*The Future of Wallpaper* Christopher Jug George

His summer-brown smile haunts me. I sense him now, unlike before, he is closer to me. He is gone.

Tag: Patience

When We Were Aliens

We traveled to another planet on a rocket ship. It was strange to finally hurdle through space after staring at  it our entire lives. The beings there led us into a structure. There was carpet on the walls, magazines were shaped in circles, pictures were under a clear substance on the floor, the ceiling was transparent, and they were kind to us.

Terry in the Blue World (Novel excerpt)

Photo Christopher Jug George*Voyageurs National Park*August 6th, 2012

If bones didn’t heal when they break we’d be a sorry looking lot. Slowly, bodies would lose their parts, a leg here, an arm there, people would wear down with a heart pounding away in their chest, unbroken.

The world stretched out for miles, twisting and turning in Terry’s mind. He could see it so clearly, but in his world, the roads were made of grass and the houses were all inviting, the dark places were buried and everything was alive. Everything.

Nature goes on in the storm. Nature is not scared. Nature breathes, is breathing. Terry is starting to breath with nature because he has no other choice. His mind has put him here and there is nothing he can do about it.

Chapter One

“This is what you have to get through.” Terry tells himself. “These are the moments.” Terry’s having a moment. A large moment. “Don’t exaggerate this. Don’t make this bigger than it is.” It’s pretty big though no matter how Terry slices it. Terry is formerly fragile. He feels like a conqueror though, out there sawing wood. “Saw away you righteous fucker.” Terry never used to talk to himself or call himself a fucker. He’s drinking too. Sort of. Beer after beer, meaning two in two hours. It’s making him look at the blue world seductively.

Terry has done a lot to stave off the weight of the world. He knows about things, he knows secrets that are obvious, they are in the air he will tell you. “It’s all happening right now! Everything!” Terry likes to say. “All of it!” It’s a mechanism for him to stay in the present. He says this in his head at all times. His saw is happening at this moment, although it is under performing. It’s stuck in a knot so Terry lets it go, like he’s done in his head so many times before. Terry knows how to let things go. It makes him feel better. “Let it go, let it go, let it go.” Terry pulls the saw out and hears it gasp, curling up into a ball. He sets it at his feet. He can’t stand to see things die so he walks away.

Down the stairs, Terry is walking to Gold River Diana. He will sit there and stare at her even though she’s not talking to him right now. The Blue World is talking loudly. All of its sounds are gathering right outside Terry’s ears. He can hear the rumbling and knows they are about to enter him. It starts slowly, first the call of a bird seemingly coming from the other side of the world. It’s an extended chirp that starts out soft but is building steam, getting closer to his head and enters his ears. Then there is wind traversing through leaves building a large sound. It’s about to engulf him, Terry takes a deep breath and lets in the sounds.

Terry knows he needs to be sawing wood. It’s cold and there is no electricity. Terry looks at the mangled saw at his feet. It disturbs him but then it makes him laugh. The saw was alive when he found it in the shed earlier in the day. It even winked at him when he first held it as if to say, “Don’t worry, champ, I’m good to go, I’m not as old as I seem.” He picks it up gently and holds it in the air. Its eyes are closed, it’s a mangled stiff. “The saw is dead. I saw the saw almost die. I ran away. I saw the saw, I saw my fear, I saw my fear in half by running to her, Gold River Diana, I saw her at the bottom of the stairs, she is ignoring me, and I saw her below the Blue World. It’s all happening. Everything. All of it. I let it go. I’m going to see if I can saw a new saw.”

Terry looks into the cabin where it is dark except for a pocket of orange inside the black wood stove. He thinks it is so beautiful. When Terry sees beauty, he feels beauty, so much so that he can barely stay on the ground. Seeing the flames lifting, stretching upward and snapping off before giving way to flames below causes Terry to lift off the ground ever so slightly, his chest is growing, and he feels like he’s going to explode. He’s happy again and thinks ‘I’m happy most of the time these days.’ It never used to be that way.

Terry walks toward the shed. The shed smiles at him, its doors are already open. “That is such a nice shed!” Terry thinks, but he’s concerned that the doors were open when the saw died. He knows how ugly and unpredictable it is inside. He’s ready for anything and gets in position to tackle something if need be, or run. He hopes none of the objects in the shed saw the death because he knows that everything else in the shed will be sad and be of no use until they’ve properly mourned. Terry enters the shed to find a 3 foot tall Cardinal sitting on an upside down bucket.

“Yes?” The Cardinal says.

“Who are you?”

“Cardy! Who are you?”

“Terry.”

“Well, I know that! Gawd. I mean, whooooo are you?”

“You are a very curious cardinal aren’t you?”

“I wish you would answer me, you see, I’m quite bored. I’ve been on this planet for 100 years now and I have no idea what to do with myself because for some reason, cardinals never die unless we kill ourselves. I mean, it’s our decision! Think about the burden of that!”

“Blue Herons are the same way!” Terry exclaims.

“Except they don’t want to die. I hate them for it. They are so, um, happy.”

“Blue Herons seem to be kings.” Terry says.

“Shut it, Terry.” Cardy retorts.

“Listen, Cardy, I know you’re having a moment and all, but I really need to find another saw because the sun is getting low and I need some wood for the night.”

“I understand, Terry. We all should do what we do. There should not be too much transference of weight in this world, you know? It is my burden.”

“Ok.”

“It’s my burden.”

“Yup. Have you seen a saw?”

“Did I saw a saw?”

Terry and Cardy shared a laugh. It was a moment and they both recognized it so the world paused for them. It may have been only 5 seconds but they both felt the warmth of the paused world.

“That was nice, Terry.”

“Sure was, Cardy, now if you don’t mind.”

“Be my guest but I have to warn you, everything is sad in here because they saw the saw, um, you know.” Cardy said.

“Die?” Terry said, trying not to laugh.

“Yup.” Cardy said, holding back a smile.

The Time Capsule I Lose Sometimes

Photo by Christopher Jug George *St. Croix River* July 29, 2012

Sometimes I am space junk, a broken satellite swinging wildly and aimlessly without boundaries or memory of how the little things can matter more than the big things. Sometimes I move like a Great Blue Heron, flying in a straight line, five feet above the river because I’m in control.

We were always running from each other. Then I had that nightmare, the one where we both ran so far apart that finding our way back became impossible. But then I saw you in my next dream and felt relieved.

In that dream, a woman was on a sidewalk a half a block away. I could tell it was you though by the way you were standing. Your right leg swung in front of your left leg, as if you were dancing with the world.

I woke up and when I opened my eyes you came tumbling out.

I remembered that morning and how we ran away from the world on those imaginary horses. It was a place that we called home for a moment. It was cradled by trees and in the sky there were bird like creatures who were trying to assure us they were angels. They were blue and clunky, they were feathery and metal . . . they were beautiful and broken.

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