Dec/08

15

T.O.D

A black cloud has taken hold. We call it the Tunnel Of Doom. Anikke feels it over Jill. Meghan feels it over Mary. Kareem feels it over Kahlid. And I feel it over no one. Not for cancer, not for cat sh*t on the carpet, not for a spray-painted hate crime on the other side of town. T.O.D. for me is swelling like the Bering Sea. Over the lost fishermen. Their icy bodies pulled blue from the wreckage, salt lapping at rubbery skin. My dad went there as a young man. Alone, manic, then deep in T.O.D. I take after him. His white foaming darkness. My ma’s resolute calm; a little of both. He’s at the shelter today. Sifting through more wreckage of homeless fantasy. Brilliant plaids and sweat-stained whites. Maurice and Lewis dive deep in T.O.D. as Travis and Kirk try to pull out. Chester grimaces as a boy looses his gun in the leaves of Vietnam. He grits his smile and brandishes gardening sheers. I call the cops twice that night. They laugh in my face, tell me not to call talking about a gun. But I saw a man with a black beanie and heard glass breaking in the covered alley. I know what I heard. Car hoods thumped upon, a cigarette shoved against the wind. When I wake up I see no broken glass, just a window that’s been cracked for weeks. I must be loosing my grip. I must be in T.O.D. this Friday morning. Friday is my Monday anyway.

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Gina B. Lalonde

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