2. The Mockingbirds.
First bird Lept remembers hearingkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk….
There it is. Lept fell asleep recalling the mockingbird mimicking the old rusty gate, or was it the bathroom door or the bedroom door where his young parents lay sleeping soundly?
What was that? Another dream intersects? But slips away as he recovers temporary consciousness. Another lost wire connection. Well, maybe not hardwired, a virtual limb? A shunt.
Suddenly Lept sees his daughter and her husband eating Chinese food in a noisy restaurant. Everyone has a good appetite. They hope Lept can stay awake during the meal. In the blessing of the food, Lept’s prayer wanders to the necessity of regular laundry, whites and darks, just so his former wife will remember how he drifted away into this dark void as if cast off a space station. It wasn’t his fault, or hers? But wouldn’t this be good enough for government work? He dreamed a scene of a final exam, a favorite professor reviewing his question and answer list…and coming up short. Too many questions, not enough answers. Lines, lines, lines…orange bands with black bar graphs dividers. Beautiful but for what purpose?
Awakening over the hot and sour soup prayer, an island of sanity, his wife …a gap again. They look away…he smiles, only slightly embarrassed. He has an excuse. Yes sir.
Wanna hear it? He asks his son in law…
–Sure, he says, chewing a king crab leg, juice dripping from the claw.
–Gimme a second,
To the side in a diorama, Lept saw his father watching him. Toss the ball into his court. I’ll handle it from here, his father’s nod seemed to say. Or was his own father asleep? What did it take to be fully awake? lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Okay. Let’s take a break.
Somewhere Lept hears his first wife singing a hymn, Rock of Ages. He slipped off that hoary seaweed rock many a tide ago…go…