A Slice of Night

17 10 2012

Persian patterns blurred by silent shuffling feet—an island of culture floats stationary on worn wooden boards. Bacon bits and an onion slice fall and add flavor to the carpet.

Jack flings himself against a leg. Small hands and thin arms cling unaware his mother is actually standing a couple noisy yards away. Twenty seconds later and awareness sets in. Jack distinguishes his mom who wipes the halo of bacon grease and barbecue sauce from the angelic and flushed face.

A moment of comfort settles unconsciously in the belly of Jack but then a rumble of restlessness rises through the three year olds’ body and now his head is burrowed in his sister’s back—framed by her two tangled barely braided pigtails.

They are the wild things—chasing, spinning, hiding, and clawing.

Occasionally a towering adult enters their spiraling vortex to pretend they are a child or to escape the monotony of social introductions. But then the children’s vortex spits out the adults and continues until the sparks of childish limbs and laughter consume the living room and the mother lists dull consequences and carries off the children into the cold dark night. 

Bodies shuffle and shift over the small Persian rug—conscious of steam, words, and hunger. A toothpick falls on the rug as it absorbs the bright light of the camera’s flash. The streaming screaming music stops. Glasses clink. The evening presses into the Persian rug as the distracted adults step into the cold dark night seeking life in smoke. Whiffs of burnt bacon fat hug the hungry as they puff pursuits of perversity into deep darkness. 

But dim celestial light prevents night from becoming the Persian rug.

The valley echoes of missed glances and children’s dances.

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