“I don’t get it,” George said, smaller now as 10. “Why make *this* life look so much as that *other* life we don’t want to go to.”
“We want to *escape* from,” corrected Duncan, glad the innocent boy was back. Now he could *gradually* teach him the ways of the world, starting with artistic photography. Middletown, he realized. Must – avoid – Middletown.
“Yeah.” He looked up at me, squashing an urge to pick his nose. He *is* grown up. He will put aside childish things and move into the world, as if on a train (of destiny).
“Let’s get back to the apartment and I’ll explain there. Before one of us wanders off again and forgets about the other.” They share a smile with this. The man is the boy is the man, round and round. There was an age gap between them but that was just time. Duncan looked down at his shiny Rolex watch. 1/2 past 6. It was always 1/2 past 6. Because the gall darn thing never worked ever since that raccoon got a hold of it after he’d fished it out of the trash back in the back alley. They’d tugged and tugged, one not letting the other have an obviously valuable sparkly object. Duncan won, of course, being 15x stronger than what is essentially an overgrown rodent in his mind. But he paid the price. He remembers it ticking when he got it out of the can. The skirmish must have itself happened at 1/2 past 6. It was as if time was frozen at that point. Zero Point. Fusion of Man and Animal beyond that. Manimal.
The artistic photos just viewed actually lie in the gallery right beneath their apartment. Heavenly Flower it is called, with a silhouette of a woman hold a blooming lily over her heart for a logo. Appropriate.
They’d just finished a dinner of leftover fish tacos and mystery loaf and were talking about the subject left hanging before. Duncan A. had decided to use this as a teaching device.
“You asked about escape before,” said George at a midway point in the conversation, “like we are trapped here.”
“Trapped there as well,” spoke Duncan. A soft stirring started in the CB Dylan dresser in the corner of the room directly over where they’d been before. Snowmanster, they knew. Trying to escape. He was very distant still, thus the softness. They knew he would not be entering their apartment again anytime soon. A shame: both liked and respected the great snow being. He was a lot of fun, a gas. But it would soon be Melting Days at Bennington Square and the stirrings would stop altogether, until about Halloween or at least Thanksgiving at the latest. Then they would gradually die down in March and cease around Arbor Day, which was today. Both had forgotten to plant a tree in honor of his dying memory. Both forget a lot of things. What was that noise in the dresser? both thought at once, memory erased for 5-7 months. Must have been the wind.
(to be continued)