I had a life once. Now Im in this girl's closet. She will be home soon. I had a life once but the world began to eat at my shoulders. And long shadows cast from unseen objects-- things only our Creator can see-- blocked the sun from lighting my eyes. I had a wife, a little girl, a cute cottage in the foothills well away from town, shrouded in trees. My god, the trees..
She will be home soon and Im just sitting back, in the far back, of her closet, padded by piles of sweaters and other clothes. I can just make out how perfectly lined up her shoes are. They look so sad to me there, empty of feet. Purposeless. Soon to be abandoned by their mistress. So straight, so glum, colorless.
I remember how the trees possessed me in winter, with their naked black beauty. How they suffocated me in summer, green strangulation, green everywhere. I think even my blood turned green. My little girl climbed up into a huge japanese maple tree one fine spring day-- the kind of day that warms the loins of lovers and inspires a suicide or two-- and dropped twenty feet onto her neck. It snapped like a worthless twig. Six months later, my wife was dredged up from the bottom of Chickamauga Creek. I sold the house. I moved out to the desert. Away from the fucking trees.
She's a waitress working the night shift at a nearbye cafe in Yuma. Her boyfriend is in prison-- he beat up a drunk outside a bar one night past, and probably would not have stopped punching until the skull turned to a fruity pulpy mess unless I, and a few others, pulled him off the mouthy drunk. You just cant go around insulting everyone you meet and expect the world to back down each time. The world bites back. It eats shoulders..
A grayish light filters in through the slats of the closet door. She is home. I touch the blade of my knife against my cheek. The cold is fire. It's what inspires me, purifies me. The dying of fires, cold rocks. Desert night rocks. One from under which I come. My new home.
I watch the horizontal segments of her pass back and forth, each time dressed in fewer clothes. Until she is only in panties and bra. "We have an unexpected date, you and I.."
Soon there will be three dead by my hand. By my five green fingers. When Im done I will plant myself in the desert and return as a tree.
I will know what it means, finally, to thirst like a tree in the cold dry sand.