weir prayer

We were always headed for annihilation and though the dog runs underneath the couch when the artillery shells detonate upon the local military base's training grounds, it seems as normal as leaky faucets and knots in telephone cords. A series of low percussions I think is how Cormac McCarthy described it, but there is no flash of light, least of all in the metaphorical sense. It is simply wanton faraway destruction in preparation for the fulfillment of our predispositions. The teenage soldiers lob howitzer shells across the Weir Prairie a scant decade older than my daughter who receives her first phone call from a boy and reminds me that saying I love you to a parent is different, but instead she just says, 'bye.' They tell their friends when they're that age, are peered into embarrassment and juvenile hurt lobbed over playgrounds like rusty faucets and entangling cords. But it is so sweet that you would feel that and think it and share it with those of us who would never annihilate you.

Oh, the technology we had back then, telephone cords that were 20 feet long and swivel adapters and push buttons that shone bright and green. Retro Mickey Mouse rotaries and later even answering machines with full cassettes and siblings who you knew picked up the line downstairs and giggled into their hands until you screamed raw and waxed apologetically to the girl you would always love forever. You would get yelled at by your dad and be reminded how he pays the phone bill and that you were preventing very important calls from getting through, and say, 'bye.' And then it would not ring at all the entire night, one long unending profanity. If it rang the next day, you couldn't tell who it was until you picked it up, though later there were two and three ring bursts, but by then the technology had surpassed your ability to keep up and I can't even remember what those patterns signified. Long distance calls, maybe?

My airline sent me a warning that my mileage plan is wan and neglected and they're considering giving it up to a better home unless I show the least bit of interest, so in March I am going to Philadelphia and it seems so long ago I can't remember if the planes still have those phones built into the seats or if that was all just my imagination.


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