One Thing Only

It was the middle of a summer rainstorm, an expected one. A mild hum of air conditioners and gurgling thunder could be heard for miles. The storm had just hurried South, grabbing frantically at trees as it passes, blasting heat into the faces of those on foot forcing them to smell the filth that bakes out of city cement. It never smells the same but always tastes like blood. The graveyard at the end of the block makes this view an interesting one. Terror filled skies flash a light, but only spotlighting tiny branches of what could be a complete grid of light bulbs shaped like veins. They are many, skinny, thick, up and sideways, defining clouds of dust that suddenly change afternoons into night. It infects the mind with stillness; loose enough that an eye’s focus is hard to maintain. Patterned upholstery, colors of a window curtain and floorboards are quickly taken out of context. The illustrations and lines are no longer affects the mind can recognize but the pattern itself triggers memories, something that someone else said, progressing to the list of people that were once known and now aren’t. It happens fast and rain is still falling. There is no sight of another human being, just water everywhere, and thunder running away from its crime. Isolation holds the psyche in limbo, and the poor mind forgets thoughts as quickly as they form, and nothing can be done to change it. It’s right there, in that moment that I stand.

Outside under a tree, I can tell you one thing only: leaves don’t protect as much as bark.

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