Obituary #2: Rick M.

That birthday his grandfather bought him his first set of weights from Sears. In time, his grandfather would die and the molded plastic casing around the weights would split like a lament. Grit the color of cremation cinder trickled from the seams. Pocked chunks of cement fell out in the chance way teeth drop into one’s cupped hands in dreams.      

If heaven exists for Rick, he’s living with his grandparents in a house with louvered windows in the breezeway. The screen door grille will have an ornamental M in cursive. His high school girlfriend with straight brown hair and a back brace will be sitting quietly on the couch. It will be 11:00 on a summer morning and it will be time for The Price Is Right.  

Once when he and I were in elementary school, there was the teacher’s epileptic seizure in the hallway. Classmates remember being firmly told by the principal to remain in their seats, and all but one did so. Later he would tell me what he saw: the teacher on the floor, that worn wooden dowel with the bathroom key clenched between her vibrating jaws. More mysterious still to the two of us: he said when the fit was over, he heard her tell the others, “It felt like déjà vu.”

Bird Report

{Red-winged blackbird (sound of song). Robin flying tree to tree 20 feet ahead of me on walk and then 20 feet ahead again to next tree. Territorial. White plumage on flank. Beak the color of….}