Monday, February 21, 2011

New Moon

Two-Hundred and Sixty-Four moons ago, the Hunger Moon rose in the night’s sky while Winter’s first weary yawn opened and closed. Coincidentally, the air provided for Boy Evergreen’s first breath came from this exhalation.

Soon after Boy Evergreen began to breathe, Winter fell upon a deep slumber. The sound of her snores stirred up the courage within Spring’s heart. Spring slowly crept out of her hiding place far below fallen pine needles. All of the dandelion spores broke their winter fast as Spring sweat through the pores of soil.

In a peculiar but wonderful space that followed, between Spring’s exhausted return to the porch’s rocking chair, while Summer’s orchestra still tooted squeaky warm-up notes, Boy Blackberry was born underneath the waxing Honey Moon.

Swelling Hangnail

In a time before memory, the mothers of Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry crossed paths and became friends. The mothers banded together in order to share wisdom and knowledge, as well as the newly acquired burden two baby boys bring along. Winter’s and Summer’s children first met each other after only sleeping underneath Twenty-Four moons.

For a while, all Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would do nothing but sit together in chairs, cribs, and seats, or on each other, floors, or sofas. They would sit and look at each other – or out of windows, depending on their moods. The boys did this for many moons while their mothers chit-chatted time away in different rooms.

As time went on, and the pinecones within their heads grew more and more layers, a primary idea occurred to Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry. Still sitting they thought together: “Lets Play!” The boys wanted to play together, but they didn’t know how.

So, Boy Blackberry tried hitting Boy Evergreen. Boy Evergreen tried pushing Boy Blackberry. They ran around in circles, chased one another, kicked balls, and sang in the all but forgotten tongue of children. They slid down slides, tumbled through ball pits, swung on swings, and from monkey bar to monkey bar. Together, they had many days and nights of fun, but a question bloomed in their minds from time to time: “How do we play?”

This questioned occurred to Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry in the quieter times, when all they would do was sit and look at each other – or out of windows, depending on their moods. Until one day…

Waxing Crescent

The mothers of Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry entered the room where the boys sat, and presented them with a rectangular box wrapped in shiny white paper. The boys unburdened the box of the paper. When what lay beneath came into view, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry realized they held in their hands a Sun. This burning ball of light illuminated their faces. The light from the held Sun fell upon the pinecone in each boy’s head, and gave it the strength and inspiration to grow more and stronger layers doubly as fast as they had grown before.

The mothers looked upon the kneeling boys with a proud, anticipatory, and orange excitement. The boys looked up and perked their ears as their mothers began chanting in unison: “Lay-Goes, Lay-Goes, Lay-Goes, Lay-Goes!”

After sleeping under Forty-Eight moons, the boys finally realized how to play. For many, many, many moons to come, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would play with Legos. Together, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry constructed ships that would sail upon water, air, or space. They built pyramids, houses, Abbey Road, and other monuments without number.

Orange Slice

Once Sixty moons had come and gone, the boys began spending much more time at schools, than in their bedrooms playing with Legos. Boy Evergreen began going to school at Nickel Lane Elementary, and Boy Blackberry went to school at Saw Smith Elementary. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry did not go to the same school, because they lived on different sides of a line drawn by many men, ages ago, with train tracks. Because of this, the boys each met other, new people. They made other friends. Despite this, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry remained very close friends. Still, their pinecones had not grown quite enough in order for them to know each other as “best friends”.

Sometimes, Boy Blackberry would go over to Boy Evergreen’s house. Sometimes Boy Evergreen would go to Boy Blackberry’s house. Boy Blackberry had a big backyard with ropes that hung from trees, a fort whose height challenged even the sky, and many, many fallen sticks. Because the boys’ pinecones were yet to be fully grown, they hadn’t forgotten how to turn sticks into the type of swords needed to defend a Sky-Fort.

Boy Blackberry’s house was a good place to be in the summer. But Boy Evergreen’s house was a much better place to be during the winter. Boy Evergreen’s house had the best Legos, and the best music. In fact, in Boy Evergreen’s basement, there was his father’s secret room. In this room, Boy Evergreen’s father would put on a wizard’s cap, make many scratchy noises, and exit the room holding hollow pieces of wood with strings drawn across them. There were hollow pieces of wood with strings drawn across them in every room of Boy Evergreen’s house! Boy Evergreen once showed Boy Blackberry a hollow piece of wood with strings drawn across, to which he had given the name “Guitar”.

