Open

12/11/14

To get to his house he had to walk past the man with the oceanic smile. It seemed
like the biggest emptiness he had ever encountered and he was afraid of getting sucked
in.
When he got to the bench by the lilac bush where the man was usually sitting, it
was empty. He was surprised to find that this saddened him and he plucked a sprig of
lilac to take along.
When he got to his house, the door was open. He stood on the threshold expecting
something to happen. It did not. He walked from room to room and found them all the
same.
After a while, he felt cold, but he did not want to close the door. He turned on the
lights and he waited.
In the morning he noticed that the lilac had dried up in the vase because he had
forgotten to put water in the bottom. He laid the lilac on his creamy white satin pillow.
It looked like someone’s memory of a Victorian novel. He left for work.
To get to his job, he had to walk past the rescue mission. Three men holding ratty
blankets over their shoulders were standing outside, facing each other, as if they were
carrying on a conversation, but they were not carrying on.
A street vendor was selling flowers to the people filing to work and he bought a
white carnation to give to his officemate, an exceedingly quiet woman who always wore
ankle-high nylons and shiny pants with very sharp creases.
By the time he left work, he had decided to sit on the bench by the lilac bush all
night if necessary. Two hours after dark he was still sitting there, smiling, but he changed
his mind. He was upset with himself because he had forgotten to pick a sprig of lilac.
When he got to his house, the door was open. He was afraid if he went in, he’d be
there.



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.