he took the tour. What the hell else was he gonna do. And it was it was like stepping into someone else’s life and living it for a while the fallacies to the argument the reasons for the defence none of this mattered for if you made it important it just made you weak they had leverage on you becoming the unrelenting pressure point that came boiling up every once in a while the fact that you knew very well what was going on how you too have stood outside looking in how we all play God to the things that matter very little to us how it gives us our distance and we say they are feeling it but I do not and when I do they will be the same as me they will judge and objectify my passions so when the old man returned them to the parlor the pictures the things from the past they suddenly seem so far away and he says

Easter is a moveable feast. It ain’t fixed on any calendar and that year it came early after the full moon, but I think he was ready. If you ask me and I go to church regularly one or two songs of praise and I’m about done I want to sit I want to meditate on something else what I’m going to eat what I owe who owes me and I think to myself—this is what we’re going to be doing forever? Ya I guess you could say he was just ready because despite these facts of what to eat what I owe what is owed me despite the frustrated desires the restlessness even the things that I have done that I’m not proud of that could be seen as workings towards evil—they all have worship in it—it all worships God. And so maybe that day when they hung him up in Benton after he shook the hand of his executioner he looked up at the sky and he saw the trees and the grass those first wildflowers which begin spring days and he said what we all say when still within ourselves we look out and surrender what is within and we say we have to say… Yessir that God—He’s a mighty fine artist—you bet

and she says after: what did you find?

it was just as he said my grandmother her father—he dabbled in photography–but who? Who put it there?

you could see her too not just as in that painting the one over the Van Gogh if you looked closely if you were looking for it you could see her in the window an outline in the light and you could see him too—you could see that cat. The picture was wedged under the frame in the upper left hand corner the original not one of the blown-up copies posted for tourists—The Shady Rest the picture of Charlie with his men. Oliver had dated it beneath the signature under the careless cursive of the artist’s hand—the name of the photographer:

John Hancock

well just remember anything you put your name to I get 28% she says and if you find yourself in good with a woman I can ruin that too I can have you again but she was just excited about the seed she’d saved from the last quarter and one had budded it sat in her kitchen window opposite the wall where his gift from Texas hang—do you think it will grow? she asks

Yes, it will grow

so with the girls in between them they walk down the jailhouse steps and talk about the coming summer and where to plant it

Advertisements