Like A TV With Curtains


Clouds of grey ash are puckered lips that don’t so much blow as they do suck at the bushy clusters of trees that border the freeway.  Those lips look like they’re ready to spit.  Beyond the slabs of cement walls and a vast nexus of whirring electronic equipment that hums and buzzes in each hospital room, Mobey can feel the energy percolating outside.  He can imagine it, the electricity that preludes the first scattered droplets of rain that seem to be the sky’s way of testing the ground below, before the levees break.

A storm is promised, as Mobey cranes his neck and tries to raise an arm, as if to press it against the distant glass.  As if it’s not an impossible journey across the room, from a bed he hasn’t left for six days.  The doctors have stopped telling him to prepare for the long battle with physical therapy that lies ahead.  They have stopped telling him much of anything, which is better than the lies they tell everyone else.  He is never going to leave this bed and if only this damn window had any way of opening, of letting those rising gusts of summer’s tears melt across the stubble caking his face.

How many times did he complain as a boy about the weather as he stayed indoors, listening to his momma holler at the TV?  He’d stare at the gulps of water, churning the air thick with strange life while the woods drowned and he had nothing fun to do but draw and listen to the radio.  Oh how his daddy used to come home, meaner than ever cause of the rain. He’d strip partially down, slam his sopping clothing across the kitchen table and delay dinner sometimes whole hours while he waited and hollered at his family that they wouldn’t eat until he felt “dry” again.

Mobey first killed a man in the rain.  He didn’t intend it.  He meant to murder the guy but, the rain, heavy and stinking enough to drown out the reek of gunpowder, was unforeseen.  Something about that moment imprinted on him.  As his friends began to multiply and his respect become an intangible knot, he began to organize and schedule every murder and trade deal he was responsible for only during rainstorms.  As chaotically unpredictable and random as storms are, it became his motto to follow no set schedule.  Something about this struck the right chord in all the opposition, from the cops to Carlton across the river and those half-hearts from over the hills and outside the county. They all learned to appease him, one at a time.

What’s gnawing at Mobey, worse than the looming tumor in his belly that chews up and voids meaningless the pain meds, is that he can’t hear what’s going on outside.  It’s muted by the beeping robots on either side of him and the distant murmur from beyond his always-open doorway.  He’s relying on memory, now, for the smells and sounds.  What’s outside is just a moving picture. After waking up from the surgery he watched out for his boys’ pickup trucks on the highway as they came to pay their respects.  On that day, the window was just a panel of glass, separating him from everything he used to touch.

He told them all not to come back, to tell all the fools who didn’t yet come around to hold off.  Nobody will ever claim they saw him weakened and maimed.  During the initial visits it took every ounce of him to smile and kid around with the troop. They will remember him as confident, and fearless.  That first night he had a heart attack, but after living through the surgery, it was no thing, getting through it..  It’s a terrible thing, to give up control after having it for so many years.





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This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)