Boy Evergreen once touched the strings of the Guitar with all of the fingers on both of his hands. In doing so, he created a sound. As this sound washed around the room, it twisted, turned, and flowed into Boy Blackberry’s ears. When Boy Blackberry heard this sound, the pinecone in his head began to weep. He realized Boy Evergreen was the coolest person in the entire world because he could touch the strings of the guitar, and make the sound of playing with Legos. Boy Evergreen did all this without even opening the dark-green plastic box where his Legos slept.

Not only did Boy Blackberry like that Boy Evergreen could create the sound of playing with Legos, but Boy Evergreen could also touch the strings of the Guitar like Paul McCartney. Boy Blackberry wanted to touch the strings of the Guitar, but he didn’t know where to put his fingers.

Beetling Quarter

When Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen didn’t hang out at each other’s houses, they would see each other at church. The mothers of the boys had decided to spend time in the same church, early every Sunday morning, so that they could chit-chat and drink coffee after the Preacher ran out of words.

One Sunday morning, Boy Blackberry didn’t feel like going to church. Boy Blackberry liked to sleep until he didn’t feel tired anymore, and watch cartoons with his little brother, Boy Alligator. Boy Blackberry’s mom said that he had to come to church. Boy Blackberry knew that he would see Boy Evergreen at church, and wanted to play Legos with him. Boy Blackberry asked if he could bring his Legos to church, so that he could play with Boy Evergreen. All of a sudden, Boy Blackberry’s mom became full with sad, blue feelings. She realized Boy Blackberry didn’t want to listen to all of the words of the Preacher. She said “No, you cannot bring your Legos, there are way too many of them.”

Boy Blackberry did not like the sound of this and did his best to imitate the face his mother made because of blue feelings. Boy Blackberry’s mom was then filled with the sort of grey-red-orange feelings that always hold hands with the type guilt associated with a child’s disappointment. She told Boy Blackberry, “You cannot bring your Legos, but you can fill your backpack with as many sheets of paper, pencils, pens, markers, and crayons as will fit.”

Boy Blackberry was overjoyed. Whenever he didn’t feel like playing with Legos, or hanging from monkey bars, he liked to put colors on sheets of paper with crayons and markers. So, he filled up his backpack and headed off to church with his mother, father, and brother Boy Alligator.

When Boy Blackberry and his family got to church, he saw Boy Evergreen and his family right away. Boy Blackberry and his family went and sat next to Boy Evergreen’s family in the same pew. Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen sat next to each other, and Boy Alligator sat next to Boy Evergreen’s little brother, Boy Mimir.

After everyone in the church had finished singing songs, whose words appeared on walls, in the language of adults, Boy Blackberry asked Boy Evergreen if he wanted to play with Legos. Boy Evergreen was excited, but also confused. He asked Boy Blackberry if he had brought his Legos with him. Boy Blackberry said “No, but I have something just as good!” Boy Evergreen’s eyes lit up and asked to see what Boy Blackberry had in his backpack.

The two boys descended below all the people who sat in the pews. And once again, as though they were still only 24 moons old, they sat on the church’s floor. Boy Blackberry revealed the paper and crayons he had stowed away in his bag, and gave Boy Evergreen a sheet. The two boys began to make lines on the sheets of paper, and they put colors in between the lines they had drawn. They looked at each other underneath the pews and laughed. They felt good, as though they were playing with Legos. For many, many moons to come, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would sit underneath all the other people in the church, put colors on paper, and feel the pinecones in their heads tremble in awe.

Oblong Satellite

One day, at Saw Smith Elementary School, all of the kids gathered together in the gymnasium. A man stood in the center of the room. Many, many instruments surrounded him. Some were hollow pieces of wood with strings drawn across them, but others were shiny twisted pieces of metal. The man came toward Boy Blackberry and showed him a shiny piece of twisted metal. Boy Blackberry saw that there were only three places to put his fingers. Boy Blackberry liked this instrument, and the sort of sound it made. It reminded him more of putting colors on paper than of playing with Legos. So, Boy Blackberry chose to learn how to play the twisted piece of metal with only three places for his fingers.

That very same day, the twin of the man who came with instruments to Saw Smith visited Nickel Lane Elementary School. This twin showed Boy Evergreen the same instruments Boy Blackberry had seen. But because Boy Evergreen had seen many hollow pieces of wood with strings drawn across them in his life, he was not captivated by the twin’s at all. Instead, a black piece of plastic that had more places to put his fingers than a Guitar caught his eye. Intrigued, Boy Evergreen decided he would learn how to play this piece of plastic, using a thin slice of reed.

