I stand on the borderland between city and desert, not sure which is less appealing. I turn to my right and look down at the rabbit next to me. “Where should I go?”
“Well, I live in the desert, so you’re welcome to come with me. I’m only going about a mile that way.” The rabbit motions straight forward with a deliberate nod of its head.
“A mile? I don’t know if my shoes are suitable for walking in the sand that long. My apartment is only two blocks behind us, if you don’t want to make the trek to your place right now.”
“Thank you for the offer, but it’s time that I head home. If you’re not coming with me, I’d like to bid you adieu. If you’re ever in my area, come on over and we can talk about life some more.
“I’d like that.” The rabbit begins the journey back to the spot of desert it calls home, and I stand watching until it hops over the top of the closest sand dune. I turn around and look at the city. I immediately notice the soggy cigarette butts left around before it rained last night. Did the desert see any of that rain? Common sense would say yes, but common sense doesn’t allow for a dialogue with a rabbit.
“I have a climbing rope set up in my backyard if you want to try it.” Sitting at the kitchen table has become difficult for Tracy. Time sitting idle is time wasted.
Fred is taken aback, as he’s been having a perfectly nice time sitting in conversation at the kitchen table. It’s a lovely breakfast nook, the sun streaming in through the window and warming his shoulder. “I’ve never been much for climbing ropes, ever since grade school gym class. My teacher wasn’t very understanding of my lack of upper body strength.”
Tracy has to work off the coffee he just drank in some way, so he keeps pursuing the rope scenario, even if just to walk outside and look at the setup. “Well, this rope has knots in it, so it’s more like a ladder than anything.”
Fred has become wary of Tracy’s ploy to evacuate the house, and he’s not fond of this possibility. “I should have just mentioned right off the bat that I don’t like heights. Even if I could successfully maneuver my way up your rope, I’d be frozen at the top and you’d have to call the fire department to get me down.” This is a lie.
“I somehow doubt that you’re telling the truth, but I won’t pressure you anymore to climb the rope. I just figured it would be a fun activity.”
“What’s the rope hanging from, anyway?” Fred wants to keep the conversation going, preferably without leaving this toasty nook. Doesn’t Tracy understand how comfortable it is in here?
“I have a giant tripod set up, with the rope hanging from the center. It’s pretty nifty. Would you at least be okay with me climbing the rope once or twice?” Here’s an opening! Surely Fred won’t object to this.
“What, am I boring you?”
Devin takes a sip of hot coffee that still needs to be blown on. “I’ve just been out of it lately, can’t describe it as much more than that. I haven’t been social, and opportunities for social interaction are just too much to bear.” He looks forlornly at the coffee cup.
Marie offers her obligatory call to action. “Have you at least made an effort to get out and see people?” She wants to understand the situation, it’s never been hard for her to scrap the shackles of introversion.
“I’ve gotten as far as considering the possibility, but when it enters the realm of action, I withdraw.” He takes another sip.
“You sound like a turtle.”
“I feel like one these days. A shell would be helpful in a lot of situations.” He begins imagining a human with a turtle shell for a convenient anytime hiding place. In restaurants, in the park, on public transit, a safe haven would always be within reach. “Yeah, a human turtle.”
“Sorry, what? You lost me.”
Unless you want
to lose your hand,
I wouldn’t venture
over to that table saw
any time soon.
It’s obviously your choice,
but don’t come
crying to me
when all your friends
start calling you
lefty and southpaw
(on account of
your northpaw being gone).
A mustachioed man with a boot for a leg kicked his way over to me and said, “Son, you’re never gonna be paid what you’re worth, so you gotta make amends with that fact and live your life to the fullest.” I’d never before met this gentleman, so his insight into my employment status intrigued me.
“What, stop worrying so much about money?” I furrowed my brow.
“That’s the gist of it, kid. You got a passion? I suggest you focus on that, for the sake of your sanity.”