Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Born To Live In That Power

[Editor’s Note: A recycled story. You’ve had a year to forget all about it. The author is very busy making furniture for nice people and cannot write a fresh one. He’s had many jobs in his life previously. He has never been fired. He said the same thing whenever he left: I may be no great shakes, but I’m sure no one remotely like me will ever come through that door again. I’ll bet that’s always been true.]
{Author’s Note: There is no editor.}

I like the water from the rusty bucket best. It tastes like something.

It tastes like the earth. I can feel it. I roll it around in my mouth and it’s like the magnetism of the poles is in it. The world and everything in it is in the well.

I love that baby. I want to bathe him in the water from the rusty bucket. I want to baptize him myself from the font of the world. I want his bones to sing with the vibrations in the earth. Not clean, exactly; anointed.

That boy’s father carries him like a package. He isn’t anything to him yet. He loves him, sure, but in a potential sort of way. At least he carries him like there’s something breakable in that package. His love is purer than mine – because it is all in his mind, and still he loves that baby. Me, I can still smell the musk of my own womb on his soft little head. And the taste of the rusty bucket.

I didn’t know what to think when they strung the power lines across the horizon. Whatever is in those wires is not a person, but it trespasses just the same. But then I felt it. There was power in them, coursing through them. It was everybody and everything going everywhere all the time.

Sometimes I take my boy out in the cool of the evening, the clank of the final fork on the last plate still ringing in the house behind us, and we drink from the bucket with the rust in it, and I hold him up in the air so he can be washed in the power of those lines.

He was born to live in that power. I was born to drink from that bucket.

3 Responses

  1. I think it’s actually recycled from an old Jonathan Swift story about a women who prefers muddy water from wells or creeks over clean water from the then new water distribution systems. Maybe that’s wrong, but the story itself is a couple of hundred years old.

  2. Well, I did steal all the words out of the dictionary. I put them down on the paper in a different order though, because the character development in the dictionary seemed almost as bad as the phone book.

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