Skip to content


Sleep had come shortly after the door closed, but the dreams came in the middle of the night. The quiet, that had filled the room, raced outward through the cracks and the keyhole, leaving sounds of moaning, crying, and yelling.

“Marc! Marc!”

That would be my superior chasing me down the hallway, my younger superior. The man had little tact, but even less intelligence. No need for an old number cruncher, with the young kids coming in with their notebook computers and their accounting software.

“It doesn’t have to be like this.”

No, I guess it doesn’t. I’ve spent half my life calculating numbers for younger men who have trouble with their personal accounts. What in hell am I suppose to say to that? What in hell am I going to do with an extra twelve hours a day. There’s only so many violets I can grow in my garden, what then? I may as well turn around and look at him.

“You’re not being fired, Marc. You’re retiring.”

Like I have a choice. Damn him, I hate violets. Stupid garden was suppose to help me with stress. I might have to make that garden twice as big now. Forget it, I’m not going to say anything. Focus on the door, it’s getting closer. Last time through, I guess. Down the steps.

“What are you doing? Where are you going?”

Does he really expect me to work one last day? “Well Kevin, I’m going for a walk.” There let him think on that. Kevin. Why not just call your kid Biff or Happy? Well Kevin, in twenty years maybe Biff will chase after you down the hall.


What in God’s name did you just say? Hey, don’t put that thing in my hand. I’m not a surgeon, I prescribe drugs and give suckers to kids. I’ve been through this scene and didn’t like it.


Don’t bother me nurse, can’t you see I’m going crazy. Okay, the patient is under, the anaesthetic is working, the interns are watching from behind the glass. Ah shit, that’s it, those interns are what’s not right. I can’t do this shit with those snooty well-off brats glaring down at me.


Shut-up nurse. I can’t be here. I swore I wouldn’t do this again. Which means that I’m not here. I’m dreaming.

“Make the cut!”

Didn’t I say shut-up nurse, no I didn’t. Just thinking it. Those kids up there, what are they doing. Trying to get a better view probably.

“Make the cut! Make the cut!”

Mouthy kids. Wait a sec. How come I can hear them through the glass. Oh right I’m dreaming. Let’s have another look at the patient. Woh! Where’d he go? Nurse get off the table.

“Make the cut!”

I won’t. Send me back. I don’t belong here.

Oh shit. Not here, not here. Where’s Marc and the gang? They left me. No, not here. I hate this damn desert. Don’t you cry. Don’t you do it Joan. Alone forever. Okay, you can cry now.


Not now, I’m resting. What’s that smell. Long wet grass. What a beautiful smell. This field, I know this field. I’ve been here many times.


Who’s calling me? Where are you?


The tree. Now I know where I am. The wedding field, and that’s the wedding tree. A second honeymoon? Marc is that you?

“Lily, help me.”

No it’s not Marc. It’s the tree. What’s wrong, are you sick? Are you being attacked by bugs? Tell me something. What’s that suppose to mean. A falling leaf isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Another one, two leaves. That one, that isn’t your leaf. Is it? That’s my leaf, from my dress. And those others, what are they. Many different leaves. Maple. Pine. Birch. Poplar. And Oak.

“Help me.”

Oak, what’s wrong? Why are our leaves falling.

“Meribah, wake up.”

Mom is that you? What time is it?

“It’s time to say goodbye to your father.”

Why, where’s he going?

“He’s going to Newport, and he won’t be back for a long time.”

Why can’t we go with him?

“Because you’ve lessons, and I’ve got the garden.”

Mom, he doesn’t take long trips anymore. His longest trips are six days. What’s wrong mom? Where’s he going? I want to see him. Where is he? Dad, where are you?

“Meribah, wake up.”

Mom is that you? What time is it?

“It’s time to say goodbye to your father.”

Why, where’s he going…

“Faster Joel, faster!”

I’m going as fast as I can. Feel that wind. It’s a good morning for fishing.

“Pedal faster. Now that you’re on the dock, you can peddle faster.”

Okay, how’s that. Fast enough? Look at the cracks fly by. I can see the water through them.

“You didn’t tie your shoes, did you Joel?”

What do you mean, shut up. Next time you’re staying at home.

“You didn’t tie your shoes, did you Joel?”

Can’t you see I’m busy? My foot’s caught in the chain.

“You didn’t tie your shoes, did you Joel?”

Oh shit, I’m going to drown. Ain’t I?

“Did you Joel?”