AT THE END, I DREAMT ONLY OF ELLIPSES
She says something about Asheville and the districts (or was it neighborhoods?) I add, “enclaves” and another voice says, “borough”. Every city is beautiful in Spring, even the kids are better behaved, my wife talks of their little hands folding neatly into one another’s.
I map the things that correspond in her mind: Districts to cities, Art Deco buildings to beauty, folded hands to even tempers. She says, “quarters” then “parishes” and we pass a man on the sidewalk reading aloud from filthy spiral bound notebook. He catches my eye and pleads,
“We must protect the lion and the lamb from the wolves in our ancestors stolen clothing. Mothers and fathers- Action!”
On the car ride home we talk about architecture over a soft rock station that puts the kids asleep. We get to a bridge over a half-frozen river and on the far bank there are dozens of equally spaced road flares going off, glowing red in stark black. I push the accelerator down hard and it jolts the kids awake. My wife yells, she asks me what the hell do I think I am doing. I shout back,
“I don’t know, I don’t know.”
The Phantom Tollbooth