This One Time, 94

This one time I was sitting on the wall down at the park with a couple of my, you know, the guys I hang out with. We had each other’s backs in school when the gang stuff got bad, formed our own gang and all that stuff and acted tons harder than we were. That got us into more trouble than it was worth, but it kept some of the others off of us and kept some of us out of worse trouble, like if we’d joined up with some of the other gangs. Three of us were waiting for a fourth to get off work running deliveries, so basically we were just hanging around making people nervous, and that kinda sucks, because really we’d just rather enjoy the sun, you know, if it was going to behave today, and watch people at the park.

This was the last year in school for most of us, but the school year kinda wrecked with the sun thing. We lost weeks while folks were trying to figure out if we were supposed to be going at night, but some of us had night jobs, and some of those jobs were for places that were still open, and then there was the stuff with the barricaded blocks and shooting all those looters and the general work of collecting bodies that people kept finding and trying to make sure those people actually died from sunburn or sun poisoning and not from something else and just, you know, disposed of where the sun would cook them and cover up a killing. Not everyone was up for stuff like that, so the boys and I helped out with some of that instead of finding out where school was supposed to be or whatever. Also we made the rounds checking on people and making sure they had food and water and stuff. When we could get away with it.

So for some of us the school year was going to run an extra month, some of us are just gonna take our finals when they’re offered and hope for the best, and we’ll all just do what we gotta. Same as always.

Six of the eight of us made it through it, and that was pretty good, considering. Those of us meeting up today were headed over to go hang out with the two that didn’t, over at the memorial park. Meanwhile we just watched the traffic. There were fewer cars. A good deal less honking. People were in a hurry still, especially outside, and the scorched park was just, you know, empty. 

We were all pretty sick of it. Tragedy after tragedy after tragedy — small ones, big ones. We were all like veterans of a war. We’ve seen some pretty horrible stuff, done some horrible stuff, some of us … made some horrible choices that nobody should ever have to make. We were all just ready to get moving again. So we’d made a plan.

Tonight when we go to the memorial park, we’re going to sow some seeds. We got an overhead map of the place and made a grid on top of it and, you know, the way those people fake those crop circle things, we’re going to walk around and make a design. But we’re going to do it with this grass seed that comes up really damn dark blue-green and is almost a weed. We’re gonna do it slow and casual and right under everybody’s noses.

I worked up a stencil of a trumpet player and made it really simple and easy, and that’s what we’re gonna put down on the grass down there. And then we’re gonna go around town and everywhere we see a place where we know someone who died, we’re gonna spray up a stencil of this trumpet player, with his horn pointed up defiantly at the sky, and we’ll end all of this with permanent shadows cast by the biggest jazz funeral ever.

Maybe it’ll catch on, maybe it won’t, but we’re going to get it started. Somebody has to. And I know if we weren’t down both of our trumpet players, they’d be playing them for real tonight.


April 4, 2011 · by xalieri · Posted in This One Time  


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