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8 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

The Object of Envy

The Object of Envy Ravens rose on broad black wings into a porcelain sky. Starlings moved in mobs, black specks swirling around like fish. I stood in the muddy path outside the Shack smoking a cigarette. A wet wind promised rain later. “Hey,” Tad said. I jumped and spun. He backed away, hands up. “Sorry,” he said. I blinked and all the edges came back. Things went from a mass of colored fields to individual buildings and trees. Grass spread out sharp and sparkling in shafts of sunlight. “What’re you doing?” Tad asked. “Watching the dance.” A frown formed between his brows but then he looked up. The starlings rippled there and Tad smiled, getting it. “Cool,” he said. He went in and brought out a couple of lawn chairs. “Is there music?” he asked. For a moment, I thought he was mocking me, but when I turned to snap at him, his empty face stopped me. “Sometimes,” I said. “Mostly colors.” I felt his eyes wash over me and I chose to ignore it. “Tell me,” he said. Something went through me. It was kind of warm and soft. “Pink streamers,” I said. “Piercing green strings. You don’t see it?” He shook his head. A sadness bubbled out of my gut. “I wish I didn’t,” I said. He took my hand. “Why?”

How do you explain what it was like living in two worlds at once? Things were always so complicated. People were always afraid. I didn’t know how to explain the weight of people’s eyes. “I wish,” he said, “I wish I saw things more like you.” He swallowed and sighed. Everything’s so fake. None of this matters. None of it means anything.” I squeezed his fingers. “It would be nice to see pretty things all of the time,” he said. I nearly laughed out loud. Tad was a sweet boy, but he had no idea how hard it was trying to figure out what was really there and what came from my head. “I’d like to be different than the rest,” he said. I leaned my head on his broad shoulder and let the rest of it go away. We all wanted what we couldn’t have. Still, it was nice being the object of envy once.