Survival
Barry Graham

—for Steven J. McDermott

I started the car, backed over the curb, and drove away from that street and those houses, which Iím both happy and sad to say I never saw again. I watch until bubbles float to the surface, burst in a spray of oxygen as the water turns a soapy gray. Watch it disintegrate into millions of imperceptible flakes. Most of the houses down there were built with stone or stucco and Corey was pretty sure heíd need new tools. Thatís what I wanted to know.

Go, he said weakly, just before the ball plopped into the middle of the road. Regardless of whatever else you might think of me, when it comes to saving my ass, Iím one highly motivated motherfucker. I head back to the store to check out those real estate listings. Iíll take these, she said and handed the binoculars to the clerk. He reached out and grasped her upstretched hand, pulled against the resistance as she crossed her ankles, tucked her feet under her rear, and sprang up. She reached down for the sweatshirt and flipped up the flap of fleece. Where did that certainty go? I bop the back of my head against the cinderblocks three or four times, then stand up. Whoa! Youíre a mess.

It wasnít my home. We ran off laughing, two young hyenas that had just pulled the lionís tail and got away. You can use a good laugh, canít you? What can be done about them? Shouldering my clubs, I walked toward the first tee. Without that he couldnít survive.


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