My back is pink with burn. All day I was outside, and I haven’t done that since I remember. Tonight I will take a shower to wash off the pond water and stray pieces of sand, so I won’t end up smelling like a fish tomorrow. And for tonight I read a short creative non-fiction piece in a section of a creative non-fiction website called “brevity”. Short fiction is so much better. Isn’t it healthier to take smaller bites, so you can actually chew what you are ingesting?
“Hang ‘Em High“, by Philip Gerard, was a classic tale about how he and his brothers’ imaginations had a clash with reality resulting in their neighbor shouting, “Don’t you boys know better than to hang your brother?” Their wild west drama ended with the narrator on a bench with a clothesline around his neck, and as he would put it, “manfully resigned to my fate.” Children are what keep God busy. He always sends screaming neighbors to save the day, and in one instance in my own life, He sent my Aunt Gwen to scream, which scared me from sticking the vacuum cleaner to my mouth to suck all the air out of my lungs. It seemed so enticing. Just as enticing as the power line I climbed the tree to touch, which ended up being a television wire, so I didn’t die. Not that in either case I wanted to die, I just wanted to wander past an invisible boundary.
Those moments hold so much energy. The moments that never actually happen. Philip Gerard was never hung. And I can’t decide if it’s an imagination like that that I desire instead of one that keeps me safe all the time. Obviously, I don’t want one that nearly gets me hung, but I want an imagination that is undeniably as real.