Friday, November 5, 2010

the lunatic i missed

in a red house that no longer stands there was a closet full of books and bottles and bones. i had to creep through the attic crawl space to get to the back corner. i was small and eager. he was there, my ghost friend. made only of a clothespin and kleenex, he collected dust and memories. his crayola eyes watched me turn musty pages of equations. i hummed to the tune of loon songs. there is a tune to them.

grandpa had blown up the barn twice. i found photos of the wreckage one afternoon when i retreated to the closet. illegal fireworks and toys of chemists caused the explosions. he disguised himself as a pharmacist. it was a believable pretense. but eventually his insanity became legendary. i love that about him. i missed him by ten years.

the bones were human bones. he had stashed gold along with them in the insulation. before the wrecking ball tore the closet apart, grandma saved the skeleton and coins. the FBI shipped the bones away. grandma did not show them the rifles kept behind the laundry room wall.

someday i will walk the patch of ground where the red house stood. to search for a missing piece of childhood or a clothespin.

1 comment:

  1. I do not want to see the patch of ground that used to be the red house, although it is probably a good thing for the house to be gone. That way I can remember the house how I want to and the fact that it is gone eliminates the possibility of reality contradicting my memory. The barn, however, predeceased the red house and its demise released the ghost of the lunatic. He was inextricably linked to his 200 year old ramshackle rotted-board laboratory and asylum, so when it finally came down, he was free to return to the red house and the dusty doll.
    His lunacy was indeed legendary but it is better for you to have your own legends and your own lunacy without the stories and legends I accumulated in those ten missing years. I will only say that I saw the gold, the guns and the bones, but they were most likely not the ones you saw. You have bits of that ghost in you. I cannot identify them in you because I did not now the man very long before he ghosted away. Perhaps you can find them when you walk the patch searching for pieces, but do not be sad if they are gone. Clothespins may not be able to grasp tangled connections of ethersphere.
    I carried around sections of the barn for years but they somehow disappeared somewhere along my journeys. I suspect they atomized when the wrecking ball tore the closet apart.