These two instruments, along with the demands of their schools, left less and less time for Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry to play with Legos. No matter though, the boys found that playing instruments, and making the sounds of playing with Legos, or putting colors on paper, made the pinecones in their heads grow just the same. The boys shifted the focus of their gaze from the Sun of Legos, to a far brighter, but more distant Sun. They outstretched their arms, and opened their hands as their band instructors chanted in unison: “Me-You-Sick, Me-You-Sick, Me-You-Sick, Me-You-Sick”.

Brow Ridge

After One-Hundred and Forty-Four moons of being together, sitting, pushing, chasing, singing, building with Legos, and playing marches together in the band, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would finally attend the same school. The name of the school has long since been forgotten, but its echoes sound like some old man who had drowned in a pond, river, or lake.

Underneath the Honey Moon, in the summer before the boys would begin at their new school, Boy Blackberry developed a peculiar habit. Instead of falling asleep at night, he would put pieces of plastic into his ears and listen to the radio. While he lay in bed, listening to the radio, he would wish, yearn, and try to will the DJ to play his favorite song of all time: “All Star” by the band Smash Mouth. When at last he heard the song, he could fall asleep in peace.

One day, Boy Blackberry was at Boy Evergreen’s house. Boy Evergreen was about to fly far, far away to the land of Paul McCartney. Boy Blackberry was jealous and wished his parents would take him to the land of Paul McCartney. Instead, Boy Blackberry’s parents sent him out with friends from Saw Smith, into the forest, to sit around fires and sleep in tents. Whenever Boy Blackberry would sit around a fire, he wished Boy Evergreen could have been there with him; to sit, to laugh, and to maybe play with Legos.

That day in Boy Evergreen’s house, Boy Blackberry noticed that Boy Evergreen had a very nice yellow radio. Boy Blackberry imagined that “All Star” by Smash Mouth would sound at least a thousand times better if only he could hear it come out of that yellow radio. While Boy Evergreen was not looking, Boy Blackberry took the yellow radio, along with some pillow-soft headphones that he wouldn’t have to stick in his ears, and hid them inside the case where his three fingered instrument slept.

That night, after Boy Blackberry had gone home with his family, Boy Evergreen’s mother called Boy Blackberry’s mother using the telephone. What did Boy Blackberry’s mom learn of? Boy Evergreen’s yellow radio had turned up missing. Boy Blackberry’s mom asked if he had seen the radio, or knew where it was. Boy Blackberry lied and said “No, I haven’t seen it”. Later on, when the yellow radio had still not been found, Boy Blackberry’s mom asked him if he had taken the radio. Boy Blackberry lied a second time and said “No, I don’t have it”. A short while later, Boy Blackberry’s mother and father asked him if he had taken the radio. Boy Blackberry, with tears in his eyes, cried “No, I didn’t steal it”. Boy Blackberry had lied three times. One lie for each finger.

Boy Blackberry had a planned voyage into the forest with friends from Saw Smith the next day. If one is bold enough to lie three times to one’s parents, one is also likely to be crafty enough to pick good hiding spots. Knowing that his parents were bound to search for the yellow radio, Boy Blackberry hid them in the best place he knew: His already packed camping bags. They were full of clothes, and plates, and spoons, a perfect hiding spot. Or so Boy Blackberry thought.

Boy Blackberry’s mother was very cunning and crafty herself. She had known of Boy Blackberry’s craftiness since the time of his birth. It is even possible that Boy Blackberry inherited his craftiness from his mother. She looked through Boy Blackberry’s bags and came upon the stolen wares. Her body was once again filled with blue feelings. She asked herself if Boy Blackberry had ever once listened to the words of the Preacher. Surely not, she thought, for if he had, he would never have stolen.

Boy Blackberry’s mom opened the door to his room. She looked upon her son with eyes that inhaled blue and exhaled red. Boy Blackberry began to cry. He knew he had been found out. His body was filled with the grey-blue-yellow feelings of shame. As he balled, Boy Blackberry for the first time tasted the flavor of old, rancid blueberry pie.

Boy Blackberry’s mother used the telephone and told Boy Evergreen’s mom of the discovery she had made. In what to this day was the longest car ride ever, Boy Blackberry and his mom drove over to Boy Evergreens house.

