There was a time, not that long ago, when a woman named Claire and her partner Will rented the small space in front of their modest, well located home to the pumped up Fourth of July crazies who were never sober or quiet, but always decked out in red, white and blue.
From the stale bed of Shillsdale Nursing Home, Claire continued to think about Will’s unforgettable crooked smile, his insistence on being polite to the kids, and the way he always danced when he wore that stupid top hat.
The rain began from an almost cloudless sky and Allie stood straight up and looked Zenobia directly in the eye.
(Baby Stella began to cry) Allie, shivering and without tense, reached out and hugged this person whom she never met… a cover was draped upon Allie, but her shivering didn’t stop… nor did Stella’s cry.
Whirlwind thoughts slammed hard… her disgusting father was dead, her loving, although distracted mother was dead, her baby was dead… she disembarked, actually fell, onto Brigadoon without the culture and grace of the bird who brought her there.
Zenobia slowly crept toward Allie, who was now facedown and unconscious; everything was about to begin.
Allie Carraig sat strong on the custodial sea bird, a peculiar and undigestable thought to be sure, as if she knew it was supposed to be beneath her… but how could that be?
In the glide of moments, she suddenly remembered the laborious harrow of the buckwheat, but it wasn’t like before, it was just a passing memory… then, for the first time since she woke, the fulcrum of the dizzying flight leveled.
(Slumber / historical visions / etches in table) How come when I pause to listen to the nothing, I feel like I am going to fall out of myself… that’s the last thought she had when she finally came out of the hypnotic miasma beneath her opening eyes.
Allie was never one to blench, perhaps a result of her foul father… (she was unaware she twitched) but the redoubtablely deep darkness lying ahead, beyond an unassuming moonlit sea, was for all intents and purposes, a welcomed place.
…and suddenly there he was, the mystical and lost Buddy Bolden; cornet on lips, Boller slightly forward, yet upon you… and a sly, slick sound most couldn’t and would never be able to describe, until later… Allie’s dreaming eyes rolled beneath her wind burned lids and thoughts inevitably turned to that god forsaken beach table.
The enormous spotted gray sea bird continued cruising only inches above the ocean line toward the place that she, Zenobia, had long ago proclaimed Brigadoon… preparations had once again begun.
Abagail Adams… Harriet Tubman… spinney high and low… sleep thoughts; oh, awe… Allie’s eyes fluttered and focused into this love and life… arms engaged about.
The skies, abound… calamitous… Allie Carraig was close to her god in that moment, that waking moment, soaring…her eyes widened and she realized she was traveling, perhaps flying, perched upon a giant bird, well above that shitstorm of a planet…
“Why, phrwth, why, where, aaaahhth,”… Allie’s voice was loud in the cloudfilling nothingness… she spued up another lung cough and lay with misplaced experience returning… this beach bully, yes it was a bird, was lurking just to her left.
Allie wiped her mouth, turned, saw the gigantic bird 2 inches from her volatile soul, and screamed at the top of her lungs “Aaaaaahhhhhhhh”… that was when the air, for the final time in her crunching life, got quiet.
What Allie Carraig then experienced was something most wish they could one day know, or at least approach… an awakening of sense and spirit, life and feeling… at that moment (she figured it was just another headache) her eyes finally unrolled into a less painful semblance of focus.
The boots were getting soaked as the tide continued to be playful, splashing in and out, laces floated; and her well worn footwear filled with salty beach and leftover moonshine… then the gigantic bird stepped forward and screamed.
Sticky and gooey smooth oozed down both sides of her shivering cheeks… she ate another gooseberry, then another… Allie’s strength was coming back.
She turned and ran down the beach to gather her clothes… then quickly back up to the top of the berm where she tossed her sandy, wet clothes into the warm, wavy grass to dry… that’s when she saw a huge spotted gray sea bird rapidly descending toward her.
The piebald colors of her favorite, at least that’s what she instinctively thought, snack were lined up very inviting, in a perfectly neat line… Allie had the yellow gooseberry in her left hand.
As the ocean insisted on splashing and pesky clouds continued to close about the moon, the emaciated Allie Carraig put the succulent berry into her mouth, and with eyes now closed, slowly bit down and savored the sour burst.
In a seeming trance, she slowly walked over her scrunched, sandy clothes, which were lying wet and limp on the beach… her shaking, nude body had been through enough… so she thought.
There were gooseberries on that table, she did recognize them, from yesterwhen… yes! From there, here… but how?… on the gigantic, unexplainable table directly in front of her, gooseberries… she reached…