7/14/15 Felicia Sommers

“Kino?” asked the woman. He nodded. “Hi, Felicia Sommers, we spoke on the phone.”

“Yes. We did,” said Kino.

“My God, how is it so cool here?” she asked. “Oh, this is Joshua,” she said, introducing her son.

Kino bent down, ignoring the question, so to be on eye level with the young boy. “And how old are you?” he asked.

“Seven and three fourths,” said the boy.

Kino smiled at him. “My, getting up there aren’t you?” he asked.

Joshua looked up at his mother who smirked.

“Where do you go to school, Joshua?” Kino asked.

“Mom teaches me,” he said.

“I see. Well, let me show you around,” he said, leading them up the steps and into the house.

He showed them through the house. It was not overly nice, but it was clean and liveable. Two bedrooms worked very well for them, though the lack of a television made the boy’s face fall. His mother, on the contrary, was pleased.

“Why do you want to move to the desert?” asked Kino. “Few people want to live out here unless they are farmers.”

There would be no friends for Joshua. What would a boy of that age do in the middle of the desert with only his mother as company? Kino didn’t know. He wanted a real answer. What were they running away from? And he looked at Felicia accordingly.

Her eyes flickered behind heavy lids at his gaze. “Joshua, wait outside for a moment. Can you?” she asked her son.

Joshua nodded and stepped out.

“He’ll probably have his ear pressed to the door,” said Felicia.

“I did the same kinds of things when I was a boy,” said Kino.

“It’s his father,” said Felicia. “We’ve left him. He’s not exactly the kind to give up easily.”

Kino nodded. It was explanation enough. “I will show you the property then,” he said.

Joshua was next to the front door with an innocent look on his face that fooled no one. Kino showed them the small plot, the vegetables he grew there, the chicken pen. He fetched the eggs out of the hen house and showed them to Joshua, who held them gently as if the slightest pressure would crack their shells. When they walked through the oasis the mist clung to them, and a suffocating silence was over the wood, dampening voices and the sounds of the forest.

“Can I put my feet in the pond?” asked Joshua, when they came to the clay-red pond.

“Yes, that is fine” said Kino.

Joshua looked at his mother who nodded. He kicked off his shoes and peeled off his socks then waded slowly into the red water.

“How is this possible?” asked Felicia, suddenly.

Kino shrugged. “For those who know the soul of the soil, it only takes time.”

“But where do the seeds come from?” she asked.

First Kino smiled, then actually laughed. “There is no where. It only is,” he said, reminding himself of his old friend.

4/29/15 Led Astray

I might pull you close,

you’d push me away,

I feel as though I’ve been led astray.

 

The latest nights I’ve had

Sleeping in ‘til dusk

Everything about us is rushed.

 

Laughing ‘til I ache

Longing parts of you

Waiting for the sky to be so blue.

 

Stepping up the path

Hold you from behind

I don’t mind if I go blind.

 

Understanding you

You understanding me

This will take us places I can’t foresee.

 

I’ll ache until I burn

And maybe we will learn

That we can be happy and different.

 

So don’t push me away–

I don’t believe in thirds,

But I want this work if we don’t have words.

4/10/15 This has Gotta Mean Something

The Wanderlust IPA was his drink of choice. The dimly lit bar had copper piping that marked it off from the rest of the restaurant. Near the dart boards, away from the bar, were some tall tables paired with tall wooden chairs. A couple other people were sitting in the corner chatting and drinking. She ordered a Wanderlust also, trusting in his knowledge of beers. She hadn’t really been interested beer until recently. More of a whisky drinker–to tell the truth.

They took a seat away from the bar and near the back.

“This is crazy,” he says.

“Yeah. A little.”

“It’s been, what? eight, nine years?”

“I guess.”

He’s hair that would be blonde if he lived someplace that got more sun. But since it’s the Pacific Northwest it’s just sandy brown. He has no blemishes on his face, though a light dusting of stubble on his chin and somewhat rosey cheeks.

He asks the cliche questions about why she’s back from LA. And she gives her cliche answers. The beer is good–it puts a bitter zing on her tongue. He asks what she’s doing now. Working and working. Trying to figure out what to do. He’s doing his masters in creative writing. Almost done with classes. Still finishing his thesis. He’s interesting in the way an intellectual might be interesting if they didn’t care about history. She doesn’t care about history. She cares about art and so does he. He pulls books from his backpack and reads passages of novels he thinks she might like. He reads passages from his own work. They order more beer. They talk about relationships–just the tip of the iceberg–and then stories of LA. But she is glad to be back she says. She feels like Seattle is the place to be right now.

They order more beer and she can’t remember what they talked about anymore and they order more beer.

“I just feel like guys will look too deeply into a girl being nice,” she says. They’re back on relationships.

“Yeah. I think you’re right. I’m doing that right now.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m wondering if I’m–well, I’m wondering if–there’s something between us maybe. I–this is going to sound crazy,” he’s a bit drunk and not as articulate, but she wants to know what he’s going to say.

“What?”

“Two days ago–three. On Friday we had a party at my house and my friend Allie showed me a picture of a book opened and a mountainous landscape for a backdrop. The caption was of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. I asked Allie who posted it, and it was you. I hadn’t thought of you for years and years–we looked at your instagram and I’ve always thought you were beautiful. Then, suddenly I had your number the very next day, and now–you’re here and I’m like, wow. This has gotta mean something.”