Thursday, September 8, 2016
Between Blog Posts: Part 3
Over the past month I have been able to find a few second and even a few minutes here and there that have allowed me to let my mind meander about and pull together different images and glimpses into the lives of fictional characters. Even while trying to catch up on the blog, there were still a few much needed moments when I needed to take a momentarily creative leave from reality. It is still unclear as to what will be done with all of these little pieces and whether they tie together somehow or if they are completely separate stories. So, following my notes from New Jersey Transit uncovered in the beginning of August, part 1 recorded in the middle of the month, and part 2 published a couple of weeks ago, I bring you another installment in this sporadic series.
The neighborhood kids called him Mr. Brown but he had many different monikers throughout his life. Whenever they would call his name in the morning he would turn his head and give him them a slight smile. No one said anything else to him. They let him be and simply watched in silence as he went about his morning routine.
He peered out the window each morning at 6am looking up at the sky. When the sun shone on the horizon he would put on his slippers, a coat when the weather turned bitter, and opened the front door with a slow and deliberate precision that baffled those watching.
His purposeful steps didn’t take him far. They carried him to the corner of his walkway and into a gravel bed surrounding his flag pole. Her he would take the flag tucked under his arm, unfold it, and raise the stars and stripes in a way that is familiar to few but respected by all who witness the ceremony.
Every morning he would pause at half-mast with a kind sadness in his eyes that revealed much more about his routine. In a moment of stillness he seemed to mutter almost apologetically before hoisting the flag to the top of the pole. Securing the rope with a figure eight and solitary knot, he would then turn and return to the front door stiffly closing it behind him as if trying to keep out the memories.
When the sky prepares to succumb to the night everyone watches as he emerges from behind his seclusion almost with a sense of relief that the evening will soon descend and another day will end in silence. He returns the flag to the earth folding into a precise triangle, tucked it under his arm, and carried it with reverence back into his home.
As the amber deepens into red and before the purple hue of dusk, a small glimmer of yellow can be seen waiving lightly from the trunk of his oak tree seemingly giving farewell. The same bitter parting he was offered when his son was deployed.
And now the tattered ribbon tethers the memories of a neighborhood as they all remember the jovial laugh that would fill the small street every time Mr. Brown came home from work. A laugh that only lives in distance echoes. But now there is only night. Now there is only silence. For one more day.