There was a peach tree behind my house, in a vast, low, yellow and white field. The field was ringed by lonely, distant ash trees.
Ash trees were rare, back then.
The farmer of the field didn't care for trees. Don't blame him, they weren't his stock or his trade. He trimmed branches according to whim, then retired.
When I came to the field, scythe hoisted across my shoulders, shears in a back pocket. I smiled. I said, "Hello." to the peach tree.
The peach tree stood quietly.
I pruned branch buds and thin sticks. I chopped off dead branches and carefully sawed through thick limbs. I didn't finish the pruning before the sun slipped behind the mountains, but the peach tree looked cleaner when I looked at it from a distance; Less brutalized.
The peach tree was riddled with stubs. Branches cut in the middle, for no discernible reason, no forks or burns, just branch, then:
Like a poorly cared for veteran.
Like a poor amputee.
The peach tree was stripped of its stubs and crooked limbs, its stunted branches culled.
Listen: everyone in this story: I am them. I am everyone. This is a dream we're sharing, you and I, my reader. We are both everyone in this story. Understand?
"Hello dear." Dale breathed to his cat as he closed the thick apartment door and set his keys on the chipped, cigarette burned Formica counter top. Dale did not smoke. His cat did not smoke, either, any more. Tonight, the cat tilted its head and started to purr. "On the table though, cat?" Dale asked his cat. The cat's name was
a few years ago I had pink hair and a vagina. It was awesome. I smiled all the time and none of this should surprise you. I was named by the doctor who pulled me into this world. My mother died, you see. (I laughed when I typed that, I laughed because what else can you do? It was a long time ago, now, and you have to show people you're okay with it.) So my name is Thursday. I was born on a Thursday, but the birth started on a Tuesday. Thursday June Smith. The doctor was thorough, even if she wasn't particularly creative. I bet you can guess what month I was born in, eh?
I met a man the other day, a much older man. This other day, I was early twenties (I don't remember, exactly, any more) but he was clearly in his mid thirties: short, grey hair, flat fingertips and scabby, hairy, knob knuckles. He had a crooked grin and a rambunctious tongue. He closed his eyes when he ordered his aniseed green tea. I frowned. "Is that any good?" I asked.
"Do you like black licorice?" He asked. He smiled. His tongue darted.
I smiled, but my eyebrows continued frowning. "I dunno." I said, "Not really."
"Would you like to try it?" He asked.
I said I would, and we chatted for a while, after I ordered my Americana. We talked about coffee and the weather --how cold it was, still. We
He told me he missed talking, like this. He missed, he told me, talking like an adult. I laughed, secretly flattered to be called an adult. I said, "
"Hello." He said as Marie slid into the passenger seat of his car.