Summer between states out in the country: code-red intimacies: fights none could avoid. Word-shock assault of scimitar-wit: thrust-parry-thrust-dodge. Judo utterance. Weapons of mass irony and cake.The Vanquished waved white handkerchiefs of wry surrender: touché.We laughed: we had fun.Someone said “nonplussed” out on the porch. “Nonplussed” we chanted in clumsy chorus at bungalows and trees. Again and again and again: we sang it like a song. Cameras caught sudden-risibles – snap-flash – candidly obscene: hysteric whoop-raucous of instant. So many instants cherished at the time: mute photographs’ flat recall. Now fading in the attic. Cramming boxes in the basement.Holographic memories of you beside me on camera: bare legs exposed: on camera: you beside me bare legs exposed: on camera.Our hazy forest-leafy green and rainy-always season in the hills. City-mice among the gnarled gruff weather-beaten taciturn and morbid folk. No fun. But we were fun. We had Future and our own familiar forms: The Guys: the Girls. So termed in even longer-ago-days of teen-age composite. Eternal crowd of Always: our crowd: always: admired from afar: envied by ones who wanted to be or at least be like us: whoever we were: or thought we were back-when. Plus other ego-psych stuff odd and sundry: I kept records. Meanwhile at the Country Fair: Makers of lutes tabors mandolins and other country-folk wood banjo-things hawked boxes of dulcimer carved from pine. “Wonderfully shaped and smooth of sound” they told us. Sinuous. Easy to learn. “You’ll soon be strumming away the sultry-lazy Summer days. Strumming in yon noble wood on lyres of yon noble wood composed” they said. We bought three lutes: one mandolin. The woman tossed in a tabor: gratis. I remember a thin girl at Ye Olde-Tyme Country Donut Booth. She hesitated over a cruller – waist on her mind: what you said to me after: you said: “Makes me feel old” really we were still so very young the week-end of the Fair: I couldn’t understand because we really all were still so very young… Later the same Fair another booth like the lute-box woman’s but with flutes and fifes. Four hand-carved recorders completed our blow-string-drum ensemble: old-time flute-things expert-crafted by real folk. Objects of beauty: value: practical use. Genuine stuff. Surely Classics by now: antiques. What was that shindig I made sure to miss two years ago? Twenty-year reunion? The tense-passing of two years felt like thirty… I stashed the lute somewhere I can’t recall. Never learned to play: but that wasn’t the point the point was Experience. Life-mind memories of life well-lived. Should you lose memory or marbles you’ve got pictures: in whatever basement boxes they remain wherever sealed. Yes. Yes. Yes. Soon. Yes: call me. Yeah: dinner: just us: it’ll be just us.
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