Getting Through the Last Pages

We expect the sun and the rain to strengthen the dandelions in the front yard, and the dreams we had as children to return in formal attire. But, more often than not, we are disappointed. Our fingers never seem quite long enough to reach the surface, to touch the world where it actually is. And the infants go on bawling, just as if they’d seen the end of things in the salt shaker on the table. The trespassers are only doing what we’ve all been told to do at one time or another. Namely, find the gates to some plantation that isn’t on the map. That floats, in other words, between this world and some other. Where the flamingos travel in pairs and nest on mounds of jewels. Such things as the Phoenicians made, especially their famous purple dyes, extracted from murex shellfish, can’t dissuade us from entering once we get a good look at what’s inside. Whether that be from the barge or the repair boat that shows up shortly after we’ve departed. Because something is wrong with the captain’s quarters. There is always something wrong with the captain’s quarters, it seems. At least according to those who’ve had the privilege of spending time there. Because they were invited. Or, more likely, because they won a contest. And went around to all their friends claiming luck is not something you command. But it will listen to suggestions just the same.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | Official Version