Seemingly Unrelated Paragraphs

A boy, 7 or 8 years old maybe, picks at the grass around his neighbors garden, his knees tucked in and his eyes quivering. He’s surrounded by friends, other boys and girls from the block, they’re all standing around not saying much and swaying back and forth. His family is moving and everything he knows, all of Earth as he’s been taught it exists, is going away. He’ll never see any of them again. He cries a little. They don’t.

A car does circles around the lake. The driver, a mother, and the passengers, brother and sister, all sit quietly. Except that the mother is crying and doing her best not to. Back at their house the father is presumably thinking about what he’s done. He’ll never have the opportunity to do it again. At least not many more times.

An 18 year old smokes Marlboro Reds in the parking lot behind the gas station in the middle of town. He sees another, much younger, teenager turning the corner. It’s late at night, too late for the younger one to be out typically. He’s holding a skateboard and nothing else. They exchange some words and the younger boy tries not to cry but he does anyway. The older one gives him the pack of cigarettes and watches him walk away. He’ll fall asleep on a swing tonight, and never go home again.

The cast is blue and affixed firmly to a boy’s leg. He’s sitting on the front porch of his grandmother’s house, pushing a skateboard back and forth under the broken leg. Some friends drive up to see how he’s doing. They state the obvious, make some jokes, and head on their way. They don’t come back until the cast’s off.

A Bic lighter and some frozen logs work together to start a fire in an old abandoned shack in the middle of the woods. Their cohort is a boy, just turned 18 and at the same time an old man and a scared child, is lighting poems that he’s written in a Composition notebook on fire to try and convince the icy wood to light and keep him warm for the night. Frozen wood doesn’t ever light on fire.

A baby is born. His father is distraught, suffering from intense feelings of needing to escape the entire situation. He’s worried that he’ll lose everything about himself and simply become someone’s dad. A body to fill the space between the recliner and the newspaper on lazy Sunday afternoons. He spends the first few years of the boy’s life wondering how he can love something so much and want it to just go away all the while. He’s a lonely man, and one day his young son falls asleep in his bed with him. The dad starts trickling tears down his cheek – slow and few between – and realizes that he could never live without the little guy. He smiles a bit and goes to sleep.

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