Thats my brother. Dont ask me where he got the milk truck or the droopy hat. Ive just stepped off the plane. Ive just arrived and this is what I see. If I were still drinking, I think it would have made me happy.
Thats the highway on the way back from the airport. Blurry arc
"Whered you get the truck?" I said.
This is a bunch of white kids hanging out in the parking lot outside my brothers condo. Nothing to do. They just stand around in their purple gold jerseys and act black. Someones thrown a bottle high in the air. It hasnt landed yet.
You can sort of make this out. Me, my brother, and his wife, Deb, are eating Chinese food at the worlds largest restaurant. They had seven different rooms for the seven different continents. And the waitresses all had to dress for the place they were in. No one ate in Africa. Mexico was crawling with kids.
My brothers locked liquor cabinet. Inside, all the words hell never forgive me for.
My brother fallen asleep. His mouth hanging open on the couch. Now that Im sober, I told him, I like to stay up and talk all night. You can see the ashtray is spilling over with my cigarettes. Even after he fell asleep, I kept talking. Mostly about Patty.
Heres the courtyard. A patch of green they carried there in trucks. The rest was dust and dirt and bus stops and black windows with big posters and red letters that said, Self defense! Start now! Ive never seen so many self defense classes. Everybody I passed looked like a martial arts expert. Even the elderly. When I asked some old lady for directions she moved around me in a semi circle and kept one knee lower than the other.
Thats supposed to be a hawk. Its the black speck above
the roof. Everyday, this frayed looking woman in a white sweat suit would come out and
walk her cat and the thing would cling to the pavement because of the hawk.
Rainbow on the way to Big Sur. We stopped the car on the shoulder of
the road and Deb made me take the photograph.
Here we are in some rest area. Thats the Volkswagen of some
guy who glued a thousand little toys all over his car. Toy soldiers. Plastic dinosaurs.
Tiny elephants. We stood there and called out all our favorites. Mostly it looked like the
kind of stuff you find in cereal boxes. I was pointing to a Chewbacca on the hood when the
guy came out of the forest, dusting dirt off his pants. He had long stringy gray hair and
looked about seventy years old. He bustled past us without saying a word. Slammed the door
and leaned on the horn until I got the message. It made a weak sound like hed worn
it out all across America. We watched him pull out of the parking lot, leaning on the horn
again when a family hauling a picnic basket converged on him.
This is it. The place we drove five hundred miles to get to. Thats my right foot on the ledge. You dont want to get any closer than that. Theres a memorial marker on the exact spot where two newlyweds got swept off by a single gust of wind.
This is upside down. Thats my brother and his wife, standing near the ledge. They get the same expression when they think theyre somewhere significant. It looks like theyre trying to understand someone speaking in a foreign language.
Heres a brown bear squatting in the middle of a river. Every
now and then it would slap at the water. My brother was breathing in my ear the whole time
and he says, "Fish." But I wasnt so sure. I could see the bottom of the
river. I could see everything and nothing passed by but bits of twig and some dead leaves.
Heres the beginning of the burned forest. You could walk
through it for miles if you wanted to. But we only went a hundred feet because my
brothers wife got depressed.
Killing the film. A picture from the plane. The usual brown mountains. The plexiglass is kind of dirty so you cant see all the way through.
This is out of order. Its meant to go before the other one.
This is some fat black guy at the airport who tried to sell people inspirational poems.
They were written on laminated cards. He handed everybody in my row a card and then came
back to collect them. A near-sighted businessman held the card an inch from his
eyeglasses. "Hah!" he said. "Hah." And his face went an alarming shade
of red. But when the black guy came around again he handed it right back and didnt
say a word. He wouldnt even look at him.
My brother waving goodbye from a safe distance. The light coming in the big slanted windows is too bright, so you cant see his face.
|© 1999 Matt Marinovich
This story may not be archived or distributed further without the author's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.
Matt Marinovich lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He has had short stories published in The Mississippi Review, Mudfish, Quarterly West, and 5_Trope among others.
|navigation: barcelona review #13 mid-june to mid-august 1999|
|Fiction||Murder by G.K. Wuori
Madness by G.K. Wuori
Slide Show by Matt Marinovich
Here Swims a Most Majestic Vision by Jason DeBoer
My Father...The Train by Donna Lee
When Interviewing Characters by Roger Aplon
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