- Vol. 07
- Chapter 03
On Missing Stars
... Arms folded, eyes locked, feet planted. Neither of us speak. The sun shines brightly. Hot to the touch. I don’t. In case it all disappears. Still unsure of my footing. Only thing I know is that I can’t trust you.
The cigarette hanging from my mouth my only scent of familiarity.
In a former life this task would have been welcomed. Pick anything and share your opinion. I used to talk more than anything. Too much, some would say. I never agreed, though they were right. Forced confessions, fearful cover-ups. No thought to plead the 5th. First thoughts aren’t always best thoughts, I now know.
I served time – not mine, yours - for a crime I did not commit. You lost my trust and I lost my voice.
I waited for you to rescue me. Until I realized you wouldn’t. Then, I just waited. The evidence, formerly hidden under piles of carpet remnants and moldy towels, ultimately rose like the stars in the night sky.
Now that I’m out, everyone wants to know more.
I talk, not to you, but for me. I don’t want to forget. No one ever asks what I missed the most. But I tell them, anyway.
Stars of the night sky.
Meteor showers and butterfly kisses.
Freedom to turn off the lights.
I’m asked to assign stars to a place where stars never align. All of us, down on our luck. Dealt a bad hand. No Aces. Cast aside like Jokers as the Kings and Queens play with Spades.
I present your desired review of a 1-Star Establishment full of potentially 5-Star Humans. If only they were dealt a different hand. With no trick decks.
On Missing Stars
Jail is twiddling fingers yearning to bake, knit, and sew.
No knives, needles, or balls of yarn allowed.
Jail is talk of missed bowling leagues, kids’ band concerts, and monthly pay checks.
No streaming or overtime allowed.
Jail is forgotten visitation hours, disappearing birthdays, and melted hearts.
No reminders allowed.
Jail is late night stories of honeycomb bee hives perched high above dirt roadways on wayward branches seeking new paths.
No wrong turns allowed.
Jail is tales of summer swims at the foot of the crimson red fire hydrant decorated with scratches of past love and splotches of black tar.
No romances allowed.
Jail is tears for black pugs, brown hounds, and mixed color mutts.
No pets allowed.
Jail is talk of future ping pong tournaments, lessons on Swahili, and wall etchings that track each full moon.
No ball playing, recording, or inking allowed.
Jail is self-generated music composed of tapping toes, snapping fingers, and whistles from dry puckered lips.
No strings allowed.
... What else would you like to know? I’ve got the time. Do you have a light?