All he did one day is putter around the place. He cleaned out the stovepipe by unscrewing its pieces and shoving down a stiff wire brush. He tied up the tomatoes against the wooden stakes with torn up bedsheets. He swept the kitchen floor, and was surprised at how much dirt and hair there were. He folded the music on the piano. He thumbed the wet bristles of his toothbrush. He sat on the back step and heard the crickets and katydids. He sat on the front slab of stone and cursed the cars speeding by in his heart. He thought of rust. And he thought of the density of hematite, how heavy it was in the palm of his hand. And the smell of the cow’s wet hay at the end of road where he ran just after dawn when it was first light enough to see everywhere.
There are haunts of things so private they must never be shown. They are not necessarily crimes or criminal. They are the opposite. They are like a little secret spring that bubbles under-leaf in the woods tended to once a year. Cleaned up with a hoe and rake, common hand tools, to keep it running. Private things. Like that. Unknown to any other. A glass of room temperature ginger ale. Folding a piece of paper evenly down the middle. The smell of beeswax up close. Medium tide at the beach. Things that are often simple, plain. Often empty. No persons. No smiles and birthday candle blown-out wishes. Vanished from sight, disappeared from the scene, things we can maybe conjure back from our abolished memories like once forgotten pictures. Sometimes they will tell us everything we ever knew (and needed to know) where we were hidden among a crowd of stars so long ago.