The guy next door is dividing his sacks of pop cans and beer bottles to cash in for a dime bag. Another neighbor walks to and fro daily, asking Alexander if he' cold. He says he's from Alaska. That's what I used to say to people too, when I was outside in the wind, but in my case it was true. But now, the cigarette habit has slowed my blood and I am always in cold.
I feel like a stuffed doll, like a scarecrow dressed in Alexander's wool coats. I think if lower my face, his hat covering my eyes, I would cease to be animate. I would truly be a scarecrow to ward off the ones Alexander fears: the shiny blue feathers of death sitting atop the power line. If I raise my head to look in one beady crow's eye they would swoop down down to take his soul away. For they only fear the imitation of life. He knows without having heard Transylvanian mythology that crows are speakers with the dead and he fears they to have the ability to bring the grey rain and the wind.
The balcony where he spends his days in books cannot protect him from their elemental force, the wall isn't high enough. I try to conjure the memories of beaches, of watching his best friend get high.
I am trying to give him something good.
I am try passing even the memory of sunburned skin, for he wills it more than the darkness. But the past is lost to him in a void of swirling confusion of dates of dates and times.
It is the melancholy of love separated but not lost that plagues him.
Though I try, I am no shaman. My visions are not truth, but I tell him I can see the future. He does not believe description of the spring in his heart, it's warmth thawing, the ice scraped across his knotted brow will smooth. I say almost all that I feel, and he lifts his head to listen, but his expression is distant. When I am finally silent he laughs, "You little tramp," and puts his face back into his book.
About the writer, Carissa Anne Christensen: she writes about the human experience of life and helping others become free.