My sister, the wooly haired, laugh a lot, chatterbox, Liv Oh, at age nine or so, saw Digg, the goat bodied, eagle-headed desert God fucking his sister, Uwe, the gazelle bodied, fish-headed Goddess. Liv Oh witnessed the Holy Union in the high desert under bright spring skies and giggled, covered her mouth, too late.
“Three things?” he said.
“Three things,” Lexie said. She was lying on her stomach, ankles crossed and held in the air, typing on her Mac. He had a Dell himself. But Lexie and her mother were Apple through and through. His ex-wife would buy a toilet seat if the Apple logo was on it.
Whatever happened to the power-chord?
To which my boyfriend lit a bowl
Was A Stairway to Heaven really the greatest song?
Think it over as you pass that on
Said he’d love me till the end of time;
Forever came to stay in 1989
Still, he was never all so great;
For me that bell had tolled in ‘88
Thirty years go by in the glaze of an eye;
Can it be it’s always the promising future that lies?
When my sister Tess and I were girls we’d often visit our father’s grave in New Town Cemetery. Although he had died suddenly when I was two and Tess an infant (thus destined to be little more to us than a face in the family photo album and a grave in the cemetery), we’d make time for “Dear Father” because we had agreed that it was the sort of thing daughters should do. I would recite a psalm memorized from Granna Ivy’s Bible, and Tess would lay a hastily clapped-together bouquet of daisies, buttercups and bluebells on his headstone. I recall admonishing her for the frequent inclusion of dandelions to the arrangement, “Those are weeds, numbskull.” Tess would defend the addition of dandelions on the grounds that “Nobody grows daisies, buttercups or bluebells on purpose, either, bonehead.”
“Mum, mum, I’m just going to come right out with it…I’m straight.”
Janice crossed herself and burst into tears.
“Just keep following this road Donna, it’ll be about another ten minutes.”
Claire stared at her. She could see worry, apprehension and fear. Her younger sister had the same look when she had first told her what she did.
Claire’s thoughts went back to where this had began.
Even the sky grieved. Gray and bleak, the wind cried out in lamentation, sending leftover pockets of old snow onto stark marble gravestones. Mourners passed by, eyes forward, each lost in their own world of respectful sadness. They walked along in silent groups, no one engaging in small talk or forced levity. Their task was much too grave for such normal pleasantries.
Dad and I are shooting brown rats at the Putnam County Dump. I’ve got me a .22 Long Rifle while Dad has a Winchester 70 with a scope. We keep a tally of the rats we shoot ’cause that makes it a bonding experience. So far, I’ve plastered six of them while Dad’s shot seventeen. We’re shooting good ’cause there’s a harvest moon out and we can see them like it was daylight. And Dad’s been swigging Johnny Walker to keep his hands from shaking. A couple belts of Johnny Walker turns Dad into Daniel Boone.