo’s drenched now and Slinky’s tied in his knot.
They’re hurling insults like hardened raisins. They’re clad in white tights and purple
padding. They’re serious, but who believes them?
Yes, it was disturbing, but it came out surprisingly wedge-shaped and fit neatly in a
pie tin. There was a lifelike quality to the experience. Thank goodness someone stole it
from the windowsill.

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.