By this time, the pinecones in both boys’ heads had grown enough layers to understand each other as best friends. In the car, Boy Blackberry realized what he had done, the consequences of his actions. When he arrived at Boy Evergreen’s house, Boy Evergreen would throw balls of hate at him, and cease to be Boy Blackberry’s best friend. Boy Blackberry cried more tears now, because he understood he was about to lose his best friend.

The car pulled up into Boy Evergreen’s driveway. The silhouettes of Boy Evergreen and his mom stood in the dimly lit, glowing incandescent doorway of the house. Boy Blackberry opened the car door, and began walking towards the house. His head hung with a burden that would outweigh Jupiter and Saturn -- rings and all –combined. He could not raise his eyes past the tips of his toes. With his mom, Boy Blackberry ascended the concrete stairs to the house, his body now full of the red-black feelings of dread. The screen door opened. There stood Boy Evergreen awaiting Boy Blackberry’s arrival.

Boy Blackberry outstretched his hands which held the stolen yellow radio, and pillow-soft headphones. He handed them to Boy Evergreen as his entire body shook with shame. Boy Evergreen embraced Boy Blackberry. They hugged each other. Boy Evergreen told Boy Blackberry that he loved him.

Boy Blackberry cried out all of the tears One-Hundred and Forty-Four moons had made. He told Boy Evergreen “I’m Sorry” and “I Love You”. For the first time in a while, underneath the waning Honey Moon, Boy Blackberry was not lying.

The next day, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry went away from their homes, away from the land where they learned how to play with Legos. Boy Evergreen went with his family to the land of Paul McCartney, and Boy Blackberry went camping with different friends. The boys were, for the first time, apart from one another. While they were each away, they would not hold Suns in their hands, let alone play with them.

Full Moon

Despite the dark events that had transpired in the summer before the boys began attending the same school, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry remained friends. Some would say best friends. Every kid in the whole town went to this new school. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry met new people, made new friends, and learned to enjoy other things besides creating things with Legos, and playing marches in the band. In fact, one day, Boy Evergreen decided that making sounds with the Guitar required just the right amount of fingers. He left his instrument made of black plastic, and band.

Boy Evergreen started to make his own bands with many fewer people than the band at school. He would gather new friends together to touch the strings drawn across hollow wood, and even strings drawn across full pieces of wood that plugged into electricity. He had friends who knew how to use sticks, not as swords for guarding a Sky-Fort, but for smacking skin and metal. Boy Evergreen would play the Guitar like Paul McCartney, and other friends of his would make boom-boom noises underneath the face of Keith Moon.

Boy Blackberry loved to listen to Boy Evergreen and his other friends make sounds like Paul McCartney and Keith Moon, but it almost always left him full of blue feelings. The sounds he would hear in his ears would remind him of Legos, something he had almost forgotten about. He wished that he could play with Legos with Boy Evergreen again, like they did under different moons. For some reason though, the pinecones in the boy’s heads didn’t feel good when they would open the lid of the dark-green box full of Legos.

Ebbing Pumpkin

During the summers, mostly underneath the waxing or waning Thunder Moon, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would spend weeks together away from home. They would sleep in red cabins that sat near a lake. The boys would meet new friends, and sing different songs, and eat different food than they would have at home. They shot BB guns, and climbed up walls, and jumped into water over their heads. They also sat, and looked upon each other. Most of the time, they laughed.

Every summer, Boy Evergreen would see a girl named Spinsee Bones. Each time Boy Evergreen would see Spinsee, he would remember that he loved her. Boy Blackberry would laugh and laugh whenever he saw them together. Boy Evergreen and Girl Spinsee would stand close to each other, look into each other’s eyes – sometimes the ground, depending on their moods, and chant “Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi”. Boy Blackberry thought this was funny, but he didn’t understand.

After many, many moons of going to school, church, summer camps, and playing Legos together, the pinecones within the heads of Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry had grown to appear similar. One day, after sleeping under One-Hundred and Sixty-Eight moons, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry both put on blue gowns and blue hats. They went with their parents to their school, and so did all the other kids from town. The boys walked across a line when their names had been called. When they walked across the line, they were handed a piece of paper with their name on it. Now they could take off their hats.

Underneath these One-Hundred and Sixty-Eight moons, the boys had been attending the same church early every Sunday morning. They had made a lot of friends at church, and shared some of the same friends. Now that they were older, the boys spent time in the church not just on Sunday mornings, but also during some of the nights of the week. At nighttime church, Boy Evergreen would touch the strings of his Guitar so that our friends could sing songs put on walls by light. Boy Blackberry would tell jokes and stories about videogames he had played that week.

