The house is flooding is the indication I get from the man outside running emergency loops in the intersection, where drunk van drivers, notably friend William, are sliding in the fresh snow. Nothing stops at a time like this. There is a moment in which things can be rescued, but it is the same moment in which things must be left behind, and that moment
almost passed before I managed to undo my belt, and did pass before I noticed her standing in the corner, watching my boxers fill with cigarettes, shoes, a wallet and a raincoat. "You may not watch me
undress," I said, unable, for the moment, to be politely embarrassed, under the circumstances.
She accepts and signs for a delivery, examines the receipt, and complains about the price. Always.
The waves gobble up the stilts beneath the house. We will soon be inundated. I'm afraid. Moments before, I had seen them coming from the deck, but had thought they were clouds rolling, my own clouds even, from the smoke. That's how I get here, on the roof near a car, a truck and the running man.
I ask friend William to slow down. He points to the man. He points to
I decide to start the car myself, to get out of the honking truck's way, and to leave before things get worse. Things are about to get worse. The common complaint I hear is: "There are not enough cues." I left her behind, partially for that reason. Things were about to get worse.
The man interrupts his loops to flash me
a lighted OPEN sign, indicating passable roads and a feeling of safety, endless and thick.
I loop the sign, a message
I loop the message, a sign, over my head and
over my head and head
and head for
Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at
fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take
the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will
find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil,
you will say that she did it with her teeth.
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
This page was last modified on 2011 December 20. "Not Clouds" by John Sullivan is Copyright ©2003 - 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.