Monthly Archives: July 2012

Boîte aux lettres

He made his way up the steps slowly. By this point he was drunk; the sweat and humidity had reduced his shirt to a wet washcloth. After a considerable amount of effort, he managed to find his mailbox key and steal away into the alcove of the apartment building allotted for mailboxes. The night was alive with the cries and pleas of crickets, but he paid them no attention. His purpose was singular.

‘So long ago now. There’s no way. The way she looked in Galveston; the mayflies dancing where the red lines met the sea in glow. Prague, of all places. The postage would be expensive. She could have emailed me. She didn’t. It won’t be there.’ His thoughts were a maze and he was trapped in them.

The key slipped loosely into the lock — a lock too often abused in its dutiful service to this tenant and many tenants before. It was all the same to the key lock, all relative. It gazed upon him with cool indifference. With a faint click it acknowledged the keeper of its key, and yielded to the turning, unsteady, and uneven motion of his wrist. There in a yellowed envelope sat a letter — its neatness and perpendicular relationship to the sides of the mailbox suggested a postal employee with either immense pride in his labors or a manic attention to detail.

He ripped the letter open by prying his finger into the crevasse on the far right corner where an errant tongue had neglected the glue. His vision blurred, he read snippets of the letter and snippets of the snippets again. After an eternity entertaining the man’s pleading gazes, the letter’s essence revealed itself.

“Not coming back.”

The thin aluminum walls of the postal box clicked shut once more and the lock turned back over to its state of rest. There it remained long after the man crumpled the letter and walked away. There it would linger.

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Loading Docks

Wandering about late at night I came across these loading docks on the back of a strip mall nestled along Interstate 10 in San Antonio. The docks gave me a sense of loneliness – the good kind, of course. They sparked that sensation, which I can only describe as beginning at the backs of your knees, which I feel when I want to be alone with my thoughts. I thought of the men who will work these dimly lit cargo bays in the early morning and I thought of longshoremen cussin’ and cowhands whoopin’, as Woody Guthrie was fond of saying. It is in this lonely solitude that we are, perhaps, most ourselves. Such a possibility encourages one to keep good company, lest that outcome prove to be torture. Image

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Rest

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Bexar County Courthouse

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There is a building in the old county of Bexar, just on the other side of the square from San Fernando Cathedral, wearing a great bee hive for a crown. It’s old limestone walls look out into the market square, where Santa Anna’s great army made ready the machinery of war against the Alamo. Built to do justice, this old temple of the law has brewed Texas’ special recipe of the term for both good and ill.

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July 18, 2012 · 12:25 am

A walking spring day/The sun cuts starkly like a knife/And glows with hunger.

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