When I walk to work, my thoughts have longer legs. It’s pace, isn’t it? The sound of footfalls and breath. The way the sun glares impatiently. Fielding last night at t-ball, the boys L-armed their throws into a bucket, or shied them at me. Our hands muddy. The comforting tink of an aluminum bat. Might have been all the fields we ever played in. Those first spring games where our cleats gripped and our hands ached and our coats marked bases or goals or sidelines.
You know that exchange in Big Chill, something like, I thought because they looked like us, and talked like us, they were going to think like us? Yeah. That. I’ve got that. Why is compassion still a radical notion? If you don’t believe me, just think about what they did to Jesus. What they keep doing to him. Our mythology is supposed to remind us how to live. We tell stories to remember.
Gavin and I pitch Hansel and Gretel variations. His last was about these lamp-mice, Hansel and Gretel, who lived on Lamp-Planet, which was kind of like the moon, but bigger. And they were going to Giraffe School on Mars for college. That’s where they met a guy made entirely of candy. And ate him.
Do you know Douglas Dunn’s poem, “A Removal from Terry Street”
On a squeaking cart, they push the usual stuff,
A mattress, bed ends, cups, carpets, chairs,
Four paperback westerns. Two whistling youths
In surplus US Army battle-jackets
Remove their sister’s goods. Her husband
Follows, carrying on his shoulders the son
Whose mischief we are glad to see removed,
And pushing, of all things, a lawnmower.
There is no grass in Terry Street. The worms
Come up cracks in concrete yards in moonlight.
That man, I wish him well. I wish him grass.
Yeah. That. I’ve got that.