While the visitors were lying to the maid about the upholstery stains, the residents
were talking about telegraphs and flagrant horses and a variety of revolutionary wheat
that molds itself to your nutritional needs.
That isn’t all.
Billy’s mother had washed the heavy woolen socks. A red door had been
constructed in the blue wall. The sad competition of isolated street-lights had been
derived from a relationship so deprived a breadline was forming at its crotch.
Instead of grieving, I built a mechanical heart.
That’s just what happened.
There were already small miracles in the puddles at the bottoms of the abandoned
tires, but we ignored them. We were incapable of fealty. The visitors didn’t notice this.
Billy’s mother said, “Hooey.” She said, “Hooey.” She just said, “Hooey.”
Then Billy played with an oceanic dog and rubbed his hands in the dirt and vaulted
over the distractions. He wasn’t about to be dissuaded by any Gods or Goddesses or
dwarfs or commercial stimulation devices or accountants. He wasn’t about to trade his
leather for fish because sometimes a fisherman wants the leather but Billy doesn’t want a
fish and then what?
My heart seemed to be ratcheting and saying, “Hatchets, beads, shells and animal
And then it said, “Hatchets, beads, shells and animal teeth and copper coins.”
And then it just said, “Hatchets, animal teeth.”
I thought it was saying that it wanted more reindeer skins than Billy and his family
could possibly use. The transaction had become suspect. The transaction had become
inordinately mechanical. The transaction had become residential. The visitors responded
with several applications of furniture remover.
This kind of justice was perceived as merely insistent.
The visitors rode up and tapped out a code on the streetlights for the divorce tour.
Their hiking boots smelled of Swedish pumpernickel. A gardener holding a black bag
with a hole in it was sniffing the inside of the maid’s glove to rid his nostrils of the
“Hooey,” said Billy’s mother. She just said, “Hooey.”
I believe she said this because the blue door had been constructed in the red wall.
I believe she said this to get even with the mechanical heart. I believe she said this to
discourage the argument from the dog. I believe she said more than Billy and his family
I visit an expert on religion and the stone tells me I’m too impatient. By the time he
finishes telling me this, I’m old and patient, so naturally I’m thinking about death. The
stone tells me I’m already dead and goes back to doing what stones do, which takes a lot
longer than what I was doing and seems to be a whole lot more rewarding.
So I read my own scars and called the uncalled for an ending.
I realized I’d solved a lot of things that weren’t really problems.
The visitors spilled. The visitors gawked. The visitors didn’t notice.

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.