The moons kept waxing and waning. After Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry walked across a line wearing blue, they started attending another new school together. Inside this school were all of the kids from two towns! The boys took different classes and met different people. Anyways, they always remained friends, maybe best friends.

Fount Egg

One day, after sleeping under One-Hundred and Ninety-Two moons, Society gave Boy Evergreen a rectangular piece of plastic. On the front of this rectangle were his photograph, and some numbers which informed Society’s Rules that Boy Evergreen had slept underneath enough moons, in case the Rules ever asked. Because Boy Evergreen had this rectangle, Society told him it was A-Ok to sit in the front-left seat of a car, turn keys, push pedals, and spin wheels. And so he did.

Since Boy Evergreen was Winter’s child, he was able to sleep underneath One-Hundred and Ninety-Two moons before Boy Blackberry. One day, after Boy Evergreen got his rectangle, he came home to find his parents holding another rectangular cube. This rectangle was wrapped in milky white paper. With eyes closed, Boy Evergreen unburdened the rectangle from its wrapping paper. He opened his eyes. The light of an entire galaxy – at least Two-Hundred billion stars – had fallen upon him. He was no longer confined to hold two or three Suns in his hands. Now, he was free to venture out into faraway places in space.

His parents smiled upon him with proud and eager anticipation. Together they chanted: “Keys, Keys, Keys, Keys”

Boy Blackberry was very happy and excited when Boy Evergreen pulled up into his driveway in a white car. Although this monumental gift Boy Evergreen had received could actually take the boys to Burger King, further than any of the ships they had built with Legos could have, the white car sometimes filled Boy Blackberry with blue feelings. If Boy Evergreen had ever wanted, he could have driven the car using only three or four fingers, much less than the Guitar requires. The white car created sounds that didn’t remind Boy Blackberry of playing with Legos or putting color onto paper. Instead, the white car hummed a song into Boy Blackberry’s ears that filled him with the dreadful feeling that he and Boy Evergreen may never play with Legos again.

Another Orange Slice

Somewhere between One-Hundred and Eighty and One-Hundred and Ninety-Two moons, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry got their first jobs. Each would go to a golf course’s restaurant, with their shirts tucked in, pick up people’s dirty dishes, throw out their half-eaten hamburgers, wash pots and pans, sweep and mop floors, and take plastic bags full of their work out of cans, and then throw them into bigger more distant cans. Normally, they would have a great time doing all of this. Best of all, at the end of the night, someone would come over to the boys and give them their own green money.

The work at the golf course sometimes made the pinecones in the boys’ heads feel funny, but the green money would distract them from that funny feeling.

With their own green money, Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen began to make different choices on how they would spend it. Up until this point, their parents chose how their money was spent. And since they already had food, clothes, roofs to live below, water, and the occasional trip to the movie theater, the boys realized there was an uncharted world of things to buy.

Boy Evergreen bought gasoline for his white car, clothes, water that stings your skin but smells good to girls, music, and many other things. Boy Blackberry bought computer parts, cameras, gasoline for his parents’ car, Taco Bell, and funny green pinecones that sometimes smelled like sprite, and sometimes like a skunk’s scent. Somehow, Boy Blackberry learned that he could light these funny green pinecones on fire, breathe in their smoke, and then breathe it out. He liked to do this with other friends and also by himself. These green pinecones made Boy Blackberry laugh, think deep thoughts, and develop a taste for Mexican food that lasts unto this day.

One day at the new school that held inside all the kids from two towns, some people other than those Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen had known from church, but knew from the blue gown school, asked Boy Blackberry if he wanted to play his piece of twisted metal with three fingers in their after-school band. Boy Blackberry was thrilled by this invitation. He had always wanted to play hollow wood instruments with strings drawn across with Boy Evergreen, but he didn’t know where to put his fingers. Boy Blackberry started to play music with only three fingers with these new people.

Boy Blackberry became friends with these new people, as well as with the friends the new friends were already friends with. When they began play music together, Boy Blackberry once again heard the sound of playing with Legos. This filled his body with the color of Sunlight. Not only was Boy Blackberry hearing these sounds once more, but he was making them himself. Boy Blackberry had never imagined before that he could make the sound of playing with Legos, just as Boy Evergreen had done many, many moons before.

