Rock Accountant

Month: July, 2019

Got a Match?

I am a burner. In these times of ever-encroaching global climate catastrophe, we need to return to the age of autumn leaf burning.
As a boy, I would watch transfixed as mammoth piles of gathered leaves flamed out of control in our neighborhood. My neighbors, grown men, whimpered involuntarily as they frantically tried to beat back the windblown pyres with wooden rakes — fires they had deliberately set with gasoline.

In my experience, nothing draws a community together like one neighbor burning down the house of another. Saturdays in our little town became parties replete with fire engines and apologies.
Nowadays the old-time autumnal dance of leaf incineration is forbidden.
We are expected to buy unique bags to put our leaves in, to be carried away by our municipal workers to some unverified leaf gulag.
I am beginning to feel that my government is turning me into a kind of environmental janitor.
Is there a better tactic to force temperatures into a nosedive than a massive ring of leaf soot around the Earth to block out the sun?
Got a match?

The dreams of young girls

I think my memories
must wait impatiently
somewhere in lines
to be called up.
I can’t make them come
Maybe because I am old
my mind is getting crowded.
I have watched women.
And it is different for them.
Because they have seen
dreams as young girls do,
and even the mirrors bow to that.

On hot summer evenings in Pittsburgh, we would chase lightning bugs around our yards, catching them in mason jars. I still remember how they smelled when I lifted the top.

The Sound of coming to play

As I sat outdoors this morning having coffee, I realized I miss the sound of screen doors slamming from my friend’s houses when I was little. It meant someone was coming to play.

We need a fun 50s screen door. Can't quite find those at ...

Did You See Me, Dad?

Glimpses of mortality always seem to interrupt otherwise perfectly fine days.
I was pushed westward on a hospital gurney towards an open window that let in a good mouthful of late afternoon-sunset. I loosened my hold on the sides of the hurried bed to raise my arms again.
The rhythm of the massive, clanking chains began to hesitate. The machine was straining to pull the cars up and over the first plywood mountaintop on The Thunderbolt roller coaster ride at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh.
I could hear more than one rider in the front seats coaxing the machine to try harder. Their fear seemed to pour backward over the cars. I was in the very last car.

The first two wagons achieve the peak, then slowly the third creeps over the top. Everyone was silent or screaming. Then the coaster began to drift back toward where my dad and I had stood with my ticket, skipping turns to get me into the very last seat by myself — the most fun car.
The cotton candy breeze blew on the back of my neck. My father had told me, “if you want to be brave, let go of the bar on your lap as you go over the top and wave your hands above your head.”

I shot backward down the hill, I closed my eyes and raised my arms into the air.

The wheeled hospital stretcher stopped short of the yawning afternoon window and curved left into the operating room. My arms stretched high and straight. My dad stands next to me, wearing a white mask that does not hide his eyes.
“Did you see me, did you see me?” I said. My father raised his arms above his head and started to cry.

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