While outside leaves and empty beer cans play catch in the whirl of wind, we stare at a white wall and think back on the days when we were children.
I don’t remember how we met, but every night after going to the store to buy bread for dinner he and I would skip down the hill with full speed, our spleens filling up with blood as we chased after the wild geese. And we looked and looked for traffic lights and signs but they were all long gone.
He was the fastest runner there could ever be on this planet, with muscled body and nothing to hold it back. I heard the wind beside my back fly by. It slapped my face as the ground trembled with the thought of bane when his feet stomped the warm asphalt underneath.
He is mute, and I – blind
I used to see though. When I woke in the early mornings he would be sitting outside on the bench behind the fence where raspberries lay over swollen with the fall. He’d just stare or poke on a green leaf he’d caught before it fell on the ground. He hated being alone, or at least I believed so, because the very instant I struggled to open the door he looked up and told me (I’d learned sign language from a lady who gave out flyers downtown) to come out, and take a walk with him to the forest where last night little children played hide and seek and lay in the wet grass to laugh at the misshaped stars above.
We went to school in the morning. Sometimes we stayed after all classes were over to relearn our lessons. I read him a new story and he thought me a few new moves on the basketball court – now abandoned and lonely, except for a few gulls that begged for our candy bars and negative attention. They wanted to be kicked and chased after.
I was delighted at the innocence of his character and just what a normal 12-year-old boy he was from the inside, with a mask to cover it and mechanical flaws that have rusted a long time back and now it was too late to fix them. It made me very sad to look at him finish a book and start to try sounding out all of his favorite moments from the story, the people, the scenery and then more scenery. He opened his throat wide as a sparrow, but nothing came out. In his mind the characters were alive, the grass swayed back and forth and its soil was awake. Things happened in the book, as things happened in life before and were recorded for the sake of false theories. … (to be continued)