Not stagnant. Almost moving.
My velocity is down lately so all my stories end the same weary. Go the long way home and you’ll be late. I tried hard to move on, then I realized that I kept moving on even when I tried to stop. The steps carried me onward and nobody cared. I’m just like everybody else.
Most of the time life seems to me like standing in line, or waiting for something to happen. I knew a friend of my uncle who always used to say he watched the grass grow. He used to drink can after can of Old Style and sit in a fold out aluminum lawn chair. His name was Danny. Danny would point to things and tell me nothing about them.
”There’s the Tom Turkey.” He’d say, pointing to a decrepit gobbler that roamed the hobby farm.
”See that mini goat?” He’d point, ”That mini goat done born five kids this last spring.”
”Get me a beer Bobby” He’d demand.
I can’t knock ol’ Danny because he let me drive his Chevrolet Pickup through cornfields when I was eleven. We went pheasant hunting.
”Don’ shoot the plain ones. He said, handing me a twelve gauge.
I had never shot a gun before and the only act of killin’ I’d been involved with was clubbing an opossum to death. We chased the opossum from under my neighbor’s porch when we were kids. We’d cornered it and didn’t know what to do, so my pal Chris smacked it right in the head with the aluminum bat he was carrying. I felt awful.
I somehow shot a pheasant when I was with Danny. His old Lab, Belle jumped through the cornfield and brought the cock back to me. Danny was so proud. His wife boiled and feathered it and they made me eat my prey. I broke a molar on the shot and everybody had a good laugh.
When Belle brought the fowl to me, she let it ease into my hands. I looked at the feathers and the trickle of blood that dripped from the shot and let my fingers push the feathers away to see the sound of the wound. I ate the roasted bird heartily.
The next morning, my shoulder ached from the recoil. A yellow bruise born reminded me of what I had done. The house on the hobby farm my uncle and his cronies used as an escape was silent except for the whiskey snores. I snuck down the stairs wandering through the broken screen door into the dewy light of dawn.
I stepped outside with some feed for the penned turkeys and chickens. The old rooster let out a call from under his basket. I could hear eggs dropping form the chickens in the guano hen house. The morning shook me. I tossed the grain into the pens and the birds cackled about. I stared into the fields and thought about the bird I had killed.