The rain is a wild thing running off the roof and on the broad and curling tomato leaves and the concrete and the air conditioner and the broken glass lying in the side yard. The dry mint leaves strain from their pot to breathe the mist. They will end their lives floating with ice in sugared bourbon, and I think they can't have higher ambitions. The bus strains up the hill. Black in the back, white in the front. This phenomena bothers my husband tremendously. He averts his eyes when the bus breaks down and the transit authority brings out its vintage replacement. It's too much. he says. I can't bear the sight of it. Rights so hard earned are forgotten upon realization. The rain runs off the hood of my sleek new car and makes me glad I won't have to wash it. I can't see the top of the second television tower through the fog, but I know it's there and it makes me glad. When I was small driving on the 20-59 through the city, I looked at those towers and thought being able to see them from your house to be the epitome of urban chic. I cling to that belief as I crane my neck to make them out, one to the left and one to the right, over the trees. The wind growls across the top of Red Mountain, along the coal-road past the iron ore. A train rumbles past Sloss. My wind chime struggles to escape the fatal embrace of a Confederate Jasmine. God is in His Heaven. All is right with the world. Somewhere. But not here. Not just now.
Last night, I dreamed of being eaten by a giant fallopian tube with a snarling ovary face. I dreamed of stepping on a dirty needle as I padded barefoot through the grass. I dreamed of rifles and pistols waltzing Matilda through the back yard. I startled awake and flew up the well of sleep to see a million white lights flitting about my room haphazardly like schizophrenic Tinkerbells. Well, this is just great. I thought to myself as I reached for my glasses and saw the whirling lights of an ambulance brought into focus. I wrapped myself again in my quilt and brought the hem over my eyes to block out the lights and siren. That's when the rain began.
Yesterday, Jackson interrupted my conversation with Tom Collins as I sat on the porch with a friend. His appearance didn't bring the usual cold shiver of dread. It should have. He looks older to me now. My fuzzy head only permitted a few of his words to sink in. Extradition to Florida blocked. Time elapsed. Released. Somewhere in Birmingham. Tonight.