Fiction, Short Stories

Wagon Full of Rocks

The psychiatrist told her that there were answers, and solutions, too. The psychiatrist prescribed her 100mg of Red and 150mg of Green. The psychiatrist said that she was a Red wagon full of rocks and that some other people’s wagons didn’t have those rocks. The medication would help to take some of those rocks away. When I was 10, I ran away from home to the wooden white pole across the street because my mother wouldn’t let me have a dog. My father later sat me down on his lap and reasoned with me as an equal. I’ve always appreciated that. “Dez isn’t here,” the jaundiced man said while scratching the paunch of beer calories underneath his shirt. “Yeah, Dez hasn’t been here for years. You might want to try the neighbors across the street; they were good friends with him. Say, isn’t it a little past your bed time? Where is your mother?” The table was unstable. There were no bolts, so I couldn’t have eaten my mediocre turkey sandwich, or even leaned on the damn thing, for that matter. Malcolm couldn’t stop looking at his mother’s trembling hands as he listened to her unsteady voice. Bad news. Malcolm’s father awkwardly slung his arm around her, uncomfortably rubbing the back of her shoulder. It was clear Malcolm’s father had been crying. Malcolm’s younger brother, the bravest, was the first sibling to comfort them on the couch. How do we console the damned? And why don’t people find clowns funny? Liz was like my mother’s cursive: gorgeous, but impossible to understand. We danced the Paso Doble in her studio apartment to the tune of our beating hearts. She set the pace. A red tapestry adorning the wall flapped in the wind coming from the open window. Haphazardly prepared lines of cocaine looked like snowy claw marks on the hardwood floors. We stayed up all night, drinking Jameson and making love underneath Jim Morrison’s perfect nipples.