I was sure that if the place went up in flames, the staircase would be the only thing left standing. And I remember tall hedges in the backyard, where at the age of 9 I stood, looking up at the tops of them as if they were towering gates encasing me in my own private world with those lizards I loved to chase around and catch. I often wandered around the backyard staring intensely at the dew that collected on the spider’s webs.
Overcast skies with a considerable amount of dew gathered on the spider webs that morning. By mid-afternoon, the eight legged insects were working hastily to repair their webs for the late afternoon hordes of small flies. I invited a close friend over to my place to show off some a brand new golf club set my Dad had purchased me a few weeks ago for my ninth birthday. I had been practicing a bit on my own with whiffle balls in the backyard but I was eager to show my friend how to golf since he had never tried. My Dad had drilled into me the importance of standing back while someone is swinging the club. Instructively, I told my friend to stand back as I lifted the golf club and struck the plastic, hole filled ball to almost half of the 20 foot back yard…Whiffle balls, for all the force and power you put into making them move, certainly don’t move very far.
The spiders had their webs nearly back together for the afternoon feast. After huffing out two more whiffle balls, I turned the club over to my friend, a sleek, shiny new seven iron with a deep curved edge.
You get to skip through all the coughing, vomiting and sick people when you’re bleeding profusely in the E.R. It wasn’t long before I went from a state of shock to anesthetic numbness. When I woke I could still taste iron. I mistakenly tried to sniff…stitches…dry stabbing stitches about ten across the left side of my nose. I could smell them, in fact that’s all I could smell.
Mid-day the next day, the spider was in the midst of a vital repair when suddenly a water drop fell from a nearby leaf taking out the entire stock of flies from the previous night and destroying half of the web.
Years later, I lightly trace my left finger over a small scar in between my nostrils, only visible to others when I look up. And I can’t help but think about the relationships between me and those damned spiders…Ceaselessly, carelessly, driving towards perfection, day in and day out.
And so it goes...
that water boulders will always drop
sometimes larger, sometimes smaller.
Destroying everything we have worked for
Everything we are
and everything we stand for.
Evoked by the scars of our past.
History that sticks to our feet.
Destruction leaving room for construction.
And if Utopian authors have proved anything over the centuries, once there is nothing left to fight against, what is there to fight for?