Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Of poppies

There are poppies in the back yard at Dave's house. They appeared from nowhere, unplanned, yet totally befitting the glass-strewn courtyard. Some days as the sun went down we would sit in the back yard drinking Carter Larger and finding fault in everything, from radio singles, to girls we knew, to Hobbes' Leviathon. These poppies in the back yard weren't the sort that bleed opium when the stems get pierced, which we knew from experience. But, this fact didn't seem to stop emaciated space-heads scaling the fence on a regular basis and hauling away armfuls of whatever they could pull from between the cracks of concrete. This started a few weeks after the poppies first appeared, and show no signs of stopping.

This is Flanders! screamed Dave. This is Kandahar, and we're going to war for these fucking poppies. War against ugly rusted bastard needles sticking from ruined arms. We're going to war against modern life in the name of these poppies.

And so we sat in the top window at night, air rifle loaded. Every lank-haired face we saw rising over the back fence meant a readied trigger finger, and every arm and leg meant a rush of compressed air, and a .177 pellet striking human flesh. To address these people like this was to take back a little of what they took from us. It wasn't the act of stealing itself which was a problem, but the loss we felt. Sometimes we shoot junkies to deal with loss.

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