Paper Jesus and the Demoniac of the Cart Corral

This was the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday. Jesus and I in limbo. Get the car washed. Get a haircut maybe. Go to Omega Records in Dayton to see if they have Zappa’s Joe’s Garage.

I stop at the Kroger Superstore to buy lilies for Paper Joseph's grave. An unusual parking space is open. Enough room at the end of a cart corral for a compact.

I pull in. My car fits like a minor miracle.

“Sir?” the Demoniac is saying. I recognize the type: a warden of the world’s immaterial rules. She goes through life on railroad ties. “That’s not a parking area, sir? Sir, that’s a cart corral?”

I can hear the Demoniac’s voice through the windshield. She stands outside her van as if chained to it. I watch her. She watches me harder.  

“Sir, can you not see that people need to put their carts there?” the Demoniac is saying.

She is approaching my car. She is measuring with sideways steps the lateral geometry between her van and her backside and the dull silver bars of the cart corral.  

“Sir?” she is saying as she closes the distance.

Afterward, on my way to Omega, I decide that I’d give my life to hear “Watermelon in Easter Hay.” To hear it again the way I first heard it in high school when Adam Beck played it for me in his car. To be at the beginning again as I once was. All options open.  

At this age, Jesus Himself would have wanted to be resurrected. But backward this time.

Bird Report

A robin on the deck rail. None of the usual industriousness. Still for a long few moments, attentive, like a head of state waiting on a translation.