Merlin DeSoto

white fence and snow shadows

There had been men, cleaning men, janitors who had been clearing off a table that had had trash on it in the park. They were talking about and grumbling about taxes and money and the government. I sat down at the bench they were clearing off, and began talking to them about how this country had never been attacked, and how aside from 9/11, we in this country had always been safe. I had been thinking about other countries in Europe that were always more or less under or prone to being under attack. And I told the men, “There are three safe places in the world: here, the Arctic, and Antarctica.” At another table somewhat nearby, the Chairperson of the local university had overheard me talking, or lecturing to these men, these economic beliefs of mine as history to them. She called out to me. By then I had been flying in a loop over the park, an elliptically shaped, tilted loop over the park and trees and the benches. I was a little bit worried that if the soft pack that I had held between my ankles should slip out from there, that I would fall and die, but not overly so that it should happen. I was full of joy going around, flying like this, all around and over the park and benches and the Chairperson’s table with all the finely dressed professors and my table full of the janitors cleaning up the park. As I was coming ‘round in flight, traveling counter-clockwise, I saw standing on the ground my late friend, deceased thirty years ago. I was gladly surprised. Looking down I saw him glance up. His eyes were completely black, filled in with blackness. Maybe his mouth had been open and filled with the same complete blackness too. He, facing my direction, as I was flying above him, fell backwards to the ground buckling at the knees and died, and I woke up screaming at this horror.

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