Thursday, April 14, 2011

Horace and Doris buy Ice Cream

Horace and Doris stand in line to buy the soft-serve ice cream the boy behind the window and counter will arrange in either a sugar or waffle cone. Doris looks at the ground. Horace looks to the left, and to the right. Then, Horace joins in Doris’ gaze-stance. He slightly lifts his right foot, kicks a pebble, shrugs, and puts his hands into his pockets.

“What is the matter, Doris?”


As the vocal chords inside the throat of Doris swing back and forth, pitching the i, n, and g across the center of home plate, a sensation suddenly fills her body. It is a sensation Doris typically feels. Doris was not handed down the name of this sensation from a mother, brother, or aging cousin. And, at this point in time, she has neither invented, nor has she chosen to agree with the name elected by some playwright, popular-music singer, or child. So, not having a name for this feeling that is brimming and boiling over the edge of her “pot”, Doris opens the book she is reading to pages 59 and 60, page 59 being the last page she read.

You know what they say, “A bookmark never forgets.” No, a bookmark remembers.

On this day, Doris is using a one-dollar bill as a book mark. Horace and Doris are still waiting for their ice-cream cones. As Doris’ eyes descend towards the book – so that she can pretend to read, so that she doesn’t have to invent a name for a currently unidentified feeling, so that she doesn’t have to talk to Horace – they are attracted to some words scribbled on the backside of the one-dollar bill. Simultaneously, Horace imagines himself making contact with the “Nothing Ball” thrown directly into the center of his strike-zone (he would have hit it out of the park!), and the scribbled words on the back of the one-dollar bill bookmark come into the eyes of Doris.

As she reads over the scribbled words, the previously unnamed feeling she felt leaves her body. This happens because the nature of the scribbled words could be called “abrasive”. The scribbled words poke many leaky holes into the soles of her feet. By-the-way, that unnamed feeling she felt was a liquid. The words scribbled upon the back of the one-dollar bill bookmark are gaseous. Through the poked holes, the scribbled words slowly ascend and fill each and every cavity within Doris’ body. She quickly identifies the feelings she now feels. She knows their names. She is surprised, excited, and afraid.

In her mind Doris thinks: “Wait a second here… How could… No, it’s not possible… Is someone talking to me? Hello, is anyone there?”

Doris shuts the book. Pages 59 and 60 are still marked by the one-dollar bill bookmark. The very same bookmark that to this day has the words “all of your nothings filled two jars neither heavy nor weightless suspended on a two-by-four dangling over city street the nothings are yours the jars are ours the two-by-four is mine” scribbled upon the backside with a orange-red crayon.

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