Hippie Squared: Wishing for a Pair of Wings and a Set of Goggles
Wishing for a pair of wings and a set of goggles, Warren Crutch washed the floor, while his elderly mother hovered nearby, and when he finished, he left the house. He walked the late afternoon streets alone until he reached the home of his girlfriend, Alabaster Lane.
With blonde hair and yellow teeth, she lived in a dark walk-up, where they watched the night fall and felt each other breathing.
The streets that took him there were not set at right angles, none of the corners he turned were ninety degrees. He felt there was no way to get to her dwelling without wasting space, turning extraneous corners and then having to steal back the lost degrees later, at further mislaid corners. He always walked the same set of streets, but he looked for new combinations, more economical paths to lead him to his dense darling, Alabaster Lane.
She poured him wine, in a porcelain mug she’d bought for him, stained in dark rings all the way up, at different levels for the different amounts he’d drunk before they set aside the wine and touched each other. He thought he could figure out the age of their relationship if he just once counted the rings in his mug, but whenever he thought to, it was already too late and if he tried to focus on the rings they all blurred together and he would think, “Oh yes, that’s right, I’ve loved her forever,” and he would put aside the mug and kiss her.
Next time he saw her the wine would still be there, on the table by the bed, and they would dump it into the sink and pour a new portion. And she would pour herself one too.
The streets he walked, he walked in boots, and the right boot was coming apart, but he didn’t care, he never thought about it. The flapping it made imparted rhythm to the calculations, on his fingers, of the degrees of his direction. No matter what streets he chose, the angles were always wrong, the degrees never added up right, and yet he always reached the home of his sweet mistress Alabaster Lane, with the blonde lights on and the shades pulled, the eyes of her apartment closed in daydreams of him.
And when they found in the morning that the bottle was almost empty, he would walk out his own door that evening in just the opposite direction, and walk to the small store with the sign of one red word, and buy the small wine, holding out the bills to the man with his own small hands, and he would hold the wine by the neck between two fingers as he circled in the streets far around his own house and came at the home of his lover from uncustomary approach.
He didn’t add then, he threw addition to the wind and occupied his fingers with the wine, his boots with a rhythm tied to nothing else, and he just smiled as he walked along, thinking of not a thing at all.