We come together by the ponds, near the flame, that flame so high. The vodka and tonics are like an infection, seeping through my soul, taking my boyhood memories, scaring me. Flame hill looks smaller than it used to, the winding road, the stirring yellow dust swirling, making pictures in the lights of the Anadarko Gas trucks, it looks gold, yeah gold, kind of like it’s a “Yellow Brick Road”. The pond to the north of the hill sits silent, dark, green, it looks the same, and forty-two years haven’t changed it much. Its okay, I suppose, it won’t be changed much in the story either. Behind me there’s another pond, that one a little larger, that one with the dam, the leaky dam. It has a different color, the reeds around it bent, making soft sucking noises, when they get caught in the water and the sand.
The touch on my arm, my right arm is cold, it’s a child’s touch I suppose. I look back at the ghost, somebody I know, somebody that won’t let me sleep. “Is this the yellow brick road”? I think I say that out loud, but I’m not sure. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter, the blonde headed spirit is shaking his head up and down, almost too fast, affirming something for sure. Something ready, here near flame hill, something that happened. “Did we catch him”? My question is answered already, the presence, is grinning, those dimples, I’ve seen in too many dreams over the past year.
There’s a wind kicking up out of the north, pushing the colored flame above me back and forth, it’s threatening it I suppose. That flame on the hill. The ghost is looking intently up at the fire, the body almost transparent, shimmering, and moving in tandem, with the wind. The yellow dust is moving too, throwing itself like a curtain from where I stand, I can hardly see the road.
“We did this didn’t we”? It’s a convergent question, based on historical knowledge, actual experiences. I look back, finally daring to look through the darkness to see the Southwest pond, it’s the one that holds the memories. I take a few steps, toward the base of flame hill, the shadows casting long in the darkness. The colored gas flame up above, shoots through the air, lighting the darkness, arching, it extends and then like a flickering torch it retreats leaving the truth of what I saw laughing in the past atop the water of the southwest pond.
“If I write this, it’s going to be goodbye, you know that don’t you”, I’m speaking to spirit, a dream may be, something that shouldn’t be, but is. The figure is looking intently at the flame, the blonde hair, my friend, my childhood friend. He looks at me, his smile, the same, the same grin, from the first day we met in the Grace B. Wilson Elementary School Library over a pile of Hardy Boy books.
“Write it”, he whispers. – 08.08.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל