Monday, February 21, 2011

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.