Thursday, 20 April 2017

Boy, You're Gonna Carry That Weight A Long Time...

Sitting in the driveway at the Island.  It's not until you actually step out of the car, that you really understand that it's gone.  Even driving down the lane way, you expect to hear the dogs barking and smell the wood stove, you start the conversations in your head that you know will begin when you step out of the car and open the heavy wooden door.  "Hey, ya Billy bastard!  Where've you been?  Listen to what this guy thinks.  What do you know about alien abduction?  D'ya bring me a bottle?" 

But there's nothing here.  No cabins, just piles of burnt out rubble.  Dad's shop is still standing, but barely - leaning heavily, like a popsicle stick house built by a kid.  Doors blown wide open, some windows broken out.


It still feels like home, even on this grey, wet miserable April evening.  This place sinks its teeth into you, and it doesn't let you go.  Maybe it's the cedars, lining up the driveway in single file, that must be hundreds of years old.  Trunks as big as maples.  Maybe it's the stone shaped like the number six leaning against the first tree, in the same place it was on my sixth birthday.  Maybe it's the memories of Mystery Theatre on the radio after the news at midnight, of comic books read by oil lanterns, the treats brought in by all kinds of hippies who stopped at Bennett's store, the livestock wandering through the house.

Just one more day - a warm woodstove, a whiskey poured from the bottle hidden in a Cornflakes box, clothes covered in dog hair, seedlings in saucers on window sills, discussions jumping from politics to books to music to transmissions, clutches, fences, back to politics, all in furious voices and raucous laughter.  Can I ever go home?  Maybe someday.  

Someday, when all the menace has crept away or died, raged or rotted away from the ones who haunt this place, who linger, who threaten.  Maybe someday, dogs will run around me, as I hobble along with a homemade walking stick, waving at kids that come to visit:  

"D'ya bring me a bottle?"   

No comments:

Post a Comment