I felt like seeing a movie one day, and I went, and there were, on the screen, demonstrations of joy and abject suffering, the faces huge, like moons. I was covered in feeling. I took my place in a crowd of strangers leaving the darkness, and the light, I saw, was different in the sky since it was evening, and there was a mild sensation, which was available, maybe, to all, of being contained, being part of the moment. We were the same, resuming ourselves out here, letting our faces close around our separate bits of intention.
As if your life, as you know it, has been removed for the time being, has left you untended. And you are whatever you touch. And you are whatever you see. Dog. Sky. And maybe the words for them, too, like flutter-down pieces of paper.
I like your car, I said. The man said, Trade you. We exchanged keys. Watching him pull the Escalade into the street, my son looked nervous. How about this! I said when we had dropped into the seats of the curved convertible. It seemed like a car that could take me into the future from out of the past. That could harness propulsion. However, it was out of gas. During my wait for a turn at the pump, I guess I fell asleep. I dreamed about high school. A different high school, though. One whose fading sepia halls were so dark I could hardly see. I was lost. In this maze. Unable to find my way. I heard a voice calling. Dad!
Taking a leak in the moonlight, on acid, I lose control of surfaces. Like, belt. Fabric. Zipper. Skin. They stop behaving in a way where they are recognizable, where I know what to do with them, and how. I’m in a parking lot. I’m kind of like a blind man here, except not; my eyes are teeming. I tune myself to an immediacy: the need for my pants to be fastened.
I feel like I’ve been here before, and it was the same but I was different. I feel like the last of some day I once lived is still there in the lights of the pier. A handbill: local seniors plan to gather tonight in the bandstand. They will take their seats and play. And this is for free. You can take your sandals off and stand in the slide of the froth. Listen to gulls, and drifting tubas, which will get lost in the hush of the waves.
Scott Garson is the author of Is That You, John Wayne?–a collection of stories. He has work in or coming from American Short Fiction, Threepenny Review, Passages North, Kenyon Review, Electric Literature and others.