It is twilight. There’s a chill in the air. It’s November but it’s not quite winter in these parts yet. The cloudy sky looks fake. It looks like a children’s book recreation of a sky. It’s chalk and charcoal and crayon. Hard edges softly meeting. Weaved textures. It’s dark out here. And lonely. No, lonely isn’t the word. The word is scary. It is cold and dark and scary. I am alone on a compost heap.
The compost heap has been overgrown with grass, and it is covered with leaves. The ground is soft and give in under your feet. I pick and root around the soil. I’m having fun smushing it down. I like to pick out pebbles, and stems, and little bits of little things out of the heap. I find an onion. Or a potato. It’s a potato shaped like an onion in layers. It’s already been cut. It tastes like an onion.
It’s a still night and it’s getting colder. It’s awfully quiet out. The soil is warm and damp and it’s fun in smush in and dig through. I take a short stroll to the other compost heaps. They’re mostly all the same. The moon is hidden behind a tree. I walk back to the original heap.
I have misplaced the onion I was eating. I think I find it. I lean down to pick it up. But it’s more like an onion onion. This one isn’t precut and the outside turns green. It’s like it’s an onion embedded in an avocado. I pick out the most oniony parts to nibble on.
I hear voices in the distance. I stand and stretch. It sounds like they’re talking to me. Or trying to. Or just wanting to talk to me. But it’s lonely out here. And scary. And I can’t see where the voices come from. They’re making sense, these voices. They are talking about things I don’t understand. I like these voices.
I stretch and look up at the innocent sky. I stretch my arms out shoulder level and lean back and look straight up at the sky. I feel like I should talk back to the voices. I try. I can’t move my mouth. All I want to say is “love.” But I can’t move my mouth. The more I try the scarier it gets. I close my elbows and now I want to scream. I want to scream but I want to listen to the voices. You can’t scream and listen to voices at the same time.
I decide that I should fly. I haven’t flown in a while and I miss it. I think I remember how to. It’s always scary at first, but then it gets better. What you do is jump. And you jump again. I remember. I jump. I see the top of the trees. Then I see layers of clouds. And then I see stars. I wonder if the voices come from the stars. When I still can’t say “love” I say “happy”.