s a s h a    f l e t c h e r

from

When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets

and We Will not Hear Them Because We Will Be Upstairs in the Clouds

i laughed so hard i fell down

 

*
I had been on the roof watching the storm. I tried so hard to make the lightning come spilling out of the clouds and into the crowd.



*
The crowd had gathered all along the alley. The crowd was made up of many birds.



*
I was up all night drawing pictures of plants. I cut them out of the paper and glued them to some cardboard. I glued the cardboard to some paint stirrers and I planted them in the yard. I tried to make sure that there were some pretty good plants in there.



*
I am building you a garden the best that I can. I built you a steamboat. I built you a window. I built you a river.



*
I built a ship out of the floorboards and I floated it on down the river.



*
I made the river out of what rivers have always been made out of.



*
I believed in tradition as much as I could for all the ways it could help me and all the ways that it would.



*
The backyard was out the kitchen door which was two sets of windows below the roof.



*
I installed a window on the roof so that I could watch the lightning through hard moving water because everyone knows that is what glass is. The birds know. Every day they come and they plow right through it but they canít quite make it.



*
What is it that we are doing here?



*
I heard the waterfall again last night. But I havenít built you a waterfall yet I said. She said There is a world outside what you can build.



*
I wrote the word waterfall on the wall. I hoped for the best.



*
Your stories are getting sadder and sadder every day she told me. I donít believe you I told her. I got thirsty. I thought if I put my hand through the door that it would come out in or around or near the fridge. What are you doing she said. I kept moving my hand. She said Are you trying to get a beer? She went inside. There was a beer in my hand. There are lots of things not worth questioning.



*
I put a picture of Clint Eastwoodís face over my own so you could be more comfortable around me.



*
One of these days your hands will grow into fists.



*
I had some fire in a bowl. Where did you get that fire she asked. I can show you if you want I said. Whatever she said. She said You probably just poured lighter fluid in the bowl and set it on fire. I shook the bowl and the flame fell up into the air and right back into the bowl. Where did you get that fire she asked. I set the bowl down and showed her.



*
What have you been dreaming about I asked her. She said I have been dreaming about waterfalls. About huge torrents of river cascading down a roof or rock formation and falling all over itself to turn into a lake. She said I have been dreaming of obscure cloud formations. I said what does that even mean. She said Whatever. I said No. Iím sorry. I was. I wanted her to go on. I have been dreaming she said Of handguns.



*
I took all of your dreams and I put them in the oven. Then we ate them for dinner. Afterwards we rose above the house. We rose above the sheets of the bed and the paper that had flown around all day in the wind and above the clouds and there were lights in the clouds and I tried to get closer to them but I couldnít.



*
In the morning I went down to the kitchen to make you breakfast. You were sitting at the table. You bit my head right off. You stitched it back on. We got dressed and watched TV.



*
We were watching the weather channel. It seemed to show the future. It was as though it was raining inside the TV. We watched a thunderstorm eat the sky. The TV was a window.



*
What is with all this window talk she asked. I had nothing to say to that. I built a window in front of her face so that maybe she would know.



*
That window is made of moving water and I will reach right through it and into you.



*
I pulled a storm cloud from her mouth and I threw it into the air where it ate the sky and everything looked just like it did on the TV.



*
The sun came out and the storm cloud went to sleep. You were asleep. It was early. I didnít know what else to say. I didnít know what else to do.



*
I pulled the sky down out of the air. I tore it open. I began to sweat very hard. I looked over at the air conditioner. I was awake then. Then I was tired. I walked out the window onto the telephone lines and waited to see if I could walk out of your phone.



*
It was raining again. It would stop soon. It had been stopping soon.

 

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SASHA FLETCHER's novella [from which this piece is excerpted] When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets and We Will not Hear Them Because We Will Be Upstairs in the Clouds is due out from ml press in december of the year 2010. He is an mfa candidate at Columbia University in the city of New York. He has a blog.


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