Twilight comes on slow in the desert, a gradual change from the pinks and oranges of the setting sun to full on night, more blue than black.
Sitting in the hard dirt on the edge of his property, on the edge of a bluff, overlooking the wasteland beyond,(more) Hugh feels like a scorpion, too small to really comprehend that the vastness before him is nothing compared to the overall size of things.
"This world is my crawl space," he mutters before taking a long swig of his perspiring Mickies. He doesn't quite know what he's saying, the words come out slurred and unfamiliar but something tells him he has just uttered more truth than any other time in his life.
The stars above wink, as if they are in on the joke.
There are questions without words, emotions without grounding building within him. He's just a lonely desert scag unable to fully comprehend the emptiness within. Surrounded by so much, and yet so little. He wants to laugh, but he knows he's more likely to sob. A dry rasping sob that burns more than soothes. A dry rasping sob that he doesn't understand.
Another swig of his Mickies and he leans back, softly falling into the earth. Cradled. He lights a smoke, lying there, facing the stars, and he feels that on these nights he is really facing himself.(less)
They were in the darkness, hands splayed, feeling along walls they'd never seen and never would. Of course they'd never be back here. "Honey," he called up to Layla, "Did you forget the flashlight again?" No answer. Meaning that she had. "Alright then." He t(more)ook her hand ahead of him in the black. It was moist, and she had been clenching her fists as she so often did, warming her ring so that a hot semicircle of gold pressed into his palm. "It's okay," he said, "I think my night vision just kicked in." Silence. "Like a cat." More silence. He wiped his forehead with the back of a dirty wrist. They'd been at it for a while. A sound sprung from the direction of her chest. A gasp, or a cough. A hiccup? She'd stopped just ahead of him. He quieted his breathing, slowing it to a crawl, pulling it through his teeth to dissipate the pace.
"Shhh." It was the first word out of Layla in over twenty minutes.
"What is i..." But he stopped. He had felt it too, late as always, but there, there, there. He inched up towards her until they were wedged shoulder to shoulder in the tiny corridor. A draft blew in from below them. The toes of his shoes dangled just off the precipice. Layla leaned into him. This was what they'd been looking for.
"Are you ready?" she whispered. "Baby, are you ready?" She drew in a sharp breath.
Even as a grown adult, I enjoy making my way into that small, dark space. Behind a closet, under a bed, wherever. For me, there seems to be a certain serenity that rests within that small, enclosed space.
Most people think it's uncomfortable. For the most part, they'd(more) be right, too. But there's always that one spot, and it's never the same spot, where suddenly it is perfect. You can stay there for hours. If you're in deep enough, no one will bother you. It's quiet, and when it's not quiet, you get to listen in on what's going on, and no one can stop you.
That little crawl space is deeply under appreciated. The kids understand it, so why can't adults? Seems pretty weaksauce if you ask me. Oh, that's right. We've 'matured' past it.
The crawl space
is the metaphorical nesting place
I go to for my own embrace.
To think and feel
and perhaps try to erase
(more) the unwanted darkness of disgrace.
I want to encase
without a trace.
where only I am in the race.
To remind myself to look at my face
and reflect back the peaceful holy place.
I don't know how I got myself in this mess. I suppose I should start from the beginning.
My know-it-all classmate Charles was bragging about how he had been digging a tunnel in the woods to hopefully find some secret treasure an old relative of his had burie(more)d there, or some crud like that, I wasn't paying attention until the most beautiful girl in the school Beatrice stepped up to him and told him that she would like to go with him to see the treasure. Well I wasn't about to let her go with him alone, was I? Beatrice was good friends with both me and Charles. Charles and I however, never got along, he was just so irritating.
And so that Saturday night, we three snuck out and descended towards his tunnel. Charles led the way and Beatrice followed him through. I went in right behind her. The tunnel was dark, the only light was Charles's lantern. I tried my best to go through the tight crawl space without peeking at Beatrice's backside. I'm not some kind of creep you know, Charles is though, which is why I had to make sure he wasn't going to do anything weird to her. As I reflected more on Charles's indecency, I noticed that the crawl space was teeming with bugs. Beatrice didn't seem to notice though. She wasn't frightened.
Suddenly I heard a rumbling noise. I then realized that Charles, the idiot that he was, had accidentally dug the rest of the tunnel right back up to the surface. I could hear his voice yelling from outside to hurry out before the tunnel collapsed. Heroically, I pushed Beatrice out to safety while the tunnel walls collapsed around me.
I was trapped forever in this crawl space, except I couldn't crawl...(less)
I love the country. I love living there, and all of the sounds that come with it. The peace. The fact that you have more freedom. If you want to go out into your woods and scream at the top of your lungs, you can. No one will be(more) bothered by it.
But there are disadvantages to living in the country. Mainly the fact that you can not get to the store at midnight without having to drive a distance that makes that ice cream you were craving not worth it.
I met another disadvantage one day when I was with my dad. There was something that we had to fix. Some sort of wiring. And to do that, we had to go down into the crawl space. Actually, he had to go into the crawl space. I had to stand by the entrance, make sure the ladder didn’t break, and have the phone to call 911 if it did.
The crawl space was a small hole in the side of the house that was hidden behind a wall that could be taken down. Why crawl spaces are so small when they are meant to have people working in them is beyond me. But dad slowly made his way down the ladder and disappeared into the crawl space below.
And then suddenly I heard him shout and he scrambled up the ladder and out of the hole. “What happened?” I asked, worried.
“There’s a giant raccoon down there that’s been chewing on the wires!” He said, laughing. “I think I scared him as much as he scared me.” (less)
"What kind of sick bastard are you?" Cappy toasted me.
"Apparently an about-to-be-filthy-rich one." I clapped him on the shoulder and moved past him down the catwalk. I was tired of Cap's frat-boy accolades and offers to work for me and wanted some peace to take in the(more) view. I leaned against the railing, contentedly tipped my glass of club soda to my lips while keeping my eyes down-turned to the floor below.
It was opening weekend of my new club, the crawl space--all lowercase letters, a squat but imposing and elegant font. We were in a renovated cave and minus the office space and relatively brief catwalk I'd made room for up among the stalactites, the space allowed for crawling only. I don't care how petite you are--you're the world's hottest midget, you'll still have to crawl if you come in here.
Women on their hands and knees, giggling, trying to pretend they're OK with feeling the cold on their bare knees, the rough scrape on their palms, trying to pretend they aren't a little uncomfortable that their tits are always dangling exposed.
Men, normally all athletic-macho, suddenly childish and uncoordinated--we never forget how to crawl, we just forget how it shakes everything loose, strains the elbows, muddies the pant cuffs, spills change and otherwise discreetly hidden items, condoms, tabs of E, from the pockets. The men don't know how to talk to the women like this, don't know if they should offer to hold her drink or suggest she set it on the ground and they both lap from it.
I turned away from the scene, stepped back into the office, back to my wife, my Venus in six-inch heels, my CFO, standing tall, like me, just the way I like us.(less)