Friday, June 5, 2009

Smoke break

Day 5 but not the assignment

I'm standing on stump out back again. It's where I hide for a few minutes here and there each day. It's a good spot. At about three feet in diameter, two feet high and almost perfectly level, it's everything I could ask for in a seat or soapbox. The underbrush crawls out in front, almost hiding me from the road but still providing a view of our so-called lawn. It's both overgrown and sparse, like a balding field.

Three pecan trees stand almost in line to my right, shading the few patches of grass you could still call "green." To my left, on the other side of the rambling undergrowth, is a thick wall of bamboo twenty feet high and swaying in the breeze as if to laugh at the shorter grass below. The taller trees crowd behind the bamboo, as if the tall thin shoots have bullied them back. Behind me is barbed wire and disaster response vehicles.

Birds cry all around. Chirps, squawks and piercing calls. Some of the birds are curious and will perch close by to cock their eyes at me. The ridiculous green parrots never come close, preferring the height of the radio tower or light posts. Today a hawk glides above, tilting and circling so I can see how the ends of his wings turn up.

When I'm done, I hop down and pat the stump as if it cares, then walk under the pecans back to the ashtray. I startle the lizards who live under the sidewalk as I head back inside. In a few hours I will escape again to the most obvious place they never find me.


  1. um...ouch? The goal is to write something everyday, but I assume my writing for this day is a failure?? Please give me specific criticism so I can improve :(

  2. I run on the East side of town near Festival Fiesta?) Beach and this scene makes me think of that area- especially the parrots! I see them there all the time- there and Austin High.
    At first I thought you were going down a path with the reference to the disaster vehicles (were they there to respond to something? Were there a bunch of bodies lying beyond the barbed wire?) but I enjoyed the scene you described.