Around this time, Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen started to spend less and less time together. Regardless, whenever they would see each other, they would laugh and remember that they were friends, maybe best friends. Boy Evergreen went on driving his white car to distant Suns, and Boy Blackberry would breathe in the smoke of funny green pinecones and go sledding. Though sometimes, Boy Blackberry would be filled with blue feelings when he went sledding. He would remember that Boy Evergreen’s house was very warm, and the best place to be in the winter.

Boy Evergreen’s house had the best Legos, and a secret room where his wizard father would draw strings across hollow pieces of wood. Boy Evergreen really enjoyed sledding, breathing in green pinecone smoke, and eating Mexican food. But it was cold during the winter.

Mellow Hammock

One day, in a parallel fashion to a day Forty-Eight moons earlier, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry walked across another line when their names were called. They once again were handed sheets of paper with their names on them. This time though, they wore red gowns and hats. At this point in time, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry had known each other for almost One-Hundred and Ninety-Two moons.

Not long after the day when they put on red hats and then took them off, after a four-hour drive away from home and a four-hour drive back, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry decided they would like to go to another school together. This school was very, very far from where they had learned to play with Suns. This school was surrounded by corn. The pinecones in their heads had grown in a certain way, that at this time they very much resembled corn. So, going to a school surrounded by corn was a very reasonable choice. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry put a lot of their clothes and a few other things into their parents’ cars, and drove four hours away. The boys took their things and clothes out of their parents’ cars, and stayed, surrounded by corn, as their parents returned home.

By chance, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry were selected to reside on the same floor in their first dormitory. Here, they met many other people and took different classes. Boy Evergreen soon became so excited by all of life’s possibilities, that he began taking classes in every subject! In a not too distant past summer, Boy Blackberry had fallen in love with a girl who had a foreign tongue. He couldn’t take classes to gaze at the girl, so he took classes to gaze upon the tongue.

Through falls, winters, springs, and summers, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry remained close friends, maybe best friends. At the school surrounded by corn they ate meals together, drove many hours together, sat together, and most importantly, they laughed together.

While at the school surrounded by corn, Boy Evergreen had taken up his old habit of finding girls to stand with, gaze upon, and say together “Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi”. Boy Blackberry still found this funny. He still did not understand. While Boy Evergreen had crushes on blonde girls, Boy Blackberry had a crush on roll-your-own cigarettes.

Sometimes during the school year, Boy Blackberry would become full of grey-blue feelings. He was very far away from the home where he learned to play with Legos. He searched everywhere, but couldn’t hear anyone making the sound of playing with Legos. These grey-blue feelings would well up within him and evaporate. Then lightning and thunder would send them back down in little droplets. Boy Blackberry missed his new friends with whom he could make the sound of playing with Legos.

Strangely enough, Boy Blackberry never really talked about these feelings. Instead of asking Boy Evergreen for help, he would lose orbit, and go for long, lonely walks into corn-mist. He breathed in the smoke of lit roll-your-own cigarettes and wondered why he felt grey-blue. He wondered if he was different than other people at the school surrounded by corn. But then, out of the blue, he and Boy Evergreen would sit together and laugh as though they only had seen Twenty-Four moons.

Whenever he and Boy Evergreen would laugh together, Boy Blackberry’s grey-blue feelings would drown in the light of Suns way over its head. But, Boy Blackberry slept more than Boy Evergreen. What Boy Blackberry didn’t know at this time was that grey-blue feelings eat their most hearty meal when people fall upon sleep. Boy Blackberry slept so much that his grey-blue feelings grew strong.

Space Bow

When the school surrounded by corn decided it was through, it told all the kids to go home for the awhile. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry would go back to the land where they had learned to play with Suns. This summer, Boy Blackberry began playing other instruments. Some he played with more than three fingers and some he played with no fingers at all. His new friends had become his good friends. While Boy Blackberry was away, they had made a new band.

The after-school band was quiet. They wanted a new band so that they could dress silly and make as much noise as they could. This is what boys sometimes do when they feel like no one is listening to them. Anyways, Boy Blackberry would dress silly and make as much noise as he could. Even though the sounds were loud, his ears were still filled with the sound of playing with Legos.

Over the summers, Boy Blackberry would also go back to work at the golf course with Boy Evergreen. Besides work, Boy Blackberry would sleep, eat, and sometimes breathe in the smoke of funny green pinecones. He would remember how to think deep thoughts, and laugh, and eat Mexican food.

