Patterns By Richard Hartwell

April 11, 2013 Comments Off on Patterns By Richard Hartwell

I sit here, staring at the stains on the carpet, waiting for pictures to appear in their patterns. I know they will. Not when I squint my eyes or fog my vision, but when, with the intense focus of concentration, I will them to. I wonder what will come out tonight, hyenas again, or the lions of last week? Perhaps those bats with the heads of famous writers and artists that came to me for the first time last month.

When they come, they don’t seem to adhere to any schedule or routine. They don’t seem to be prompted by anything specific or, necessarily, repeatable. I wonder what the smell of bananas will recall?

Now they are back, crawling forth from the carpet, filling the living room, crowding the evening like so many cocktail-party goers.

From this, I segue to a recollection of Tina, Lee, and the visiting DeRosas, all attired in Mafioso black, complete with dark glasses, and all boarding the northbound passenger train in Gilroy, headed for a weekend in San Francisco, as if it was some upscale stylish in-thing. If it was, it was lost on the denizens of the Mexican bars and brothels at the south end of town. It was probably too early and/or too blurry, judging by the shadows, for any of them to notice how not fabulous it was anyway, the Mexicans as well as Tina, Lee, and the DeRosas: one drunken group on hand to wish bon voyage to another.

And where was I while all of this was happening? You see, I only have this single photograph, capturing with delight this convivial party of travelers. I was not present, probably never invited, not that I would have condescended to attend anyway, but where was I while this perfect outing was being captured on film? I was home, probably, planning what would be a night of drunken, boisterous carousing in delight of spring or summer or something and in spite of moral or familial conventions. We were all nothing if not predictable. And to think, I was not even related to Lee or the DeRosas and only connected to Tina by the thinnest stream of blood. . .

© 2013 Richard Hartwell

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California.  He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.  Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.

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