the distant cousin

Posted: September 12, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Shoes

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Claude frequently thought about walking the distance between his mail box and the Baptist church that announced every so often, angel food. Angels probably don’t eat anything unless it is wisps of clouds, or rain drops shining with sunrays, he presumes. The Baptist church, a very large building spread out about one hundred yards from the Old Beech Hill Road, with parking for maybe, maybe three, four hundred cars, has every Sunday no more than eight to ten pick up trucks and the like, don’t fill the parking lot for what Claude presumes to be Sunday services. The stretch of road is pretty plain and Claude figures that he would turn right into the churches long driveway which would lead into the wide parking lot, cross the length of the parking lot and come out at the other arm of the driveway. Needs to pay attention to fox-like dog who sleeps in the very middle of parking lot. You come upon an animal in surprise, and you’re asking for a bite or two. This is the day that Claude chose. He goes in the closet and surveys his shoes: brown shoes, leather, black shoes, leather, fancy sandals for feet to breathe in the summer, furry lining pale yellow sleepers, high top black sneakers, very old white Adidas tennis shoes, never worn no longer remembered other shoes in boxes, all number 11B, neatly piled on his side of the closet. He chooses the Adidas and marches back into the bathroom: white socks, old white Adidas , double knot useless anyway on these goddamned silky shoelaces, sweats on, I am Claude, hear me roar..
He sits down by the window, and sees the river, lower now, despite the rains. Very light brown, like spots of caramel, when more of the sand is visible than river itself. His eyes follow an egret that seems to have come out of nowhere. It follows the river towards the east. I doubt it  will go all the way to the ocean, but it could happen. He moves his socked toes inside the Adidas , smooths down the sweats, thinned by time, by wear, by repeated washes, drying cycle after drying cycle, a spot of coffee, a spot of Madagascar blue on the thigh, he picks at it but no, it is part of the fabric now and he feels the warmth of his thigh in the palm of his hand. Wonder if the hand is the lessor or the lessee and he blows into his palms softly, one eye on the sand bar, one eye on his soft palm.
The trees are now moving in the breeze and Claude thinks rain. He could bring the umbrella. That would make him the only walker in the town, who uses an umbrella. Not having much to choose from, he picked the green golf one, with the broken tips.   How do umbrellas get tips broken, he didn’t know. He would remember it, the first time he opened the umbrella and awkwardly shook it in the air, if and when one of the tips were broken. They should make umbrellas better. Sooner or later, the handle detaches from the central rod, the silk rots at the first row of angled humps, and as he sees now, tips are damaged and nobody knows the when or how.  Claude lifts his left hand and with the middle finger, he traces the letter C on the window pane. C is for Cat, C is for Cancer, C is for Claude and Charlie and cunt and coverlet, cream and cherries, cucumbers, cold and craft, and more than anything for crime and chastisement. Now he can see through the roundness of the C that the grass is very green,much greener than when he was seeing it through the fogged up glass. Maybe it is hot after all, this green looks like Summer green.  He feels his eyes leaving the C roundness to focus on the tip of the canoe outside. It is also green – deep. rich, flat, Old Towne green and he likes it. He rests his eyes on that small piece of green to empty his mind. That is how he forgets all his intentions. He rests so deeply onto small scenes of the front yard, that he forgets the walk, forgets the mail, forgets the coffee, forgets the car running outside, forgets his pills, forgets to feed the dog, forgets to bathe, forgets to read the papers, even the art section he forgets, and he forgets to remember anything at all.

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