Sometimes though, Boy Blackberry would breathe in the smoke of funny green pinecones, laugh, and become full of blue feelings. He would remember the color of the light of Suns he heard whenever him and Boy Evergreen would sit and laugh together. He missed Boy Evergreen, even though they were living in the same town.

Keratin Clipping

Like most things, the summer ended. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry got back into their parents’ cars, with a lot of their clothes, and drove back to the school surrounded by corn. Although Boy Blackberry hadn’t forgotten of the grey-blue feelings he had felt at this school during last year, he felt happy because he would be living in a room that was connected to Boy Evergreen’s room. The two rooms shared one bathroom. Boy Blackberry felt happy because no matter what time of day or night, or which color he felt, if Boy Evergreen laughed, Boy Blackberry could hear.

Around Two-Hundred and Forty moons had come and gone. Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry drove to and from the school surrounded by corn for long weekends, fall, winter, and spring breaks. Long car rides are great for both sitting and laughing. Whenever they would arrive back at school though, grey-blue feelings would find Boy Blackberry. He did not know this at the time, but the weight of Two-Hundred and Forty moons’ worth of grey-blue feelings was too much for his shoulders and back to carry alone. Since his back was usually hunched over, Boy Blackberry sometimes forgot about Boy Evergreen, his laugh’s light, and how they had once learned how to play. Boy Blackberry began to spend as much time as possible sleeping, breathing in the smoke of roll-your-own cigarettes, and drinking his latest crush: coffee.

Boy Evergreen did not at all like way the smell of sleep, smoke, and coffee combined within his nostrils. Since Boy Blackberry usually smelled like this, Boy Evergreen spent more time with other friends. Though, whenever Boy Blackberry would take a shower and smell good, he and Boy Evergreen would sit together and laugh as though they had seen only Twenty-Four moons. Then they would remember that they were close friends, maybe best friends.

At this time however, the pinecone in Boy Blackberry’s mind hurt almost all of the time. His pinecone told him in waking and sleeping hours that he should move far, far away from home and the school surrounded by corn. It even told him to move past the land of Paul McCartney. There, the pinecone told Boy Blackberry, he could gaze to his hearts content upon the foreign tongue which he had studied for all these years.

Boy Blackberry loved the sounds this foreign tongue made. He had even been practicing making those sounds himself. Boy Blackberry felt good about the sounds he could make. They filled his ears with a noise that reminded him more of Jazz Band than of Legos. His mind’s pinecone spoke, and so Boy Blackberry listened. It said “Move”, and so he did.

When school decided it was over once again, Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen drove back home together for the very last time. Never again would Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen attend the same school. Boy Blackberry wouldn’t even walk across a line when his name was called at the same time Boy Evergreen would. Boy Blackberry felt sad, but he wanted his mind’s pinecone to stop hurting.

After another summer of making music that sounded like playing with Legos, work, inhaling the smoke of funny green pinecones, and not spending too much time with his friend of Two-Hundred and Sixteen moons, Boy Blackberry packed some of his clothes into bags, got on an airplane, and moved to the land of foreign tongues.

Scattered Eye

As the airplane in which Boy Blackberry sat rose from the ground, a new but familiar sound filled his ears. This sound reminded Boy Blackberry of the sound Boy Evergreen’s white car would make, though this sound was much, much louder. Whoever built this airplane must have felt like no one was listening to them. With his hands over his ears, Boy Blackberry remembered that there was once a day, underneath a different moon, when he and Boy Evergreen constructed a ship that transcended both air and water. He remembered the spacecraft they built and breathed life into. He remembered over everything else though, the divine silence of these craft. As their space planes voyaged from earth into emptiness, the ears of Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry were free to become full of the sound of playing with Legos.

Come Sunday, the plane had landed on the ground of that far away land, past the home of Paul McCartney. Boy Blackberry stepped out of the plane and began to walk. Soon, he had forgotten of the memories the sound of the airplane had conjured up. His ears were being licked by many, many tongues. He heard and felt the tongue he had gazed upon for so long. He felt orange feelings: feelings that were trying oh so hard to become Sunlight.

Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen did not speak to each other very often during the time Boy Blackberry was away. And for only the second time in Two-Hundred and Sixteen moons, Boy Evergreen and Boy Blackberry were apart. Under the next Twelve moons, it was almost as though they did not ever know of each other. They occasionally exchanged letters and words with the magic of the internet, but by no means did they play together with Suns.

