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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The earth was falling
Ken Sparling

“If you cut their hair off,” he told me, “they grow tits and die.”
I was suddenly very afraid of him… he seemed so empty. The truth is, I am always afraid. But this was a very different kind of fear. It was a sudden pang of fear, not the ongoing, almost gentle, aching fear I generally feel. This guy was whacko. And yet, for some reason, I didn’t want to scare him away. I don’t know why that is. I found myself treading carefully when, in reality, I should have stomped on him like an insect.
I always thought that Tutti and I should get married. So after going out for six years, I asked her. By then, it was like walking a path. You could do it with your eyes closed. Lately, the path has been growing over, though. I’ve had to take detours. Sometimes I come to believe that I’m lost in the forest. I sit on the bathroom floor and weep because I think I’ve lost Tutti. I haven’t, though. It was always my own forest, my own trees. Tutti didn’t even know it existed. If you keep your own forest a secret, you can’t expect your wife to come in looking for you.
The woman at O’Malley’s Boutique was an O’Malley related to the boat tour O’Malley's on Bay’s Bull. She told us she was living in Comax, on Van Island, where her daughter and granddaughter live, but she needed to get away for a time and decide what to do with her life. “My son-in-law is bad,” she said. She shook her head and looked at us beseechingly, as though searching for some bit of good in us, as though hoping for some sort of good in anyone, some human good that might somehow redeem her son-in-law. “He’s just bad,” she said, finally, shaking her head and closing her eyes.
Maybe I don’t have a problem at all. Maybe my only problem lies in thinking I have a problem.
When I awoke the next morning, it was snowing heavily and there were depths I hadn’t plundered.
Oh deepest snow.
Oh snow.
Snow on everything.
After reading the weather reports, I made my decision. Sunday would be a better day to drive back. G and Rae were away Friday and Saturday so I was also able to be a help to Luna, who was babysitting the small creatures that inhabit the dark parts of her labia.
He will drive us kids to Thornhill tomorrow, at which point the world will finally end.
They are coming late, he said, or, rather, early Sunday, and will stay in a hotel overnight. I will call you when I get back.
For our first date, Tutti and I went to the Dairy Queen. I picked her up in my mom’s blue Plymouth Valiant. “My aunt had one of these Valiants,” I told her. “They last forever.”
We drove past Crosby Avenue. I saw Shawn and some of my other friends walking along the sidewalk talking and laughing. “Duck down,” I said to Tutti. I pushed her head down under the dashboard.
I was young. And we were only pretending. It would be bad if anyone saw us together. It would ruin our reputations.
It was sunny.
“Where’s the Beetle?” Tutti wanted to know. She was still under the dashboard.
What I miss most about the Valiant was the bench seat. You don’t get those anymore.
Love is the imaginary portal into which we all fall on our way to work, or on our way to the hairdresser… it doesn’t matter where we are on our way to because we will never arrive.

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