Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Little Freddy and The Laughing Bush

It is a green house now.
It use to be a red house,
when I was a kid.
It has a big front porch.
Kind of a long house.
Not all that wide.
I think they call it craftsman style.
It is in the middle of the block,
on the west side of Jackson Street.

It had a nice backyard.
Great for playing catch.
But no good for
for playing a real ball game.
But we use to hang out there alot
until I was about twelve.
That is when the family moved away.
They were getting successful.
They had joined the Country Club.
Had to leave the old neighborhood.
They were great people.
I was sad when they left.

A few years before they left
something happened to me.
It happened right there.
Right behind the red house.
I told you it was green now, right?

On the north side of the yard,
there was a tall redwood fence.
It had to be painted every year.
The weather was very rough.

On the west side of the yard,
there was a row of cottonwood trees.
They cut the tops off every year.
The power lines were very close.

On the east side of the yard,
there was the back of the house.
The kitchen door was always open.
and we always ran in and out.

On the south side of the yard,
there was a row of thorn bushes.
They were always being trimmed.
They grew very fast.

This is where it happened.
It happened on the south side of the yard.
It happened on the same dirt we are on now.
It happened under the same sky that is up there now
Maybe the planets and stars
have moved a little.
But not that much.

It was late afternoon.
It was in the fall.
The dads were still at work.
Some of the moms were at work.
Some were cooking dinner.
Well, we were all kids
and we were playing.
It was some kind of tag.
Some kind of pushing tag.

First you push.
Then you get pushed.
Lots of running.
Lots of yelling.
Lots of pushing.
Some kind of pushing tag.

So somebody pushes me.
I don't remember who.
I begin to fall.
Very slowly.
Very slowly into the thorn bushes.
The nicely trimmed thorn bushes.
The ones on the south side of the yard.
In back of the red house.
It is a green house now.

I can't see the kids running.
I can't hear the kids yelling.
I can't see the kids pushing.

But I am spinning.
Going round and round.
Maybe somewhere inside of me.
Maybe somewhere outsde of me.
Maybe nowhere.
Maybe everywhere.
It is real quiet.
It is just me I guess.
I didn't know what was going on.

Then I can hear the laughing.
Everyone was laughing.
But the sound was far away.

Then I could see the kids.
They were all smiling.
But they were far away.

And I felt warm inside.
And I felt happy inside.
And I could feel myself
coming closer to them.
And I was thinking
that laughing was great.
And igniting laughter was going to be my job here.
Even if I was the only one laughing.
The laughing was louder.
The faces were right above me.
I was lying on the ground.
I was under the thorn bush.

Jimmy held out his hand.
And he pulled me up.
And everybody said
that I was great
at falling down.
And everybody was happy.

Right by the nicely trimmed thorn bushes.
Right there on the south side of the yard.
In back of the red house.
The one that is green now.


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