“Far Afield,” by Anthony Martin
That creaking is the building swaying in the wind. Carpenter’s officemate gave a start when it happened on his first day. It is designed to do that, Mitchell, so I wouldn’t be concerned. The Sears Tower, you know the one in Chicago, it’s on these tremendous rollers so that even a tornado wouldn’t do it in. The creaking is just lateral give, he says, and thinks, When Rita sat where you sat she said it sounds like an old man walking up the stairs, the way the wood creaks and his ankles pop. She said skyscrapers are really just tall blades of grass.
They were like ants then, the way they marched up the blade each day, up the crease and toward the topmost point, careful not to slip on the morning dew. Now hers is in the business district of a Dutch city with a suspension bridge where the spring thaw is likely nearing its end; and his is in the same goddamn blue-green gridlocked pasture near the coast, that limited, ever-bustling field where the sun usually shines but less bright when no one is there to lie in it with. Sometimes the fog comes in and settles low under Carpenter’s window, something like a gray blanket stretched out over the city and the other blades poking through it here and there, their antennae reaching upward and begging for lightning to strike.
Oh it rains here, Mitch. Sure. Everyone asks that. Rarely lightning, though. Least I haven’t seen any yet.
Out the window, Carpenter knows his gaze will have to cross a continent and an ocean and then still a good piece after that before it reaches Rita atop her new blade of grass, fifty five stories up and three thousand miles away, night-eyed and sleepy and swaying in the wind.
Anthony Martin (@pen_tight) is a mutt, mixed with a little Timber Journal, Cheap Pop, WhiskeyPaper, Lunch Ticket, and Pea River Journal.
Image Credit: ©/ Dollar Photo Club