Beneath the patio parasol, in the rising warmth of the sunny Saturday morning, I read
terse mental dispatches from a female spy of the future, working undercover by the Mediterranean Sea
as told in 47 boxes. The shimmering leaves in the trees whisper to me below the soft drone of a distant lawn mower. I am transported from the blue-black waters of the Mediterranean to one perfect summer of green grass.
The town was, after all, only a large ship filled with constantly moving survivors, bailing out the grass, chipping away the rust… It was this then, the mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back, year after year, that drew Douglas, knowing the towns never really won, they merely existed in calm peril, fully accoutered with lawn mower, bug spray and hedge shears, swimming steadily as long as civilization said to swim, but each house ready to sink in green tides, buried forever, when the last man ceased and his trowels and mowers shattered to cereal flakes of rust.
Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.
Yet the stories remain. They endure so long as we read them, remembrances carried by the warm summer breeze.