(I’ve been so head down working on my new novel that I completely missed the 2nd birthday of Drivel by Dave … so with nothing else prepared, here’s an excerpt that I wrote tonight)
It was about 11:30 when I walked home, through the back yards. The night was dark and cool. There was a hint of impending autumn in the air, even as the night choir of crickets sang its ode to summer.
I found the far end of our backyard and stopped for a moment and looked at the house I grew up in. A light was on in the kitchen, I couldn’t tell if anyone was still awake or if they’d left it on for my benefit. The curtains over the sink were drawn, casting a yellow glow to the window. The grass was long and already damp with night dew. I’ll mow it tomorrow, I thought, just like I mowed it so many times growing up. It was the same back yard, the same grass, the same dew, the same house, the same yellow glowing kitchen window. It was all so familiar. It was all the same as it’d been all those years growing up, but standing there, gazing into my past, I knew that inside was the present, and in the present, inside that house, my father, who’d always been so strong, so funny and so formidable, lay dying, a hollow shell of his past self. It occurred to me that in all probability the next time I gazed upon that same scene my father would be gone, and at some point after that, my mother would be gone, too.
I started across the back yard, walking to the back porch, and I thought of all we’d been through together, the three of us, in this house, in this town. Orchard Depot was a small town, but for all those years growing up, it was the universe, where life dwelled and where death was felt. It’d always been a presence, death had, first as little more than a rumor, then as a nightmare in the form of an eyeless corpse in a corn field, and now as an inescapable and unavoidable reality. And if it was big enough to house both life and death, it was big enough to encapsulate all of time and memory, too, and I looked at our little house in our little town and realized everything that is and ever was is right there, behind the yellow kitchen window.