Cara Hoffman, Guest Bloggheur
You are Nineteen
There were hot winds that picked up in the evening, blew through the palms, pressed a wall of weight against you while you walked barefoot on the paths between the public shower and the cramped identical constructions of asbestos and plywood where you lived. You had just come from the benched and tiled cavern that was lined with cold water taps, a place that smelled of mud and eucalyptus, and you walked out to dry in the night heat.
Flares lit the sky, a pop and the smell of sulfur and a false sun to reveal the movement of people through the landscape, or a back pack left behind, the wreckage of a hang glider just past the border fence.
When he comes out on to his tile porch and stands beneath the branches of the lemon tree to look up, you watch him. And you know that you will take things from him and redistribute them. His DNA for one. His music, the stories of nights like these when the border was closer still. To get these things you will steal the bicycle from beneath his window and while he’s distracted, gazing into the bright sky you will ride away, leaving it in front of your door to be retrieved.
You will tell his story, you will scream along with the chorus of his song, you will render him immortal to yourself for those nights that he looked up, and showed you the first intimated profile of your son’s face. That first glimpse of the one who would be the only man you wouldn’t leave.