She builds a ziggurat of self-lighting charcoal.
The man has a beard and a crooked front tooth and the lady, I think I only saw the lady during the winter when we were all out shoveling and plowing, so, buried in Gor-Tex and my vision blurred by heart palpitations. The man said he had some (literal) red tape for just such an emergency, this still being back in the winter when I clocked Alexis’ (literal) taillights against the bumper of the U-Haul.
Their front lawn is riddled with the 1970s, appliances highlighted by stylized asterisks and earthtones. I’m looking for my bible but there are only cookbooks. I ask the lady if she has any novels that she’s read more than once and she says “Oh my yes how’s it go, History Dew Loyal..?”
They handwrote each flyer proclaiming a neighborhood yard sale. Our cat may or may not have cut open a small hole in the windowscreen the other night and what if he fell right through and ran away while we slept? Would I have the patience to handwrite a bunch of Missing Kute Kitten flyers, doing a slightly different rendition of his face for each one, maybe a slightly different layout, three underlines instead of two, varying the words in boldface? Would we have a debriefing at the end of each day, calculating which version was the most successful and re-evaluating the campaign based on that data?
She makes sandwiches and puts a little dab of mustard on mine because I’ve started to like that, although the sight of yellow still makes me freeze in terror. She labels the plastic bags with our names because the differences in the sandwiches are subtle. We’re shaded on the back porch by the clothes on the line. Success rate of spitting cherry pits over the rails from where I’m sitting: 1/2. In Denver, long ago, I planted three peach pits somewhere in our front lawn and there’s still no goddamn tree there.