Thursday, May 28, 2015

Child in a Cello Case

I dropped my gum.

A woman walked a dog so large that I could lie inside its stomach like a child in a cello case.

But someone else had that idea first so there wasn't room inside the dog.


I waited at the light beside a cellist. A pair of small eyes peered out from a little window on the side case.  Seeking my eyes, they asked if I could possibly talk to the musician but I pretended to be looking past, just a little bit beyond when my focus fell on my waist.

My chewing gum had stuck to the brass button that closed the waist of my jeans. I pulled the wad away but a bit remained so I stood there picking at the remains with the edge of my fingernail.

There had been that tarnished penny that stuck to the wad of gum I had put in my pocket. I had to pull the pocket all the way out then work to get the gum free from the fabric by forcing my fingernail under the penny and lifting, wedging the nail in slowly as the gum spread but gathering at the same time the gum with the tip of my finger. It all came loose with a wad of mauve lint. I picked the lint off then pinched away all but a layer of gum from the penny's Lincoln side. I found a pencil and dug into the layer, pushing the layer back and finally getting it to roll from the surface when the pencil point broke. Its small black impression looked like a stinger left in spearmint flesh. Using the broken tip of Ponderosa pine, I pried the rest of the gum away and still underneath there was the green tarnish on the copper, the same green as some sea swallowed antique, of a cold classic athlete or warrior fished from the Adriatic and sat to dry beneath the fat mobile clouds.  The penny spent. The gum tipped pencil dropped in the front pouch of my backpack, forgotten then thrown out at the end of the year. 

The gum on my nail, removed from the brass button at my waist, was wiped on the passing dog I couldn't ride.     

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