The lines and colors of Boy Evergreen’s adventures are relatively unknown to me from this point on. The dots are clear to be seen, there are constellations to be formed, but I have no real idea of knowing which lines connect to which dots. The story of Boy Blackberry in the land of foreign tongues is surely to be saved for another day. What should be known is that he continued to crush on roll-your-own cigarettes, funny green pine cones, and coffee. But in the land of foreign tongues, he discovered previously unknown things, and crushed on them: the smoke of tootsie-rolls, rare combinations of water, malt, hops, and yeast, and taking long bus rides at night.

Dark Moon

Twelve moons came and went in the land of foreign tongues. Boy Blackberry returned and was greeted by friends and family. He was especially excited to see Boy Evergreen once more. The boys re-united. They shared a handful of times underneath the waxing and waning Honey, Thunder, and Dog moons. Though when that summer ended, Boy Evergreen brought a lot of his clothes, and drove out to the school surround by corn. Underneath this year’s forthcoming Milk Moon, Boy Evergreen would once again have his name called. He would walk across a line, and have quite a nice sheet of paper handed to him, with his name on it.

When the same summer ended, Boy Blackberry moved away from his home once more. He moved into the loud, noisy, and grey city. He lived with his good friends. Those whom he had once touched instruments, and made the sounds of playing with Legos.

Again Boy Blackberry and his friends touched instruments and made the sound of playing with Legos. For some reason though, the noise of the city blended with the sound of this new music. No matter how hard he tried, Boy Blackberry could not hear the sound of playing with Legos, without also hearing the sort of noise Boy Evergreen’s car had once made.

For almost Twenty-Four moons now, Boy Blackberry has lived in the city. He touchs instruments with the hopes of hearing the sounds of playing with Legos, drinks rare combinations of water, malt, hops, and yeast, coffee, and occasionally inhales the smoke of roll-your-own cigarettes or funny green pinecones. Boy Blackberry decided not to attend another school for awhile. He worked and saved money to start attending a school nearby. Boy Blackberry and Boy Evergreen rarely see each other anymore. In fact, it has been almost Twelve moons since they last sat together, and laughed.

Upon the waxing and waning of the Two-Hundred and Sixty-Forth moon, Boy Blackberry fell asleep and dreamt of his old friend, maybe his best friend. Oftentimes, Dreams escape language. Even still, words can join hands, form a circle, and dance around Dream’s campfire. Look now upon this primal thing, a scream that wished it were a sun:

A slow-moving piano reminds you of this world.

Open your eyes, give your body a stretch, now clean up after yourself.

I put my long-johns on, my striped t-shirt on, then blow my nose into a checkered hanky.

I choose to glance at that pinned up dental job application and notice:

Either “a classmate, a co-worker, or a friend” will do, for a “Personal Reference”.

I think of all the things Wheaton’s Women might say,

When a city dentist asks if I can show up on time.

Then, in that empty box, that “personal” line, I see your name appear.

In my mind I think, and on my tongue I speak, “Alex”.

I had forgotten your name.

For five working years, I didn’t even have to think to use your name.

Now I hesitate.

The realization, then awareness of this gouges a hole in my mind.

From some storage silo, almost full to the brim,

Spills all the rancid and syrupy blueberry pie filling.

I begin to cry like I did as a child.

The same as the time I wrote a note to you in my secret language,

Screaming “Fuck You!”

I folded it up, and meant to hand it to you in the back of my dad’s station wagon.

But it felt so good just to see you again

I blink, and my chest swells.

I remember the dream had just a minute ago.

You and me wandered around some vacant dream space,

Or maybe it was Indiana.

We laughed the whole time, and squinted our eyes.

I asked about your girl,

Saw her face in my mind.

Your only response was a finger to you mouth, and an inaudible “Sssh”.

How selfish of my sleeping self!

Can I not give you something to say?

Boy Blackberry woke up that morning and forgot the dream. He did realize though, upon waking, that he had known Boy Evergreen for Twenty years. He broke down weeping when he realized that although he had known Boy Evergreen for Twenty years, he had only been close friends with him, maybe best friends, for Seventeen. There was a void, an emptiness no craft could cross. Boy Blackberry wept and wondered what had become of Boy Evergreen, what sort of Man he was becoming. For weeks that followed, whenever Boy Blackberry mind’s pinecone would wander into space, and wonder of Boy Evergreen, whether in the car, or at home, or in bathrooms, Boy Blackberry would begin to cry. He wept because he felt a new feeling. A feeling that had filled his body with a new color. The color of unknowing.

Friday, February 11, 2011