The Night of the Day
We have been somewhere, and we return. I remember I drifted into this from a train of thought about walking with Scoobie up on the ridge in the dark, and encountering a big cat up there. I imagined trying to drag Scoob, who would be naturally curious and never expecting hostile force, down the steep hillside without taking time for the looping trail. I saw us even closing the back door just before the cougar arrived on the porch. Jamming his snout into the pet door.
I had seen a pink armadillo. I wanted to tell it, but no one was attending. We had returned to Clayton’s Grocery, which of course was nothing like the one of my childhood. We are lounging on a large bed apparently set up for that purpose; customers could just plop down.
Hissing. I hear hissing. I say something to Casey and he replies and I cannot make out what he says. I keep asking and he replies again but I can never hear over the hissing.
When I open the door, I see the floor of the adjoining room is gone. Something, pipes or fittings, have swelled in place of the boards, and the hissing is steam from pipes. I ask, why is it we heard nothing but the hissing? I see my shaving cream has come off on Casey’s cheek, and I should take care of that, but there are distractions. The hissing.
The checkout area no longer exists; the counter, the floorboards, only dirt is left where they stood. Some of the flooring seems intact, and customers are roaming over these sections, ignoring the damage. No one but me seems aware of the extent of it. I don’t want to make any more fuss than anyone else, but can’t they see?
I move with the rest of them. I am in the produce sector, and I am conscious of my footing. I feel my foot catch in a declivity, and think, I’m just so hyper alert; it’s just a wrinkle in the masonry floor. But a woman nearby alerts to it, remarks, the floor, the floor.
I see it now, cracking right under my feet, with several levels developing right under me. I step away from this segment, as do the others. No one seems particularly alarmed. It’s just like plastic bags which won’t open or a squeaky wheel on a shopping cart.
The Day Before
It was very quiet. I spent the day without going outside more than a couple feet. I lounged and read, and wrote some on the keyboards, and mused, and dozed, and then late in the afternoon here come Niki J from school.